From Volume 38, Issue 20 of EIR Online, Published May 20, 2011

Western European News Digest

Revolt Against Bailouts Building in Germany

May 14 (EIRNS)—Frank Schäffler, a euro-skeptic German lawmaker from the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition, told the press that he has information that already some 40 or more members of the governing coalition are opposed to the Chancellor's plan for a permanent euro bailout mechanism to go into effect in mid-2013. That means the Chancellor, who governs by a majority of 20, has no majority of her own for the parliamentary vote in September, and will have to rely on the opposition Social Democrats to support her—at least in part.

Impact of European Drought Could Have Been Mitigated

May 13 (EIRNS)—French farmers are becoming increasingly angry with their unions and politicians for doing nothing to prevent the current disaster created by the drought affecting both aquifers and surface water. As with earthquakes, there have been plenty of "precursors" that were more than neglected:

First, as early as September 2007, in regions such as Poitou-Charente, 47% of all rivers were dry.

Second, technical experts knew that rainfall was anywhere between 10% and 20% below normal over the last six months.

Third, on April 1, the French Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM) sounded the alarm, pointing to the fact that at that date, 58% of underground water reservoirs had a lower level than normal.

Fourth, ten days ago, Météo France, published a bulletin saying that April 2011 was the second hottest month (+4° C) since 1900, slightly behind April 2007.

'Finland' Agrees To Back 'Portugal' Bailout

May 13 (EIRNS)—The just-ousted Finnish government has announced that it will support the European Union bailout package for the recently toppled government of Portugal. Both governments were voted out of office by their respective populations, for trying to implement precisely these bailout policies.

The British Empire is not amused by such displays of popular will. The subjects have now been reminded that they are to do as they are told.

The True Finn party, however, which won record backing in the recent elections precisely because of its opposition to the bailout insanity, remains totally opposed to the package and will not join any government that backs it: "We will now do opposition politics," True Finn leader Timo Soini stated.

Zepp-LaRouche Interviewed on Radio Padania

May 12 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche, chairwoman of the German BüSo party, and Liliana Gorini, chairwoman of Italy's Movisol, were interviewed May 10 by Radio Padania, the official radio of the government coalition partner Lega Nord in Italy, on the campaign to abolish the WBGU, which is pushing an anti-human green agenda, and its role in "turning the economic giant Germany into a nonexistent economy," as host Ortelli put it. Other issues addressed were the euro crisis, the Italian situation in this context, and the perspective that the U.S. Congress adopt LaRouche's Glass-Steagall policy, which was at the center of numerous previous interviews with Gorini and Movisol General Secretary Andrew Spannaus on that same radio show in the last months.

Hundreds of Refugees Dying in Mediterranean

May 10 (EIRNS)—At least 1,400 refugees fleeing Libya have died or disappeared while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe since the end of March, the United Nations announced today in Geneva. After up to 600 people died on May 6, when an overcrowded boat from Misrata broke apart off Tripoli, the UN High Commission for Refugees is calling on all European states and Mediterranean boat captains to rescue refugees. Another three boats, at least, carrying an estimated 800 people fleeing Libya in March and April, have not made it into any harbor. Italian authorities had to rescue another 400 Libyan refuges whose boat ran aground off the island of Lampedusa May 4.

Already 12,360 people have arrived in Italy and Malta in recent weeks, on top of 28,000 Tunisians who fled northern Africa over the past three months.

Lyndon LaRouche's response, was, "This is why the best people in Europe decided 400 years ago that they had to leave that oligarchical snake pit and settle in North America. The same moral rot is still fermenting in Europe, led from London by the British Monarchy."

Britain and Germany Face Record High Inflation

May 12 (EIRNS)—On the release of the Bank of England's inflation report, BOE governor Mervyn King forecast an "uncomfortably high" inflation rate of 5%. His forecast is based on the consumer price index, but inflation would be even higher if the retail price index were used. He warned of a rate increase by the end of the year. Energy prices for consumers could increase by 15%, he said. Growth is expected to be lower than thought, and the country will be "facing a difficult time ahead."

In Germany, inflation figures for foodstuffs increased for the month of May, year on year, by an average of 7%, with selected basic food products, such as butter, jumping by 30%; coffee and apple juice up 30%; frozen french fries jumped by 43%. More increases are expected. The price rise is attributed to higher packaging and energy costs and exploding raw materials prices.

Greeks Hold Strike; Early Elections Loom

May 11 (EIRNS)—Greece's two major trade unions held their tenth general strike in the last year and half to protest the European Union-IMF bankers' dictatorship, while an early demise of the Greek government of Prime Minister George Papandreou looks increasingly likely.

A poll for the privately owned Mega TV channel this week also showed that 60.3% of Greeks want the bailout deal renegotiated, and 26% think that Greece should scrap the program altogether and abandon the euro single currency.

Irish NGOs to Conduct Debt Audit

May 9 (EIRNS)—A group of Irish organizations has announced their intention to conduct an audit of Ireland's debt, with the aim of separating legitimate debt from the bankers' bailout debt. The audit will be led by Dr. Sheila Killian, head of the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Limerick, and the plan for the independent audit is supported by the UNITE trade union, Action from Ireland (AFRI), Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, as well as other trade unions and civil society groups.

Sinn Fein: Euro Is Cause of Collapse

May 9 (EIRNS)—Speaking before a special parliament debate today to mark Europe Day, Sinn Fein spokesperson on European Affairs Padraig MacLochlainn said: "Contrary to the views expressed by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn last week, membership of the euro did not save [Ireland] from the worst excesses of recession in 2008 and 2009. Rather, euro membership and the Stability and Growth Pact, along with the failed policies of the Fianna Fail party, the party to which Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn belongs, contributed to the collapse of the Irish and European economies."

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