From Volume 36, Issue 38 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 2, 2009

Western European News Digest

German Elections: Pyrrhic victory for Merkel, Advance for BüSo

Sept. 28 (EIRNS)—The BüSo party, led by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, crossed the 1% hurdle in numerous districts, in the national German elections on Sept. 27, notably in the city-state of Berlin and the state of Saxony. In 3 out of ten Berlin districts, the party won between 1.0 and 1.2%, and in six of seven Saxon districts, between 1.0 and 1.8%, as well as 1.2% in one Bavarian district—in spite of an almost total media boycott. This shows that the BüSo is moving upwards on the scale of the smaller parties, and that the mandatory 5% threshhold for seats in the Bundestag (national parliament) is within reach for the next elections.

In terms of the general outcome, Helga Zepp-LaRouche remarked that the efforts of the "forces of the Empire" —those who just rolled over the hyperinflationary bubble at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh—to put in their preferred candidate were successful. Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will now form a government with the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). However, this is a Pyrrhic victory, and the "yellow-black" coalition will soon experience a hard landing, as it inherits all the problems of the old government (debt, unemployment, recession, collapse of exports) and confronts a new phase of economic collapse. In this context, the BüSo campaign—focussed on the only alternatives to that—soared to a qualitatively new high point, putting Zepp-LaRouche's party in a position to reap the fruit of its work.

The new coalition between the CDU (33.8% ) and FDP (14.6%) is expected to implement the very same neoliberal and cost-cutting policies which caused the first round of global economic-financial crisis. This approach will further decimate the real economy and lower the living standards of broad layers of the population.

In any case, the majority that Merkel's new government will command in the Bundestag is slight, and the obsessive cost- and tax-cutting views of her new coalition partner, liberal Guido Westerwelle, will most likely give rise to dissidents within the CDU, as soon as the murderous cuts in the social, labor, and health budgets come on the agenda. In other words, this is not a stable government.

The CDU would do well to learn from the debacle of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) (23%), which was punished by the voters for having betrayed the labor unions' interests, so much so that it lost a full third of the vote it still had in 2005. In addition, the steep increase in votes for the left-wing populists of the Linkspartei (11.9%) and the radical ecologists of the Greens (10.7%), as compared to 2005, does not indicate political stability for Germany.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche Addresses German Engineers

Sept. 21 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chancellor candidate for the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo) was a featured speaker at the 2009 Workshop of the German Association of Construction Inspection Engineers (BVPI) on Sept. 18, on the North Sea island of Sylt, with 250 attending. She participated in a panel discussion on "The Lessons To Be Drawn from the Financial Crisis," along with the president of the Berlin Chamber of Engineers, Dr. Jens Karstedt; the director of the Liberal Professions Association, Dr. Arno Metzler; and Dr. Werner Marnette, who was Economy and Transport Minister of Schleswig-Holstein until May.

Zepp-LaRouche was invited to make the opening statement. She said that this is just not another financial crisis, but a complete breakdown crisis of the world economy. Although other panelists attempted to play down the problem, Zepp-LaRouche argued that no attempt has been made by establishment economists to examine the actual causes of the current crisis, and that these economists have shown how bankrupt they are. They turned a blind eye, in particular, to the dramatic breakdown of the real economy, which started well before 2007.

Zepp-LaRouche also noted the situation in the United States, where citizens are revolting against the multitrillion-dollar bailouts of the banks, at the expense of taxpayers who are being asked to shoulder more and more austerity.

Fascist EU CO2 Plan Challenged

Sept. 24 (EIRNS)—The spokesman of the EU Environment Commission today rejected requests advanced by Italy in a letter to the Commission, to review earlier CO2 targets considered punitive by the Italian government.

The EU emission plans are also being challenged by Poland and Estonia, which, unlike Italy, went to the European Court within the deadline. The Court ruled against the Commission, which is now terrified that this could jeopardize "the stability of the current emission market," where the ruling threatens to collapse certificate prices. There are six more pending challenges at the Court.

German Finance Minister Attacks London Again

Sept. 24 (EIRNS)—German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück again attacked the City of London in an interview with the weekly magazine Stern, in which he said that London is the obstacle for regulation of the financial sector. "There in London, is clearly a lobby which wants to defend its competitive advantage with its teeth and nails," Steinbrück said. He pointed out that the British financial sector represents 15% of GDP, whereas in Germany it's only 6%. Therefore, regulating hedge funds "is particularly difficult in Britain, to put it politely."

Steinbrück appears to be traumatized from the experience of last year, which he does not want to repeat. "It is as if a [stick of] dynamite exploded close to our ears." He attacked Deutsche Bank, because of 25% yields on capital. "This makes me gasp for air. You can have such yields in the long term only by damaging the balance in the markets."

Britain Steps Toward Avowal of Euthanasia

Sept. 23 (EIRNS)—The United Kingdom today officially announced that it would not enforce laws against "assisted suicide" except in certain limited cases. The Crown Prosecution Service published an interim policy on when it would refrain from prosecution, such as if the killing is "motivated by compassion," and if the victim is an adult.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer issued the guidelines and called for public participation in a 12-week consultation over the assisted suicide policy. It is not intended that the government's involuntary euthanasia would be part of this public review.

Sinn Fein Leader Calls for Government To Fall

Sept. 26 (EIRNS)—The vice president of the Sinn Fein party in Ireland called on the Fianna Fail/Green party government to resign, for bailing out the banks while brutally cutting the national budget. The move followed the government's announcement of the creation of a National Asset Management Agency, which will use EU54 billion worth of government-backed bonds to bail out Ireland's major banks.

Sinn Fein Vice President Mary Lou McDonald, speaking at a protest rally on Sept. 19, denounced the government, saying, "Any government which prioritizes greedy bankers over the welfare of children can no longer have the support of the Irish people and should be ashamed of themselves. So let's be clear, this government needs to fall and it needs to fall soon."

The Sinn Fein call is particularly significant in that it comes on the eve of the Oct. 2 repeat-referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which Treaty is supported by the government, but opposed by sections of the Irish population which are determined to preserve their national sovereignty.

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