Does Germany really need Spain?

It would be interesting to know, what to expect from a new agreement between Germany and Spain, and for what reason Merkel tries to establish a closer relationship with Sánchez?
Generally speaking, the Prime Minister of Spain was the first who concluded a bilateral agreement with Germany on taking back illegal refugees. And now, anyone who has already applied for asylum in Spain, but later arrives at the German border, can be sent back there within 48 hours.
Perhaps, this is due to the fact that Spain is one of the few EU countries where none of the populist parties is a part of the government. It makes Spain an important ally of Germany.
Or, maybe, does Merkel think that if Madrid supported her on the migration issue, now Sánchez will do it in all the issues of foreign policy?
In fact, Spanish society and the government showed compassion for migrants and at the same time pointed to the realities of the border countries that have to accept them. I believe, it’s time to call all the EU countries for solidarity, since the resolution of the migration crisis is the main task of the EU in the short term. And although now the Spanish prime minister expressed full support for the migration policy of Merkel, once Madrid will cease to like being the main country hosting migrants…
I consider, the European Union should join forces in resolving the issue of illegal migrants. Let’s see how this problem will be solved in the near future, but an informal summit on the issues of “internal security” and “control of illegal migration” will take place in Salzburg on 20th of September. There will be a strong focus on guarding external borders rather than establishing a quota system for the distribution of refugees within the EU. Furthermore, a possible extension of the Frontex mandate and the ability of the EU countries to cope with consequences of the migration crisis will be discussed.

What can we expect from the NATO summit 2018?

Between 11 and 12 July 2018, a meeting of the heads of state and government of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) will be held in Brussels, Belgium. However, the European members of the alliance do not expect much this event. The reason lies in a person, like the US President Donald Trump. According to some observers of The New York Times, the US’ Atlantic allies are not quiet sure what to expect from the head of the White House on this summit. “No one knows in what mood Trump will arrive: aggressive, or insulted the allies for inadequate defense spending, or as a boaster, who brags of the recent cost increase”, notes journalist Steven Erlanger.

The EU allies are very concerned that they will face Trump what he was at the G7 leaders meeting in June. The present members described him as angry, sarcastic and rude, especially concerning Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel. According to the former US ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns, the focus of the meeting “should be Russian deterrent by the forces of the alliance in Eastern Europe, but Trump can ruin everything for Putin”. If Trump “arrives to enhance the dialogue with Russia and there is no clearity what Moscow will do in return, it will cause confusion in the North Atlantic alliance”, he said.

According to the president of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, François Heisbourg, “Trump can act instinctively, trying to arrange a bilateral deal with Putin and sacrifice the interests of NATO. He can lift sanctions imposed because of Crimea, put off maneuvers or withdraw US troops from the Baltic countries. We have seen it with Kim Jong-un”.
It is possible that Donald Trump can increase the expenses in common defense up to 2% of the GDP to the American allies of the NATO, that do not fulfill the condition. According to Defense News, Trump has already sent letters to some of his NATO allies in which he complained that they have not contributed enough to the Atlantic Alliance. In addition, the US leader has warned that this problem will be a key issue at the summit in Brussels.

The only document in this regard was published in Norway’s most important newspaper, VG, in which a letter was published to Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg on June 19. However, there is information that some NATO member states have received similar letters, and Foreign Policy magazine confirmed it.

The Norwegian letter says: “Norway however, remains the only NATO Ally sharing a border with Russia that lacks a credible plan to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense…I understand domestic political pressures, as I myself have expended considerable political capital to increase our own defense spending. It will, however increasingly difficult to justify to US citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments.

But there is an opposite version that lies in the fact that everyone needs the success at this forum. And the US side can make some efforts to soften the negative impression of the previous G7 meeting, in which the United States clashed with its European allies and Canada.

In any case, the next summit of the North Atlantic alliance promises to become one of the most interesting and unpredictable in recent years. And the United States will play a fundamental role there.

However, in the realities of modern world, it does not guarantee the strengthening of the European security.

 

Who should take refugees in Europe?

