Western European News Digest
Soros Desperate To Reverse Felony Conviction
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)George Soros is enraged over his 2002 felony conviction in France for insider trading, and his subsequent loss of every allowable appeal there. Soros has called his conviction "a gift to my enemies in the United States."
Soros intends to re-establish his "good reputation" by winning his last allowable appeal to the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. To that end, he has massively funded various institutions surrounding the European Union, such as the establishment of a European Council for Foreign Relations. His lawyer, Ron Soffer, said that Soros's appeal would be based on Articles 6 and 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Under Article 6, Soros will argue that the 13-year period between the crime and the trial, prevented Soros from receiving a fair trial. Article 7 says laws must be clear enough for citizens to understand, and Soros's attorney argued that "insider trading" is vague.
Soros's indictment arose from a vast scam targeting one of a France's oldest, nationalized banks, Société Générale, for privatization. Eleven high-level financial operatives were indicted in the scam; some, like Robert Maxwell and Edmund Safra, were killed in bizarre accidents, while the case dragged on. Soros was the only one found guilty. The date of the appeal argument in Strasbourg is not yet known.
British Police Prepare for 'Summer of Rage'
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)British police are preparing for a "Summer of rage," as the economic crisis brings middle-class demonstrators into the streets to protest against financial institutions. This has already been seen in events in Greece, where riots lasted for weeks, and mass protests in Ireland and Iceland.
Superintendent David Hartshorn, the head of the Metropolitan Police's public order branch, told the London Guardian, that they believe that middle-class people will "vent their anger" by joining demonstrations that could turn violent. He said "viable targets" will be financial institutions and multinational corporations, and that "known activists" are returning to the streets to foment unrest. "Those people would be good at motivating people but they haven't had the foot soldiers to actually carry out protests.... Obviously, with the downturn in the economy, unemployment, repossessions, changes that. Suddenly there is the opportunity for people to mass protest. It means that we would possibly look at certain events and say, yes, there'll be a lot of people there, there'll be a lot of banner waving, but in general it will be peaceful, now we have to make sure these elements don't come out and hijack that event and turn that into disorder."
A major target for demos will be the G20 meeting in London in April, which U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend.
The Guardian writes that observers fear that the police will overreact, making the potential for violence even greater.
French Right Wing vs. Pecora Commission Proposal
PARIS, Feb. 28 (EIRNS)In a desperate effort to discredit the growing credibility of French Solidarity and Progress party chairman Jacques Cheminade and Lyndon LaRouche in France, the oligarchy has revived the walking dead, in the person of right-wing demagogue Jean-Marie Le Pen. In a letter to the presidents of both houses of Parliament, Le Pen called for the "immediate opening of a parliamentary commission dedicated to the 2009 crisis to examine the responsibilities of the banking, economic, financial, and political officials." These words are nearly identical to Cheminade's "Appeal for the Creation without Delay of a Parliamentary Inquiry on the Responsibilities of the Financial Crisis," issued on Jan. 19 and covered by the media in such a way as to try to discredit the very idea.
Not unaware of the opportunities for right-wing demagogy in the current situation, Le Pen, in a press conference presenting his "emergency anti-crisis program," called for a "coordinated" abandoning of the European currency and the "reintegration of national currencies" to avoid an economic downfall in France and the rest of Europe. "On our side of the continent, it is said by the experts, that the euro protects us. And let me tell you that the euro is in agony."
Le Pen said French President Nicolas Sarkozy should not listen to the "siren song of Washington, Wall Street and the City [of London], which sing the song of world governance," and which in the name of a "new capitalism" will "impose anti-democratic political institutions." As an alternative, "a free monetary order" is required, he said. Of course, he didn't mention FDR, LaRouche, or an inkling of economic alternative.
Saudi Drug Pushers Invade Europe
Feb. 25 (EIRNS)According to Spiegel-online, Sarajevo's King Fahd Mosque, built with millions of Saudi dollars as the largest house of worship for Muslims in the Balkans, has now become a magnet for Muslim fundamentalists in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Imam is said to be the patron of the Wahabites, an ultra-conservative movement in Sunni Islam, originated in, and promoted by, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A vast number of terrorists operating within Pakistan, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and some Maghreb nations, are followers of Wahhabism.
Although only a small percentage of Bosnian Muslims identify themselves as Wahabites, this group is growing, and has begun to flex its muscles to set up a strong base in the center of Europe.
In 2007, the presence of radical Muslims in Sandzak, the poorest region of Serbia, was reported. They were linked to the advent of mujahideen foreign fighters who joined Bosnian Muslims in their battle against the Serbs in Bosnia's 1992-95 independence war. A March 16, 2007 police raid on what authorities said was a mountain terrorist camp just south of Novi Pazar, found a large cache of weapons, ammunition, hand grenades, plastic explosives, and face masks. Authorities captured four of the suspected Wahabi Muslims in the raid, and two others four days later.
Day of Protest Action of GM Workers in Europe
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)Workers at GM plants in Europe and Russia took to the streets today, protesting the threat of plant shutdown in connection with a Chapter 11 default of GM, which lost almost $31 billion in 2008. The biggest protest took place in Rüsselsheim, the main plant of GM-Opel in Germany, with about 10,000 workers taking part.
The BüSo party, led by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, distributed a leaflet in Rüsselsheim, reminding the workers of the fact that Lyndon LaRouche had called for a reconversion program for the automobile sector four years ago, and that, had people listened to him instead of fascist banker Felix Rohatyn, the leading car-makers would already be involved in the manufacture of modern public transportation systems like the maglev.
In Kaiserslautern and Eisenach, two other GM-Opel sites in Germany, protest rallies were held today, as well as at GM sites in Spain, France, Belgium, Britain, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Russia.
U.S. Report Cites BAE Coverup as U.K. Corruption
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)Not only did President Barack Obama kick the bust of Winston Churchill out of the Oval Office, but his State Department has now officially accused Great Britain of corruption in suppressing the investigation of the multibillion-dollar scandal involving the BAE Systems company, Saudi Arabia, and the "al-Yamamah" slush fund. In 2007, Lyndon LaRouche dubbed the BAE arms-and-terrorism coverup the "scandal of the century."
For the first time, the United Kingdom section of the State Department's "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" for 2008, issued on Feb. 25, cites the BAE case under the category "Government Corruption and Transparency."
The U.S. side of the BAE slush-fund scandal, involving Saudi Prince Bandar, is reportedly still under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
BAE Bagman Arrested in Austria
Feb. 28 (EIRNS)Austrian Police have detained Count Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, the aristocratic bagman in the BAE Systems bribery investigation. He was briefly held in Britain last year in connection with the same investigation which is probing whether BAE Systems PLC offered bribes to secure arms deals in various Eastern European countries. Legal authorities have 48 hours to decide whether to keep him in investigative custody or let him go.