From Volume 38, Issue 27 of EIR Online, Published July 15, 2011

Western European News Digest

EU Bailouts Are Suicidal

July 9 (EIRNS)—Latest available official statistics revealed a increase of an average of 7% in suicides in Western Europe since the economic crisis began in 2008. But in Greece and Ireland, where the population is suffering under the European Union's murderous bailouts, the figures are much higher.

"We can already see that the countries facing the most severe financial reversals of fortune, such as Greece and Ireland, had greater rises in suicides," said David Stuckler, a sociologist at Cambridge University, who worked on the analysis, published in the medical journal Lancet, according Athens News. Their study found that suicide rates were up 17% in Greece and 13% in Ireland.

Greek Crisis a Pretext for EU Empire

July 8 (EIRNS)—Peter Graf Kielmannsegg, a political scientist and professor emeritus of Mannheim University, has an essay in today's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, stating that the bailouts will not help the Greeks, nor the rest of the Eurozone, nor Europe as a whole. Therefore, why is this crisis constantly made worse by policymakers? Kielmannsegg's conclusion: Certain elites are pushing Europe deeper and deeper into the crisis, to create a pretext for establishing the super-state of Europe, as supposedly the only solution in this emergency.

U.K. Lib-Dems Reject 'Ring-Fencing'; Demand Full Bank Separation

July 3 (EIRNS)—The Guardian reports that senior members of the Liberal Democrats, who are in the coalition government with the Tories, are demanding that Lib-Dem chief Vince Cable reject Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's phony "ring-fencing" of the commercial banking section of the big banks. Peers, MPs, and senior figures in the LDP, in a letter to the press, joined a list of about 50 politicians, academics, and economists who have demanded that the party honor its commitments to a full separation of commercial and investment banking.

The letter from the Lib-Dem leaders says: "Ringfencing retail and investment banking through 'chinese walls' in the manner suggested and endorsed by the chancellor, George Osborne, will not produce a banking system that is safe and fit-for-purpose. If companies can continue to move capital between retail and investment banking, the latter could still endanger the former. As a first step, full separation of banking functions is needed to better insulate the taxpayer against failure. Full separation would provide depositors with institutions they can trust."

Sinn Fein Denounces Payments on Irish Debt

July 5 (EIRNS)—The Sinn Fein party's warning that Ireland must burn the bondholders because the debt is unsustainable, is proving accurate. The quarterly Irish Treasury figures that were just released, show that one-fifth of Irish tax revenues goes to pay interest on Ireland's debt.

Commenting on this, Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty declared, "While today's figures are broadly in line with government expectations, they nevertheless show the unsustainability of Ireland's debt. Today's figures reveal that 1 out of every 5 euros collected on taxes in this state is used to pay the interest on Ireland's growing debt.... It is clearly unsustainable that 1 out of every 5 euros collected would be used to service the interest on our national debt. This ratio is likely to rise in the coming years, given that just over a third of the money available from the EU/IMF program has been drawn down so far.

Assembly of Syntagma: 'We Will Overthrow This Government'

July 4 (EIRNS)—The Greek Assembly of Syntagma, which has been protesting the government's budget cuts, today issued a statement warning the so-called Troika (EU-ECB-IMF), banks, and investors, of their commitment to overthrow the Quisling government of Prime Minister George Papandreou.

The statement reads in part: "We inform those who look forward to an investment opportunity that we will, in a very short time, overthrow this government, and all responsible will answer for their crimes against the people and the country. Their bills and signatures are not valid. They have not been validated by the Greek people and they will not be recognized by the people...."

Madrid 'Indignados' To Take Up Glass-Steagall

July 7 (EIRNS)—In response to a written proposal from a member of the Valencia, Spain Indignados Economics Commission, the Madrid Indignados (the movement of protest against EU-dictated austerity) agreed to take up the issue of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt's 1933 Glass-Steagall law, for adoption at their next assembly.

A June policy statement by the Valencia Commission had called for "the separation of productive and speculative banking activities," but had not mentioned Glass-Steagall by name and had some ambiguities in its formulation.

A member of the Madrid Economics Commission responded that, regardless of the fact that Glass-Steagall was a U.S. law: "I am going to propose that we take it up at the next Economy assembly."

Prince Charles' Pal To Run Greek Privatization

July 9 (EIRNS)—Greece is being forced to privatize between EU50 and EU300 billion of state assets as a precondition for receiving the so-called "bailout." According to the latest memorandum, Greece has to set up a privatization committee which will have "advisors" from the European Commission, the IMF, and the European Central Bank. Now it is announced that the head of the new agency will be Costas Mitropoulos, a top executive of Eurobank EFG, owned by the shipping family led by Spiros Latsis.

Latsis is the British Empire's top shipowner, shipping oil to the Anglo-Dutch spot market. The family is close to the British Royal family via Prince Philip, who is a former member of the royal house of Greece.

Brutal Austerity in Preparation for France 2012

July 6 (EIRNS)—We are already in a pre-fascist moment, a well-known French economist said to this news service. He referred to a recent conference organized in Paris by a publication, Le Guide du Pouvoir (The Guide to Power), with three speakers: Michel Sapin, former Socialist Party Finance Minister; Jerome Chartier, an elected official of President Nicolas Sarkozy's party, the UMP; and economist Christian de Saint Etienne. The two party officials are the spokesmen on fiscal policies for those parties.

The debate was on the "fiscal shock" to come in 2012, when the newly elected French President will take office, and have to deal with a whopping EU80 billion deficit. Whoever will be elected President, will have to finally adopt all the austerity measures that no one had the courage to adopt before. France's expenses are in the order of EU300 billion, of which EU150 billion are covered by tax revenues. Of the rest, EU80 billion will simply have to come from heavy austerity measures, including among, other things, privatization of the hospital sector.

The EU 'Teargas Bailout'

July 9 (EIRNS)—More details have been released of the brutal police repression operation of June 29, when the Greek Parliament passed the EU-ECB-IMF austerity plan. According to the Greek daily Katherimini, the police used 20 times more teargas and other chemical weapons than at any previous demonstration. The official figure is 2,860 chemical bombs, most of which were manufactured in Israel and the United States. The average number used during demonstrations in the past have been no more than 150.

Citizens' Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis has now been dubbed "Chemical Chris."

German Highway Bridges Crumbling

July 4 (EIRNS)—Over the July 2-3 weekend, police ordered a lengthy strip of the A45 highway northwest of Frankfurt to be taken out of service, after a steel bar of one of the highway bridges fell and crashed onto the railway tracks below. An immediate safety review concluded the bridge was not safe for truck transport, so it remains closed to for trucks and other vehicles over 7.5 tons in weight, until repair has been done. Since this particular highway is a key east-west connection in the middle section of western Germany, the ban seriously affects the transport of goods on this route.

All rights reserved © 2011 EIRNS