All posts filed under: EU

The EU and the warning signs of Fascism

Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.

How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?

Haftar and Sarraj on the way to Libyan settlement

Firas Samuri Another meeting on the Libyan settlement was held in Palermo, southern Italy, November 12-13. The leaders of the warring factions, EU and UN representatives, as well as the parties concerned, took part in the summit. After two days of intense talks, the participants agreed to arrange a new conference in Libya by the beginning of the next year. It’s expected the date of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections would be announced there. On the one hand, the result of the current meeting on Libya is conditional as the talks in Palermo haven’t brought something specific for the Libyans. Since the politicians meet and seek for the ways of resolving the crisis, the nation continues to suffer from the consequence of foreign intervention and Gaddafi overthrow in 2011. On the other hand, Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar who was in Italy as a private person and met the conference participants on the sidelines. Haftar and Sarraj held an extensive private discussion during the informal talks of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, …

The Meaning of a Multi-Polar World

Eric Zuesse Right now, we live in a mono-polar world. Here is how US President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America’s future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014: The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. [Every other nation is therefore ‘dispensable’; we therefore now have “Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt”.] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future US military leaders that they are to fight for the US aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. …

Dutch government faces legal trouble after aiding terrorists

by FWMstaff, Free West Media The “moderate” rebels in Syria were not moderate at all, the recent scandal in the Netherlands has demonstrated yet again. Faced with mounting legal problems, the Dutch government has been forced to cut loose the jihadists. At least one prosecutor seems to believe that the government committed a crime. According to Public Prosecutor Ferry van Veghel, the so-called “moderate” Ahrar al-Sham is indeed a terrorist organisation. He says that the Public Prosecutor has indicted Dutch citizens for participation in the movement. According to Van Veghel, there is no difference between jihadist, extremist and terrorist organisations.  “All organisations whose purpose is to establish a caliphate in Syria, which aim to frighten civilians, they can be regarded as a terrorist organisation according to the law.” And the presence of these armed groups at “democratic conferences” organised by the United States and its allies, makes no difference he says: “I think it is always good to judge organisations mainly on their actions and not so much on their words.” Ahrar al-Sham was no …

Donald Trump – Despised by Europe, Despises Europe

Andre Vltchek Why is Europe full of hate for Donald Trump? Is it, perhaps, because millions could soon die in yet another of the senseless and horrible wars unleashed by the Western empire? Or is it because Europeans suddenly ‘saw the light’ and realized that they mistreated billions of innocent people throughout history; that actually all people on Earth are equal and should be left alone and be allowed to live their lives as they please? Far from that; unfortunately, very far! Most of the Europeans simply hate Trump because he had enough of the status quo, of what could be objectively described as sneaky and sleazy games. Mr. Trump sees collaboration with Europe as an extremely bad business. Not that President Trump is a saint himself. Of course, he isn’t. He is a businessman – a very ruthless one, and in the past very daring and very successful. He has already managed to break the backs of hundreds of people, and now he would not hesitate to run hundreds of countries to the ground, …

Another Europe is Needed

by Ernesto Screpanti, January 5, 2018, Lexit-Network Since the end of World War II, tribal rivalries and xenophobic sentiment in Europe have never been as strong as they are today. And this is but one of the European Union’s “successes”. Not to mention the resurrected warmongering vocation that led the Union to feed conflicts in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and, when the Union was still in the preparatory phase, to favor the explosion of devastating civil wars in Yugoslavia. Another series of “successes” has involved the social and economic sphere, with increases in unemployment, poverty, and inequality; the deterioration of labor conditions; reductions in workers’ rights; greater labor insecurity and precariousness; worsening welfare in the areas of education, health services, public utilities and social security; the proletarianization of the middle classes; rising uncertainty and, last but not least, the threatening of household savings by a predatory financial sector. Meanwhile, the process of convergence of the national economies, prophesied by the founding fathers as one of the most important effects of the Union, turned out to be …

