Western European News Digest
Illegalities Behind the Lisbon Vote in Ireland
Oct. 8 (EIRNS)The Irish people were subjected to a massive and illegal campaign of intimidation to achieve a "yes" vote in last week's referendum on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, reports Anthony Coughlan of The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, covered by the UK Column. The referendum supported the Treaty, reversing the voters' decision of June 2008.
Coughlan notes that the "yes" side outspent the "no" side ten to one, and lists several illegal actions used to coerce voters. "The intervention of the European Commission, entailing massive expenditure of money to influence Irish opinion towards a Yes, the running of a website and the issuing of statements that sought to counter No-side arguments, and the advocacy of a Yes vote by Commission President Barroso and other Commissioners and their staffs during visits to Ireland, [were] unlawful under European law, as the Commission has no function in relation to the ratification of new Treaties, something that is exclusively a matter for the Member States under their own constitutional procedures."
Czech President Places Conditions on Signing of Lisbon Treaty
Oct. 9 (EIRNS)Czech President Vaclav Klaus has called the acting chairman of the EU Council, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, and told him that he will sign the European Union's Lisbon Treaty only if a note is added to it. Klaus did not specify what the note should say, but, "as far as I understood, it has to do with the EU Charter on Human Rights," Reinfeldt told Reuters. "He demanded that this addition be approved by the Council. I told him that this is the wrong message in the wrong moment and what we need now is his signature. I do not want this demand now involving a further delay in the Treaty ratification." Klaus is the only head of state who has not signed the Treaty, which will strip European member nations of most of whatever sovereignty they still retain.
EU Acts as if Lisbon Treaty Were Already in Effect
Oct. 5 (EIRNS)The EU institutions have already begun to carry out aspects of the new superstructure envisaged in the Lisbon Treaty, although the latter is not in effect yet: EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso approved a program months ago for training the personnel of the desired common EU diplomatic service, and has also okayed the preparation of a common security ministry, through a standing Committee on Internal Security (COSI). Both programs, it is said, are based in London. This is illegal, under existing EU laws.
LaRouche's Proposals Are Before Irish Parliament Committee
Oct. 6 (EIRNS)The Irish Parliament's Joint Committee on European Affairs was presented on Sept. 28 with material concerning Lyndon LaRouche's call for a new Pecora Commission to investigate the financial malfeasance that triggered the financial-economic crisis, and his call for a bankruptcy reorganization of national banking systems. On Sept. 30, the clerk of the Joint Committee on European Affairs returned an official letter confirming that the material had been brought to the attention of each member of the committee.
Two Million Frenchmen Vote To Defend Public Postal System
Oct. 5 (EIRNS)At least 2 million Frenchmen voted in a citizen-organized, unofficial referendum to oppose privatization of the postal system as demanded by the European Union. Trade unions and associations collaborated in a hasty effort to organize the vote, while police and local administrations harassed the initiative.
In rural areas, where access to the post office is a lifeline, and where privatization equals closing the post office branches, voter turnout was far higher than in the last European elections, and three to four times higher than expected.
France's King Louis XI (1423-83), who set up the first French postal system as a means of keeping his citizens informed about their government's actions, as a crucial part of creating a nation-state, must be smiling from his place in the simultaneity of eternity.
French Agriculture Minister Flees Farmers
PARIS, Oct. 8 (EIRNS)Hundreds of angry farmers forced French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire to leave the annual Summit of Cattle Breeders outside Clermont-Ferrand, as they shouted "Get out!"; many wore red T-shirts emblazoned with, "Cattle Growers Enraged." The "summit" had 1,000 exhibitors and was attended by 75,000 visitors. Le Maire first met with the heads of the trade unions, with no major incidents. But, as he entered the fair's exhibition hall, hundreds gathered, booing and heckling him, and Le Maire suddenly decided to leave, despite a heavy presence of riot police to protect him. The "outburst" was organized by the National Bovine Federation, whose president warned politicians that "a conference on income will have to be organized, and if we are not heard, you will have to expect more such demonstrations."
BAE Accused of Bugging Fraud Office Investigators
Oct. 5 (EIRNS)The British empire's dirty-tricks funder, BAE Systems, stands accused of bugging the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and British politicians who have had the temerity to investigate the company's corrupt practices.
Liberal-Democratic Member of Parliament Norman Lamb revealed that BAE is suspected of bugging both SFO investigators and politicians. Lamb, who has himself investigated allegations of BAE bribery in Tanzania, is quoted in today's Daily Telegraph, saying that when he was contacted by SFO detectives, they refused to meet in his office, insisting on an open space, because they feared that BAE had bugged his office. Lamb said, "They explained that a lot of what they had established in the investigation, seemed to get back to the company." They were also concerned that they were not getting sufficient cooperation from government departments. "I have not raised this until now, as I did not want to do anything to undermine the discussions," he said.
250,000 Blue-Collar Strikers March in Italy
Oct. 10A general strike of metal workers called by Italy's leftist CGIL-FIOM trade union brought a quarter-million blue-collar workers into the street yesterday, according to the organizers. The number of participants in five major Italian cities were: 100,000 in Milan, 60,000 in Florence, 50,000 in Naples, 30,000 in Rome, and 10,000 in Palermo. The overall strike participation (i.e., workers who either the strike, the demonstrations, or both) is 70%, according to the organizers, and 20% according to the industry association. CGIL-FIOM has broken with the two other trade unions, CISL and UIL, which are negotiating a new national contract with the producers association. While CGIL-FIOM has strong support from workers, it have no solution to the crisis. At a national conference to discuss industrial policies yesterday in Milan, CGIL national secretary Guglielmo Epifani called for a "green economy" and rejected nuclear power.
Swedish EU President Ridiculed
Oct. 9The LaRouche Movement in Sweden was first to ridicule Swedish Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt on June 1, the day he assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union, for his King Canute-like megalomania, proclaiming that his two missions in the six months of his term would be: 1) solving the financial crisis; 2) reducing the temperature on planet Earth.
Now the established media are trying to catch up: Sweden's Aftonbladet ran a scathingly satirical attack on Reinfeldt on Oct. 8. His "solution" for the financial crisis was hijacked by the G20 summit, the paper said, to which he was not even invited! (Aftonbladet neglects to mention that the G20 also failed to address the crisis). And the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen is in jeopardy, because developing nations are not getting in line with the demands being put on them by (so-called) industrial nations. Adding insult to injury, the Lisbon Treaty is being delayed by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who refused even to answer repeated phone calls from Reinfeldt.