Western European News Digest
Italian Newspaper Covers Schiller Institute Conference
March 1 (EIRNS)The Italian national daily Il Resto del Carlino has published a report on the Schiller Institute's Feb. 21-22 conference in Rüsselsheim, Germany, written by Francesco Caprioli, head of the Ascoli Piceno section of the small businessmen's association Confapi, who attended the event. The article was published first in the local Ascoli Piceno page, and then in a special economic feature in the regional edition, Feb. 28.
Identifying the speakers as "prominent economists from throughout the world," Caprioli identified the problem with "public accounts," and the superiority of physical economics and investment in infrastructure.
US, UK 'Special Relationship' Under Strain
March 7 (EIRNS)The British press was full of pique on March 3, over news that President Obama had cancelled the "traditional" joint press conference to follow his meeting with Gordon Brown, and would instead attend a meeting with the Boy Scouts! When he heard the news, Lyndon LaRouche's response was, "Good for him, why should he visit with someone who's already dead?... Here's this SOB slithering in, and expecting us to kiss ass." Obama should just, "delegate the whole meeting to Rahm Emanuel."
By March 6, the Brits had concluded that it was Michelle Obama who was to blame for the "double insult" to Brown and the Empire, first, in sending back the bust of Winston Churchill, then his snub to Gordon Brown. Daily Telegraph writer James Delingpole writesor, perhaps, threatensin the paper's blog, "Britain's friendship is something Obama will come to regret having dispensed with so lightly." Obama's snub, Delingpole suggests, "was a move calculated to please his Lady Macbeth." Why? "Her broad-brush view of history associates Brits with the wicked white global hegemony responsible for the slave trade." This, he draws by inference, from Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis.
EU Breaking Up as Financial System Crumbles
March 2 (EIRNS)The European Union held two pre-summits, one for the Eastern nations and one for the West, for today's special EU summit in Brussels. Each exposed that the EU is eroding. The Eastern summit, calling for a bailout fund for the collapsing banks in the East, as proposed by Hungary, was rejected outright by the Western EU members, as was a move by Poland to ease the terms for joining the eurozone.
Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip pointed out to the Western countries that it is actually their banks that are collapsing, and therefore their shortsightedness would backfire. Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany warned the EU to avoid a new "Iron Curtain" cutting off a poor East from a rich West. The British demand that Germany bail out everyone is not going down well in Germany.
Meanwhile, the EU Commission is insisting that it have the final say on the planned national support and rescue packages for the auto industryunderlining once again that if the nations want to have sovereignty, they have to disregard, or dump, the EU institutions.
French President, Ministers Receive Threats
Paris, March 4 (EIRNS)French anti-terror police opened a preliminary inquiry into the death threats received by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Justice Minister Rachida Dati, Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, Culture Minister Christine Albanel, and Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppé, the former prime minister.
All received envelopes containing a bullet and a 20-line death threat: "You are all dead men walking. You think you control your lives, but in fact no, it is we who control yours and those of your families and friends." The message to the Presidential Palace was signed by a group calling itself Terre-Solidarité (Earth-Solidarity). The letters also threaten other political parties, ranging from the far right of Jean Le Pen's Front National to the Socialist Party, and makes two mysterious references to "10,000 Combatants" and "Cell 34." The letters were mailed from Montpellier, the capital of Herault department, whose postal code is 34000. Issuing death threats is in France punishable by three years in jail and a fine of EU45,000.
Whereas such letters are quite common, the presence of a bullet adds a worrying dimension. The last major threat known against a French President was in 2002, when Maxime Brunerie, an ultra-right loner, made a botched attempt to shoot former President Jacques Chirac during the annual Bastille Day parade.
'Expert Design' for Auto Shutdown Hits Media
March 4 (EIRNS)The plan for a shutdown of large parts of the automobile industrial sector in Europe, so far only talked about by some insiders, is now making it to the mass media, to be propagated as a policy. On March 2, the management of GM Europe met with the German government in Berlin; Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück and Economics Minister Karl-Theodor Guttenberg rejected the GM Europe plan for partial state intervention, with reference to the free market and to the government's "belief" that the private banks would not be convinced by the plan. The banks do not believe in it, indeedbecause their own design is that as step one, 30% of the auto industry must be scrapped, which, in the case of GM Europe, implies that three, or maybe four production sites would have to be shut down. As step two, the European auto sector would be downsized, so that only two large producers remain, whereas two other producers would operate in Asia, and maybe one in the U.S.A.
Georg Forster, head of GM Europe told the media yesterday that "actually, three sites are superfluous," and that in addition to EU3 billion of fresh capital that he needed by the end of March, GM spending in the range of up to EU1.5 billion would have to be cut, including the loss of 3,500 jobs, maybe through shutting down production facilities.
The only force that is organizing politically and conceptually against these scripts, is the LaRouche movement in Germany, the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo), which distributed several thousand leaflets calling for the auto sector's conversion to maglev production, at the Opel workers protest event in Rüsselsheim last week. The leaflet also attacked banker Felix Rohatyn's sabotage at GM in the U.S.A.