It should come as no surprise that the Merkel government has been trying to hide the extent of the ongoing refugee crisis in Germany. The Merkel government appears to be trying to keep police surveillance of border controls top secret. Despite the fact that Merkel did close the Balkan route into Germany, the federal police continue to report there is a ‘high number of migrants’ entering Germany through the border with Austria. The migration to Germany is continuing. Back in 2015, Merkel boldly said Germany could accommodate 500,000 migrants annually for the next several years, and that $6.6 billion had been set aside for costs related to processing and accommodating them. Germany and Sweden give the refugees the most money for just coming there. Refugees in Germany receive up to 346 per month from the state, in Sweden, the monthly allowance is up to 224. In Britain, the equivalent sum is 217. This is why Germany is the number one destination. This is money to them that was often a one-year’s wage in a single month plus room and board.
Two weeks after Italy reacted with anger to Austria’s deployment of troops and armored vehicles to the border between the two nations, while reactivating border controls at the Brenner Pass over concerns that Italy will be unable to handle the roughly 85,000 migrants and refugees who have entered the country so far in 2017, the Italian government has threatened to retaliate in way that assures an imminent migrant crisis as well as an escalation of tensions between the two EU nations. According to The Times, an Italian minister and a senator have threatened to issue temporary EU visas to thousands of migrants in an effort to “resolve” Italy’s escalating migrant and refugee crisis, which would then allow the refugees to travel north. The move, which has been described as a ‘nuclear option,’ would allow the nearly 200,000 migrants currently stranded in Italy, to travel across Europe using a Brussels directive loophole. Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister, is livid that the rest of Europe has refused to take its fair share of migrants and that they have closed ports to rescue ships as the number of refugees attempting the treacherous crossing from Libya to the Continent has surged.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 15, 2017.
The vast wave of economic migrants claiming to be refugees that include many countries, not simply Syria, is tearing Europe apart. These people are given everything for free, nothing like any immigrant who came to the USA. This has had a tendency to reduce the incentive to work. They need not find a job to survive. They survive on the state alone and at levels of 80%+ of what they would earn in wages.
Authored by Pepe Escobar via Counterpunch.org, The Russia sanctions bill that passed the US Senate by 98:2 on June 15 is a bombshell; it directly demonizes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, which is bound to double Gazprom’s energy capacity to supply gas to Europe. The 9.5 billion euro pipeline is being financed by five companies; Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall; Austria’s OMV; France’s Engie; and Anglo-Dutch Shell. All these majors operate in Russia, and have, or will establish, pipeline contracts with Gazprom. In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern stressed that, ‘Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America’; ‘instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests’; and the whole thing heralds a ‘new and very negative quality in European-American relations’. An oil trader in the Gulf bluntly told me, ‘the new sanctions against Russia basically amount to telling the EU to buy expensive US gas instead of cheap Russian gas. So the Germans and the Austrians basically told the Americans to buzz off.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2017.
The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 5, 2017 People around the country are now making fun of CNN and are creating memes. Kathy Griffin was questioned for over an hour by the secret service. Austria brings armored vehicles to the border to stop an influx of refugees. US and South Korea hold drills after NK fires a missile. Trump calls an emergency UN Security Council meeting. Nikki Haley says the US will use force if it needs to. China and Russia are now taking control of the situation, they have created and plan to deal with NK, this does not sit well with the deep state, they want war. The Syrian forces are moving into central Syria and eradicating the IS. China and Russia want an impartial investigation into the chemical weapons attack. Russia is getting ready to release the terminator in Syria.
1:53 PM An angry Italy summoned Austria’s ambassador after the government in Vienna announced it was ready to re-introduce border controls and deploy troops and armored vehicles along the border to block any migrant influx out of Italy. Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told Kronen Zeitung daily that troops could go to the Brenner Pass and that four Pandur armoured personnel carriers had been sent to the Tyrol region with 750 troops were on standby. ‘We need to prepare for the migration development in Italy, and I expect very promptly that border controls will have to be activated and assistance requested,’ Hans Peter Doskozil told the online edition of the Krone daily, adding that a military deployment at the busy Alpine pass would be “indispensable if the influx into Italy [across the Mediterranean] does not diminish”. While Austria has border checks with Hungary and Slovenia, elsewhere – such as on the border with Italy – it adheres to the EU open borders system. Doskozil explained that ‘these are not battle tanks. These are armored vehicles without weapons which could block roads. These were already used during the refugee crisis 201/16 at the Spielfeld border crossing [with Slovenia],’ just in case Italy got the impression that its northern neighbor was preparing to invade.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 4, 2017.
