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France Recalls Ambassador From Italy After “Unprecedented” Verbal Attacks

France Recalls Ambassador From Italy After “Unprecedented” Verbal Attacks

The diplomatic row between France and Italy is escalating. More than half a year after Italy summoned the French ambassador over Europe’s migrant row, on Thursday France one-upped Italy when it announced it would recall its ambassador to Italy, citing “outrageous” verbal attacks, repeated “meddling” in its domestic affairs and “unacceptable” provocations.

La France rappelle son ambassadeur en Italie “après des attaques” “sans précédent” (Quai d’Orsay) #AFP

The French foreign ministry said the decision was taken following a meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio and leaders of the French Yellow Vest protester movement, trumpeting his support for the grassroots protests in defiance of President Emmanuel Macron.

“This is unprecedented since the war,” the foreign ministry said in an emailed statement on Thursday. “Having disagreements is one thing, but using the relationship for electoral purposes is quite another.”

Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement hailed the “winds of change across the Alps” yesterday on Twitter after meeting with Yellow Vest activists Cristophe Chalencon and Ingrid Levavasseur.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UK vegetable and fruit supplies at risk

UK vegetable and fruit supplies at risk

Potatoes on the wing – and thin pickings for all as UK crops wilt. Image: By Lucas Sankey on Unsplash

Britons’ familiar and well-loved fish and chips could become scarcer as politics and climate change imperil UK vegetable and fruit supplies.

LONDON, 5 February, 2019 − A combination of Brexit − Britain’s move to leave the European Union − and climate change is threatening UK vegetable and fruit supplies for its 66 million people.

Brexit-associated delays at ports could result in widespread shortages of a range of imported vegetables and fruit such as lettuces and tomatoes, particularly if the UK crashes out of Europe at the end of March this year with no deal in place.

Now there’s more bad news on the British food front; a just-released report says climate change and resulting abnormal weather conditions are causing significant decreases in the UK’s own vegetable and fruit harvests.

The study, produced by the Climate Coalition in association with the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds in the UK, says about 60% of food consumed in Britain is domestically produced.

The unusually warm summer in 2018 – the hottest ever in England since records began in 1910, according to the report – led to a drop in the onion harvest of 40% and a decline of between 25% and 30% in the carrot crop.

In 2017 the UK’s apple growers lost 25% of their produce due to unseasonably warm weather followed by an unusually late series of frosts.

“It’s really hard work growing fruit and vegetables, but erratic and extreme weather pushes you over the edge”

The study says climate change-related extreme and unpredictable weather is putting at risk future supplies of potatoes – a staple of the British diet.

“The UK could lose almost three-quarters of the area of land currently well-suited for potatoes by the 2050s under climate projections”, says the report.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The ‘Cartel’ Is Back: EU Accuses 8 Banks Of Rigging European Government-Bond Markets

The ‘Cartel’ Is Back: EU Accuses 8 Banks Of Rigging European Government-Bond Markets

First it was the Libor-rigging cartel, then the FX exchange-rate manipulation cartel, now, European regulators have moved on to prosecuting “anti-competitive” practices in euro-denominated sovereign bond markets. 

One month after the European antitrust regulators charged Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole and Credit Suisse of being a part of a ‘bond trading cartel’, regulators are bringing a separate case against eight unidentified European banks alleging that they conspired to rigging euro-denominated sovereign bond markets.

Reuters reported Thursday that the European Union’s antitrust authority has charged the banks with operating the cartel behind 2007 and 2012.


Just like in past cartel cases, traders at the accused banks allegedly used chat rooms to share “commercially sensitive information and coordinated trading strategies” that they presumably used to rig markets to benefit their own trading books – and shortchange their “counterparties”. 

If they’re found guilty, the banks could face fines equal to up to 10% of their global turnover.

“The Commission has concerns that, at different periods between 2007 and 2012, the eight banks participated in a collusive scheme that aimed at distorting competition when acquiring and trading European government bonds,” the Commission said.