The number of illegal refugees seeking to enter the EU countries is growing every day, but, unfortunately, the number of EU countries refusing to accept migrants is growing with it. Let me remind you that the new Minister of the Interior of Italy Matteo Salvini refused to accept the vessel with illegal migrants (629 people), thus provoking a violent reaction to the EU. Fortunately, two days later Spain decided to accept these people on board in Valencia.
Europe is going through the most serious migration crisis, caused by a number of armed conflicts and economic problems in the countries of Africa and the Middle East. And so far, one of the main problems remains unresolved: Who should save and host the migrants who have suffered the disaster?
It turns out that according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the captains of vessels should assist people at risk at sea. But what should happen after people are saved, and how this should be solved from a legal point of view, is not clearly stated in the document. So, no country is obliged to give permission to land on its shore to people on board a vessel that has been wrecked.
Most likely, Salvini’s decision will give a new impetus to the reform of the European asylum system. One of the compromise solutions may be an agreement to show solidarity with countries along the borders of the EU and share a burden of responsibility with Italy, Greece or Bulgaria. But how this will happen, the EU member states themselves must decide. In 2016, the European Commission has already made a number of proposals. So far none of them have been realized …
I hope that this time Europe will still be able to find a compromise – and right-wing populists who came to power in some EU countries will not be able to prevent it. After all, even the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who opposes the adoption of refugees by Europe, agreed to consider financial support.
While the EU countries are discussing the adoption and distribution of refugees, migrants are changing their usual routes. And nowadays the popular place is Spain. Here in recent months there has been an increased flow of migrants trying to get to Europe via the Mediterranean. In this situation, the proposal of the Spanish government to take in Valencia people who are aboard the vessel MS Aquarius was a nice gesture. But not all are going to follow the example of Spain.
I think that many are concerned about the decision of the Italian authorities on Aquarius. Since they clearly run counter to international norms and risk creating a dangerous situation for all countries. Therefore, it is time to regulate the standards for granting asylum and to ensure that all EU countries take part in this.

 

Pedro Agramunt exposed the activities of European organizations financed by Soros

It’s no secret that the American billionaire George Soros has been actively interfering in political processes for a long time with the aim of creating chaos in Europe.
The former PACE President Pedro Agramunt, charged with corruption, convinced of that. So, he conducted his personal investigation to save his reputation, and found out that some organizations controlled by the American billionaire, worked in the EU Institutions.
Let me remind you that in October 2017 Pedro Agramunt resigned as PACE President because of the scandal caused by his trip to Syria, and because of constant charges of corruption. After that, he decided to find out which people and organizations had started a political campaign against him. And the results were impressive.
The main accuser was Gerald Knaus, the Chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI). ESI positions itself as an ordinary non-governmental organization, but in fact, according to Agramunt’s lawyers, it is a lobbying structure introduced into the files of lobbyists of the European Commission and the European Parliament.
The PACE President Pedro Agramunt, in particular, was trying to make transparent the activities of all lobbying structures. According to him, he wanted to force active lobbyists in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to declare themselves. And the fact that the main accusation against him was put forward by the lobbying organization, seemed at least very strange.
Things get even more interesting if we look at the ESI Chairman. It turned out that Gerald Knaus maintains close relations with Nicholas Whyte, the head of the Independent Diplomacy, the aim of which is to internationalize the process of the independence of Catalonia. During this process the Catalan government sought assistance from this organization.
Finally, Knaus and Whyte had the common source of funding for their organizations, the Open Society Foundation (OSF), owned by billionaire George Soros.
As a result of the investigation, Agramunt came to the conclusion that all the organizations controlled by Soros brought charges against him, and that these structures were introduced into the state institutions of Europe. According to Agramunt, these organizations conducted an international company aimed at discrediting and slandering his personality, and these same people supported the undermining of independence in Spain.
But the American billionaire not only conducts the process of lobbying in parliaments. Numerous NGOs around the world work not only with deputies and state officials, but with opposition forces, the media, public opinion, resolving different political tasks. One of them, for example, was the referendum on the self-determination of Catalonia. Now a new goal is set: Soros is directly engaged in the changing of UK’s mind about leaving the European Union.
So, the other day the billionaire announced that on June 8 in the United Kingdom launched a nationwide campaign in support of a new referendum, which should abolish the Brexit. There was created the ‘Best for Britain’ movement, and mass protests are planned. It is known that Soros has already sent to the British supporters of European integration a total of almost 700 thousand US dollars.
I think that it is necessary to fight against such structures, financed by a billionaire of Hungarian origin, in order to prevent them from creating chaos in Europe and to promote their own interests …

