Western European News Digest
City Councilman in Italy Calls for Glass-Steagall
Feb. 25 (EIRNS)Nicola Oliva, a City Councilman in the Tuscan city of Prato, has introduced a resolution in the Council entitled "Credit for Africa," which calls on the city to pressure the Italian government and the European Union to "limit speculation on financial markets and make credit available to finance development," in particular establishing "a credit system based on the principles of the 'Glass-Steagall' standard." It also calls for a "Marshall Plan for the integrated development of energy, water and transport infrastructure."
Economists: Greece Were Better Off Without Euro
Feb. 22 (EIRNS)The European Economic Advisory Group, a private international group of economists, warns that Greece will not be able to continue its present policy course, as previously arranged with the EU. In a memorandum, the group writes that by 2014, Greece's ratio of debt to GDP will be at 160%, and the country will not be able to recover at all under such conditions. Therefore, either Greece goes for the most brutal austerity policies to pay off the debt, or it returns to the previous national currency, the drachma, and restructures its debt with a 30% write-off, bringing the debt/GDP ratio down to 100%. That, the group argues, would enable Greece to get back on its feet.
Movisol Brings Glass-Steagall to Radio Padania
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)"LaRouche's Glass-Steagall is the only solution to the Libyan crisis," was the message given by Liliana Gorini, chairwoman of the Italian Solidarity Movement, Movisol, LaRouche's movement in Italy, in an interview with Radio Padania on Feb. 22, on the Libyan crisis. Host Roberto Ortelli reminded listeners that Movisol and LaRouche were always on the point in all their forecasts, and therefore asked, "What is going on in Northern Africa and Libya? Is it true that derivatives speculation has something to do with the ongoing crisis?"
Gorini emphasized that the European Union is responding to the crisis in the most criminal way: blocking any initiative to stop speculation, preventing a Glass-Steagall approach, bailing out speculators, and also refusing to help Italy in the refugee crisis. She quoted the Angelides Report, which fully confirms LaRouche's analysis of the last 10 years and longer.
Papandreou Guarantees Debt Payments as 100,000 Protest in Athens
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)Yesterday's general strike in Athens, organized by the trade unions, drew 100,000, the largest of the eight demonstrations held in the past year. The demonstration and march were peaceful, but, as has been the case in the past, provocations were carried out by anarchists and the Black Bloc, lending a "Bastille"-like air, at least as played by available media reports.
As demonstrators marched, carrying placards saying of the ruling party, "PASOK Is Here To Rob the People" and "Yiorgaki [Georgie] Wear Your Athletic Gear, We Are Coming To Hunt You Down," Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was in Finland, where he told Finnish Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi, "I can guarantee you that we will pay [our debt] back with interest, and Finnish taxpayers have nothing to worry about."
German Blackout of Wisconsin Mass Strike Broken
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)The mass strike in Madison, Wisc. made its way into the mainstream press in Germany through a special channel: The Freiburg-based Badische Zeitung today writes prominently about the "protests in Freiburg's sister-city, Madison, against the governor," and that "for several days now, up to 100,000 people have been gathering in the capital of the U.S. state Wisconsin and in other cities, to protest against Republican Gov. Scott Walker...."
Cameron To Take Down 'Big Government'
Feb. 21 (EIRNS)British Prime Minister David Cameron took to the pages of the Daily Telegraph today to announce that his government will shortly release a White Paper on a radical plan to privatize all public services, except national security and the judiciary. As he put it, the British government considers it "a vital part of our mission to dismantle Big Government and build the Big Society in its place.... The grip of state control will be released and power will be placed in people's hands."
Hamburg Election Shrinks Merkel Government
Feb. 21 (EIRNS)The early election in the German city-state of Hamburg on Feb. 20 brought a smashing defeat for the Christian Democrats, and a spectacular victory for the opposition Social Democrats, who will form the new government in the city. Apparently, the Social Democrats want to rule alone, without the Greens.
The net result for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats is that her government's position in the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament, which is required for the passage of a good part of legislation, is shrinking even further.
British Tell Ireland: Voters Have No Say
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)Fine Gael party head Enda Kenny hopes to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Helsinki March 4, as Ireland's new Prime Minister, and convince them to renegotiate the IMF/EU/ECB usury/bank bailout package.
Here's the British Empire's answer, dated Feb. 27, in the Sunday Telegraph:
"A European diplomat, from a large eurozone country, told the Sunday Telegraph that 'the more the Irish make a big deal about renegotiation in public, the more attitudes will harden.'
"'It is not even take it or leave it. It's done. Ireland's only role in this now is to implement the programme agreed with the EU, IMF and European Central Bank. Irish voters are not a party in this process, whatever they have been told,' said the diplomat."
Gordon Brown Attacks Tony Blair
Feb. 20 (EIRNS)Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an attack on his predecessor, Tony Blair, at a speech given at Lambeth Palace, saying that many lawmakers try to justify their political decisions by insisting that "God has sanctioned or ordained a course of action." Blair had claimed that as prime minister, many of his political decisions, including invading Iraq, were motivated by his Christian faith.