This post was published at The Still Report
Despite efforts for a constructive dialogue for 2 years, we have concluded that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in #Poland
We therefore proposed to @EUCouncil to adopt a decision under #Article7 (1) of the Treaty on EU
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) December 20, 2017
Yesterday we reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had publicly agreed to back Article 7 proceedings against Poland for refusing to comply with EU immigration quotas and changes to its judicial system. The only thing that was missing was the official triggering of the so-called “nuclear option” Article 7.
On Wednesday morning, in a historic development – one which may herald the future fracturing of the EU – the European Commission launched an injunction against Poland for a “serious breach” of European common values and rule of law. The European Commission said it decided to take the next step in its infringement procedure against Poland for breaches of EU law by the Law on the Ordinary Courts Organisation, referring Poland to the EU Court of Justice. And while only a warning now, Article 7 could lead to sanctions and a suspension of EU voting rights.
The unprecedented measure was taken amid two-year tensions between the EU and Poland over the latter’s judicial reforms. The bloc is concerned over “a serious breach of the rule of law” in the country, saying the reforms resulted in ‘the absence of judicial independence.’ “It is up to Poland to identify its own model for its justice system, but it should do so in a way that respects the rule of law,” it said in a statement.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
Authored by Tom Luongo,
As she fights for her political life Soon-to-be-ex-Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel will go down swinging against her stiffest political opponents in the European Union, the Poles.
Merkel and French President Emmanual Macron publicly agreed to back Article 7 proceedings against Poland for refusing to comply with EU immigration quotas and changes to its judicial system.
Immigration quotas, I might add, that are becoming harder to defend as the war in Syria is mostly over and the flow of refugees from there has slowed to a trickle. But, those brought in and stranded in camps in Italy and Greece apparently need to go somewhere else.
But, no one wants them. And the rest of the EU is trying to bully Poland and the rest of the Visigrad countries – Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – into taking on their ‘fair share.’ The problem with this is that Merkel made this decision unilaterally and foisted it on the rest of the EU.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 19, 2017.
It’s been quite a week geopolitically. From Angela Merkel admitting she can’t form a coalition and calling for new elections to Syrian peace talks opening up in Astana. From the poppy fields of Afghanistan to the Syrian oil fields east of the Euphrates River there is a hint of fresh air in U. S. foreign policy emanating from the Oval Office.
We’re a couple of days out from Thanksgiving here in the States but a quick perusal of the headlines since then has me thinking we’ve turned a corner in Syria. On Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held a meeting with their respective military commanders to prepare for the peace talks in Sochi.
Putin and Trump held an hour-long phone call that concentrated on Syria while touching on a lot of other topics. But, we can see the outcome of that phone call in today’s headline that Trump has pledged to Turkey that we would stop arming Kurdish forces in eastern Syria.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 26, 2017.
Be it a sudden surge in the effectiveness of Russia’s international espionage and cyber warfare operations or a mere figment of the imaginations of a frightening group of politicians in the West who fear they’re slowly losing control over the masses in their respective countries, one thing is certain, Russia is increasingly being blamed for some very serious “meddling” in foreign affairs.
The problem, of course, is that while everyone from Hillary Clinton to Angela Merkel and Theresa May, among others, attempt to saddle Russia with the blame for their waning popularity, their farcical attempts to identify a scapegoat as a method for sowing unity within their own fractured political parties could very well result in real world consequences, including a return to cold war era military build ups.
As the latest evidence of that fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently called on all “large-scale enterprise” to be ready to “increase military production” on a moments notice should the need arise. Per The Independent:
Russian business should be prepared to switch to production to military needs at any time, said Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. The Russian president was speaking at a conference of military leaders in Sochi. ‘The ability of our economy to increase military production and services at a given time is one of the most important aspects of military security,’ Mr Putin said. ‘To this end, all strategic, and simply large-scale enterprise should be ready, regardless of ownership.’
A day earlier, the president had spoken of a need to catch up and overtake the West in military technology. ‘Our army and navy need to have the very best equipment – better than foreign equivalents,’ he said. ‘If we want to win, we have to be better.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 23, 2017.
Authored by Tom Luongo,
I’m not a terribly religious man. But, I’d like to believe there is a special corner in Hell reserved for those that fomented the Syrian Civil War.
From its beginnings in Libya with gun-funneling through the U. S. embassy in Benghazi to yesterday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, this entire affair will be remembered as one of the most cynical and abusive periods of history.
The Syrian ‘Civil War’ was meant to be the crowning achievement of U. S./Israeli/Saudi policy in the Middle East, the apotheosis of neoconservatism.
Had it succeeded it would have transformed the world into a living hell governed by the likes of Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Angela Merkel and the U. S./U. K. banking cartel.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 23, 2017.