“Traders employed by the banks exchanged commercially sensitive information and coordinated on trading strategies. These contacts would have taken place mainly – but not exclusively – through online chatrooms.”

Regulators told Reuters that they wanted to make one thing clear: The allegations aren’t meant to imply that euro-denominated bond markets are subject to pervasive “anti-competitive” practices (though maybe they should talk to Mario Draghi about that).

But don’t worry: We’re sure the information traded in these chatrooms fell neatly within the bounds of “market color.”

Europe Launches SWIFT Alternative To Fund Iran In Collision Course With Trump

Europe Launches SWIFT Alternative To Fund Iran In Collision Course With Trump

In a move sure to unleash fury from the Trump administration, the European Union has announced it has set up a transactions channel with Iran to bypass US sanctions. The launch of INSTEX — or “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges” — by France, Germany, and the UK will allow non-dollar trade with Iran and is being described as facilitating humanitarian goods-related transactions only, including food, medicine and medical equipment.  

Long anticipated, Thursday’s EU announcement marks the most concrete action Europe has taken to thwart Washington sanctions after the US pullout of the 2015 nuclear deal last May, and after SWIFT caved to US pressure. Europe is hoping the mechanism will act as a legal means to preventing Tehran from quitting the JCPOA, which promised sanctions relief should the country halt nuclear weapons research and development. INSTEX is expected to receive the formal endorsement of all 28 EU members, which aims to encourage skittish pharmaceutical and agricultural companies to the table with Tehran after many stopped doing business in Iran for fear of US economic retribution. 

The Iranians welcomed the new mechanism: “It is a first step taken by the European side… We hope it will cover all goods and items,” Iranian Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi told state TV, referencing EU promises to stick to its end of the nuclear deal. 

INSTEX will reportedly be based in Paris and run by a supervisory board chaired by the UK and managed by a German banking expert, and has further been described in European media as “expandable,” which is likely to provoke a reaction from the United States, especially after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Flash-Balls, Pitchforks And A Backstop

Flash-Balls, Pitchforks And A Backstop

Jan van Eyck  Madonna and Child at the Fountain 1439 (height: 7.4“, 19 cm)

It’s educational and even somewhat entertaining to observe the role of the western press in the ongoing erosion and demise of democracy in Europe. But while it’s entertaining, it also means their readers and viewers don’t get informed on what is actually happening. The media paints a picture that pleases the political world. And it it doesn’t please politicians to lift a veil here and there, too bad for the public. 

The Shakespearian comedy that was performed last night in the UK House of Commons is a lovely case in point. Basically, MPs voted whether or not to allow PM Theresa May to change the Brexit deal she had told them about a hundred times couldn’t possibly be changed. Brexit has turned full-blown Groucho by now: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

It was exactly two weeks ago last night that lawmakers voted by a historic 432 to 202 count to reject May’s Brexit deal. And now they voted to a) let her change it and b) go talk to the EU about changing it though Brussels has said as often as May herself that it cannot be changed. Remember: the UK is set to leave the EU 59 days from now, and counting.

It’s like in a game of chess that has long turned into a stalemate or threefold repetitionsituation: you stop playing. No such luck in British politics. The only way the parliament could find ‘unity’ (in a narrow vote) was to agree to ditch the Irish backstop that is an integral part of why the EU accepted May’s deal to begin with.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The America Problem

The America Problem

Way back when the West was pressuring the apartheid government to commit suicide on behalf of its people, they did a remarkable thing. They sequestered their nuclear program, making sure the information and material would not fall into the hands of whatever came after apartheid. It was remarkable, because no other state has voluntarily abandoned its program for the good of the world. Governments just don’t do that, but the South Africans did and a huge potential problem down the line was averted.

The reason this is worth thinking about is there are other unstable states, with lots of military technology. Pakistan is an obvious example. There is a better than even chance they have sold nuclear technology to other Muslim governments. They have most certainly been working with North Korea. Israel has nuclear weapons and they have advanced delivery systems. These are two countries that could fall into chaos or have their government overthrown. It’s not likely at the moment, but it is possible.

