All posts tagged: France

The EU: From Social-Democratic Dream to Neoliberal Nightmare

Frank Lee Reviews The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas Britain, in the shape of Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, initially joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle’s resignation in 1969. De Gaulle had always been opposed to the Anglo-Saxon axis, regarding the UK as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for US geopolitical objectives, and consistently blocked the UK’s attempted entry into continental Europe. According to DG Britain ‘was not European enough’. With the General out of the way the path was clear for British entry. However, this was not an altogether popular move with much of the electorate and some quite solid opposition from elements in both main political parties. This being the case the then Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, opted for a referendum on continued membership in 1975 to settle the issue. The electorate voted ‘Yes’ by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe. As I recall I voted ‘Yes’ and even wrote a pamphlet in support entitled: “EU the unfinished project.” However, I was then blissfully unaware that the …

America’s Runaway Bacteria

How Yet Another US Bio-weapon is Getting Rampant in Europe Jean Perier via NEO In my previous articles I’ve touched upon the deadly weapons of tomorrow, those that reek of death and destruction for the mankind, developed in top-secret US laboratories. Previously, I’ve examined the mutated bacteria codenamed Cynthia, that was originally designed to consume hydrocarbon wastes but instead it started to consume human flesh. Even though there’s been a number of lethal cases along the Gulf of Mexico, American authorities chose to keep this whole deal a secret. However, their secret experiments haven’t stopped there, but now they are being conducted away from American shores, namely in Europe, as Donald Trump himself listed this continent as one of the principal rivals of the United States in the world-wide war for global domination. A rather disturbing number of reports has recently been presented by independent media sources, all talking about the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria that threatens to completely wipe both Italy and a number of other Mediterranean countries clean off centuries-old olive trees. This microbe, which would typically appear …

What Happens if the Yellow Vests Win?

A View from Vietnam Andre Vltchek What if protesters in Paris win, and the French government gives in to all their demands? What if taxes are reduced, wages increased, President Macron steps down? I am not talking only about the fuel tax; attempts to impose it have been already abandoned. I am not talking about increase of the minimum wage – the government already agreed to rise it by 100 euro per month. What I am talking about are real, fundamental changes which many protesters seem to be desiring: substantial tax reduction for the majority of French citizens, generous increase in wages and enhancement of social benefits for all. So, if the Yellow Vests manage to win all this, then what will happen? Who would benefit? But also, who would lose? * One of my readers recently wrote to me that France should reduce its military budget and from those billions of euro saved, could easily finance demands of the protesters. Another reader wrote that the richest citizens of France (or call them ‘elites’) should …

Rome vs. Brussels. Economic policies of the “Radical”-Far Right

by Klaus Draeger, December 9, 2018, via Defend Democracy Press Comment on the dispute between the Italian government and the European Commission on Italy’s draft budget 2019 On macro-economics the Italian government is quite right in challenging the EU ‘consensus’ and criticizing the EU’s past and present austerity policies. On other issues (such as migration etc.) they are very much in line with the EU consensus on that – strengthening ‘fortress Europe`to the max, and aiming to go further on this, so that no migrant should be allowed to set foot on ‘Italian soil’. If one thinks that this is ‘contradictory’ – yes it is indeed.  The more so, if you look at this from a ‘left wing emancipatory’ perspective. However, in reality things might be more complicated. Tom Gill’s piece on Italy in my view is pretty good in analyzing those contradictions, and also in criticizing the neo-liberal elements of the M5S-Lega coalition’s ‘peoples budget’: e.g. the flat tax rate of 15 % for small businesses, an amnesty for tax-dodgers, or the ‘citizen’s wage’ …

Revolutionary Algorithms

Eddison Flame Can you feel it now? Can you feel the changes coming? Can you feel the electricity in the air? Revolution is coming. It is getting really close now, you can almost reach out and touch it. Actually, if you live in France, you can reach out and touch it. The Gilets Jaunes is the beginning of something that is about to spread to every nation on the planet. Maybe not the name, that’s not for sure, but in principle, the Gilets Jaunes is the beginning. The Gilets Jaunes is the beginning because everyone knows that a revolution has to happen. Everyone knows there has to be a revolution, and, well, now the Gilets Jaunes have started it. Everyone is aware of the situation we are facing right now. Everyone is aware of just how dangerous things have become for us. We all know in our hearts what is going on. We know what the people ruling the world are doing. We know they are destroying the environment all over the world. We know …

