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Faced With ‘Acts Of Sabotage’, EU Countries Rush To Secure Energy Assets

Faced With ‘Acts Of Sabotage’, EU Countries Rush To Secure Energy Assets

Multiple explosions under the Baltic Sea and the rupture of the Nord Stream pipeline system from Russia to Germany appear to be “sabotage,” NATO and EU officials said this week. A fourth leak was confirmed Thursday on the pipelines as EU countries are in overdrive to secure energy infrastructure that could be future targets.

“The main message sent by this act, described as ‘sabotage,’ is the vulnerability of all this equipment,” Phuc-Vinh Nguyen, an energy researcher at the Institut Jacques-Delors Paris think tank, told the French newspaper Le Monde.

Nguyen warned, “if such ‘accidents’ happened on a natural gas pipeline between Norway and Europe or Algeria and Europe, for example, it would be really problematic.”

Across the EU, warning after NS1 and NS2 were taken out by “highly effective explosive devices” has forced several countries to beef up the security of critical energy infrastructure this week.

We first reported Norway, now Europe’s top NatGas supplier (displacing Russia), increased security at infrastructure sites, land terminals, and platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf. The country’s Petroleum Safety Authority warned that there had been reports of mysterious drones buzzing offshore platforms.

Drones have also been spotted at France’s TotalEnergies offshore rigs in the Danish North Sea, igniting concerns that someone or even possibly a nation-state is trying to spark havoc for the European energy industry, according to Bloomberg.

The mysterious drone was spotted Wednesday near its Halfdan B oil and gas field, TotalEnergies said, adding it has increased “vigilance around security for all of our offshore assets and onshore locations.”

“I just hope that there is no idea behind it to extend the war beyond the border of Ukraine to the North Sea,” Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne told Bloomberg in an interview.

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

Lights out, ovens off: Europe preps for winter energy crisis

ADDING FULL NAME OF BUSINESS  An employee pushes bread rolls into one of the gas heated ovens in the producing facility in Cafe Ernst in Neu Isenburg, Germany, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Andreas Schmitt, head of the local bakers' guild, said some small bakeries are contemplating giving up due to the energy crisis. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
An employee pushes bread rolls into one of the gas heated ovens in the producing facility in Cafe Ernst in Neu Isenburg, Germany, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Andreas Schmitt, head of the local bakers’ guild, said some small bakeries are contemplating giving up due to the energy crisis. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — As Europe heads into winter in the throes of an energy crisis, offices are getting chillier. Statues and historic buildings are going dark. Bakers who can’t afford to heat their ovens are talking about giving up, while fruit and vegetable growers face letting greenhouses stand idle.

In poorer eastern Europe, people are stocking up on firewood, while in wealthier Germany, the wait for an energy-saving heat pump can take half a year. And businesses don’t know how much more they can cut back.

“We can’t turn off the lights and make our guests sit in the dark,” said Richard Kovacs, business development manager for Hungarian burger chain Zing Burger. The restaurants already run the grills no more than necessary and use motion detectors to turn off lights in storage, with some stores facing a 750% increase in electricity bills since the beginning of the year.

With costs high and energy supplies tight, Europe is rolling out relief programs and plans to shake up electricity and natural gas markets as it prepares for rising energy use this winter. The question is whether it will be enough to avoid government-imposed rationing and rolling blackouts after Russia cut back natural gas needed to heat homes, run factories and generate electricity to a tenth of what it was before invading Ukraine.

Europe’s dependence on Russian energy has turned the war into an energy and economic crisis, with prices rising to record highs in recent months and fluctuating wildly.

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

Blasts Detected Near Nord Stream As Images Reveal “Huge Leak”

Blasts Detected Near Nord Stream As Images Reveal “Huge Leak”

Update (1025ET):

AFP News reported the US is ‘ready to provide support’ to Europe after the Nord Stream pipeline system leaks.

There was no further information on what type of support, but one can only imagine it would involve increased LNG cargo shipments to the EU.

There’s only one issue…

* * *

Update (0932ET): 

Swedish broadcaster SVT reported that the Swedish National Seismic Network detected two underwater explosions near the Nord Stream pipeline system on Monday.

