Western European News Digest
London Drives New Cold War Between Russia and Europe
May 15 (EIRNS)On the eve of the May 17-18 European Union summit in Samara, Russia, the governments of Poland and the three Baltic Republics (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia), manipulated by London, have piled up one obstacle after another, to trigger Russian retaliation and paralyze the summit, if they cannot prevent it.
Nominally, the main attempt at sabotage is to delay talks about a new long-term EU-Russia treaty on cooperation, especially on Russian gas and oil deliveries to Europe; but at the core, the focus is to disrupt a continental cooperation design that would make Europe and Russia equal partners in the development of the Eurasian Land-Bridge. So far, long-term economic and industrial cooperation agreements exist only on a bilateral level, between Russia and Germany, Italy, France and Austria; and between Russia and some of the eastern EU member states such as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.
The frictions which these provocations have caused inside the EU broke into the open at two preparatory meetings for the summit in Brussels, May 11 and May 14, with clashes between German diplomats and those of the Baltic states and Poland, the latter threatening to veto any decision of the summit, if they could not call it off altogether. The Germans called on the other faction to "return to a policy of reason," instead of piling on ever-new demands, but to no avail. The Polish government chose a provocative move instead, announcing in Warsaw May 14 that official talks with the Bush Administration about stationing missile defense systems close to the Polish-Russian border would begin on May 21. Russia has warned repeatedly that the strategic character of these systems undermines all signed arms control agreements with the U.S., and calls for a Russian response.
French Trade Union Will Resist Sarkozy Labor Destruction
May 13 (EIRNS)Independent.com reported yesterday that Bernard Thibault, the head of the France's largest trade union confederation, the CGT, has warned President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy that any attempt to ram through his radical reform program will lead to a battle and strikes against those proposals. Sarkozy's proposals include ending the arrangement by which some public workers are allowed to retire at 55; compulsory strike ballots; a legal obligation for striking transport workers to provide minimum service; and changing the 35-hour work week. The article notes that the strength of the unions in public services, especially transport, "means strikes are high profile and highly effective in bringing the country to a halt." The current issue of the London Economist, in its article on Sarkozy's election, predicts turbulence for France in the coming six months: "Governments have repeatedly tried to trim privileges and benefits in order to rescue the welfare system from collapse, only to be defeated on the street...."
Las Vegas Mogul Sponsoring Bush Speech at Prague Conference
May 11The White House announced April 24 that President Bush would speak at a conference in Prague June 5, sponsored by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, funder of the extreme right in Israel, as the first event in a European tour. Bush will attend other events in Poland, Albania, and Bulgaria. He will also be at the G-8 meeting in Germany, and will visit Italy and the Vatican.
Bush's foray into Eastern Europe and his speech at the highly political Prague conference, come at a time of deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations and could be seen as a provocation in the direction of a new Cold War.
The Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem is the prime sponsor for the Prague conference, which is entitled "Democracy and Security: Core Values and Sound Policies." Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, now a radical-right Israeli political leader and chairman of Adelson's Institute, will speak alongside Bush.
George Shultz Networks Behind New Danish Neo-Con Party
May 14 (EIRNS)Hard on the heels of the explosive coverage and wide support for the Schiller Institute proposal for a maglev rail project in Denmark, comes the founding of a new political party. Called the New Alliance Party of Denmark, it was founded on May 7 by Naser Khader, an MP from the Social Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre) and two Danish members of the European Parliament from the Social Liberal and Conservative parties. In the first week of its existence, the party has been getting non-stop media promotion, and already has more than 10,000 dues-paying members (more than some of the parties in the parliament).
Khader's popularity came from the leading role he played in the Jyllands-Posten anti-Islam cartoon provocations last year, as a Muslim "standing up" to the Imams. Business leaders active in supporting in the Jyllands-Posten have also come out supporting the party, especially those in the circles around CEPOS (Center for Political Studies), the George Shultz-linked Danish version of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. The media are also full of opinion polls showing that if there were an election now, the new party would get more than 10% of the popular vote, and speculating on how that could change the Danish political landscape.
Naser Khader was one of the stars in the movie "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," that was initially slated to be shown on the PBS series "America at a Crossroads" propaganda documentaries, produced by Martyn Burke, and co-executive producers Frank Gaffney and Alex Alexiev. (The producers refused to edit the $675,000 film, and it was eventually rejected by PBS because of its anti-Muslim bias.)
Just before founding the party, Khader was in the U.S. for meetings with neo-con circles.
Fabian Giddens Prescribes Green Fascism for Gordon Brown
May 15Anthony Giddens, a de facto chief of the Fabian Society, former director of the Fabians' London School of Economics and expositor of the Fabians' Third Way doctrine, has written a new book to instruct incoming British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Giddens is known as the policy guru for Tony Blair, who made him Baron Giddens in 2004. He essentially runs the trans-Atlantic linkage between the Blair/Brown New Labour Party and the Gore/Lieberman Democratic Leadership Council.
Giddens calls for a new "Contract with the Future," much like Newt Gingrich's long-defunct "Contract with America," while emphasizing Malthusian lifestyles to "solve" Global Warming and finish off welfare recipients.
In a May 10 article for Global Perspectives, journal of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Giddens discussed themes in his book, Over to You, Mr. Brown: How Labour Can Win. He warns that both Brown and his Tory opponents would have trouble with ungovernability in this era, and that Brown's tenure as Prime Minister may be short.
The book was published in March 2007 by Giddens' own company, Polity Press, which puts out works by such existentialist authors as Theodore Adorno and Jacques Derrida.
Sarkozy To Push Kosovo Independence
May 11 (EIRNS)The election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the Presidency of France has been received with apprehension in Serbia. Radio B92, a leading Belgrade station, aired an interview given by French political scientist Jacques Rupnik, of the Centre d'Études et de Recherches Internationales (CERI) in Paris, to Czech Radio on May 8, in which Rupnik claims that Sarkozy's policy on Kosovo and other foreign policy issues, will be more cooperative with Washington. Policy towards Russia, according to Rupnik, is supposed to be cooler than previously, comparing this expected policy turn to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's breaking with Gerhard Schroeder's close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin.
Instability Continues To Rock Turkey
May 13 (EIRNS)Despite the success of the May 11 Parliamentary vote changing the constitution to allow for direct popular election of the President, instability continues to rock Turkey. At least 1 million Turks demonstrated in Izmir, Turkey's third-largest city today, to demand that the country remain a secular state. The demonstration took place despite a bombing in this port city that killed one and injured 14 the previous day. The demonstration was the fourth major protest against the government, which is controlled by the AK Party. The election of AK Party Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as President of Turkey had been blocked, and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been forced to call parliamentary elections for July 22, months ahead of schedule. The AK Party is expected to win the parliamentary elections. The country will thus continue to be divided and will be increasingly ungovernable.
Bremen Election: More Evidence of Ungovernability
May 14 (EIRNS)A message of discontent was delivered to the German government on May 13, as voters in the northwestern city-state of Bremen turned out in low numbers (only 58%, very low for Germany), while many of those who did turn out, voted against the ruling Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. The Bremen CDU-SPD grand coalition dropped from a combined 72%, to 62.4% on Sunday. The vote losses went to the benefit of the Greens, which increased from 12.8 to 16.5%, and of the Left Party (Linkspartei), which improved from 1.6 to 8.4%.
The fundamental flaw of the Bremen politicians was to keep the campaign debate on the level of "local issues," not addressing the really pressing economic crisis which concerns voters. This approach is scaring voters away, and it increases ungovernability and instability in Germany.