Interview with Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos on Macedonia’s Future

by Vesnik-Ilinden Newspaper “Ilinden”: Dr Marcus Papadopoulos, please provide a short biography to introduce yourself to the readers. Marcus Papadopoulos: Since my childhood, I have had a fascination and passion for the former Yugoslavia; so much so that it is, today, one of my two fields of expertise, the other being Russia.  I have been researching the history of the Balkans, including its people and cultures, for well over 20 years now and am a frequent visitor to the region.  I was 12 years old when the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated, or, to be more precise, was undermined and destroyed by America, Germany and certain other European countries. The killing of Yugoslavia pained me a great deal and has continue to pain me ever since. I feel great sadness for Macedonians, Serbs, Muslims, Croats, Montenegrins and Slovenes because of how they continue to suffer, especially economically, as a result of the destruction of Yugoslavia. Tito, who was a visionary and an extraordinary leader, often warned, in speeches to the Yugoslav people, that there …

NATO – the tool of European neo-fascism and Pope’s “blessed silence”

by Prof. Arthur Noble, via InSerbia March 24, 1999 was a day of gross shame and ignominy in the historical annals of Britain and America. It was the day when the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation became the North American Terrorist Organisation. NATO, for the first time since its founding in 1949, launched a vicious, unprovoked and illegal attack against the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia, in a pre-planned act of aggression sponsored by US President Bill Clinton. The 78 days of NATO air strikes took place without the necessary UN Security Council authorisation. It is equally loathsome that Clinton’s violence against the Serbs, who were our gallant allies in the battle against Hitler and the Nazis in World War II, was aided and abetted by his subservient poodle, the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Photo: defense.gov At one stroke NATO overturned the fundamental purpose of its founding charter, which committed it to assuring the freedom of its constituent members by means of a purely defensive system of collective security against the threat of the then …

How the West Could Destabilize Russia

by Denis Churilov Russian March 2018 Presidential Elections are approaching. Putin has recently announced that he will run as a candidate. The global players who don’t want Putin to stay in power will likely do everything possible to get rid of him. Let’s explore some possible pressure points and try to predict the most unpleasant developments. The measures to destabilize Russia amid the elections are most likely to be complex and could potentially include: 1. Exacerbating situation in Eastern Ukraine/Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. A coordinated, big scale assault on break-away regions by the Kiev government and ultra-nationalist battalions, if successful, could be exploited informationally by evoking a public discourse inside Russia about Putin betraying the people of Donbass/Novorossia, or being incapable of helping them, which could potentially decrease his approval ratings domestically. There are reports of soldiers from the US National Guard, namely the New York’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), being moved to Ukraine in late October 2017, so we might expect some dangerous provocations early next year. Also, as …

Three candidates for Sicily: A signal for Italy

by Giulietto Chiesa, October 9, 2017, via DefendDemocracyPress In Europe someone is trying to cheat voters by shrugging off Brexit and promoting a “new pact for Europe” which will include the UK (but will be led either by Germany or by a German-French alliance). In the meantime, Italian political life (or I would rather call it, “the Italian political class”) is focused on the upcoming regional elections in Sicily. There are three protagonists and they are all very worried. Matteo Renzi will be the first to downplay a probable bad result, by saying that after all the island is not so politically important. This is a sign of discomfort that, in any case, will probably make him lose more votes. But, of course, if he loses the election in Sicily there will be trouble in Rome. The celebrated Democratic Party leader has already been defeated several times in succession: he resigned as prime minister after being defeated in a referendum to change the constitution and then after that lost the local elections a few months …

The “Non-Citizens” of the Baltic States: Α European Scandal nobody speaks about!

by Tatjana Zdanoka, 4 October 2017, via DefendDemocracyPress The negotiations on Brexit are attracting a lot of attention. In particular, the possible erosion of the rights of around three million EU-27 citizens living in Britain is a major cause for concern. The European Parliament resolution adopted on 3 October states that “the withdrawal agreement must incorporate the full set of rights citizens currently enjoy, such that there is no material change in their position”. The main author of this text, Mr Guy Verhofstadt, the EP Brexit Coordinator, argues that such an approach – not to lower the level of citizens’ rights – is “the goal of democracy”. But why was the very same principle ignored when another “exit” took place in Europe? It was the exit of the Baltic states from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1990-1991 when a million and a half citizens who had moved to Latvia and Estonia from other republics were deprived of the essential rights they enjoyed. Theoretical substantiation for this legal action was found in the …

