Western European News Digest
BüSo Slate Quadruples Vote in Hesse Election
WIESBADEN, Jan. 18 (EIRNS)As expected, the Hesse state election on Jan. 18 was a smashing defeat for the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), whose efforts to create a "red-red-green" coalition with the Greenies and the post-communist Die Linke (which would have actually been a green-green-green coalition) had failed, causing a snap election one year after last year's election. In today's voting, the SPD lost nearly 40% (391,000) of their votes, and one-third of their seats in the state parliament (23.7%, down from 36.8%). The SPD lost 18 of the 27 districts they had previously represented, while the Christian Democrats (CDU) gained 18, rising from 28 to 46 districts.
The big winners were the two neoliberal parties, the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens, winning 162,000 and 149,000 votes, and nearly doubling their shares, to 16.2% and 13.7%, respectively.
The slate of Lyndon LaRouche's co-thinkers in Germany, the BüSo (Civil Rights Solidarity Movement), nearly quadrupled its vote to 4,130 votes (0.2%) statewide, up from 1,118 (0.04%) votes a year ago.
Soros Tries To Reverse 2002 Conviction!
Jan. 23 (EIRNS) George Soros, the world's most prominent dope-pusher, and speculator against nation-states, is trying to buy influence with the European Court of Human Rights, based in the European Union in Strasbourg, France, so it will overturn his 2002 felony conviction on "insider trading" chargeswhich arose from Soros's speculation on the takeover of Société Générale, the largest private bank in France in the 1980s.
Soros is reported to be enraged by his felony conviction, and is sparing no expense to have the European Human Rights Court rule in his favor. He has already appealed unsuccessfully in France. The Paris Court of Appeals upheld his conviction on March 24, 2006. The Cour de Cassation, France's highest court, found him guilty again on June 14, 2006.
In a speech in Brussels on Nov. 20, 2006, Soros denounced America for lawless warmongering, and praised Europe as a "model and motive force for a global open society." He offered to finance a golden age for Europe through his foundations, promising, "I am ready to support an Open Society Initiative for Europe."
But whether Soros's money can erase his conviction remains to be seen.
Huge EU Deficits Bury Maastricht Parameters
Jan 20 (EIRNS)The European Union published projections of deficit figures for 2009, which, though probably understated, show overall a dramatic worsening. Only Germany is expected to keep the budget deficit under Maastricht's cap of 3% of GDP. However, Germany will have a 4.2% deficit in 2010.
At the top of the list is Ireland, with 11% (2009) and 13% (2010); then comes the U.K. (8.8% and 9.6%); Spain (6.2% and 5.6%); France (5.4% and 5.0%); and Italy (3.8% and 3.7%). The current account deficits look similar: 7.1% for Spain, 5.4% in France, 5.7% in the U.K., and 1.2% Italy.
Orders for Machinery in Germany Drop by 30%
Jan. 20 (EIRNS)It must be strongly doubted that the EU Commission's statistical methods reflect the real situation in Europe. For example, the EU's alarming forecast of a 2.5% drop in Europe-wide growth in 2009 does not correspond to industry forecasts in Germany of a 15% cut in production, because of the collapse of orders. The Opel auto plant in Bochum will have up to 100 days of short work in 2009, which gets close to a 25-30% cut in production there.
German machine-builders in the textile, construction, and printing sectors report a drop of 50% and more in orders in November 2008, which means they will be forced to cut production by the same amount very soon. All in all, Germany's machine-builders report a net drop of orders by 30% in November.
French Regions Running Out of Funds for Water Transport
PARIS, Jan. 20 (EIRNS)The five Socialist presidents of the General Councils of the departments of Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Oise, Val d'Oise, and Somme, issued a joint statement on Jan. 13, saying that they are no longer able to contribute funds to digging the Seine-Schelde canal project. The EU considers the 106-km canal project, planned to be completed by 2015, a top priority, as it links the Oise and Seine Rivers with Douai and Cambrai Rivers in the north of France, connecting Paris with the dense inland water transportation grid to the north.
Whereas the majority of the total cost of Eur3.2 billion is financed by the EU, the French departments had already committed Eur200 million as their share. But recently, when they were called upon to double their contribution, they made the joint statement that their "limited financial capacity" doesn't allow it. Communities and regional administrations face a shrinking tax base, because of the general economic breakdown, and the "rescue packages" based on "fiscal stimulus" measures favor the private sector but dry up local governments' income.
ETA Claims Credit for Execution; Threatens More
Jan. 21 (EIRNS)The British-created Spanish narcoterrorist ETA (the Basque separatist group) claimed credit today for the "execution," as they called it, in December, of a 71-year-old Spanish businessman involved in the building of a high-speed railway. "We want to send a clear warning to engineers, technicians, managers, and leaders of companies which take part in the works or have anything to do with them that they should suspend their work," or they, too, will be "a target," an ETA statement threatened. The rail line is to link three cities in the Basque provinces of Spain, and with Madrid and France, by 2013.