The Indiscreet Charm of the Gilets Jaunes

CJ Hopkins So it appears the privatization of France isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or “yellow vests”), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in cities and towns throughout the country to express their displeasure with Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to transform their society into an American-style neo-feudal dystopia. Highways have been blocked, toll booths commandeered, luxury automobiles set on fire, and shopping on the Champs-Élysées disrupted. What began as a suburban tax revolt has morphed into a bona fide working class uprising. It took a while for “the Golden Boy of Europe” to fully appreciate what was happening. In the tradition of his predecessor, Louis XVI, Macron initially responded to the gilets jaunes by inviting a delegation of Le Monde reporters to laud his renovation of the Elysée Palace, making the occasional condescending comment, and otherwise completely ignoring them. That was back in late November. …

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. …

Open Source Investigation: The War on Cash

Following last nights shutdown of Visa’s payment system across large parts of Europe, we thought this would be good time to revisit the topic of money. Cold hard cash is on the way out, following a sustained global effort to undermine its usage. Is that a good thing? Does the Visa crash exemplify just how little power the consumer wields in a world of universally digital payments? James Corbett has been running his Open Source Investigation into the “War on Cash” since 2016, here we post some of the more concerning findings. Feel free to contribute BTL if there are any further developments, or get in touch with The Corbett Report directly here. The Cashless Society List ARGENTINA – Argentina’s currency crisis has been known for some time. In short, Argentinians don’t trust the peso and are willing to pay premium for any currency they perceive as “more stable,” especially US dollars which are traded on the black market as “blue dollars” at prices far exceeding the official exchange rate. That’s why Argentina has been …

Voices of the Syrian People

by Andre Vltchek, first published by New Eastern Outlook The attack against Syria – this proud and independent country – has just taken place. Three countries with zero moral mandate to judge or punish anybody; three countries already responsible for hundreds of millions of human lives lost on all continents for centuries, showered Syria with their missiles. They tried to scare to death Syria, and to break its determination, but they failed. Most of the Syrian people stood proudly by their government. 71 out of 103 of the Western missiles were shot down, and the rest fell on the empty facilities, which have nothing to do with a ‘production or storage of the chemical weapons’. To begin with, Syria has no chemical weapons program and no chemical weapons factories, as well as no warehouses, so nothing could really fall on something that does not exist. This was yet another gross violation of the international law, but again, the West has been violating the international laws for decades and centuries, brutalizing the entire Planet. Therefore, no …

WATCH: Robin Cook’s resignation speech, 15 years on

by Kit Today marks the 15 year anniversary of Robin Cook MP’s resignation from the Cabinet, in protest over the US/UK plan to invade Iraq. The speech, given just two years before his death, is impressive for its honesty, and – in hindsight – soberingly tragic. It is apparent, when you watch the speech, that no one understood the horror that was about to be unleashed on a comparatively stable world. All told, the speech is just very, very sad. It’s sad to see that even the harshest, strongest parliamentary critics couldn’t come close to guessing the scale of the destruction. When Mr Cook spoke of a projected death toll “at least in the thousands”, he thought he was giving a grisly warning. We now know it to be a dramatic understatement. It’s sad to hear him refer to “suggestions the war may last only a few days” when it lasted years. Iraq is a fractured mess to this day. It’s sad to witness stark warnings about the breakdown of international law fall on deaf …

Mueller Indictments: truth v lies in“The Observer View”

Today’s Observer View focuses on the Announcement by Robert Mueller that they are indicting 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies for “interfering” in the 2016 Presidential election. It is, unsurprisingly, full of misleading language, lies by omission and just straight up lies.

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 …

The world remembers 64th anniversary of the west-sponsored coup in Iran

After WWII, the West had one huge ‘problem’ on its hands: all three most populous Muslim countries on Earth – Egypt, Iran and Indonesia – were clearly moving in one similar direction, joining group of patriotic, peaceful and tolerant nations. They were deeply concerned about the welfare of their citizens, and by no means were they willing to allow foreign colonialist powers to plunder their resources, or enslave their people. In the 1950’s, the world was rapidly changing, and there was suddenly hope that the countries which were oppressed and pillaged for decades and centuries by first the European and then North American geopolitical and business interests, would finally break their shackles and stand proudly on their own feet.

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, …

Nicolas Sarkozy: “No Way To Let The French Colonies Of Africa Have Their Own Currencies!”

by Matthew, via How Africa In an interview with the BMTV television channel, [former president of France] said that the best way to preserve the health of the French economy is to keep the FCFA as the only currency usable in the former French colonies in Africa. France can not allow its former colonies to create their own currency to have total control over their central banks . If this happens, it would be a catastrophe for the public treasury that will lead France to the rank of 20th world economic power. There is no question, therefore, of letting the French colonies of Africa have their own currencies What is the CFA Franc? The CFA franc is the name of two currencies common to several African countries, partly comprising the Central African franc zone (CEMAC) and the franc zone of West Africa ( UEMOA). How does the CFA Franc work? Principle 4 is the most technical. First, it should be noted that the Banque de France opens an account for each central bank (one for …

