From Volume 8, Issue 26 of EIR Online, Published June 30, 2009

Western European News Digest

Up to 50% of Germans May Catch Swine Flu

June 22 (EIRNS)—Prof. Gerhard Ehninger of the University Clinic in Dresden was quoted in today's Bildzeitung, saying that, "about a quarter or half of the people in Germany could be infected with the swine flu."

Then, in an apparent effort to play down the issue, in line with the general approach of German institutions these days, he added: "Based on data from the U.S.A., we think that one-third of those who have been infected, will not notice it and not develop symptoms."

What about the two-thirds of those infected who would feel it, and have symptoms—around 35 million Germans?

Germany and France Infected by British NICE

PARIS, June 23 (EIRNS)—As might have been expected, Germany and France are infected by the British fascist NICE virus, NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) being the model for Obama's Nazi health-care reform in the United States.

On March 27, 2006, NICE's Michael Rawlings, Peter Sawicki of the German Institut für Qualität und Wirtschaftlichkeit im Gesundheitswesen (IQWIG), and Laurent Degos of the French Haute Autoritée de Santé (HAS) signed an agreement to "exchange methods, to share experiences...." The three institutions are in charge of "elaborating professional recommendations, to give advice and formulate estimates in respect to the optimal use of health technologies, drugs, services, and medical acts." In principle, the officials meet every six months.

There have been recorded arguments between the French HAS and NICE spokesmen, with HAS head Degos saying the issue was not to spend less, but to spend in a better way. But the nasty NICE is firmly ensconced.

Blair Buddy Heads Up British Euthanasia Drive

June 26 (EIRNS)—Lord Falconer (of Thoroton), the leader of the group of Lords that is now pushing legislation to legalize euthanasia in Britain, is one of Tony Blair's best friends. They were roommates when they studied law, and Blair made him the first of a whole list of new Labour peers, shortly after he took office as prime minister in May 1997. Falconer then served in various government functions, including that of head of council on constitutional affairs (the equivalent of justice minister) during the period of the "assisted" suicide of David Kelly, in 2003, when the latter exposed Blair's having forged data on Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction, to prepare the war against Iraq.

Escalating Fight Over Euthanasia in Europe

June 26 (EIRNS)—Propagated as a "living will," an "advance directive," or "assisted suicide," pro-euthanasia legislation has been, or is being promoted in many European countries, in addition to Britain, which we cited above.

The Netherlands is said to be the country in Europe with the most excessive euthanasia practice: Already in 2001, a survey showed that in 25% of euthanasia cases, doctors did not even ask or wait for a patient's "living will." New legislation passed in the meantime was advertised as being able to prevent that, but the reality is that euthanasia has been legalized to such an extent that the so-called "credo card" has become popular—this is a "will to live" document that unmistakably states: "Maak mij niet dood, Dokter!" (literally, "Make me not dead, doctor!").

In Luxembourg, euthanasia ("active mercy-killing" as it's called there) was fully legalized, in mid-March. Now, an initiative by medical doctors would place a ban on such practices, which they justifiably fear will lead to "tourism of death" attracting people from other countries who want to die. Luxembourg is now the third country, after the Netherlands and Belgium, which has legalized euthanasia. In Switzerland, it has been tolerated since 1942, but there are two initiatives underway that aim to outlaw that. In particular, the ban is to hit an organization with the misleading name "Dignitas" that has, among many others, already killed at least 114 Britons for a price of EU6,400 each, making a profit of several hundred thousand euros from that. The scandal broke in January, when a nurse at a Dignitas clinic revealed that even people who had no fatal illness had been killed.

A German author, Stefan Rehder, has published a book Die Todesengel—Euthanasie auf dem Vormarsch (Angels of Death—Euthanasia on the Advance), which he is also presenting at events in Germany, Austria, and other countries. Rehder warns that behind all the "arguments" brought forward to promote "mercy-killing," there is nothing but the most brutal cost-cutting motive—which he thinks will also very soon be implemented in the most brutal form, as under the Nazis. The "Angel of Death," as a new "service sector that relieves the public-health sector of substantial expenses," is what Germany and Europe are heading for, Rehder warns.

City of London Leaves Britain Free to Starve

June 24 (EIRNS)— The City of London's lying mouthpiece, the Financial Times, devotes its second editorial today to invoking John Locke in its call for cuts in the U.K. health and welfare budget. "Large, diverse, market-oriented and individualist, the land that spawned John Locke will not easily adopt to communitarianism. Indeed, it should not. It must permanently shrink the size of the state," the FT writes.

Already in the land of John Locke, youth have been robbed of the liberty of a future. British youth unemployment has increased dramatically in the last year, the Guardian reported June 24. For youth aged 16 to 24, not enrolled in school, the unemployment rate rose from 13.6% to 15.6%. The figures for 18-24-year-olds is 17.6%.

A Daily Telegraph article the same day, reported on the parallel disaster for the old, expressed in pitifully low pension plans. "The OECD said Britain had the least generous state pension in the Western world, with the average worker receiving only 31% of final salary in state support on retirement, the worst pension gap in the developed world," the article reports. But the private plans which supplement them are collapsing. A worker in the private sector, whose salary is £50,000, is lucky if he receives a pension of £16,000 after paying into it for 40 years. Not only are these schemes paying less, but many companies are dropping them altogether and offering no pension.

Maastricht Pushes Germany to Brutal Cuts

June 24 (EIRNS)—German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück presented his draft for 2009-13 on June 23, projecting a net record borrowing of EU310 billion for that period, EU86 billion of that for FY 2010 alone. That is to compensate for record losses in tax revenues of about the same range, which have been forecast by the government's experts council, and it includes extra expenses for jobless support and short-term workers pay, plus extra burdens resulting from the banking rescue fund (Soffin) of the government. This also puts an end to Steinbrück's lying that allegedly, the Soffin would cost the taxpayer "not a single euro, if it works well."

At the same time, Steinbrück insisted that the European Union's deficit rules (the infamous Maastricht criteria) must be maintained. Asked by DLR radio this morning whether these criteria were irrelevant now, given this extraordinary stress on fiscal policies, he said: "No, on the contrary. I strongly advocate that the discipline of these limits in the stability and growth pact remain. When we pull out of this extraordinary, exceptionally deep recession, we must return to consolidation."

What Steinbrück did not say, is what the citizens will be told Only after the Sept. 27 national elections: Keeping the Maastricht criteria implies brutal cuts in the state's budgets, and, very likely, implies heavy tax increases. The expected drop in tax revenues will increase further, because many of the leading economists forecast that real incomes will decrease, not least because of massively expanded short-work, and that means less in taxes paid to the state. The fiscal plan 2009-13 will be decided after the election of a new government, with a new finance minister, so that Steinbrück will not be the one to announce the brutal cuts.

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