The Russia sanctions bill that passed the U.S. Senate by 98:2 on June 15 is a bombshell; it directly demonizes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, which is bound to double Gazprom’s energy capacity to supply gas to Europe. The 9.5 billion pipeline is being financed by five companies; Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall; Austria’s OMV; France’s Engie; and Anglo-Dutch Shell. All these majors operate in Russia, and have, or will establish, pipeline contracts with Gazprom. In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern stressed that, ‘Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America’; ‘instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests’; and the whole thing heralds a ‘new and very negative quality in European-American relations’. An oil trader in the Gulf bluntly told me, ‘the new sanctions against Russia basically amount to telling the E.U. to buy expensive U.S. gas instead of cheap Russian gas. So the Germans and the Austrians basically told the Americans to buzz off.’
The First and the Second World War were the culmination of rivalries that go as far back as over a thousand years, when Charlemagne subjugated the Saxon tribes inhabiting modern Germany, and creating the Carolingian Empire. The political successors of Franks, France, and Saxons, the latter morphing into the Holy Roman Empire, then Prussia, then Germany, would continue to fight border wars until the bloodiest of them all, World War 2, inflicted enough destruction to both to force them to give up military means for the reciprocal arrangements. The First World War was triggered by a regional episode, the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, by Serb nationalists that put in motion the alliance of the German world, Austria and Prussia against the British, French and Russian one. Just like the two world wars in Europe were triggered by a single event, so can long standing, unresolved rivalries for power and influence over the Middle East result in the mother of all wars. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have collaborated in the recent years to overthrow the Assad presidency in Syria and replace it with a Sunni Muslim leader that would allow the creation of a pipeline from Qatar to Europe, for the benefit of the Gulf countries.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 3, 2017.
It is widely acknowledged that healthcare in the United States is the most expensive in the world. Per capita expenditures are roughly double that of other major economies. Some will argue that you get what you pay for, but the quality of care in the US is usually ranked as mediocre. This combination of high cost and poor performance resulted in a recent ranking of the U. S. in last place among major industrialized countries: The U. S. ranks last of 11 nations overall. Findings in this report confirm many of those in the earlier four editions of Mirror, Mirror, with the U. S. still ranking last on indicators of efficiency, equity, and outcomes. Some people are hopeful that full implementation of the Affordable Care Act will eventually reduce cost and improve outcomes. Austrian-school economists, however, continue to argue that the U. S. healthcare system will continue to face some combination of higher costs and rationing of services because of the ACA and that virtually all aspects of mainstream healthcare are government monopolies, including doctors, drugs, and hospitals. In fact, some people believe we are heading to a disaster in healthcare while others feel we are destined for a national healthcare system.
After recruiting Trump, the KGB and Moscow have clearly also managed to make all House Republicans their puppets, because the Senate bill that passed last week and slapped new sanctions on Russia (but really was meant to block the production on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia and which Germany, Austria and France all said is a provocation by the US and would prompt retaliation) just hit a major stumbling block in the House. At least that’s our interpretation of tomorrow’s CNN “hot take.” Shortly after House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas said that House leaders concluded that the legislation, S. 722, violated the origination clause of the Constitution, which requires legislation that raises revenue to originate in the House, and would require amendments, Democrats immediately accused the GOP of delaying tactics and “covering” for the Russian agent in the White House. ‘House Republicans are considering using a procedural excuse to hide what they’re really doing: covering for a president who has been far too soft on Russia,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement. ‘The Senate passed this bill on a strong bipartisan vote of 98-2, sending a powerful message to President Trump that he should not lift sanctions on Russia.’ And, if the House does pass it, a huge diplomatic scandal would erupt only not between the US and Russia, but Washington and its European allies who have slammed this latest intervention by the US in European affairs… a scandal which the Democrats would also promptly blame on Trump.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.