A Balanced View of the Economics of Independence in Catalonia

by Angel Ubide, PIIE, September 15, 2015 Editor’s Note: In the light of the recent independence referendum in Catalonia, in which some 43% of the population took part despite police attempts to prevent the vote from taking place by means of violence, we are posting this 2015 article on the economics of the proposed secession. Two years after voters in Scotland rejected independence from the United Kingdom, Spain faces the threat of breakup as Catalonia holds regional elections on September 27. The Catalan president, Artur Mas, leads a pro-independence coalition for these elections, Junts pel Si (Together for Yes), with a single aim: to start a process of independence culminating in secession in 18 months. Polls show the independence coalition achieving a narrow majority in Parliament, though with just 40 percent of the popular vote. With its capital in Barcelona, Catalonia, a region of about 8 million people on the Mediterranean coast just below the Pyrenees, is one of Spain’s more prosperous regions. The pro-independence coalition argues that an independent Catalonia would be economically better …

Greece has become the EU’s third protectorate

by Jan Zielonka, August 14, 2015, OpenDemocracy The EU looks increasingly like an empire, having just created its third protectorate in the Balkans. Greece will effectively be run by the EU the way Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina already are. The EU looks, walks and talks like an empire. After extending its borders into Central and Eastern Europe, the EU has just created its third protectorate in the Balkans. From now on Greece will effectively be run by the EU the way Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina already are. Empire is not a synonym of evil despite some bad historical connotations, especially from the colonial era. Power can be exercised in noble ways, and peripheries often prefer to be “conquered” than abandoned. However, the EU’s ambition to run dysfunctional countries by decree is doomed to fail and will represent yet another blow to the project of European integration. Formal involvement of the UN or the IMF in running the protectorates will not exonerate the EU. Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe has been successful because it empowered local actors. …

The Single-party French State

by Diana Johnstone, via Counterpunch French legislative elections follow hard on the heels of the Presidential election.  The momentum virtually ensures a presidential majority.  So it was taken for granted that voters would give President Emmanuel Macron a docile parliament for his five-year mandate. But these elections were exceptional.  The victory of Macron’s personal party, la République En Marche (REM), is novel in several ways.  Not only has REM won an absolute majority of 350 out of 577 seats in the National Assembly.  REM’s victory has also bled the two traditional governing parties, the Republicans and the Socialists, perhaps fatally. With over 130 seats, the Republican Party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy and its allies came in second, and thus ranks as leading opposition party.  But since Macron successfully lured two Republican politicians into prominent positions in his government – Edouard Philippe as Prime Minister and Bruno LeMaire as Economics Minister – it is hard even for the Republicans’ current leader, François Baroin, to explain just what they will oppose.  How can they be a …

Euro-visions

Lexit’s Digest No. 14 Juncker’s recent ‘State of the Union’ address was widely applauded by Europeanist media outlets. For example, Politico was very impressed by the Commission President’s ‘bold vision for Europe’: One speed. One currency. One president. No to a multi-speed Europe, all 27 Member States shall join the euro-zone and the Schengen agreement rather quickly after Brexit. EU enlargement shall continue, in particular with the Balkan states. How the governments of these entities ‘adapt’ to the Greek style ‘labour market reforms’ expected by the EU from such poor peripheral countries – see an interesting interview on LeftEast on this with Aleksandar Matković (a researcher at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory at the University of Belgrade)  here. In that general context it is interesting to see that Andrew Watt – formerly a senior researcher at the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels and now working at the Hans Böckler Foundation of the German trade unions – was very positive about Juncker’s proposals. Equally interesting, his colleague Daniel Seikel, also of the Böckler …