French Election Hack: What do we know so far…

More elections. More hacking. The same headlines with slightly different words. This time it’s in France. This time the “victim” is Emmanuel Macron. The “outsider”, “independent” candidate, a man who completely unexpectedly rose to political prominence on the back of nothing more than a career in high-finance and a platform of telling rich people exactly what they wanted to hear. So what questions does this new hack raise? Firstly, what do we know? So far, not much. The information itself may well be meaningless. Like so many leaks, dumps and hacks there is a glut of data…plus it is all in French, so most UK/US based alternate media will have to be patient with translations. Scanning through it is like panning for gold. It will take dedicated internet users months to sift it all…and in the end there may be no nuggets at all, just a bunch of mud. Perhaps a more interesting question is – “why now?” The “hack” (as it is being called, historically speaking it is far more likely a “leak”), was …

Media Silent as Anti-Corporate Trade Deal Protests Take Europe by Storm

by Carey Wendler, via Antimedia, Oct 17, 2016 Over the weekend [October 15-16], thousands of protesters across multiple countries condemned impending trade deals promoted by governments and their corporate partners. Though the protests received little coverage from mainstream media, they stretched from Paris to Warsaw. The demonstrations came amid the Commission on International Trade of the European Parliament’s plans to finalize the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) this week. The policy has been likened to so-called “free trade” deals pushed by President Barack Obama and other Western governments. CETA, which has been in the works for seven years, would eliminate tariffs between Canada and European nations, which proponents argue would foster increased trade and create jobs.  Nevertheless, the deal has been criticized for granting too much power to multinational corporations, the Guardian reports. Though the European Commission recently drafted a statement claiming “environmental and health standards will not be diluted,” not all policymakers are convinced. Passage of CETA hit a roadblock after the parliament of the Wallonia region of Belgium rejected it.  Wallonia’s minister-president, Paul Magnette, vowed …

The euro is breaking up Europe

by Erhard Crome, via Lexit Network Review of Stefan Hinsch and Wilhelm Langthaler, Europa zerbricht am Euro. Unter deutscher Vorherrschaft in die Krise (‘The euro is breaking up Europe. Into crisis under German sway’). Promedia Verlag, Vienna, 2016, 204 pp. Although the title refers to Europe, this work is essentially about the European Union, its crisis and the probable unhappy outcome, the “collapse of a historic project”. The volume contains profound analyses of the economic and monetary processes that led to this situation but also valuable historical, political and sociological exposés which make the background and the general context easily comprehensible. The authors’ fundamental finding is that in the EU we have an ‘imperfect monetary union’. As long as each EU Member State had its own separate currency, the others, though under pressure from Germany’s exporting power, the deutschmark and the interest policy of the Bundesbank, could ease that pressure by means of monetary adjustments, devaluations and interest-rate changes and could avail themselves of compensatory mechanisms. With the irrevocable fixing of euro exchange rates for …

EU Unmasked: After Brexit, Plans for Full EU Superstate Revealed

by James Corbett, June 28, 2016 Well, that didn’t take long. The graphite was hardly dry on the Brexit ballots when TVP Info, a Polish broadcaster, leaked a 9-page document drawn up by the German and French foreign ministers calling for an EU superstate, complete with an EU army, integrated border controls and common taxation. The German foreign minister discussed the plans — which are being described as “an ultimatum” — with his counterparts in the Visegrad Group of countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia) this week. The document, bearing the Orwellian title of “A strong Europe in a world of uncertainties,” lays out the exact tyrannical plans that the EU’s critics have been warning about for years. After identifying key areas of uncertainty and concern affecting Europe — from spreading [false flag] terrorism to [manipulated] cultural tensions to [engineered] economic hardships — the document proposes three new areas for expanded EU cooperation: A European Security Compact, including an expansion of internal “security” through a strengthened Europol, and expansion of external “security” in …

The Power of “Nyet”

by Dmitry Orlov, July 27, 2016 The way things are supposed to work on this planet is like this: in the United States, the power structures (public and private) decide what they want the rest of the world to do. They communicate their wishes through official and unofficial channels, expecting automatic cooperation. If cooperation is not immediately forthcoming, they apply political, financial and economic pressure. If that still doesn’t produce the intended effect, they attempt regime change through a color revolution or a military coup, or organize and finance an insurgency leading to terrorist attacks and civil war in the recalcitrant nation. If that still doesn’t work, they bomb the country back to the stone age. This is the way it worked in the 1990s and the 2000s, but as of late a new dynamic has emerged. In the beginning it was centered on Russia, but the phenomenon has since spread around the world and is about to engulf the United States itself. It works like this: the United States decides what it wants Russia …