Socio-Economics History Blog

Socio-Economics & History Commentary

Bavarian Blow: Merkel’s Key Ally Suffers Worst Result in Over 60 yrs

  • RT Published on Oct 15, 2018
    #Bavaria #Germany Voters in the German state of Bavaria have inflicted a heavy blow on Chancellor Merkel’s key ally – handing the Christian Social Union its worst election result for decades. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9ggd

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October 16, 2018 Posted by | GeoPolitics | | Leave a comment

‘Political Earthquake’ in Bavaria as Merkel’s Sister Party CSU Likely to Lose Its Majority

  • RT Published on Oct 14, 2018
    Germany’s political landscape is crumbling as Merkel’s sister party, the CSU, has only received 35.5% of the votes in Bavaria, an exit poll shows. Meanwhile, the anti-establishment AfD has entered parliament for the first time.

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October 15, 2018 Posted by | GeoPolitics | | Leave a comment

Italy Declares War on Merkel and the EU

  • Italy Declares War on Merkel and the EU
    by TOM LUONGO, https://www.strategic-culture.org/
    If there were ever any doubts that the leaders of the Euroskeptic coalition that now runs Italy has a plan to defy the European Union its proposed budget should quell them. Both Deputy Prime Ministers, Luigi Di Maio of Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of The League, were adamant about locking horns with European Union leadership over all issues of sovereignty between now and May’s European Parliamentary elections.

    Their budget proposal which included both tax cuts and universal income blew past the EU budget limit of 2.0% of GDP, coming in at 2.4%. It has put their Finance Minister, Giovanni Tria, in a difficult position because Tria doesn’t want to negotiate this budget with Brussels, preferring a less confrontational, read more pro-EU, approach.

    Salvini and Di Maio, however, have other plans. And since I began covering this story last year on my blog, I’ve said that it was imperative that Salvini force the issue of the Troika’s demands – the EU, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – back down their throats on debt restructuring/forgiveness.

    What I meant then, and I was focused on Salvini’s emergence as the leader of this fight, was that Salvini and Italy, because they are more than technically insolvent, have all the leverage in the negotiations. The size of their outstanding debt and the liabilities existent on the balance sheets of banks across Europe, most notably the nearly $1 trillion in TARGET 2 liabilities, are something Juncker, Draghi, Merkel and Christine LaGarde at the IMF simply cannot ignore.

    But, to do this Salvini and now Di Maio have to make a good faith effort to negotiate a good deal for Italy with Brussels, Berlin and the IMF. This is why the budget squeaked past the 2.0% limit and then they walked it back to 2.0% but with provisions they knew would anger the EU finance ministers.

    The point of this is to push Brussels and paint them as the bad guys to shift public sentiment back towards an Italeave position. Italy’s problems are not solvable with Germany holding the purse strings for all the EU countries.

    So, the first prong of their assault on the power structure of the EU is this, challenge them on their budget while making strong statements to the rest of Europe that they are not looking to exit the euro. If they do, it will be Germany forcing that situation.

    read more.

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October 15, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salvini Threatens to Close Airports If Germany Sends Back Migrants to Italy

  • RT Published on Oct 8, 2018
    READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9fzb
    Rome has still not reached an agreement with Berlin on the repatriation of asylum seekers who had first registered in Italy, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said, vowing to close airports to German flights transferring refugees.

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October 9, 2018 Posted by | GeoPolitics, Social Trends | , , , | Leave a comment

Germany Looking at Payment System with Iran to Save Nuclear Deal

  • Germany Looking at Payment System with Iran to Save Nuclear Deal
    Reporting by Michelle Martin and Riham Alkoussa; writing by Joseph Nasr; editing by Thomas Seythal, https://www.reuters.com/
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany and its European partners are considering setting up a payment system with Iran that allows the continuation of business transactions with the Islamic Republic once U.S. sanctions kick in, an economy ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

    “As you know, it is a central goal of the EU and the German government to ensure that the processing of transactions is secured,” the spokeswoman said during a regular government news conference. “All options are being considered.”