After the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to implement new sanctions against Russia over “interference in the 2016 U. S. elections” and curbs President Trump’s power to ease penalties against Moscow in the future – without consultations with US allies in Europe – President Trump has found himself cornered in what appears to be a lose-lose position. On one hand, the bill prompted an unexpectedly angry response by Germany and Austria, both of whom who have invested hundreds of millions into the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea, and who said the bill is trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. On Friday, Germany went so far as saying the bill “must not happen” with German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries saying “Berlin would have to think about counter-measures” if Trump – or the House – backed the plan. “If he does, we’ll have to consider what we are going to do against it.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 17, 2017.
One day after the Senate almost unanimously passed a bill to impose new sanctions on Russia, an unexpected outcry against the US decision emerged from two of America’s closest allies, Germany and Austria, who yesterday slammed the new sanctions and accused the U. S. of having ulterior motives in seeking to enforce the energy blockade, which they said is trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. And they warned the threat of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project “introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations.” Today’s the unexpected fallout from the latest round of US sanctions has escalated, and according to Reuters, Germany has threatened to retaliate against the United States if the new US sanctions on Russia end up penalizing German firms, which they almost will as it foresees punitive measures against entities that provide material support to Russia in building energy export pipelines. Such as Germany, Austria and host of other European nations. Berlin is concerned that if passed in the House, the sanctions will pave way for fines against German and European firms involved in Nord Stream 2, a project to build a pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic. And it’s not jet the Germans who are sweating: among the European companies involved in the project are German oil and gas giant Wintershall, German energy trading firm Uniper, Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie. In other words, if the Senate proposed sanctions pass, the US will have to fine virtually every energy giant in Europe. Quoted by Reuters, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert described the Senate bill, which must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by Trump before it becomes law, as “a peculiar move”. He said it was “strange” that sanctions intended to punish Russia for alleged interference in the U. S. elections could also trigger penalties against European companies. “That must not happen,” said Seibert.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.
Less than a day after the Senate overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions against the Kremlin, on Thursday Germany and Austria – two of Russia’s biggest energy clients in Europe – slammed the latest U. S. sanctions against Moscow, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas. Shortly after the Senate voted Wednesday to slap new sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy over “interference in the 2016 U. S. elections” and aggression in Syria and Ukraine, in a joint statement Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it appeared that the Senate bill was aimed at securing US energy jobs and pushing out Russian gas deliveries to Europe.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.
New research from a team of Czech scientists, which discovered new asteroids traveling around our planet, suggests that the risk of earth being hit by one of those extraterrestrial rocks is increasing. The likelihood of an asteroid striking Earth increased after the team studied 144 large meteors from the Taurids, a meteor stream – the very stream which appears in our skies twice a year. Most of these asteroids are small and pose no real threat. But some are alarming in size. The team of Czech scientists discovered a new branch of the Taurid stream phenomenon containing at least two asteroids measuring a whopping 200-300 meters (220-330 yards) in diameter. This branch likely includes even larger undiscovered asteroids, according to a statement from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The Taurid meteoroid stream produces at least four meteor showers over Earth. Two of those streams are active from the end of September until the beginning of December, and two from the end of May to the middle of July. Earth encounters the newly discovered branch every few years for about three weeks. Scientists say that during this time, the chance of an impact with a sizeable asteroid (measuring up to tens of meters) is significantly greater. The new digital autonomous observatories of the European Fireball Network spotted the fireballs over Czech Republic (at 13 stations), Austria (1 station) and Slovakia (1 station).
This post was published at shtfplan on June 8th, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… We’re told that last night another ‘ISIS-inspired’ suicide terrorist attack took place in the UK. Amazingly, this event seemed uncannily timed with today’s OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism Conference 2017 in Vienna, Austria. More incredibly, British Prime Minister Teresa May also declared that the ‘terrorists will never win’ before promptly moving to suspend the upcoming UK General Election. Currently, the UK Parliament is also dissolved, and so there are no restraints on executive government control in the UK, which means that the UK could ramp-up its military operations in Syria – presumably under the banner narrative of ‘fighting ISIS.’