“One of the explosions had a magnitude of 2.3, and was registered at as many as 30 measuring stations in southern Sweden,” SVT said. 

Bjorn Lund, a professor in seismology and director of the Swedish National Seismic Network, said these two seismic events were explosions.

Here’s a map of the three leaks on the Nord Stream pipeline system.

Bloomberg’s Javier Blas said the size of the “gas leak is huge.”

So the question remains what (or who) caused the blasts?

Remember what President Biden said weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine:

 “If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

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

IEA Head Warns “Wild West” Energy Scenario Could Unravel Europe

IEA Head Warns “Wild West” Energy Scenario Could Unravel Europe

The unity of EU member states could be in jeopardy as a dark winter fast approaches set to trigger a ‘continental scramble’ for energy resources. European countries would be in a “wild west scenario” in their attempt to pursue energy security which would result in souring relations with neighbors and cause worsening fuel and power shortages with risks of social unrest, warned Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, who was quoted by the Financial Times.

Birol spoke Thursday in an interview at the inaugural Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when he explained the energy crisis threatens to shatter EU unity as countries could restrict or stop trading energy resources with neighbors to ensure their own energy security.

“The implications will be very bad for energy, very bad for the economy, but extremely bad politically … if Europe fails this test in energy, it can go beyond energy implications,” Birol said

The head of the Paris-based watchdog energy group was very straightforward about the two possible scenarios:

“EU and members will work in solidarity, supporting each other . . . or there is another scenario, if everybody is for himself.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was firm in her state of the union address that the unity of EU member states will prevail through this energy crisis.

But there has already been a breakdown in unity among some member states, as FT explains:

Norway’s Nordic neighbours last month blasted Oslo for “selfish” behaviour as it considered pausing electricity exports while it refilled its hydroelectric reservoirs. 

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

IMF Chief: Harsh Winter May Spark Social Unrest In EU Amid Energy Crisis

IMF Chief: Harsh Winter May Spark Social Unrest In EU Amid Energy Crisis

A number of countries in Europe may experience social unrest if the upcoming winter is harsh amid an economic crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday.

“There is certainly fear of recession in some countries, or even if it is not recession, that it would feel like recession this winter,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF.

“And if Mother Nature decides not to cooperate, and the winter is actually harsh, that could lead to some social unrest,” she added.

Attending the 2022 “Michel Camdessus Central Banking Lecture” held in Washington, D.C., Georgieva pointed out that Europe is directly affected by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, saying the war has led to “horrible” economic consequences and added fuel to fears of recession in some countries.

Georgieva said the current situation meant that the European Central Bank needed to be “mindful of the necessity to keep the economy going,” while also remaining persistent in fighting broad-based inflation.

“Inflation is stubborn, it is more broad-based than we thought it would be,” Georgieva said. “And what it means is … we need central bankers to be as stubborn in fighting it as inflation has demonstrably been.”

Second-Order Effects

Georgieva noted at the event that the global economy had two consecutive shocks, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which contributed to surging prices and a cost-of-living crisis.

The disruptions in the flows of Russian gas to Europe remain the primary cause of Europe’s current energy crisis. The continent has relied upon cheap Russian energy for years to power factories, generate electricity, and heat homes.

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

Europe Is Facing Energy Disaster And It’s Going To Bleed Over Into The US

Europe Is Facing Energy Disaster And It’s Going To Bleed Over Into The US

Though the situation is ever changing, currently the Russian government has announced an official shutdown of ALL natural gas exports to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and plans to maintain the shutdown until the EU ends its economic sanctions over the war in Ukraine. This means that around 40% of Europe’s energy resources are now gone, with supply chain issues surrounding the other 60% and prices skyrocketing for households and businesses.

Back in March in an article titled ‘The Biggest Lies (So Far) Surrounding Russia And Ukraine’ I noted that:

…There’s something else the media does not talk about much, which is Europe’s reliance on Russian oil and natural gas. If you want to see actual price inflation caused by Russia, let the EU ban Russian oil imports, or watch as Putin cuts off the supply. Europe is dependent on Russian oil and gas for about 40% of overall energy production. They cannot even survive a single year without it. If Russia retaliated and blocked energy exports to Europe, the the EU would have to siphon oil from many other countries, reducing global supply dramatically. This would cause gas prices to explode to double or even triple current levels.”