The situation in Italy as a new cause for concern in the EU

On May 27, an attempt to form a coalition government in Italy consisting of the populist and anti-system Five Star Movement and the right-wing League ended in failure. The President of the Italian Republic and the coalition failed to agree on the candidature of Minister of Economy and Finance. Sergio Mattarella announced that he would never agree with the appointment of Minister of Finance, Paolo Savona, an eurosceptic and opponent of Italy’s participation in the eurozone.
So, who is Paolo Savona, whose figure led to the collapse of the new government? – He is Professor of Economics, worked in the Central Bank and in the largest employers’ organizations in Italy, he was in the councils of many large companies and banks. The 81-year-old politician had political experience: he was Minister of Industry and Head of the Department of Public Policy. But over the years, Savona’s views became more rigid. The candidate for Minister of Finance, proposed by anti-system parties, is not only a strong critic of the euro, but also a convinced nationalist and opponent of Germany’s policy. The media published often his statements, and in one of his scientific works he claimed that “Chancellor Angela Merkel managed to realize – though peacefully – Hitler’s plan for German hegemony in Europe”.
And since earlier Mr. Mattarella has repeatedly said about the inviolability of the European parameters for the future of Italy, he does not agree to see in the most important public posts people who lead the country in a different direction. It turns out that the prospect of forming an Italian cabinet of ministers has rested on the figure of the 81-year-old possible minister. And in whose favor this problem is resolved, it has not yet known. In any case, it is not good for the integrity of the European Union.
The process of forming the Italian Cabinet is being watched very carefully in Brussels. Because this situation can lead to another crisis in the eurozone. Let me remind you that the amount of Italy’s public debt is 130% of GDP – after Greece it is the second largest public debt among the EU countries. However, Italy ranked first among the EU debtors, given that it is the third largest economy in the eurozone.
And given the upcoming exit of Britain from the European Union (Brexit), the discontent of Poland and Hungary with the EU migration policy, the withdrawal of Washington from the Iranian nuclear deal, the trade wars with the USA, new sanctions and energy security issues, the current situation in Italy will add problems to Brussels. In addition, on May 29, at the peak of the Italian political crisis, the Project Syndicate published Soros’s comments on the possible collapse of the European Union. It may have been his doing, creating chaos in Italy. Therefore, it is quite possible that soon Rome will say “ciao” to Europe, as London has recently done…