A bigger concern is America. There’s no getting around the fact that America is in bad shape in many important ways. The wizards in the Federal Reserve have been able to use creative ways to maintain the debt bubble, but everything comes to an end eventually. The demographic changes going on in the country are creating very serious fissures regionally, ethnically and economically. Just look at how aggressive and radical the political talk is these days. America looks very brittle right now.

If you are doing long term planning for the EU or a European government, you have to be looking at America and thinking about the Crisis of the Third Century. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it is a pretty good one. Like the Roman Empire, the American Empire is militaristic, the dominant military power and politically fragile. Like the Romans, America appears to be critically short of intellectual firepower in its ruling elite. Who knows, maybe Washington has a lead pipe problem, but it does have an IQ problem.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bailing Out Member States: The European (Dis)Union

Bailing Out Member States: The European (Dis)Union

Over the years, my good friends at Capitalist Exploits (I highly recommend subscribing) have put together a number of outstanding thought pieces on where they see things headed.

They recently came out with a great overview of where Europe is headed. The trends they highlight are both interesting and actionable for those willing to put the time into thinking through the consequences of the new “Strongmen of Europe.” The EU has now had a decade of economic crisis and is slowly moving from economic crisis towards a full-fledged political crisis which will be its ultimate undoing. There will naturally be many actionable trades along the way. Most important amongst these will be;

  • Increased inflation
  • Issues with energy security
  • Increased national sovereignty
  • Ultimate breakup of the EU

Having a roadmap, gives you the ability to stay a few steps ahead of events with your positioning. With that in mind, I suggest you read the roadmap from Capitalist Exploits. While I don’t agree with everything that they point out, it is those minor disagreements that make late night Skype calls so interesting…

What Lies In Store For 2019 –  Specific Focus: The European (dis)Union

There is so much going on that it can be hard to know where to look without throwing your hands up in the air and saying, “oh fuck it, I give up”. The problem is ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away, and if we get it wrong, we could end up seriously regretting decisions made today.

I’ll be honest with you, we’ve spent time reviewing much of what is taking place in the world at the moment. Not here with you, but with my team and often inside my wee head, hunched over my keyboard at 1AM after tossing and turning annoying my gorgeous wife and getting out of bed to look into something that’s bugging me and keeping me from sleep.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Globalization is the Demise of Humanity”: Towards an “Economy of Peace” with an Alternative Monetary System

“Globalization is the Demise of Humanity”: Towards an “Economy of Peace” with an Alternative Monetary System

Globalisation is the demise of humanity. That being said, if we want peace, solidarity, harmonious cohabitation, justice and equality – we have to defeat globalisation. And to be able to defeat it, countries which strive to take back autonomy and sovereignty may want to move away from the oppressive fist of the west.

BREXIT offers Europe and the world a formidable opportunity to break loose from the rigged, dollar-based fiat monetary system. BREXIT opens the door for other European Union (EU) nations to do likewise. Different polls indicate that between 60% and 80% of all EU citizens are fed up with the corrupt EU, wanting to leave. In France, whose Mr. Hollande has reached the attribute of least popular President of all times and who is openly called a traitor of the people, a recent survey says more than 85% of the French are against the EU.

Europeans are also worried about the gradual but steady integration of the EU with NATO. A militarisation of Europe with a US-led war machine moving ever closer towards Moscow is a strong and present danger for WWIII – meaning Europe may become again the theatre of war and destruction the third time in 100 years. Encircling China with two thirds of the US Navy fleet in the South China Sea, provoking territorial conflicts via the Philippines, a former colony and a US vassal; and presenting a constant menace with uncountable military bases in the area, all the way to Australia, are no signs of peaceful cooperation by Washington.

Bringing down the EU would break up the Euro and may also break up NATO. This, of course, is non-coherent with Washington’s hold on power over Europe and aggression against Russia.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe on the Brink of Collapse?