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September 15, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , | Leave a comment

Germany May Join Possible Western Airstrikes on Syria – Reports

  • Germany May Join Possible Western Airstrikes on Syria – Reports
    by https://sputniknews.com/
    Germany may join possible airstrikes on Syrian government forces by western nations in the event chemical weapons are used by Damascus, according to local media.

    The German Defense Ministry has been mulling over joining possible airstrikes by the United States, the United Kingdom and France against Syrian government forces, Bild reported. The ministry is considering this option in the event of a possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, which they presume will be carried out by Syrian government troops, the outlet said.

    Earlier in the day, French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly said that if chemical attacks are carried out in Syria,a response will follow, including those from France.

    US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert also said in a press briefing that the United States and its international partners would respond swiftly to any verified chemical weapons use in Syria.

    read more.

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September 10, 2018 Posted by | GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Europe Deliberately Chose Iran Over Washington

  • PressTV Published on Aug 28, 2018
    American officials have warned Europe over its outreach to Iran, saying the approach is poisoning the relations between the European Union and Washington. Top State Department Official Brian Hook says Brussels and Washington should be working together to counter Iran. Hook says Europe’s recent aid package to Iran sends the wrong message at the wrong time. He says the package stands in the way of meaningful policy changes in Iran. Also, a congressional official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says Europe has deliberately chosen Iran over the U-S for financial gains. Meanwhile, France and Germany have announced they are working on financing solutions to sidestep the anti-Iran U-S sanctions.

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August 30, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

De-Dollarization: Putin’s Wedding Trip Seals Marriage of Convenience with Merkel

  • De-Dollarization: Putin’s Wedding Trip Seals Marriage of Convenience with Merkel
    by PEPE ESCOBAR, http://www.atimes.com/
    Meeting in Berlin could signal a switch in strategy for Germany when it comes to the US dollar and energy security

    It was supposed to be a low-key, traditional Austrian wedding until Vladimir Putin pulled up in a black limo. The bride was Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, a top energy analyst and former professor at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and the European Business School in Frankfurt.

    She knows all there is to know about multiple aspects of Eurasia integration, which is close to the Russian President’s heart. So close, in fact, that he stole the show by arriving in a convoy, bearing lavish flowers and the Kuban Cossack Choir.

    After a swirl on the dance floor with the blond-haired, but not blushing, bride, he dashed off to Germany for the real business.

    This was a three-hour, multi-themed, face-to-face meeting north of Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel. There were no translators as both are fluent in Russian and German as I pointed out in Asia Times.

    But it was Russian analyst Rostislav Ishchenko in a text featuring a Pushkin analogy – and beautifully translated into English – who unlocked these chain of events.

    And that brings us to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who wrote in the business paper Handelsblatt about the idea of a European Union payment system bypassing the US dollar, and ultimately, the Iran sanctions.

    An alternative system is exactly what the BRICS, namely Brazil, Russia, of course, India, China and South Africa, as well as the China-Russia-Iran triumvirate, have been discussing, and slowly implementing for years.

    Now, let us see if we can decode this brand new EU-wide controversy from three different angles. First up, is an aristocratic German financier now based in Switzerland, who insisted on anonymity.

    He stressed: “Too many European [and Swiss] financial institutions [and regulators] are run by Americans. And they are extremely afraid of the American rhetoric of locking them out of Wall Street if they misbehave.”

    read more.

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August 29, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

German FM: EU’s Security Must No Longer Depend on U.S.

  • PressTV Published on Aug 28, 2018
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has branded the US president’s policies toward Europe as QUOTE irritating. Maas said Donald Trump annoys the European countries by describing them as an enemy of the United States or calling NATO into question. He also slammed Trump’s tariffs on European products as absurd. The top German diplomat called on the EU to develop a common foreign and security policy as well as a defense union. Earlier in the day, France also urged the EU to stop relying on the US for its security.

