From Volume 38, Issue 39 of EIR Online, Published October 7, 2011

Western European News Digest

German Expert: Europe Has To Work with Russia

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—Alexander Rahr, Russia expert at the German Foreign Policy Association (DGAP) in Berlin, in an article for the Valdai Discussion Forum published Sept. 28, wrote that Russia's most likely next President, Vladimir Putin, does not—as many in the West still think—have a secret plan to restore the old Soviet Union, but that he wants to have cooperation with the West on a new basis of mutual partnership. Particularly, Putin thinks of a zone of close economic cooperation between Russia and Europe.

At the end of his article, Rahr has the following crucial message for the Europeans: "Hopefully, the European Union will realize that if it wants to remain relevant in the changing world, there is no alternative but to work closely with Russia, whether it's Putin or Medvedev who is in charge—especially with a crisis looming."

Greek Opposition Looking Toward Russia

Sept. 27 (EIRNS)—The Greek opposition New Democracy Party is putting together a "Plan B" as an alternative to the economic suicide of the European Union's infamous bailout "memorandum" and its toxic cocktail of austerity and "reforms." At the center of this policy is expanding economic cooperation with Russia. Two Greek MPs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the vice president of the party, and Simos Kedikoglou, attended the United Russia party congress where Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev made their Sept. 24 announcement to switch roles in the next election as President and Prime Minister.

On Oct. 29, the first Greek-Russian investment conference "New Horizons of Economic Relations of Greece and Russia, in the Sphere of Investment Policy, Commerce and Tourism," opened on the island of Rhodes.

Troika Locked Out of Greek Ministries

Sept. 30 (EIRNS)—The arrival in Greece on Sept. 29 of the infamous EC-ECB-IMF Troika was confronted with the occupation of the Finance Ministry by civil servants, forcing the Troika to move its meeting with Finance Minister Venizelos. Demonstrators where holding banners saying "Barbaric Measures," while they shouted "take your bailout and leave!" "We are sending a loud message to the government and the European Union that we have reached our limit, that it is the workers in our country, and especially workers in the public sector, who have carried the burden," said Costas Tsikrikas, president of public sector union ADEDY, according today's Guardian of London.

On Friday, 50 employees from Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Ministry blocked the entrance to the ministry, as the Troika chiefs arrived by car for a meeting with Minister Yiannis Ragoussis, on opening up to non-unionized workers the closed-shop professions, and reorganizing urban transport. The talks had to be rescheduled.

Inflation Takes Off in Europe

Sept. 30 (EIRNS)—The official euro-area annual inflation rate jumped to 3% in September, up from 2.5% in August, the European Union statistics office reported today, in an initial estimate. That's the biggest annual increase in consumer prices since October 2008. Bloomberg headlines this undoubtedly wildly underestimated increase as "unexpected." But when authorities are madly issuing money by the "squillions," and simultaneously shutting down real production about as fast as the money is issued, hyperinflation is the only possible result.

Slovak Opposition's Sulik: Let the Banks Fail

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—Richard Sulik, leader of the Slovakian parliamentary opposition against the EFSF bailout fund, was in Germany on Sept. 28, where he met President Christian Wulff. Ratification of the EFSF deal requires that all 17 member-states approve, and Slovakia is one of the four which has not yet voted yes. Sulik is Speaker of the Slovak Parliament and head of the Freedom and Solidarity Party. He also appeared as a special guest on Anne Will's political talk-show, which airs on prime time on first channel ARD.

"Greece must be allowed to declare bankruptcy," Sulik said. "What happens then is that "some banks will go bankrupt, and what governments must do is to preserve the savings of the population. That is cheaper than to save all banks, and much cheaper than to save all states."

Tremonti To Resign Over Banca d'Italia Fight?

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—The conflict between Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti and his enemies in the ECB/financial markets may come to a head over the designation of the next governor of the Banca d'Italia. Tremonti has been pushing his candidate for months: current Treasury director general Vittorio Grilli. The enemy side wants instead an "internal" solution with Fabrizio Saccomanni.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has often sided with the enemy and is endorsing Saccomanni. If Tremonti resigns, as is being reported, it will be because he now finds the situation within the government untenable.

British Imperial WBGU Policy Pushed Ahead Again

Sept. 30 (EIRNS)—One day before the infamous German EFSF-Bundestag vote, all the factions in the parliament except the Linkspartei introduced a motion to the government, calling for speeding up implementation of the genocidal WBGU policy (without naming it).

The motion demands as core points: "The worldwide transformation of national economies to economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable economic models" should be "considerably sped up." "Respecting of the natural limits of the planet as a core principle of action for policy and economy" should be enshrined! Institutionally, they demand the government "contribute to increase the political visibility of the sustainability agenda in the system of the United Nations and [to build] a greater political spectrum" for this agenda.

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