Back in April of this year in my article ‘The Media Is Ignoring These Two Events Which Could Cause Economic Collapse’ I predicted that:

…The Russian economy is not about to fold anytime soon, and now the EU, which is reliant on Russian oil and gas exports for 40% of their energy needs, is about to face economic doom unless they submit to paying for energy in rubles (which they won’t) or find a replacement source for gas and oil (which is impossible)…

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

This Winter, Europe Plunges Into “The New Dark Ages”

This Winter, Europe Plunges Into “The New Dark Ages”

Could you imagine being sent to prison for three years if you dared to set your thermostat above 66 degrees Fahrenheit?  As you will see below, this is a proposed regulation that is actually being considered in a major European country right now.  If you have not been paying much attention to what is happening in Europe, you need to wake up.  Natural gas in Europe is seven times more expensive than it was early last year, and that is because of the war in Ukraine.  Over the past few decades, the Europeans foolishly allowed themselves to become extremely dependent on gas from Russia.   In fact, more than 55 percent of the natural gas that Germany uses normally comes from Russia.  But now the war has changed everything, and Europe is facing an extremely harsh winter of severe shortages, mandatory rationing and absolutely insane heating bills.

Things are going to get very cold and very dark all over Europe in the months ahead, and those Europeans that choose to rebel against the new restrictions that are being implemented could literally find themselves in prison

Switzerland is considering jailing anyone who heats their rooms above 19C for up to three years if the country is forced to ration gas due to the Ukraine war.

The country could also give fines to those who violate the proposed new regulations.

Speaking to Blick, Markus Sporndli, who is a spokesman for the Federal Department of Finance, explained that the rate for fines on a daily basis could start at 30 Swiss Francs (£26).

19 degrees Celsius is just 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you live in Europe, prepare to dress very warmly this winter.

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

Germany’s energy suicide: an autopsy

Germany’s energy suicide: an autopsy

When Green fanatic Robert Habeck, posing as Germany’s Economy Minister, said earlier this week “we should expect the worst” in terms of energy security, he conveniently forgot to spell out how the whole farce is a Made in Germany cum Made in Brussels crisis.

Flickers of intelligence at least still glow in rare Western latitudes, as indispensable strategic analyst William Engdahl, author of A Century of Oil, released a sharp, concise summary revealing the skeletons in the glamour closet.

Everyone with a brain following the ghastly Eurocrat machinations in Brussels was aware of the main plot – yet hardly anyone among average EU citizens. Habeck, Chancellor “Liver Sausage” Scholz, the European Commission (EC) Green Energy VP Timmermans, EC dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen, they are all involved.

In a nutshell: as Engdahl describes it, this is about “the EU plan to de-industrialize one of the most energy-efficient industrial concentrations on the planet.”

That’s a practical translation of the UN Green Agenda 2030 – which happens to be metastasized into crypto Bond villain Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset – now renamed “Great Narrative”.

The whole scam started way back in the early 2000s: I remember it vividly, as Brussels used to be my European base in the early “war on terror” years.

At the time, the talk of the town was the “European energy policy”. The dirty secret of such policy is that the EC, “ advised” by JP MorganChase as well as the usual mega speculative hedge funds, went all out into what Engdahl describes as “a complete deregulation of the European market for natural gas.”

That was sold to the Lugenpresse (“lying media”) as “liberalization”. In practice, that’s savage, unregulated casino capitalism, with the “free” market fixing prices while dumping long-term contracts – such as the ones struck with Gazprom.

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

The EU’s Crisis Is Global: Neocolonialism, Hyper-Financialization and Hyper-Globalization Come Home to Roost

The EU’s Crisis Is Global: Neocolonialism, Hyper-Financialization and Hyper-Globalization Come Home to Roost

The EU’s crisis isn’t limited to energy. It is a manifestation of the global breakdown of Neocolonialism, Financialization and Globalization.

The European Union (EU) was seen as the culmination of a centuries-long process of integration that would finally put an end to the ceaseless conflicts that had led to disastrous wars in the 20th century that had knocked Europe from global preeminence.