Revelation 13 New King James Version (NKJV) –
The Beast from the Sea: 13 Then I[a] stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns,[b] and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.php?yyyy=2012&mm=06&dd=20&nav_id=80854

Click on image for article.

http://www.voxeurop.eu/en/content/news-brief/2211991-10-countries-united-states-europe

Click on image for article.

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August 29, 2018 Posted by | EndTimes, GeoPolitics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Checkmate Putin: Nord Stream 2 Will Happen, Merkel Needs the Pipeline to Stay in Power

  • The Duran Published on Aug 24, 2018
    The Duran – News in Review – Episode 87. The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris break down the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel, and how Nord Stream 2 dominated the agenda between the two leaders.

Nordstream 1 in black, Nordstream 2 in red

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August 28, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , | Leave a comment

Berlin Should ‘Recalibrate’ Partnership with US in ‘Sober and Critical’ Way – German FM

  • An alternative to SWIFT means abandoning of the US dollar.
  • Berlin Should ‘Recalibrate’ Partnership with US in ‘Sober and Critical’ Way – German FM
    by https://www.rt.com/
    Germany must “recalibrate the transatlantic partnership” with Washington, the foreign minister says. This comes as the two nations are locked in a trade war and numerous disagreements, from military spending to energy.

    “The US is more than the White House,”
     German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted on Sunday in response to US President Donald Trump, who has unleashed a trade war on the EU and had repeatedly blasted the German government over various policy issues.


    Maas added that he hopes the upcoming ‘German Year in the US’ promotional campaign will help to “recalibrate the transatlantic partnership in a sober, critical and self-critical way.”

    The ‘German Year in the US’ campaign (Deutschlandjahr USA) was designed by the government to showcase the friendship between the two states and to present a favorable image of Germany to the American public.

    Speaking on Friday, Maas said that Berlin needs “a new and balanced partnership with the US.”The German minister cited “a growing protectionism” by its major transatlantic partner as a key reason for this requirement.

    read more.

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August 28, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Europe Working on Payment System Alternative to SWIFT & IMF to Attain Financial Independence from US

  • It is Game Over for American hegemony over Europe!
  • Europe Working on Payment System Alternative to SWIFT & IMF to Attain Financial Independence from US
    by https://www.rt.com/
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says Europe has started work on creating a system for money transfers that will be autonomous from the currently prevailing Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

    “That won’t be easy, but we have already started to do that,”
     Maas said at the annual Ambassadors Conference in Berlin on Monday, as quoted by RIA Novosti. “We are studying proposals for payment channels and systems, more independent from SWIFT, and for creating European monetary fund.”

    Maas also announced plans to reveal a new foreign policy strategy towards the US.


    “It’s high time to recalibrate the Transatlantic Partnership – rationally, critically, and even self-critically,” the FM said as cited by the agency.

    Last week, Maas called for European autonomy to be strengthened by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States, establishing a ‘European Monetary Fund’.

    The intention to create its own system is reportedly connected to Washington’s recent withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, and the re-imposition economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. As Brussels stays committed to the pact signed in 2015 between Tehran and the world powers, the EU had to enforce the ‘Blocking Statute’ in order to safeguard European businesses operating in Iran from US sanctions against the country. However, the measure failed to keep European majors like Total, Maersk, Mercedes in Iran, as they cannot function independently of the US-dominated international banking system and international financial markets.

    SWIFT, which is short for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is the financial network that provides high-value cross-border transfers for members across the world. It is based in Belgium, but its board includes executives from US banks with US federal law allowing the administration to act against banks and regulators across the globe. It supports most interbank messages, connecting over 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories.

    In May, the Russian Central Bank’s governor, Elvira Nabiullina, said that the country had created a national system for money transfers that could protect its banking from a potential cut off from SWIFT transfer services. The step was triggered by the seemingly endless anti-Russia penalties introduced by Washington since 2014 for various reasons, including the reunification with Crimea, alleged involvement in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, alleged US election meddling, and the alleged poisoning of former double-agent Sergei Skripal in the UK.