After the failure to form a new government, Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear she has no intention of withdrawing from the race. New elections in Germany are looking ever more likely. Merkel appeared on TV on ZDF and said that she had not thought of resigning. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the parties to make a new attempt to form a government. The SPD, however, reiterated it will not agree to a grand coalition.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 21, 2017.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policies have set in motion a self-reinforcing cycle of violence in which more and more people are carrying knives in public – including for self-defense. A 40-year-old man stabbed to death his 31-year-old wife and mother of their three children. Police said the man was angry that his wife was using social media. A “dark-skinned” man (dunklem Teint) drew a knife on a 54-year-old female train conductor when she asked him for his ticket. A recent surge in stabbings and knife-related violence across Germany is drawing renewed attention to the deteriorating security situation there since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to allow in more than a million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
In recent months, people armed with knives, axes and machetes have brought devastation to all of Germany’s 16 federal states. Knives have been used not only not only to carry out jihadist attacks, but also to commit homicides, robberies, home invasions, sexual assaults, honor killings and many other types of violent crime.
Knife-related crimes have occurred in amusement parks, bicycle trails, hotels, parks, public squares, public transportation, restaurants, schools, supermarkets and train stations. Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere; public safety, nowhere.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday her efforts to form a three-way coalition government had failed. Merkel only received 32.5% of the vote, which is probably the lowest vote of any major world leader. The FDP pulled out of negotiations thrusting Germany into a political crisis and ever closer to a possible new election.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 20, 2017.
Back in 2015, at the height of Angela Merkel’s “open door” admission policy which in addition to granting German entry to over 1 million refugees, many of whom turned out to be radical jihadists and sent her approval rating crashing to the lowest in her career, the German chancellor realized that the great migration wave from the middle east into Central Europe, originally meant to reinvigorate Europe’s aging demographics (and prompted Deutsche Bank to even boost its German GDP forecast), maybe was not such a great idea, and was just not worth the risks and trade offs.
And while in the subsequent two years Germany in particular, and Central Europe in general managed to avoid another mass migration wave with most refugees gated either in Turkey or Italy, a second wave of migration into Europe now may be imminent as the situation in refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East is only getting worse, the head of the UN World Food Programme said. He added there is a clear link between hunger and migration.
Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit, the executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme, David Beasley, said that living conditions, mostly food distribution, in refugee camps in crisis-affected regions had deteriorated dramatically before the European migrant crisis struck in 2015.
‘We paid a heavy price for this mistake and I’m afraid we’re about to make it once again,’ Beasley believes. According to the UN food chief, while many asylum seekers wanted to stay in their home region, the lack of food has driven them away. ‘If they don’t have enough food, they will leave. And many of them would go to Europe,’ Beasley said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.
In October, Merkel won what was dubbed as the ‘nightmare victory’ in the German elections. The weaker expected showing from the CDU/CSU forced her into complicated coalition negotiations with the FPD and the Greens. This process is coming to a head due to tomorrow’s self-imposed deadline to find enough common ground to press forward with the alliance. This alliance is the so-called ‘Jamaica’ coalition since the colours of the parties mirror Jamaica’s flag. As Reuters reports.
Talks on forming a new German coalition government ‘can work’, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday ahead of a long night of negotiations at which she must forge a three-way alliance or risk seeing her 12-year stint in power come to an end.
Merkel, 63, is trying to form an unlikely alliance between her conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the ecologist Greens – a combination untested at national level – to allow her to govern for a fourth term as chancellor. She wants exploratory talks on forming the coalition to end on Thursday so the would-be allies can move on to formal negotiations.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.
Two years after the European Commission carried out the bidding of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by approving a plan to distribute migrants entering the Schengen area through Greece and Italy evenly across the European Union, the people of Europe have made their displeasure with Merkel’s ‘open door’ policy abundantly clear.
Last month, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union suffered its most embarrassing showing in a federal election in decades, allowing a far-right, anti-immigrant party into parliament for the first time since World War II. The Alternative for Germany party’s unexpectedly strong showing fractured the ruling coalition spearheaded by Merkel’s conservatives as her partners, the Social Democrats opted to rebuild in opposition, complicating Merkel’s attempts to form a ruling coalition.
In what was widely celebrated by the right as an important public capitulation, Merkel announced that her government would consider implementing a refugee cap of 200,000 (far larger than the cap adopted by the Trump administration). While it’s unclear whether the cap will ultimately become law, the fact that Merkel has publicly acknowledged the failure of open doors was interpreted as a sea change in Europe’s response to the worsening migrant crisis.
And now, French President Emmanuel Macron – Merkel’s de facto partner in leading the European project – has himself made a small but important concession to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in France, which, like many of its neighbors in western Europe, has suffered a horrific string of terror attacks inspired or actively organized by the Islamic State, the South China Morning Post reported.
In a wide ranging interview this week, Macron revealed a new policy whereby illegal immigrants who commit crimes in France will face deportation. Presently, being an illegal immigrant in France isn’t a criminal offense.
