Western European News Digest
Spanish Website Circulates Trans-Atlantic Call
Aug. 11 (EIRNS)Spain-based journalist Daniel Estulin published the "Trans-Atlantic Call for Emergency Solution to the Present Global Breakdown Crisis" of Lyndon LaRouche, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and Jacques Cheminade, as the lead item on his widely followed website (http://www.danielestulin.com/) today, with the following polemical introduction:
"The world financial system is in full disintegration. The financial metastasis is threatening to blow apart the bubble of financiers' dreams far beyond the famous 1345 bubble which destroyed the Bardi and Peruzzi Venetian banks and brought us as a present the Bubonic Plague. Welcome to the New World Order, my dear friends. I see and read the increasingly psychotic commentaries by financial writers and readers of the Web. Is it really that hard to add 2+2? I have explained it repeatedly over the last five years, as to the how and why of the crisis. The time has come to use your brain, that famous gray matter which distinguishes us from the rest of the animals. There is no turning back. The crisis has no solution, unless countries leave the euro and return to being nation-states. If not, bye, bye. I leave you with a statement issued by Lyndon LaRouche, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and Jacques Cheminade."
LaRouche's Friends in Ireland Get It Right
Aug. 7 (EIRNS)The lead article in today's Irish Independent calls the current breakdown "the greatest financial crisis in the history of the world," and quotes University College Prof. Ray Kinsella saying Ireland should withdraw from the euro.
Throughout the week, blogs and editorial comments, including in the Independent, have been referencing LaRouche PAC videos, with fights breaking out about whether the wikicrap about LaRouche is right or, as one fellow wrote in to Politics.ie, "LaRouche is a genius," citing his analyses on the British Empire, Venice, William of Orange, and Glass-Steagall.
Soros, German Greens in Tandem: Demand Financial Dictatorship
Aug. 13 (EIRNS)Demanding an expansion of the European rescue fund (EFSF), George Soros, in a guest commentary for the business daily Handelsblatt yesterday, claimed, "It was the German indecision that intensified the Greece crisis and led to the contagion that has transformed it into an existential crisis for Europe," and that, "Only Germany can reverse the dynamic of a European decay."
Jürgen Trittin, leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, wrote a letter to Chancellor Merkel on Aug. 11, supporting fully the German government line, and calling for the creation of Eurobonds. The Green faction, he says, "is ready to take all necessary steps to stabilize the euro and secure this common Europe."
With this letter, the Greens are officially positioning themselves as the worst lackeys for the financial markets and as traitors to German interest, true to the alliance between Soros and Joschka Fischer in jointly setting up the "European" Council on Foreign Relations, years ago.
Italy Is Bleeding, But Not Berlusconi's Heart
Aug. 13 (EIRNS)The Italian government has issued its new austerity budget, which had been demanded by the European Central Bank and the EU. It consists of EU45.5 billion cuts and new taxes in two years (EU20 billion in 2012 and EU25.5 billion in 2013). Together with the EU48 billion packet of last July, that makes more than EU90 billion.
Italian media are acknowledging the central role played by Bank of Italy boss Mario Draghi, and the deepening split between Prime Minister Berlusconi, who sided with Draghi, and Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti.
Short-Sell Ban Too Little, Too Late
Aug. 12 (EIRNS)In the wake of rumors of the collapse of the Inter Alpha Group's Société Générale, four European countriesFrance, Spain, Italy, and Belgiumannounced a coordinated 15-day ban on short selling of the stocks of 60 banks, insurance, and financial companies. The ban, which went into effect yesterday, is aimed at hitting back at speculators.
In reality, a ban on short selling is a legitimate, albeit very limited action. Nothing short of a Glass-Steagall break-up of the banks and a bankruptcy reorganization will solve the problem at this late date.
Youth Who Have No Future Fuel Indignados Growth
Aug. 12 (EIRNS)According to Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office, joblessness among the 16-25 age-group was highest in Spain (46%) and in Greece (38%), followed by Slovakia and Lithuania (33%); Latvia (29%); Italy (28%); Bulgaria, Ireland and Portugal (27%). Hungary (26%) and Poland (24%) are in the middle field. But Sweden (23%), Romania, and France (23% each) are not far away. Only three countries (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands) are below 10%.
The unemployment question is crucial for the protest movement of the "Indignados": news wires have, for example, quoted Veronica Leandrez of Spain's Indignados, who currently is on a seven-week march from Madrid to Brussels with 50 others, as saying that "unemployment has been the most common concern citizens share with the marchers."
British Riots: Systemic Breakdown in Progress
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)As the riots in Britain expanded beyond London through the fourth day, the country is encountering a breakdown of the system. With no one at the helm at a time when debt-ridden Britain's authorities are imposing harsh austerity, the system that could maintain law and order has fallen apart. Another sign of the breakdown of the system became visible when vigilantes moved in and engaged in a number of minor clashes in one part of London, ostensibly to restore order.
The rioting was a fallout from lack of opposition within the entire British political and social spectrum, to the harsh austerity imposed in the aftermath of the 2007 financial collapse.
Britain has a bigger gap between the rich and poor than more than three-quarters of the world's developed economies. And inequality is most keenly felt in the financial hub, London.
Free Market Ends French Production of Produce
Aug. 12 (EIRNS)Many French fruit and vegetable producers might go out of business entirely this year. While prices of produce on store shelves increased for the consumer, the price paid to the growers dropped dramatically. The drop in the income of produce farmers is expected to be even sharper than it was in 2009, when the average income for produce farmers plunged by 45%.
Up to 80% of the cost is for human labor. In France, farm labor runs EU12/hour, whereas in Spain, labor is EU6/hour, and EU5/hour in Germany, where there is no minimum wage. While Spanish farm workers come to France seeking higher wages, Spain uses illegal African and Romanian immigrants for its farm labor.
Desperate French farmers are regularly blocking and emptying Spanish food transporters on French borders.
Is French Elite Finally Dumping Obama?
Aug. 13 (EIRNS)While right- and left-wing French media had maintained very positive coverage of Obama until now, peddling the line that he was doing best possible given the nasty Republicans and Wall Street, there is suddenly a shift in this policy. In the Aug. 12 edition of Le Figaro, insider Alexandre Adler writes that he was pro-Obama at first, but Obama has shown that he is doing the opposite of FDR, who knew how to intervene in a crisis. Wall Street and the Obama Democrats must be defeated, but the only capable figure he sees around is moderate Republican Jon Huntsman, who is in the bottom tier of the GOP Presidential hopefuls.
Also the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, the voice of the left-liberal, pro-American establishment in France, came out this week with the line that Obama is unfit for the job.