The Empire’s European castle of vassals is crumbling. Right in front of our eyes. But Nobody seems to see it. The European Union (EU), the conglomerate of vassals – Trump calls them irrelevant, and he doesn’t care what they think about him, they deserve to be collapsing. They, the ‘vassalic’ EU, a group of 28 countries, some 500 million people, with a combined economy of a projected 19 trillion US-dollar equivalent, about the same as the US, have submitted themselves to the dictate of Washington in just about every important aspect of life.

The EU has accepted on orders by Washington to sanction Russia, Venezuela, Iran – and a myriad of countries that have never done any harm to any of the 28 EU member states. The EU has accepted the humiliation of military impositions by NATO – threating Russia and China with ever more and ever more advancing military basis towards Moscow and Beijing, to the point that Brussels’ foreign policy is basically led by NATO.

It was clear from the very get-go that the US sanctions regime imposed on Russia and all the countries refusing to submit to the whims and rules of Washington, directly and via the EU, was hurting the EU economically far more than Russia. This is specifically true for some of the southern European countries, whose economy depended more on trading with Russia and Eurasia than it did for other EU countries.

The ‘sanctions’ disaster really hit the fan, when Trump unilaterally decided to abrogate the “Nuclear Deal” with Iran and reimpose heavy sanctions on Iran and on “everybody who would do business with Iran”. European hydrocarbon giants started losing business. That’s when Brussels, led by Germany started mumbling that they would not follow the US and – even – that they would back European corporations, mainly hydrocarbon giants, sticking to their contractual arrangements they had with Iran.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As Germany and France Come Apart, So Too Will the EU

As Germany and France Come Apart, So Too Will the EU

If we follow the logic and evidence presented in these seven points, we are forced to conclude that the fractures in France, Germany and the EU are widening by the day.
When is a nation-state no longer a functional state? It’s an interesting question to ask of the European nation-states trapped in the devolving European Union. Longtime correspondent Mark G. recently posed seven indicators of dissolving national sovereignty; here’s his commentary:
“RE: The Ghosts of 1968 (February 14, 2018):
In France the “Ghosts of 1968” have become the Poltergeists of 2018. This looks like another real watershed in European and world history. Once again Parisian mobs have appeared and have collectively realized they now hold the real power. And their issues are all anti-EU (European Union) and anti-NWO. (New World Order)
I’m honing my German Collapse Scenario as more data flows in, as it is in ever-faster and larger quantities. ‘Germany’ will implode in parallel with the EU.
So-called ‘states’ with:
1. no effective military forces
2. no control of their own borders
3. no control of their currency and banks
4. a government with a ‘diverse’ population in which the majority either has no loyalty to Berlin (recent ‘refugee’ immigrants) or has dropped its loyalty (large parts of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg), and which is also losing the allegiance of the many eastern European immigrants in Germany. These people are among the most energized opponents of the ‘refugee’ influx.
5. Fast rising anarchy and lawlessness by the recent ‘refugee’ immigrants, and which is well known to the population, as are the official orders to the police to minimize crime statistics reporting by not opening official cases.
and
6. A mass media believed by no one due to the bald lies it broadcasts 24/7 daily about numbers 1-5.
…will soon cease to exist. This is confirmed by:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe is Burning

Johannes Vermeer The soldier and the laughing girl 1657

There will be elections for the European Parliament on May 23-26 2019. They will likely change the face of Europe more than anything has done since the EU was founded. That is not some wild prediction. Many European countries have held elections since the last European elections in 2014, and just about all had outcomes that shook up domestic political ratios.

In most cases, countries went from traditional parties to newly founded ones. France erased the Socialists and center-right in 2017, and the final round of the presidential elections was between Marine Le Pen’s Front National and Emmanuel Macron’s brand-new En Marche. Macron won sort of by default, because France as a country would never have voted for Le Pen.