Donald Trump campaigned on the economic issues of international trade, immigration, and jobs. He condemned international trade, immigrants, and the economic policies of countries such China and Mexico. As such, he should be made an honorary member of the mid-19th century ‘Know Nothing’ political party. This week he took aim at the trade deficit by issuing two executive orders allegedly to make international trade fairer and more beneficial for Americans. One order calls for a report on trade practices that contribute to the trade deficit. The second order seeks to establish better collection practices for anti-dumping fines and countervailing duties. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attempted to downplay the significance of the executive orders and said that there are likely multiple reasons for the trade deficit. However, this position reveals a general economic ignorance regarding international trade. There is one and only one reason to worry about the trade deficit. This problem does not require any studies or reports to understand. Austrian economists have regularly reminded us that the trade deficit does not matter. National borders are artificial contrivances that naturally create trade deficits in some countries and trade surpluses in other countries. I run continuous trade deficits with the supermarket where I shop. No big deal.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org, ‘The senator from Kentucky,’ said John McCain, speaking of his colleague Rand Paul, ‘is working for Vladimir Putin … and I do not say that lightly.’ What did Sen. Paul do to deserve being called a hireling of Vladimir Putin? He declined to support McCain’s call for a unanimous Senate vote to bring Montenegro into NATO as the 29th member of a Cold War alliance President Trump has called ‘obsolete.’ Bordered by Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, tiny Montenegro has a population roughly that of D. C., and sits on the western coast of the most volatile peninsula in Europe. What strategic benefit would accrue from having Montenegro as an ally that would justify the risk of our having to go to war should some neighbor breach Montenegro’s borders? Historically, the Balkans have been an incubator of war. In the 19th century, Otto van Bismarck predicted that when the Great War came, it would come out of ‘some damn fool thing in the Balkans.’ And so it did when the Austrian archduke was assassinated in Sarajevo June 28, 1914 by Serbian ethnonationalist Gavrilo Princip. Aflame with ethnic, civil and sectarian war in the 1990s, the western Balkans are again in political turmoil. Milo Djukanovic, the longtime Montenegrin prime minister who resigned on election day in October, claims that he was targeted for assassination by Russia to prevent Montenegro’s accession to NATO.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 17, 2017.
There are limitations to the standard economic model of supply and demand curves intersecting to reveal the optimal or equilibrium price and quantity of a good. Those limitations, as Austrians are well aware, are due to unrealistic assumptions. But noting that the assumptions are out of this world is not enough, especially if the models are used to explain a world that does not match the assumptions. The application of the simplified models, which indeed reveal important facts about how the economy works, tend to lead many economists astray. Increasing Costs to Producers Does Not Increase Prices A recent EconTalk episode, in which the host Russ Roberts interviews journalist and author Tom Wainwright of the Economist on his recent book Narconomics, illustrates how simple Econ 101 logic can be misleading. While the episode is well worth listening to and the discussion is both interesting and informative, a significant portion in the beginning is dedicated to discussing the issue of the price of illegal drugs. Noting an apparent ‘paradox’ and the author’s ‘fantastic’ argument, Roberts and Wainwright embark on and get stuck in a discussion that is fundamentally flawed and therefore may delude listeners. In his argument, Wainwright notes that the government’s focus on cutting back on the supply of illegal drugs has not affected price as expected. He uses an example of art to illustrate the point, and this is in fact a better example than he probably realized. Here’s his example: If the paint used to produce a painting costs $50 and a certain painting is sold at the price of $1,000,000, then raising the cost of a box of paint by 100 percent to $100 should also double the price of paintings – the next painting should be expected to be sold for $2,000,000. But it does not, the price of this painter’s next painting may still be $1,000,000, or, to reflect the increased cost, $1,000,050.
In a bill aimed at encouraging asylum seekers to leave voluntarily, Austrian lawmakers are considering halting the provision of food and accommodation to migrants who are denied asylum and refuse to leave the country. Austria took in roughly 90,000 asylum seekers in 2015, more than 1 percent of its population, as it was swept up in Europe’s migration crisis when hundreds of thousands of people crossed its borders, most on their way to Germany. As Reuters notes, it has since tightened immigration restrictions and helped shut down the route through the Balkans by which almost all those people – many of them fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and elsewhere – arrived. Asylum applications fell by more than half last year. Asylum seekers in Austria get so-called basic services, including free accommodation, food, access to medical treatment and 40 euros ($42.41) pocket money a month.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 3, 2017.