According to Emmanuel Macron, the days of popular sovereignty are over

by Thierry Meyssan, September 5, 2017, via VoltaireNet Delivering a keynote speech before the most senior of French diplomats, President Macron revealed his conception of the world and the way in which he intends to use the tools at his disposal. According to him, there will be no more popular sovereignty, neither in France, nor in Europe, and therefore no more national or supra-national democracies. Neither will there be any more collective interest, no more Republic, but an ill-defined catalogue of things and ideas which compose the common good. Describing their new programme of work to the ambassadors, he informed them that they should no longer defend the values of their country, but find opportunities to act in the name of the European Leviathan. Entering into the details of certain conflicts, he described a programme of economic colonisation of the Levant and Africa. Participating in the traditional Ambassadors’ Week, President Macron gave his first general speech on foreign policy since his arrival at the Elysée Palace [1]. In this article, all the quotations in inverted commas …

NO LEAVE to REMAIN

by W Stephen Gilbert Last Christmas, as you do, we received the usual batch of greetings cards from people we’re only in touch with at that time of year. Almost without exception, these cards included a message to the effect: “isn’t it terrible about Trump and Brexit?” As we are perceived as (ex-)metropolitan, enlightened, middle class professionals, we obviously must subscribe to all the views prescribed for that demographic. My partner can speak for himself. But I voted to leave. This is an outrage that many of my friends cannot understand and find difficult to forgive. They tolerate my intolerance of that ugly, specious, coined term that Theresa May likes to use twice in one mantra. But by my vote they think I’ve taken leave of my senses or become a class traitor or revealed myself as a closet fascist. Bracketing Trump and the 2016 referendum result is thought a legitimate summary of a year that was in many ways the most ghastly anyone can recall. It’s almost as though the leave campaign was implicated …

Number of European working poor doubles in a decade

by Elisabeth Zimmermann , 12 July 2017, WSWS More and more people in work in Europe are being forced into poverty. This is demonstrated by a new study by the Hans Böckler Foundation which was made public last Thursday.  The study, titled “Activation policies and poverty,” notes that a growing proportion of the population of Europe live in poverty, although they are working. The researchers from the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Böckler Foundation examined the effects of labor market and social policy measures in 18 EU countries from 2004 to 2014. All of the measures were aimed at forcing unemployed people into low-wage labor. According to their research, an average of about 10 percent of the workforce aged between 18 and 64 in the countries studied were “working poor.” This means they earn less than 60 percent of the average income in their country. The proportion of working poor was highest in Romania at 18.6 percent, followed by Greece, 13.4 percent, and Spain, 13.2 percent. In Germany, the number of working …

Hungary: Paradise for liberals

by István Lovas Do you wonder what you are going to read in the mainstream press on Hungary tomorrow? I will tell you. The same as yesterday, and the same as in the past almost seven years since Hungary’s right-of-center Fidesz government, led by the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was elected. You will learn that Mr. Orbán is a populist, an autocratic ruler, a menace to Europe, and a politician not hesitating to use anti-Semitic language in order to win over voters of the far-right Jobbik, and cover up uncomfortable truths about whatever is on the agenda in Hungary on that day. He, of course, has muzzled the media, made the court system a handmaiden of the ruling elite, abolished checks and balances, while he is suffocating the voice of dissenters, creates inordinate fear, chases away half of the country beyond Hungary’s borders, and the rest of the stuff. Lately, Hungary has been called the safe haven of the European ultra-right. At the time when Hungary’s authorities have arrested and expelled two such figures, such …

All Power to the Banks: The Winners-take-all Regime of Emmanuel Macron

by Diana Johnstone, via Counterpunch A ghost of the past was the real winner of the French presidential election.  Emmanuel Macron won only because a majority felt they had to vote against the ghost of “fascism” allegedly embodied by his opponent, Marine Le Pen.  Whether out of panic or out of the need to feel respectable, the French voted two to one in favor of a man whose program most of them either ignored or disliked.  Now they are stuck with him for five years. If people had voted on the issues, the majority would never have elected a man representing the trans-Atlantic elite totally committed to “globalization”, using whatever is left of the power of national governments to weaken them still further, turning over decision-making to “the markets” – that is, to international capital, managed by the major banks and financial institutions, notably those located in the United States, such as Goldman-Sachs. The significance of this election is so widely misrepresented that clarification requires a fairly thorough explanation, not only of the Macron project, …