Wary of the predations of the U.S. and rising Asian powers, European nations sought the economic and diplomatic strength of a confederation that would be greater than the sum of its parts, a union that would restore Europe’s rightful place as a global power.

This worthy goal was undermined by the destructive dynamics of the past forty years: Neocolonialism, Financialization and Globalization.

These dynamics are unstable due to their internal contradictions. In classical colonialism, the Core dominates the Periphery with force, extracting economic value by exploiting the subject states’ commodities and forcing the colonies to buy the valued-added finished goods produced by the colonial power’s domestic economy.

This extractive model was at odds with the liberal worldview of the colonial powers which held self-rule and open markets as necessary to stable prosperity. The contradictions of classical colonialism led to its collapse as colonies broke free and the colonial powers were forced to navigate a more open global economy.

Beneath the glossy vibe of strength through unity, the EU institutionalized a Neocolonial Model in which some EU members are more equal than others, a divide that was starkly revealed in the debt crisis of 2011-2012.

I described the EU’s version of the Neocolonial Model in 2012: The E.U., Neofeudalism and the Neocolonial-Financialization Model (May 24, 2012)

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

European power prices shatter records as energy crisis intensifies

Power prices in Europe continue to smash records, intensifying the region’s energy crisis and fanning fears about access to electricity and heating as the weather begins to cool.

Russia is one of the world’s top producers of oil and natural gas.
German power prices for next year, which are considered Europe’s benchmark, briefly jumped above €1,000 ($999.80) per megawatt hour on Monday before falling back to €840 ($839.69) per megawatt hour.

“This is not normal at all. It’s incredibly volatile,” said Fabian Rønningen, a senior analyst at Rystad Energy. “These prices are reaching levels now that we thought we would never see.”

Prices have jumped since Russia’s Gazprom announced that it would shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline for three days starting Wednesday to perform maintenance work, reigniting fears that Moscow could completely shut off gas to Europe, which is racing to stockpile supplies ahead of the winter.

When the crucial pipeline went offline for repairs for 10 days in July, many policymakers feared it wouldn’t come back. When Russia did restart operations, flows were significantly reduced.

France’s nuclear sector, which provides about 70% of the country’s electricity, is also struggling with lower output, pushing up the country’s energy prices.

The Czech Republic announced Monday that it would convene an emergency meeting of Europe’s energy ministers in Brussels next week as the region hunts for solutions.

Businesses are concerned they may have to periodically halt operations over the winter if power is in short supply, while households could struggle to pay soaring heating bills. The fallout could trigger a deep recession.

There was some reason for optimism on Monday. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the country’s gas inventories were filling up, and the country won’t have to pay the high prices currently commanded by the market.

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

What Will An EU Economic Collapse Look Like?

What Will An EU Economic Collapse Look Like?

Geopolitics: the world is splitting into two

Geopolitics: the world is splitting into two

While we are being distracted by Ukraine, President Putin has advanced his geopolitical goals materially. Aided and abetted by President Xi, Putin is taking the Asian continent into his control. That mission is well on its way to being achieved. He now awaits the winter months to finally force the EU to reject America’s hegemony. Only then, will the western end of the Eurasian continent be truly free of American interference.

This article explains how he is achieving his strategic goals. It examines the geopolitics of the Asian landmass and the nations tied to it, which are commercially and financially turning their backs on the US-led western alliance.

I look at geopolitics from President Putin of Russia’s viewpoint, since he is the only national leader who seems to have a clear grasp of his long-term objectives. His active strategy conforms closely with Halford Mackinder’s predictive analysis of nearly 120 years ago. Mackinder is regarded by many experts as the founder of geopolitics.

Putin is determined to remove the American threat to his Western borders by squeezing the EU to that end. But he is also building political relationships based on control of global fossil-fuel supplies — a pathway opened for him by American and European obsessions over climate change. In partnership with China, the consolidation of his power over the Eurasian landmass has progressed rapidly in recent weeks.

For the Western Alliance, financially and economically his timing is particularly awkward, coinciding with the end of a 40-year period of declining interest rates, rising consumer price inflation, and a deepening recession driven by contracting bank credit. 

