Western European News Digest
EU Dictatorship Under Lisbon Challenged
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)The head of the U.K. Independent Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, who is also a member of the European Union Parliament, ripped into Baroness Patty Ashton (the newly appointed Foreign Affairs Secretary of the EU under the Lisbon Treaty), as a perfect puppet for those who are imposing dictatorship over Europe through the EU. Farage's public exposure of her character and the push for dictatorship was denounced by the EU leaders, who tried unsuccessfully to silence him.
Farage called Herman van Rompuy, who will be the first EU president, a "pygmy," but added that "at least he's an elected politician, unlike Baroness Ashton. She has never had a proper job, and has never been elected to anything in her life, so I guess she's perfect for this European Union. She married well, she married an advisor and a friend and a supporter of Tony Blair and got put in the House of Lords. When she was put in the House of Lords she was given one big job, and that job was to get the Lisbon Treaty through the House of Lords, and to do so pretending that it was entirely different from the EU Constitutionand she vigorously crushed any attempt in the House of Lords for the British people to have a referendum."
Farage reported that Ashton had been treasurer of the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), a Soviet-backed organization, and challenged her to explain her role in taking contributions from communists and from the U.S.S.R.
Germany: Full-Time, Industrial Jobs Disappearing
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)Of 40 million officially listed jobs in Germany, only 23.5 million are full-time jobs, the other 16.5 million are part-time or so-called "mini-jobs." Of those 40 million jobs in total, only 5 million are industrial jobs. The figures are from the IAB, the German Institute for Labor Market Research.
The situation will certainly not be helped by the planned GM jobs cuts. The various GM firms in Europe employ about 52,000 people, half of whom are in Germany. GM Europe leader Nick Reilly, of Britain, announced that at least 9,500 jobs will be cut, with production capacity to be reduced by 20%. All German production sites supposedly will be kept, but at least 5,300 jobs will be eliminated. There is talk, that since the British government promised money, jobs there might be saved.
In Sweden, the potential buyer of the GM/Saab cars factory, the Königsegg Group, pulled out of negotiations yesterday. The reason given was the stalling in the takeover process. Negotiations had been going on since June, and no final arrangement has been reached, even though the financing was solved, Königsegg said on Swedish TV yesterday. Now there is wide speculation over whether GM will close the plant altogether. The other option is that some Chinese interests would come in.
Fiat Wants To Close Plants in Italy
Nov. 24 (EIRNS)Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne stated yesterday that "we cannot keep six plants open in Italy." "With our six plants in Italy, we produce the equivalent of what is produced in one [Fiat] plant in Brazil," Marchionne said, making it clear that he is pushing globalization. What he doesn't say is that Fiat is more "productive" in Brazil, because Brazilian wages are a fraction of Italian wages.
The Fiat plant in Termini Imerese, Sicily is targetted for closure, although both the government and trade unions are against it. The closure would directly involve 1,400 workers and at least as many in the supply industry. Whereas it is true that Sicilian infrastructure is part of the "productivity" problem, in the next years this will change, with the government plans for transport and energy infrastructure investments, which include the Messina Bridge, the extension of the high-speed rail line, and nuclear power.
So, the issue is, what plans should be implemented, to preserve the machine-tool capability, production lines, and skilled labor of the Fiat plants in Sicily.
Strauss-Kahn Dismissed for French President
PARIS, Nov. 25 (EIRNS)Libération editor Laurent Joffrin writes today in his editorial, that Dominique Strauss-Kahn's strategy to use his position as IMF managing director to become President of France is not likely to succeed. It is impossible to win a Presidential election in France "without entering the arena," and by "just descending on the country from Mount Olympus." More important is to seize the event: "The event is the bankruptcy of a system which is all-financial, the demand for renewal, the need for more humanity in a society too cruel and unjust. Competence will not suffice either. Who wants to replace a compulsive manager with a more prudent one? What is necessary is a realist dream, enthusiasm in action. That's not exactly what one learns at the IMF."
Blair Nailed on Iraq War Lies
Nov. 22 (EIRNS)Former U.K. Ambassador to the U.S., Christopher Meyer, testified today before the Chilcot Commission investigating former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his administration's maneuvers around the Iraq War, and pinpointed Blair's meeting with former President Bush at the Crawford Ranch in April 2002, as a crucial turning point toward deciding to go to war.
The Telegraph reported that it had received heretofore secret papers showing that Blair repeatedly lied to the public, throughout the planning for the Iraq War, claiming that no war was being prepared. The newspaper surmises that the secrecy and duplicity resulted in "haste" and "blunders"such as no planning for how to handle the occupation, or any way out of Iraq, and under-provisioning of troops.
The Telegraph reports that "formation-level planning for a deployment took place from February 2002." But Blair told a House of Commons inquiry July 16, 2002, that though military action could not be ruled out, no British military preparations were going on.
French, German Dairy Farmers Demand Parity Prices
Nov. 26, (EIRNS)Europe's small milk producers continue to face extinction. The small milk producers union, APLI, blocked the site of the laboratories of the milk industry two days ago in Bretagne to force negotiations on prices. APLI was rejected as a partner in any negotiations with the government. On Nov. 23, French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave the green light for Bruno LeMaire's corporatist scheme of "contract-based market organization mechanism." APLI and others defend the adoption of an EU-wide parity price on milk and the creation of a European Milk Office controlled by unions and governments, to be placed in charge of imposing regulations on production and distribution.
None of those alleged "improvements" on the milk product marketwhere prices that the consumer has to pay for butter, cheese, and yogurt have gone up by 20% or morehave been to the benefit of the dairy farmers. In Germany for example, farmers receive 2-3 cents more per delivered liter at the dairies, which gives them 22-23 cents per liter nowstill 15 cents below the minimum they would have to get, to reach the parity price level.
Dairy farmers are continuing protests in many places, with bigger rallies reported from Ulm and Trostberg, where, on Nov. 23, several hundred protesters showed up.