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August 27, 2018 Posted by | Economics, EndTimes, GeoPolitics | , , , | Leave a comment

Berlin: EU Has to Form ‘Independent SWIFT’ to Protect Firms From Iran Sanctions

  • Berlin: EU Has to Form ‘Independent SWIFT’ to Protect Firms From Iran Sanctions
    by https://sputniknews.com/
    Earlier this month, the EU activated its Blocking Statute to protect the bloc’s companies doing business with Iran from the impact of newly introduced US sanctions.

    In a statement published by the Handelsblatt business daily, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated that the EU requires the adoption of payment systems independent from the US in order to preserve the nuclear deal between Iran and the other signatories to the agreement since President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement.

    “It was right to legally protect European companies from sanctions. That is why it is essential that we boost European autonomy by setting up payment channels independent from the United States, by making a European Monetary Fund and building an independent SWIFT system,” Maas wrote.

    The German foreign minister stressed that Europe considered the withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran a mistake, but was ready to work with the United States.

    read more.

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August 24, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , | Comments Off on Berlin: EU Has to Form ‘Independent SWIFT’ to Protect Firms From Iran Sanctions

Iran Crisis: Germany Urges EU Split from US to Create Nuclear Deal-Saving Payment System

  • Iran Crisis: Germany Urges EU Split from US to Create Nuclear Deal-Saving Payment System
    by JOE BARNES, BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT, https://www.express.co.uk/
    GERMAN foreign minister Heiko Maas believes Europe needs to establish a payment system independent of the United States in order to save the Continent’s firms from Donald Trump’s repercussions when doing business in Iran.

    Mr Maas claimed European independence from the US would allow firms to make new investments in Iran after the US President reimposed sanctions on the Middle Eastern state, which discouraged allied states to halt business with Tehran.

    Washington pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which saw the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany lift sanctions on Tehran in return for restrictions on their nuclear activities.

    Mr Maas said: “It is indispensable that we strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States, a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system.”

    “Every day the deal is alive is better than the highly explosive crisis that would otherwise threaten the Middle East,” he wrote in German newspaper Handelsblatt.

    read more.

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August 23, 2018 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , | Comments Off on Iran Crisis: Germany Urges EU Split from US to Create Nuclear Deal-Saving Payment System

Swift Turn: German FM Says Europe Needs Bank Transactions System Independent from US

  • Implied is the end of US hegemony over Europe (and the world). The Anglo-American controlled SWIFT (Society of Worldwide Inter-Bank Telecommunication/Transfer) allows America to enforce their financial sanctions on the world. Nations which are not obedient to USA will be kicked out of the SWIFT network and thus be unable to do bank funds transfer internationally. Ie. it destroys their ability to do international trade.
  • Swift Turn: German FM Says Europe Needs Bank Transactions System Independent from US
    by https://www.rt.com/
    The European Union should set up a system that would allow Brussels to be independent in its financial operations from Washington, according to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

    “It is indispensable that we strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States, a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system,”
     Maas wrote in the Handelsblatt business daily.


    SWIFT is a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions based in Belgium. The system’s management claims SWIFT remains politically neutral and independent.

    There have been reports that despite such claims, the United States has enough power to block transactions through SWIFT. In 2012, the Danish newspaper Berlingske wrote that US authorities managed to seize money being transferred from a Danish businessman to a German bank for a batch of US-sanctioned Cuban cigars. The transaction was made in US dollars, which allowed Washington to block it.

    The German Foreign Minister’s words come as the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, and re-imposed sanctions against Tehran. The EU remains committed to the deal despite Washington’s political pressure. “Every day the deal is alive is better than the highly explosive crisis that would otherwise threaten the Middle East,” Mass wrote.

    The EU has enforced the so-called Blocking Statute to protect its firms operating in Iran from US sanctions against the country. However, European companies like Total, Maersk and others quit Iran for fear of US sanctions. These firms are dependent on the US-dominated international banking system and international financial markets.

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August 23, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Comments Off on Swift Turn: German FM Says Europe Needs Bank Transactions System Independent from US