Even without new legislation ‘we can take tougher measures’ and expel illegal immigrants if they commit a crime, ‘whatever it may be,’ Macron said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 21, 2017.
It didn’t take long for Europe’s biggest nations – the other signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the Iran Nuclear Deal – as well as Russia, to slam Trump’s unilateral decision to decertify the Iran agreement and, in the process, put the entire deal in jeopardy. Moments ago, in a joint statement, Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron all reiterated their commitment to the JCPOA, expressed their concern by the possible implications of Trump’s decision not to recertify the deal, and urged the US to think hard before taking further steps that might undermine it further.
Here is the statement they released together moments ago:
We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications.
We stand committed to the JCPoA and its full implementation by all sides. Preserving the JCPoA is in our shared national security interest. The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. The JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2231. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPoA through its long-term verification and monitoring programme. Therefore, we encourage the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 13, 2017.
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted late last year that she had ‘lost control’ of Germany’s refugee crisis after adopting an ‘open door’ policy that fueled an unprecedented spike in crime, her weakened ruling coalition announced Monday that it would seek to impose new restrictions on the number of refugees admitted to the country.
Germany famously admitted nearly one million refugees from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other war zones in 2015, a five-fold increase over the previous year.
Migrants repaid Germany for its openness by committing 142,500 crimes during the first six months of 2016, including several high-profile sexual assaults.
And now it seems Merkel has hit a wall and folded…
Merkel announced the policy change on Monday during a joint news conference with Horst Seehofer, leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union – the more conservative partner to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union – following discussions in which the two parties sought compromises on a number of issues following poor results in the federal elections two weeks ago, according to CNN.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.
There German election was on par with the global trend that is rising up against the establishment as we have known it. Angela Merkel has been accused of weakening her respective coalition partner. The election result of the Bundestag election shows that not only the SPD has to worry about losing ground, but the Union of the CDU and the CSU in Bavaria has been substantially weakened.
Merkel has always created a coalition by incorporating the key program points of the other parties into the Union. However, the election saw the Union lost nearly 9%, which is a historic defeat. In addition, there is a real rift emerging now with the CSU in Bavaria, where the CSU fell below 40% for the first time. In both cases, this has been caused by the refugee issue Merkel has tried to pretend is not a crisis.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 26, 2017.
One day after a “Nightmare Victory” for Angela Merkel in the German elections, which has unleashed a nationalist “earthquake” in the Bundestag, on Monday in another closely watched election, polls opened in Iraq’s Kurdish-run provinces and disputed territories as Iraqi Kurds cast ballots in support for independence from Baghdad in a historic but non-binding and furiously challenged vote.
Millions are expected to vote on Monday across the three provinces that make up the Kurdish autonomous region, as well as residents in disputed territories – areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
The vote is being carried out despite mounting regional opposition to the move, including virtually every neighboring nation, except the odd stance by Israel whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stunned the region when he commented specifically of the referendum on Sept 13 saying, “Israel supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 25, 2017.
Once again Merkel fails to win the popular vote in Germany. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union lost 9% compared to the last elections. Nevertheless, her party has remained as the largest party in Germany’s parliament. Merkel’s CDU won 32.5% of the popular vote far less than any president in the United States history. That was a major decline for Merkel yet she will still rule Germany and Europe for that matter.
Germany’s electorate is more divided than ever before. The AfD won seats for the first time and they now came in as a strong 3rd position. Traditionally, power has either been held by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) plus its sister Christian Social Union (CSU) party, or the Social Democratic Party (SPD). This year, however, the AfD will be making things more interesting and will play a far more crucial role as they exploit the Refugee Crisis with each and every terrorist act.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sept 24, 2017.
With polls closing shortly, Germany voted on Sunday in the country’s federal elections, with long-serving Chancellor Angela Merkel looks certain to win a historic fourth term in office (see full preview here). Absent last minute drama, the poll is also expected to see the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) entering parliament for the first time. The only outstanding question today is which other party or parties will join the chancellor’s Christian Democrats coalition in her new government
Polls opened at 8am (06:00 GMT) and first projections are expected when the polls close at 6pm.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged people to go vote. “Voting is a civic duty. Go and vote!” Steinmeier wrote in an opinion piece published in the Bild am Sonntag Sunday newspaper. “Every vote counts – your vote counts,” Steinmeier doubled down, hoping to avoid the recent plunge in voter participation observed in France. “People who don’t vote allow others to decide the future of our country.”
Some 61.5 million people are eligible to vote, and turnout was expected to be higher than the 71.5% of voters who turned up at the polls at the last election four years ago, however amid overcast skies and rain in much of Germany, turnout was little changed from the previous election in 2013, reaching 41.1% at 2 p.m. Berlin time, four hours before the close of voting.
This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden/ Sep 24, 2017.