Western European News Digest
Second Greek Bailout Already Collapsing
Aug. 19 (EIRNS)The second Greek bailout is well on its way to collapsing before it has even been ratified. Between the collapsing of the Greek economy and resistance by various Euroland countries to contribute, the whole idea is doomed.
Meanwhile, the Greek economy is collapsing so quickly, that it will be impossible for it to sustain its obligations under the memorandum of the Troikathe European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced that the economy will contract by at least another 4.5%, making it impossible for Greece to reach the target of cutting its deficit to 7.6% of GDP. The Greeks believe that since the Troika was responsible for the latest plan being implemented by the government, and is responsible for the failed forecast, it is not going to ask for new interventions in order for the deficit to go down.
Venizelos also admitted that the bailout will not be finalized until mid-October at the earliest.
Hankel: The Euro Will Lead to Social Explosions
Aug. 20 (EIRNS)In an article published in the weekly Junge Freiheit, Prof. Wilhelm Hankel warns that euro bailout policies will lead to London-like social explosions in Germany, too.
"With the transfer union (in which Europe definitely enters with the eurobonds), not only will the favored child of all German politiciansthe eurobe killed, but also, Europe opens the door to social unrest and youth revolts as in London, Athens, or Madrid. Which is more to be feared in this kind of Euro-bailout: the threatened loss of creditworthiness a la U.S.A., or the transfer of social conflict to the still calm capitals of the Eurozone, such as Berlin? Both! Europe must decide whether it will plunge into the dual danger of unstable money and unstable [social] assets with incompetent politiciansor whether it will seek politicians who will prevent both; who avoid those dangers through stable money."
Guarino Blasts the 'Ventennio' EU Policies
Aug. 17 (EIRNS)Prof. Giuseppe Guarino was prominently interviewed on his new anti-EU essay by Massimo Mucchetti in Corriere della Sera on Aug. 15. Guarino's main point, that the current EU policy is the origin of the crisis, is clear. He cunningly refers to the 20-year period since the introduction of the Maastricht criteria in a way that evokes the "Ventennio," the word used in Italy to refer to Mussolini's 20-year dictatorship.
On the current austerity program, "I read with great pain about unrealistic programs. We are aiming at eliminating the deficit as indicated by the 1997 regulations, violating the Treaties which allow us a 3% deficit, ignoring recession dangers."
Ungovernability and Destabilization in Germany
Aug. 16 (EIRNS)Aware that the main resistance in the German parliament against the super-bailout comes from inside the governing coalition of Merkel herself, from Christian Democrats and Free Democrats, the Empire is looking for regime-change in Germany: Indeed, if Merkel fails to pass the bailout law with a majority of her own when the vote takes place at the end of September, depending on votes from the opposition Social Democrats and Greens, her days are numbered. The SPD and Greens have already signalled that they will vote for the bailout, but also said that if Merkel does not have a majority of her own, she cannot remain Chancellor.
Cameron Sought Martial Law as Precedent for U.S.
Aug. 15 (EIRNS)British Prime Minister David Cameron tried to deploy the British Army onto the streets of London in response to rioters, but was blocked by other government officials. This report, from the Independent newspaper Aug. 13, was corroborated by U.S. government officials, who said that Cameron sided with hardline Tory factions, that wanted to brand the looters as terrorists and fully militarize the U.K., in a dress rehearsal for the coup d'état that the City desperado faction has in mind for the United States.
The Independent reported that a recent meeting of the highest-level national security inner cabinet, the COBRA Committee, erupted into a political brawl between the hardline group, represented by Cameron, and others who argued that the police should be beefed up to handle the week of youth rioting. Ultimately 10,000 additional English police were dispatched in London to quell the looting and violence.
Europeans Call for Glass-Steagall
Aug. 15 (EIRNS)In an op-ed in the Gothenburg newspaper Goteborgsposten Aug. 10, two Swedish MPs, Ulla Andersson and Jonas Sjoestedt of the Left party, come out clearly for bank separation. Under the headline "Stop Subsidizing Speculation by the Banks," they write, "Banks should be forced to separate the banking activities from other financial activities. And the public should only guarantee the pure banking activity." The article includes a list of regulatory measures including 1) stopping the "too big to fail policy," allowing all banks to fail, 2) stopping proprietary trading, 3) a Tobin tax, 4) fully banning certain types of speculation such as naked short selling, and 5) a bank-funded rescue fund for the banks.
In Germany, economist Rudolf Hickel, wrote in the Aug. 13-14 weekend edition of Frankfurter Rundschau: "One lesson is to be drawn from the memory of the market crash which after 1929 led to the world economic crisis: Only intense regulation of the financial markets helps against dangerous speculation. The market watchdog and the separation of commercial from investment banks were created."
EU Free Trade Creating Drug Shortages in France
Aug. 15 (EIRNS)For several months now, there are regular shortages of between 160 and 370 types of prescription medications, out of the 5,300 types sold in French pharmacies. Medications have become increasingly unavailable. Since March, pharmacies declared 1,200 medications unavailable in 300 different specialties.
This folly resulted from the so-called "short-liners" in distribution, whose profit margin comes essentially from buying medications cheap in one country and then legally selling them at a high markup in the Eurozone countries.
Helene Pollard of the medical watchdog association TRT-5 charged that "they are taking advantage of free trade inside the Eurozone to sell parts of their inventory, since these medications go for a higher price in other countries."