Western European News Digest
Tremonti: "The Crisis of America Always Becomes a Crisis of the World"
Aug. 11 (EIRNS)In an interview with the daily Corriere della Sera, deputy chairman of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and former Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, stated that the current financial crisis is a global one. "For many years," Tremonti said, "I have criticized the excesses of globalization, warned against 'fatal risks' [the title of his most recent book]; I spoke about protectionism and Colbertism. For many years, experts and wisemen held me for a fool. Let us see today who is the wiseman and who the fool.
"The issue is that with globalization, the financial economy has become decoupled from the real economy and multiplied itself dizzyingly. If a fund offers you 100 for a firm worth 10, you must worry precisely because they are offering you 100! National and supranational authorities try to have oversight, but it is a kind of oversight that's no longer sufficient with respect to the dimension and global power of finance."
But is America really on the verge of a 1929? Tremonti responded: "History never repeats itself. Surely, we find in America the beginning and the end of a potentially global crisis. As I already made note of last November, the chain of the crisis depends on an enormous stock of liquidity and by the loss of control over mortgages. The script had already been written." On the question of whether Europe will be affected by the collapse, Tremonti replied, "I will tell you three things, two negative and one positive. A crisis of the financial economy always becomes a crisis of the real economy. The crisis of America always becomes crisis of the world. The positive thing is that government and monetary authorities, if they understand it and if they want to, can still intervene."
Despite these clear words, the editors titled the interview "Tremonti: As in 1929, But Only for the U.S.A."!
Unfortunately, Tremonti does not say what must be done, although he knows very well and substantially agrees with the solutions put forth by Lyndon LaRouche, as Tremonti himself stated at a public event in Rome last June.
Italian Blames End of Bretton Woods System for Crisis
Aug. 16 (EIRNS)Vincenzo Visco, Italian Deputy Finance Minister, has declared that "the current crisis was born out of the Internet bubble," according to Corriere della Sera, and that "the problem is to control the instability of the system; after the Bretton Woods [system ended], we moved to increasingly exposed regimes. There is actually a problem of controlling global finances. Here the alternative is between the safety of financial markets and the enrichment of some managers who run such products, that can end up in the portfolio of common citizens."
Leading Italian politicians are well aware of the international movement to replace the current bankrupt global financial system. The Italian Chamber of Deputies passed a resolution in 2005 calling on the government to convene a New Bretton Woods Conference, and the Italian Senate has entertained similar resolutions over recent years, with direct input from Lyndon LaRouche and his associates.
Sarkozy Cannot 'Accept the Explosion of Speculation'
PARIS, Aug. 16 (EIRNS)French President Nicolas Sarkozy is getting more and more wound up about the financial crisis, especially since he is realizing that this, on top of everything else, will make it impossible for him to deliver on his economic campaign promises. Commenting to journalists from his vacation place in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, about his letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel (presently chairman of the G-8) on the financial crisis, Sarkozy exclaimed, "There must be transparency, there must be regulation.... We cannot continue this way with some hedge funds borrowing at any price, from whomever, without knowing from whom, and who assumes the final risk, and no matter what conditions.... In the end, it's all the employees and the originators who pay the price for it.... Me, I'm for an economy where originators, employees have their full space, but not speculators."
He noted, "I believe profoundly in freedom, but I cannot accept what we have lived with these last years: the explosion of speculation.... States are not without weapons" to face these problems: they can "ask for explanations, impose minimal rules. I said it during the campaign: I am for the moralization of finance capital and moralization goes through regulation, prudential rules and transparency.... Freedom does not mean the law of the jungle."
BAE: Free Access to Britain's Ministry of Defense
Aug. 16 (EIRNS)Today's London Guardian reports that the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has given security passes to 38 employees and officials of the scandal-ridden aerospace firm BAE, allowing them to come and go as they please at the ministry. One of them is known to be BAE's chief lobbyist, Julian Scopes, who formerly was private secretary to the Tory arms-sales minister Alan Clark. BAE has also hired former government officials, such as former Defense Minister Michael Portillo and Thatcher's chief foreign affairs advisor, Charles Powell.
EIR has pointed out in our previous coverage that the British aerospace/financial giant BAE and the British Defense Ministry are virtually indistinguishable.
The disclosure of the building passes was made in a letter from the MOD to Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat MP, who said: "This demonstrates that there is far too close a relationship between the Ministry of Defence and BAE. This incestuous and potentially corrupting relationship must be brought to an end. BAE's lobbying muscle helped to bring an end to a major corruption inquiry, which is totally unacceptable."
UK Police Suspect Arms Dealer Was Murdered
Aug. 15 (EIRNS)British detectives of London's Metropolitan Police are investigating the mysterious death of Ashraf Marwan, as a possible murder, the London Times reported Aug. 12. Marwan had connections at the highest level of the British establishment, and was a key collaborator of the now-deceased mining magnate Tiny Rowland. He was also deeply involved in the arms trade, having had connections with British Aerospace and other companies that are now part of BAE Systems.
Gamal Marwan, Ashraf's son told police that he does not believe his father committed suicide. Marwan was found dead outside his London apartment house after apparently falling from his balcony. The fact that the railing around the balcony is 1.5 meters high, almost five feet, rules out an accident.
According to the Times, Marwan was close to finishing a book about his experiences during the 1960s and '70s, especially the period around the 1973 Mideast War, which debunks the claims from Israel that he had been a Mossad agent. He was expected to travel to the U.S. where he was to finalize the preparation of the book, apparently with a U.S. collaborator who is not named. The manuscript and related audio tapes disappeared from his apartment after his death.