Western European News Digest
U.S. Occupy Wall Street Comes to Europe
Oct. 15 (EIRNS)Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and support rallies took place in scores of cities across Europe today, with an estimated 1,000 people in London, 5,000 in Frankfurt, 6,000 in Berlin; there were also 8,000 in New York City, and at least 5,000 in Washington, D.C. turning out. In New York City, Austin, San Francisco, and Berlin, LPAC and BüSo organizers had a significant presence and impact. So far, despite some arrests in Denver and some other U.S. cities, the only reports of any kind of serious attempted violence came from Rome, where an estimated 200 Black Bloc anarchists broke away from the main demonstrations and trashes stores, set cars on fire, and clashed with police.
LaRouche Movement Intervenes in 'Occupy' Actions
Oct. 15 (EIRNS)The Italian LaRouche movement (Movisol) is intervening today in the "Occupy" demonstration in Bologna, with a "New Lira" leaflet. The largest demonstration is taking place in Rome, while there is no demonstration in Milan. In Rome, more than 100,000 people are expected.
The main organizer of the demonstrations is the "Federazione della Sinistra" (FDS) organization, which is Rifondazione Comunista and the Green Party together. However FDS national coordinator Massimo Rossi told EIR that they imitate the OWS model and they expect a broader group of youth to join, not only FDS, unions and leftist organizations.
Rossi also told EIR that he supports the idea that Glass-Steagall should become the main issue in the movement program internationally.
Schiller Institute Occupy Denmark Speech Gets Media Coverage
Oct. 15 (EIRNS)Schiller Institute Vice President Feride Istogu Gillesberg's speech about Glass-Steagall was highlighted in the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende's Internet coverage of the Occupy Denmark demonstration today. After reporting that the main slogan was "We Are the 99%," the article had the subhead, "Roosevelt Had the Solution": "One of the speakers at the City Hall Square's highest step was Feride Istugu [sic] Gillesberg, vice president of the Danish branch of the Schiller Institute, an international political and economic think tank.
"'We are here today to support the American population, who are demonstrating right now. On my travels in both Boston and New York, I have experienced that what the demonstrators are demanding is a so-called Glass-Steagall solution. That is, the policy that Franklin D. Roosevelt carried out back in the 1930s. Those banks that invest locally should be maintained, but the banks that just speculate must be left on their own,' she said."
Bank Separation Becomes Hot Debate Issue
Oct. 14 (EIRNS)Even though Glass-Steagall as such is hardly mentioned, numerous institutions and individuals have come out for banking separation in Europe, reflecting the broad public attention to the issue, an attention created in many cases by the ongoing LaRouche Movement's campaigning for Glass-Steagall.
The most positive of these initiatives probably is the one from ACUS, the Austrian influential Joint Working Group of Christians and Social Democrats, which has been much inspired by LaRouche ideas, and has called for the separation of banks along with the creation of a real-economic credit system, saying that Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter has endorsed that but so far not acted. The call is published in the context of the Oct. 15 international day of action against the banking system, ACUS director Michael Lauer wrote.
Two days ago in Paris, Adrian Blundell-Wignall of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) criticized the lack of commitment on the European continent and in the United States to push banking separation.
In Germany, the Greens have now also discovered banking separation: For their November national party convention in Kiel, they propose a clause calling for the carving up of the super banks into a whole array of smaller, regional banks. The Greens call it the "Green New Deal."
Fascist Soros-Clones Demand Euro Dictatorship
Oct. 13 (EIRNS)Over 100 European economists from the George Soros extended family of British Imperial fascists issued a desperate letter to "Eurozone Leaders" demanding an end to what remains of national sovereignty, and the implementation of a "Common Treasury" with the power to "ensure that member states adhere to fiscal discipline." In the meantime, they scream, unless many more trillions of euros are coughed up to bail out the banks through an expanded EFSF, the collapse of the euro could "undermine and perhaps destroy the global financial system."
In addition to Soros (listed as "Hungary/US"), the list includes:
* Anders Aslund, author of "shock therapy" while advising Russia and Ukraine;
* Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leader of the 1968ers as "Danny the Red," now switched to "Danny the Green" and co-chair of the Spinelli Group of the Euro Parliament pushing federalism in Europe;
* Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics (LSE) who was forced to resign for the LSE's ties to Qadaffi;
* Anthony Giddens, Director of LSE and creator of Tony Blair's "Third Way" to fascism;
(Heather Grabbe, head of EU Affairs for the Soros Network; among others.
EU Monetarism Sinking Portugal into Third World Condition
Oct. 15 (EIRNS)Britain's Guardian correspondent John Henley reports on the Portuguese situation:
"There is real hardship," Henley writes, "Lisbon's Banco Alimentar, or food bank, the largest in Europe, distributes 12,000 tons of food a year to about 250 local charities, helping to feed up to 160,000 people last year. The number has been rising sharply over the past two years, said José Almeida, a retired mining engineer who helps run it. Those asking for food, he said, 'are not the ones you'd usually expect.' He added: 'Couples who both had good jobs, and a high standard of living ... then one's made redundant [laid off] and they can't keep up the cars, the mortgage, the school. They turn to charity.' Last year lawyers, engineers, even a judge sought help, he said."
"The worst will be next year," predicted Ana Lobo, in Lisbon. "Now, it's almost still summer. In January, when it's cold and dark, [prices on] electricity, public transport, bread, will go up. Taxes too, a lot. And pensions and benefits will be cut. Then it'll really hit."
FDP Intra-Party Bailout Referendum Kicks Off
Oct. 11 (EIRNS)Anti-bailout activist Frank Schäffler (Free Democrat) presented 3,850 signatures to his party's headquarters in Berlin yesterday, 600 more than required to force an intra-party referendum on the ESM (European Stability Mechanism).
The FDP party executive will check the signatures, but it is taken for granted that by Oct. 24 at the latest, the intra-party referendum will be announced for November, so that the result should be in before Christmas. The FDP party executive, the majority of which is opposed to Schäffler's initiative, will mail out his call together with their own counter-call.
Upon delivering the signatures, Schäffler told the media in Berlin that his impression is that a majority of FDP party members are opposed to the bailouts, and that his view that the bailouts are just like pouring more and more gasoline onto the fire, is shared by many in the party, as well as in the population in general. Instead of "rescuing" ailing banks, organized insolvencies should be carried out, with the state giving priority to banking functions that serve the real economy.