Western European News Digest
German Website Covers Kesha Rogers Victory, BüSo
March 8 (EIRNS)"Houston, We Have a Problem! A LaRouche associate wins Democratic primary in largest Texan city," are the headline and subhead of an article published yesterday on the Telepolis website, a left-wing Berlin-based Internet daily. It began by reporting that, whereas there is civil war already coming from within the Republican Party, "also inside the Democratic Party of incumbent President Obama, groups that so far have received less attention are challenging the power of the elites."
They refer to "the outsider Kesha Rogers, a declared associate of the contested former Democratic Presidential contender Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, whose wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche leads the 'Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität' (BüSo) in Germany. They note the "mustache" and the banners to Impeach Obama, along with her defense of NASA, and LaRouche's "Keynesian" [sic] approach to state-run great projects, which was the model of the New Deal in the 1930s," and a global Glass-Steagall Act.
Inter-Alpha Group for EMF Dictatorship, Now!
March 8 (EIRNS)At the center of ongoing discussion about the creation of a European Monetary Fund (EMF) is a draft worked out already one year ago by Deutsche Bank's Thomas Mayer and Daniel Gros from the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. The draft was sent to "competent people" a few weeks ago, says Gros, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Messaggero today. The EMF shall have more powers than the IMF, namely to put non-complying countries in receivership.
Gros is not just any old fascist bureaucrat. He is the President of San Paolo IMI Asset Management; Intesa-San Paolo IMI of Italy is one of the 11 member-banks of the Inter-Alpha Group of Venetian-style banks that are pushing for a supranational bankers' dictatorship. Another of the 11 is Germany's Commerzbank, whose chief economist last weekend demanded that sanctions be immediately applied to Greece, that there is no time to waste, and that the necessary dictatorial mechanisms should be put in place, now.
Chaos in EU Widens, as Leaders Become Disunited
March 11 (EIRNS)German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French Prime Minister François Fillon met in Berlin, today, and at their joint concluding press conference, Merkel spoke in favor of a European Economic Government and European Monetary Fund (EMF), without getting too concrete about it. She was more concrete, when mentioning the case of Greece, to call for harsher economic and financial sanctions, which she said are not possible within the strictures of the Maastricht Treaty; therefore, the treaty should be changed. But as she was speaking in Berlin, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was saying in Paris that any changes in the EU treaties were strongly ruled out. In Berlin, France's Fillon called for a European Economic Government, but was reserved on the idea of an EMF.
Italian Government Presents Mezzogiorno Bank
March 12 (EIRNS) Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday presented the new Banca per il Mezzogiorno, a government-sponsored institution to finance industrial development in southern Italy.
There is a veto on state banks in the EU, Tremonti said, and therefore, what we are doing is the closest thing to a state bank, without actually being one. The new Banca per il Mezzogiorno will be owned by cooperative banks and the Postal Bank. The government will initially have a minority share. The bank will have a special tax status: Deposits and bonds issued by the bank will pay 5% instead of 12.5% taxes, Tremonti explained. In order to bypass EU rules on competition, the tax cut will be applied to all Italian banks which will finance productive investments in the Mezzogiorno.
Enemies of the bank have already remarked that this is still a violation of EU competition rules, and therefore, the bank will be vetoed by Brussels.
Iceland's Landslide Vote Against Bailout
March 7 (EIRNS)Despite threats from the British empire that Iceland would be made "an international pariah" by refusing to pay about $5.5 billion to the British and Dutch governments over the failure of the Icesave bank, the citizens of Iceland voted 93% against the usurious deal, and only 1.6% in favor of paying the Anglo-Dutch. Up through this week, the British government was trying to find a way to cancel the public voteanticipating the landslide "No"in fear that it would become a "dangerous precedent" for other countries in financial difficulties.
The Iceland Parliament had okayed the Anglo-Dutch demands by a one-vote margin in December 2009.
France Backs Initiative on Civilian Nuclear Power
PARIS, March 10 (EIRNS)At an international conference organized by the OECD and the IAEA in Paris March 8-9, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that France considers that, from now on, every country that complies with the current transparency rules has the right to civilian nuclear power. "We have entered a new nuclear era, that of its renaissance," declared Sarkozy in his opening remarks. "The analogy with that glorious period of European history, some 500 years ago, will undoubtedly provoke some debates. But there are common elements: the questioning of ancient beliefs and irrational fears, and faith in science and technology."
Clearly, with this conference, France is seeking to once again take the lead on civilian nuclear power worldwide, one of its last scientific and high technology assets, following two major fiascos. First, it lost a EU24 billion nuclear contract in the United Arab Emirates to the South Korean KEMCO; then, at the Copenhagen Climate summit, France joined forces with its hereditary enemy, the Queen of England, and with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to try to impose a worldwide dictatorial framework to monitor of CO2 reduction quotas, only to see that scheme go down in flames.
Lyndon LaRouche observed that when France is pressed to the wall, they demonstrate their independence, and here they are demonstrating their independence from London.
Cracks Appearing in Greek PASOK Party as Population Rejects Cuts
March 9 (EIRNS)The brutal austerity measures forced on Greece by the EU, are being rejected by up to 80% of the population, spreading beyond the trade unions and agricultural sectors, throughout the population. The consensus in the ruling PASOK party is beginning to break, as well.
The cracks starting to appear in the ruling Greek PASOK party, came to the surface when PASOK parliamentary spokesman Christos Papoutsis made an unprecedented attack on Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis in Parliament March 5, during a debate on spending cuts and tax hikes. "In which government do you think you are serving?" Papoutsis is quoted as having said by the Greek daily Kathimerini. "We will not lose our soul. Distinguished politicians have sat where you are now sitting."
While the attack was really meant for Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou, who was in Germany at the time, Sachinidis, in reaction, handed in his resignation, which was refused.
Another Socialist MP, Costas Skandalidis, a leadership candidate in 2007, in an interview March 7, said that the brutal measures were a "punch in the stomach for PASOK."
Both were given warnings by the government not to criticize the government.
Portugal Cuts Budget per Maastricht Rules
March 11 (EIRNS)Deluded leftists in Europe have praised the Socialist government of Portugal for its supposedly "different" approach on budget consolidation, as compared with that of the Greek government, because Prime Minister José Socrates wants to raise a property tax on incomes higher than EU150,000 a year, and cut military expenses by 40%.
In reality, however, the Portuguese austerity plan, which has already led to a pattern of labor protests and strikes, leads in the same direction as that of the Greek government: support for welfare for unemployed youth will be cut, and only one out of every two vacant jobs in the public sector will be replaced. And, EU6 billion are to be raised from new privatizations of state property. Furthermore, two high-speed rail projects are being called off.
All of that will achieve no more than reducing the total state debt from 91% GDP to 89%, by 2013, but Socrates claims that it will bring Portugal under the notorious 3% GDP mark of the Maastricht Pact (from about 9% at present) for new borrowings.