Western European News Digest
Synarchist Influences on Top French Candidates
The Synarchist influences over the top three Presidential candidates in France have become more visible in recent days. Neo-con Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's pedigree is quite clear, but sources have confirmed to EIR the strong role played by the "Club Temoin" behind the candidacy of Segolene Royal (Socialist Party). These clubs were founded by former EU Commission President Jacques Delors, the man who inspired and created the European Monetary Union, the euro, and the Maastricht Treaty. These Roman Catholic committees are inspired by the apparently more "moderate" forms of Petainism of the period leading to World War II (Marshal Petain headed the collaborationist Vichy government in southern France under the Nazis). Among those mooted to become Royal's Economics and Finance Minister, is Jean Pierre Jouyet, a high-level officer at the Treasury Department who was trained by former IMF managing director Michel Camdessus.
Sources confirmed as well that Jacques Attali, who saved Lazard from nationalization during the Mitterrand era, is now working for both the Sarkozy and the Royal camps, playing go-between for Sarkozy and the show biz celebrities, and organizing "dinners" for Segolene with top business figures.
Finally, as the Presidential election gets closer, a "third man" has put his foot in the door and is trying hard to push it open: Francois Bayrou, president of the UDF and collaborator of the followers of Monnet in France. While he profiles himself strongly as an opposition figure to the system, recently he surprised many with statements supporting the European Central Bank in its present mandate of only fighting inflation.
Kornblum Europe Script: Weak Bush Leans on 'Strong' Merkel
In an article reviewing Chancellor Angela Merkel's trip to the U.S. in early January, the Paris-based International Herald Tribune wrote Jan. 12, that, "to some extent, analysts say, Mrs. Merkel's strength is a corollary of Mr. Bush's weakness." The IHT quotes former U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Kornblum, as saying that "there is a precedent for a German leader to act boldly during a time of trouble in the United States. Thirty-five years ago, Willy Brandt reacted to Watergate and Vietnam by taking the initiative with his Ostpolitik. Thirty-five years later, Merkel is doing the same thing with her own form of Westpolitik."
The article portrayed Merkel as the "go-to person in Europe" for Bush, as the careers of Chirac and Blair are coming to an end soon. One may add to this image Merkel's remark, in a Jan. 10 interview with the London Times: "I like the British." So where does the German Chancellor stand these days?
Omar Abduction Trial Begins in Milan
On Jan. 9, the first preliminary hearing of the trial in the kidnapping of Egyptian citizen Abu Omar took place in Milan. The defendants are 26 CIA officials, plus Italian military intelligence leaders and policemen. In line with reports that had already appeared in the Italian media, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Milan CIA station chief, Robert Seldon Lady, was against the abduction, but he could not go against the Rome station chief, who was in favor and was backed at the highest levels at Langley. The split reflected a divide throughout the CIA, which is now increasing around the development of the Abu Omar case. Lady has been offered immunity by Italian prosecutors if he takes the stand. However, on Jan. 8, Lady's lawyer Daria Pesce pulled out of the case, explaining, "This is a political case and I am not a political mediator." She added that her client "does not recognize Italian justice." Prosecutor Armando Spataro answered, "We used to hear this answer from the Red Brigades."
European Press Notes Shift in U.S. Congress
Bush officials are going to face "the cruelest and most impartial circus of American democracy," the Italian daily Corriere della Sera wrote Jan. 8, describing vividly what awaits the Administration in the new Congress. "America will soon get used to the famous 'Congressional hearing room,' where a solitary witness is brought to the red velvet-covered table, under a blinding beam of light, to be interrogated by a ruthless inquisitor sitting in front of him. No member of the Bush Administration will be immune to the cruelest and most impartial circus of American democracy."
Germany's Der Spiegel online reported Jan. 12 that impeachment is coming back on the agenda. The website, one of the most-read in Germany, gave a detailed account of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, featuring quotes from Senators Joseph Biden, Barbara Boxer, and George Voinovich as they grilled Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Spiegel coverage was introduced with the observation that Bush looks like Nixon at the end of his days in office, and noted that "the word, 'impeachment,' made the rounds, again, yesterday."
Polish Archbishop Resigns; Ties to Secret Police Revealed
A major scandal has been stirred up Poland over the role that some Catholic officials played under the Communist regime, Vatican wires and other media reportd Jan. 8. Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus, who had recently been nominated to succeed Warsaw Archbishop Cardinal Jozef Glemp, resigned after he publicly admitted that he had lied about his involvement as informant for the Polish Communist secret police. During the ceremonial mass planned to welcome the Archbishop, held at Warsaw's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, on Jan. 7, the Archbishop shocked everyone there, including President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, by reading out a statement that ended, "I have tendered my resignation from the post of archbishop and metropolitan of Warsaw."
There had been weeks of rumors in the press, and the revelation by Poland's Historical Commission issued on Jan. 5, stating that as a priest, Wielgus had had connections to the Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Pope Benedict accepted the resignation as an "appropriate solution to address the situation of disorientation that has been created in the country."
June G-8 Summit Poses Security Challenge for Germany
Taking over as rotating one-year chairman of the German Interior Ministers' conference, Ehrhardt Koerting from the Berlin Senate, said that the summit is already now fraught with much more security threats, than the world soccer championship of last summer, wires reported Jan. 10. He said that about 1,000 extremists were out to cause disruption, and leading politicians and businessmen have been personally targetted and threatened, with acts of violence. Germany will deploy at least 10,000 policemen to protect the summit, he announced.