In Italy, M5S and Lega have taken over. In Germany, Merkel’s CDU/CSU coalition lost bigly though it remained the biggest party, but Angela lost her ‘socialist’ SPD partner which gave up so much it didn’t want to be in government anymore. In Spain, Mariano Rajoy’s center right lost enough to cede power to the Socialists who came up tops because they played a smart game, not because the Spanish wanted it to rule.

We don’t have to go through all 27/28 different countries to establish that there are almost tectonic shifts happening all over, away from traditional parties and towards whoever showed up without insanely extreme views. And if you think this move is now completed, you may want to think again.

It’s amusing to realize that the country with the biggest political shift, the UK, is the only one that still hangs on to its traditional parties, and seeks its protest voice in a different way, namely through Brexit. That is, Britain shows it can get no satisfaction from the EU, whereas in the other major EU nations the dissatisfaction is projected onto domestic parties.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Decline and Fall of the European Union

The Decline and Fall of the European Union

This exhaustion of the neocolonial-neofeudal model was inevitable, and as a result, so too is the decline and fall of the European integration/exploitation project.

That a single currency, the euro, would fracture rather than unite Europe was understood long before the euro’s introduction as legal tender on January 1, 2002. The euro, the currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, is only one of the various institutions tying the member nations of the European union together, but it is the linchpin of the financial integration touted as one of the primary benefits of EU membership.

Skepticism of the benefits of EU membership is rising, as citizens of the member nations are questioning the surrender of national sovereignty with renewed intensity.

The technocrat elite that holds power in the EU is attempting to marginalize critics as populists, nationalists or fascists, overlooking the untidy reality that the actual source of tyranny is arguably the unelected bureaucrats of the EU who have taken on extraordinary powers to strip the citizenry of member states of civil liberties (i.e. the right to dissent) and of meaningful political enfranchisement.

As I have patiently explained since 2012, the underlying structure of the EU is neocolonialism, specifically, neocolonial-financialization. Stripped of artifice, the financial institutions of the EU core have colonized the EU periphery via the euro and the EU and imposed a modernized system of extractive serfdom on the citizenry of the core and periphery alike.

To understand the neocolonial-financialization model, we must revisit the classic model of colonialism. In the old model of Colonialism, the colonizing power conquered or co-opted the Power Elites of the region, and proceeded to exploit the new colony’s resources and labor to enrich the core or center, i.e. the Imperial nation and its ruling elites.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are France And Germany About To Form An EU Superstate?

Are France And Germany About To Form An EU Superstate?


Inching ever closer towards an EUSSR.

As the fire rages on, the citizenry floods the streets, and political turmoil reigns supreme in Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are telling everyone to please disperse because everything is fine and there’s nothing to see here.

Thanks to 2016’s historic Brexit vote, the European Union mandate is being threatened. Despite the denials emanating from left-leaning news outlets, other nations are interested in their own emancipation from Brussels, whether it is the growing Frexit movement or the Grexit push. It’s only a matter of time before this failed experiment enters the dustbins of history and will be remembered as fondly as the Ice Capades or Nickelback.

To stave off the eurozone’s inevitable demise, the bloc’s two biggest markets are in the beginning phases of forming a superstate, and it could present the next step toward global government. France and Germany will sign a so-called twinning pact at the end of January, an unprecedented policy maneuver that could serve as a blueprint for the future of the E.U.

Twinning

Under this new agreement, the two nations will share defense, economic, and foreign policies and unite in a diplomatic front.

Ministers from both governments will be permitted to sit in each other’s cabinet meetings, policies will be presented with the goal of moving towards economic convergence, and security forces will cooperate closely in tackling organized crime and terrorism. For now, the primary objective is to get Germany accepted as a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council.

Perhaps the most terrifying prospect of them all is the promotion of Eurodistricts. This will consist of the Franco-German partnership merging public transportation, water, and electricity networks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Italy Building Anti-EU Axis

Europe: More Nifty Censorship from the EU

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