Roses for the German national football team

Very soon we will witnesses a grand sporting event: the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia! Remembering the Olympic Games in Sochi, there is no doubt that everything will be done as successfully as possible. Petrodollars will allow to arrange a memorable show with a high level of comfort for guests and participants. Returning to the issue of the Olympic Games in Sochi, you can recall that many athletes in the Olympic Village took the opportunity to cure their teeth totally free. At the World Cup will not be worse.
And nobody has already remembered that the World Championship will be held on the territory of the country, which has recently annexed a part of the neighboring state and actively supports separatists there. Only a few European publications recall that their football players will play in a country where the doping program was developed at the state level and covered by special services.
Everything is forgotten. Everything becomes history. And someone with a smile receives a bouquet of roses. Why is this happening?
No matter how hard we oppose it, the financial and economic interests of individual EU countries that put themselves above others, prevail over democratic values, allied commitments and support for the needy.
Four years have passed since the introduction of the first sanctions against Russia, and Germany declares the importance of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Most recently, the Bulgarian president, whose country presides over the EU, said that his country needed its own gas pipeline with Russia. In 2014, Sofia, under pressure from the United States and the EU, refused to lay South Stream and lost millions of euros. And there are a number of countries that are ready to join the oil and gas Russian pipe.
Undoubtedly, there are those who continue to support the earlier initiated actions in relation to the Kremlin. But most importantly, unity has disappeared in this issue, and economic benefits overshadow all other important things. Germany seems very peculiar country. It was Berlin that was one of the initiators of the economic blockade of Moscow, but now, after counting the losses and using its dominant position in the European Union, it seeks to replenish its budget through the transit of Russian gas. And Mrs. Merkel flooded Europe with immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. And now it makes all countries participate in this show, distributing quotas.
It’s time to stop pretending that financial preferences do not mean anything. It’s sad, but we have to admit that the European Union can not stand it. Gradually, it’s time to reformatting and select a new vector of movement. Maybe it’s not so bad. It remains to decide in what composition, when, where, with whom, around whom?
It should be noted that the European community does not benefit from the actions of Mr. Trump. The US president is doing everything to alienate the European partners. And, accordingly, deprive Europe of its ally.
What it takes to the way out of the deal on the Iranian nuclear program. Washington’s attitude to European capitals as its own vassals does not contribute to the formation of close partnership relations and in the future can negatively affect the interaction of the parties in solving key international issues.

P.S. It’s a pity that the US football team did not go to the World Cup and did not get into the same group with Iran. It could be nuclear football!

 

French MPs are against war in Syria

On April 13 a number of French parliamentarians wrote a letter to the President Emmanuel Macron. They expressed disagreement with the participation of the French Armed Forces in striking Syria on April 12 together with the United Kingdom and the United States. The deputies believe that there was no evidence of the use of chemical weapons by government forces of Syria. And also, such actions jeopardize national security.
There are some excerpts from this document:
“Your predecessor, President Jacques René Chirac, went down in history by expressing some doubts on accuracy of information about the development of weapons of mass destruction and refused to take part in the destroying of Iraq. By these actions he helped France to avoid responsibility for the catastrophes that followed after the attack: millions of dead, the disappearance of Christian minorities and Yezidi, the birth of ISIL.
The destruction of the Libyan state after Franco-British intervention, motivated by false information about the bombing of civilians in Benghazi, led to similar catastrophes …
Mr. President, we ask you to present the Parliament and the French citizens the evidence of a governmental chemical attack that affected several square kilometers.
If France joins the war against Syria, it is necessary to understand that you are putting our country and our Armed Forces in danger…”.
The members of Parliament Gérard Bait and Jacques Myard, the former minister François Guillaume, the general Dominique Delawarde, the adviser on international affairs colonel Alain Corvez, the former deputy Nicolas Dhuicq, the deputy Jérôme Lambert, the colonel Jacques Hogard signed this letter.
I wonder if Macron will provide real evidence or there is nothing to present? And whose side will he choose: Jacques Chirac or Nicolas Sarkozy?
This situation confirms that there is no common opinion on the situation in Syria in European society, even within one country.
And the desire to solve this issue by force is not typical for all participants of the EU and NATO.

#Germany dictates its rules in the #EU

The other day the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen proposed to abandon the unanimous decision-making procedure in the EU Council. Von der Leyen said that this principle makes it easy to achieve its goals for those who want to make an outside splitting in the EU, and the transition to a majority vote on foreign policy issues will instantly respond to crises and speak with one European voice.
Let me remind you that the current system allows any member country of the bloc to block the adoption of joint decisions. Apparently, this is the concern of the German government, which in the absence of the outgoing British bloc intends to lead not only in European economy and finance, but also in foreign policy. It is not difficult to guess that France will support Germany in the matter of voting. After all, the change in the voting procedure is dictated by the desire of the EU leaders to take control of the EU’s foreign policy, which, in their opinion, should not become a victim of the whims of small countries.
A simple majority – it is for this and it is necessary that no one, no matter how high in his country he climbs, would not break away from the European collective. But here you can see both favorable and negative consequences. Let’s say Poland wants to collect reparations from the Germans for World War II … Already wants, but so far she is alone. And if it hits the whole of Eastern Europe, then others will also catch up. And then what will Berlin do with this majority ?!
And although in recent times Europe has not been able to take a single unanimous decision on major foreign policy issues, Germany is trying to improve the situation through a qualified majority. I think this will not improve the situation in any way, but will only lead to the collapse of the European Union. After all, the EU member states will now take decisions against Berlin’s wishes. And in general, small Baltic countries and Poland are unlikely to agree to surrender their sovereignty and renounce the right of veto …

