Western European News Digest
Irish Farmer Union Capitulates, Calls for 'Yes' on Lisbon
June 4 (EIRNS)The Irish Farmers Association has struck a dirty deal with the government, and decided to recommend a "Yes" vote in the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. In exchange, the government promised to use its veto powers in case the European Union pushes a World Trade Organization "Doha Round" deal which is unfavorable to Ireland. It should be noted that this is a decision of the leadership, and not based on a vote of its 80,000 members. The IFA leadership had supported the Treaty prior to the surfacing of a report that EU commissioner Peter Mandelson intended to push the WTO deal. So it is an open question as to whether the farmers themselves will support the Treaty.
Italy: Opposition to Treaty Reflected in Press Coverage
June 4 (EIRNS)Rome University Prof. Giuseppe Guarino's call for rejecting the Lisbon Treaty is covered for the third time in three days in major Italian dailies. On June 1, Guarino gave an interview to the financial paper Il Sole 24 Ore. On June 3, in the same paper, author Guido Gentili writes under the headline "EU Treaty: No Blind Ratification":
"Professor Guarino insists that the Treaty raises serious constitutionality issues and a more careful reflection would be in Italy's interest. Guarino has gathered his remarks into a forthcoming book, a volume whose reading we suggest to the members of Parliament, who, in the coming weeks, will discuss ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. It is a ruthless, but factual analysis of what we are facing, including the self-avowed, extra-parliamentary government role of the Commission, future mother-owner of Europe.
"To reflect on the Lisbon 'method' and on the ensuing Treaty is not a way to oppose Europe, but a way to have a clear sight. 'If one or more states need more reflection, they can take the necessary time,' is written in the Treaty, which does not prescribe blind ratifications."
EU Creating Super-Diplomatic Corps
May 30 (EIRNS)The European Commission has already drafted detailed plans for an imperial European diplomatic serviceeven before the Lisbon Treaty is approved. The Conservative Party in Britain is accusing British Foreign Secretary David Miliband of misleading Parliament when he claimed that nothing had been done to set up a "European External Action Service" (EEAS), which would become the EU's foreign ministry if the Treaty were to be voted up.
The Conservatives claim that the European Commission has already ordered that an "organogram" chart of the EEAS's structure be produced for as early as next week. The May 23 Daily Telegraph cited top British Euro-imperialist Robert Cooper, director of the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, as positively commenting that the EEAS would make Brussels the diplomatic capital of Europe.
EU Commission Tells French Fishermen: Pay and Die
PARIS, June 2 (EIRNS)On May 29, the National Committee of French Fishermen called for the creation of a special fund to guarantee fuel prices for the industry. The next day, Madrid responded with an initiative, with backing by France, Italy, and Portugal, to create a European-wide "fishermen's support fund"something sure to provoke the EU Commission functionaries. Italian fishermen have joined their French colleagues, and suspended activities in the past days.
As background to the crisis: In October 2004, France created the "Fonds de prévention contre les aléas de la pêche" (FPAP), a fund to regulate fuel prices. Fishermen paid a fixed price into the fund, whose financial resources increased when fuel prices were low, and compensated fishermen when fuel prices were high. Since that time, oil prices have only gone up, so the French government, under EU pressure closed down the FPAP on Jan. 1, 2007, creating the conditions for the current mess.
Milk Delivery Boycotts Enter Decisive Phase
June 2 (EIRNS)Milk farmers in numerous European countries have joined their colleagues in Germany, with solidarity and support actions, like French farmers blocking the main roads leading to a big dairy in Strasbourg, or several hundred farmers in Switzerland boycotting their dairies. Italian producers are demanding a parity price of at least Eu42 cents/liter, otherwise they will start a protest, similar to the German one. Also farmers in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Spain are engaged in protest actions calling for a parity price above Eu40 cents/liter.
A nasty strikebreaking operation is reported from the Netherlands: Yesterday, farmers organized in the Dutch Dairymen's Board, blockading nine dairy processing plants in the Netherlands, were forced to stop their actions. An organized group of farmers reportedly threatened their colleagues, after which the dairy farmers lifted the blockades.
LaRouche Movement Recommends Government Protect Alitalia
May 30 (EIRNS)The Italian Treasury, through an executive order, has taken control of the negotiations for the sale of the national airline, Alitalia. The previous government had entrusted the Alitalia management with that power. Now, it is expected that the Berlusconi government will appoint a new chairman of the board. The move was necessary to protect the recent state loan from the EU watchdogs, who will allow it only if it is a "bridge loan" in the context of a "market" operation. Although the Italian government says that the option of a bankruptcy procedure is now further away, the executive order leaves a door open to that option as a last resort.
The Italian LaRouche organization, Movisol, has drafted a memorandum to the government, written with the collaboration of a flight expert, explaining that an airline should not be degraded to become part of a global world company acting as a mere instrument of world domination by a financier oligarchy. The memorandum recommends maintaining strategic lines of communication as the basis of bilateral and multilateral trade and exchange of people and ideas.
OECD Forum 2008: Make Money With Global Green Dictatorship
PARIS, June 4 (EIRNS)Over 600 experts, decision-makers, elite bankers, CEOs, diplomats, financial journalists, and elected officials participated in a two-day brainwashing session June 3-4, on "Climate Change, Growth, Stability," at the prestigious Paris OECD Forum 2008, each willing to pay a Eu1,000 registration fee.
The opening session was keynoted with a triumphant speech on the "new phase" of globalization and free trade "integrating high oil and food prices" by the Spanish Francoist Rodrigo de Rato, who blamed the "surges of nationalism," now even stronger in the North than in the South, and called for a rapid conclusion of the WTO Doha Round.
Other panels cautioning against pulling back from the "gains" of globalization, and for making money under the new regime of "green," as in climate change. The Forum 2008 forum was key to preparing the OECD ministers' meeting tomorrow in Paris with EU Trade Commissioner lunatic Peter Mandelson. Everything goes then to the Hokkaido G-8 summit July 7.
Can You Believe It? Blair Launches 'Faith Foundation'
May 31 (EIRNS)Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was in New York May 23, where he launched his new Tony Blair Faith Foundation at the headquarters of Time Warner. Former President Bill Clinton was on hand.
Opening the ceremony, Blair said, "Religious faith will be of the same significance to the 21st Century as political ideology was to the 20th Century." The foundation, dedicated to interfaith dialogue, has been in the planning for at least two years, with Ruth Turner, Blair's former aide, as one of the directors. Turner became famous when she got caught up in the "cash for peerages" scandal, in which Labour Party funders were given peerages for cash donations to the Party. It is not known whether Blair will be accepting cash for indulgences through the new foundation.