It is the continuation of a financial war by other means, and it looks like Putin has an unbeatable hand. He is on course to push our fragile fiat currency based financial system over the edge.

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

A Winter of Anger


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather 1882
It is very simple: if you’d ask most citizens of whichever EU country if they are willing to risk being unable to feed and heat their children in order to support Ukraine and Zelensky, they would say NO. Hell no! But that is what they’re all being pushed towards. Food prices look to at least double from here, after they’ve doubled once already, while energy prices are set to triple or worse. And there’s no logical reason for it.This is not due to some inevitable market mechanism, it’s because the west decided to halt all Russian imports after the latter’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. All western leaders found that reason enough to cut all, or nearly all, imports from Russia. Gas, oil, fertilizer, food. Essentials. They could have been sitting around a negotiating table, but chose not to. Which only works as long as things remain sort of affordable. And then, it does not.

Problem is, they had and have no alternative to the Russian supplies of these goods (and there’s many more). See, this is how we know they don’t make their own decisions. Those are made in Brussels and Davos, and then the “leaders” have to carry out the preconceived programs, and they will.

No elected official on his/her own would risk to destroy their own country’s energy or food safety, with elections coming up every few years. But their WEF/Davos connections have changed that “logic”. The WEF makes sure no western leader gets elected who is not a member of their club. There’s only one path to power these days.

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

Europe has lost the energy war

Europe has lost the energy war

The livelihoods of millions have already been sacrificed

After a decade of financial austerity, is Europe now on the brink of a new age of energy austerity? The city of Hanover has recently introduced strict energy-saving rules that include cutting off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms, banning mobile air conditioners, fan heaters or radiators, switching off public fountains, and stopping illuminating major buildings such as the town hall at night.

Meanwhile, several countries across Europe are considering dimming or switching off public lights, and even adopting “energy curfews”, with early closures for businesses and public offices. And more drastic measures are under consideration — including gas rationing for energy-intensive industries such as steel and agriculture.

These measures are part of an EU-wide Gas Demand Reduction Plan, ominously titled Save Gas for a Safe Winter, to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring. Among the proposals is a provision that officials in Brussels impose fines for non-compliance if they decide the crisis is escalating dangerously.


All of this comes amid growing fears that dwindling Russian gas supplies may plunge Europe into an energy crisis this winter. Overall, Russian gas exports to the EU are at about a third of last year’s levels, falling steadily since the invasion of Ukraine. While several European countries have been reducing their Russian gas imports, Russia itself has been reducing gas flows to Europe through Nord Stream 1, the continent’s biggest pipeline, citing mainly technical issues. Just the other day, citing equipment repair, Russia announced yet another reduction in the amount of natural gas flowing through Nord Stream 1, which is now operating at only 20% capacity.

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

 

Why The EU Could End Within A Year

Why The EU Could End Within A Year

Germany, which has been high-and-mighty within the European Union and has imposed austerity against weaker European economies such as in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, is now demanding that other EU member nations bail Germans out of what will soon inevitably be an energy-emergency that results from Germany’s having complied with America’s demand to not only join with America’s sanctions against Russia, but to even terminate Germany’s Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipeline that was supposed to be increasing — instead of (as now will be the case) decreasing — Russia’s natural-gas supplies to Europe. Germany was, until recently, the industrial motor of the EU, and therefore has the most to lose from reduced and far costlier energy-supplies; but this has now happened, and will escalate in the coming winter. As those energy supplies get reduced, energy prices will rise, then soar, and Germany’s economy will get crushed. Germany’s leaders (like in the other EU nations) complied with the American anti-Russia sanctions demands (which are based on faked ‘information’); and, as a result, the German public will soon be freezing, even while Germany will be spending astronomically higher prices for energy than it had previously been paying. The plunging energy supplies from Russia will be replaced by increased supplies from other countries (including America) whose energy is far costlier than Russia’s; and only a small fraction of those reduced supplies from Russia will be able to be replaced at all. Something will have to give, probably the EU itself, because the resultant rapidly escalating internal hostilities between EU nations — especially between Germany and the nations that it now expects to bail it out of this crisis — could blow the EU itself irrevocably apart.

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

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