Europe prepares for war

Last week in Brussels the European Commission and the High Representative presented an Action Plan to improve military mobility within and beyond the European Union. This would enable military personnel and equipment to be moved more quickly across Europe. It is noted that nowadays many types of military equipment can not be transported to the EU because of its heavy weight and large dimensions.
Therefore, the leadership of the European Union believes that European countries should seriously concern themselves with their military mobility and combat readiness in order to respond in time to possible crises. Thus, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “… by facilitating military mobility within the EU, we can be more effective in preventing crises, more efficient in deploying our missions, and quicker in reacting when challenges arise…”.
This large-scale programme let’s us believe that the European Union prepares for possible military operations with the use of conventional weapons on the territory of European states. And although the European officials haven’t said yet in which direction the troops transfer is planned, it is clear that we are likely talking about the eastern direction. And despite talks about the creation of transport corridors towards Britain, I think the eastern European direction will remain a priority.
Let me remind you that Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, U.S. Army Europe commander, proposed for the first time the creation of a so-called military Schengen zone in May 2017 at a conference in Tallin. The idea was to ensure the free movement of troops and military equipment, including NATO material, in the territory of EU countries.
It should be noted that the EU has recently tended to build its own military potential and extend military cooperation of European countries. This is due to the fact that NATO, in which the United States and Britain play the key role, causes more and more criticism in the countries of continental Europe. The European Union seeks to create joint forces that would be independent from the US and could be used exclusively in the interests of European states. But whatever opinion the EU leadership holds, European countries aren’t able to influence the situation, as well as deviate from the line set by the USA and Washington …

The trade war: USA & Europe

Today there are many conversations about the complication of the relations between the Trump’s administration and Europe.
I remind you that on March 9 the head of the White House signed a decree to introduce 25-percent tariffs on steel imports and 10-percent tariffs on aluminum imports. The exemptions were for Canada and Mexico, Washington’s partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). I note that Trump’s decision to impose duties served as an impetus for the beginning of the trade war.
The Section 232 of US trade legislation allows introduce measures against imports that threaten national security. This step was explained by the high dependence on foreign metals and the reduction of domestic production and capacity. US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, said that many steel and aluminum plants has been closed, 75,000 jobs have been lost since 1998.
The US actions became very painful for the European Union, Brussels reacted to Washington’s plans immediately. The head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that if the US did not abandon its intentions, then the EU would follow the reciprocal duties on steel, bourbon, jeans and peanut butter.
It is not yet clear how this ends and until what time they will exchange duties and tariff charges, but the consequences of the trade war can be extremely destructive. If the US withdraws from NAFTA and announces new import tariffs from China, South Korea and Taiwan, the growth of global GDP will slow to 2.5% in 2018 instead of the basic 3.2%.
However, the US president believes that the US will win the trade war. For the USA, the EU is the main economic partner, it is not even among the three major US importers (China, Mexico and Canada). But for the European Union, the USA is one of the main trade partners for exports and imports. In addition, America is one of the most important markets for the EU. And if we allow America to continue to limit this market with impunity in the future, for Europeans this may end by an economic crisis.
The outcome of the confrontation, in fact, is not so obvious. The history of such trade wars shows that a country that initially has stronger positions may eventually lose out. But I think that in this trade war, caused by mutual tariff increases, no one will win. After all, you can notice that it will not just a conflict of interests between the two countries, but a clash of protectionists and globalists, which lasts for a number of years…