France says will not meet E.U. deficit rules until 2017

Crisis-wracked France on Wednesday said it would not be able to get its public deficit under the EU maximum of three percent until 2017, pushing the target back by two years.
Finance Minister Michel Sapin said France's deficit would be 4.4 percent of output in 2014, dropping only slightly to 4.3 percent in 2015. He added the target of getting below the three-percent ceiling would not happen until 2017, instead of 2015 as previously forecast.

This post was published at France24

Spain is Militarizing Against Citizens – The Coming Civil War?

The Spanish government is militarizing gearing up for violent protests against the EU that are expected to turn up before a hot autumn. Spain is now equipping the police for about one billion euros with new combat equipment. Violent protests in Spain since the crisis began almost a daily occurrence. Movements such as 25 de Mayo or the Indignados call Spaniards of all strata of the population to protest against the government on the streets. The police will always respond violently. They cover up their brutal responses by banning any video of police beatings making it a crime in itself. This is certainly illustrating the loss of freedom and any democratic process within Europe. The police scandals have only charged the atmosphere within the population and we may see this erupt into civil war as we move forward.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 10, 2014.

Russian Retaliation Begins: Gazprom “Limiting EU Gas”, Cuts Poland Supplies By 24% In Past Two Days

Over the weekend, we commented that in response to Europe’s latest, and most serious, sanction round which would finally impact Russian energy giants Rosenft, Gazprom Neft (but not Gazprom) and Transneft, “suddenly the stakes for Russia, and thus Europe, just got all too real, as Putin will now have no choice but to really ramp up the retaliatory escalation, which following the food ban can only mean one thing: a staggered reduction in gas flow to Europe.“
And while Europe appears to have blown its load prematurely, with the sanctions leaked before Europe actually has the consensus to implement them (it is now a daily threat by Europe which is screaming that it will impose the sanctions any minuteyet not actually doing so), Russia has no such moral quandaries and three days following our forecast, here comes Gazprom confirming once again that it is perfectly happy to play the “mutual defection” strategy in the ongoing and ever escalating game theory between Europe and Russia for one simple reason: it has all the leverage.
From Bloomberg:
RUSSIA LIMITING EU GAS TO RESTRICT REVERSE SUPPLY TO UKRAINE In other words, this is only the beginning as Ukraine has clearly made the case that it will plug its gas reserve gap using “reverese flow” of Russian gas in transit to Europe. More importantly, this follows news earlier today from Poland’s PGNiG which said Gazprom lowered supply by 20%-24% in past 2 days.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/10/2014.

Scottish Vote Scares London

We have been warning that the Scottish separation was something to take seriously since the Berlin Conference in 2012. Now suddenly the polls are showing Scotland just may vote YES and leave the UK because of the rising chaos in the EU and the totally insane policies in France. The British financial markets tumbled on Monday after an opinion poll showed for the first time this year that Scots may vote for independence in a referendum next week on the 18th, breaking up the United Kingdom that was first joined in 1707.
The latest poll has sent a shock-wave that is bordering on the verge of a panic among Britain’s ruling elite. The chart pattern of the pound looks like a Waterfall Event. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative-led government is now suddenly promising proposals this week to grant Scotland greater autonomy if it stays. All the pundits had said we were wrong and there was no support in Scotland for such a separation

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 9, 2014.

EU Threatens New Sanctions; Russia Responds with Threats on Natural Gas and Airspace Flight Restrictions

The tit-for-tat sanction madness in Europe took a huge leap forward today with new sanctions in the work on Russian energy companies. Russia responded by threatening to restrict commercial flights over its airspace, by threatening to halt reverse flows of natural gas to Ukraine, and with a threat to reduce gas delivery to Europe. EU Plans New SanctionsThe Wall Street Journal reports New EU Sanctions to Stop Fundraising by 3 Russian Oil Giants
New European Union sanctions on Russia will expand the number of Russian companies unable to raise money in the bloc’s capital markets to include three state-owned oil companies, according to documents seen by The Wall Street Journal. The documents show the EU seeking to hit Russian oil companies, but leaving unscathed those involved in gas production and export, which are critical to many European countries’ energy supplies. Under a modest expansion of sanctions introduced in late July, the three oil companies – Gazpromneft, the oil-production and refining subsidiary of OAO Gazprom, oil transportation company Transneft, and oil giant Rosneft – will be forbidden from raising funds of longer than 30 days’ maturity.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on September 08, 2014.

Anxious EU Leaders Delay Russian Sanctions For “Few Days”

Whether it is confidence in Poroshenko’s statements that “the ceasefire is holding” or fears over Russia’s threats of “asymmetric” retaliation, Europe’s leaders – having convinced the Finns not to veto – emerged from their emergency meeting and declared tough new funding sanctions on Russia’s big three oil companies… will be “delayed a few days.” It would seem – as we noted earlier – Europe is debating whether or not it can last the winter cold better than Russia can withstand the funding lock.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/08/2014.

Europe’s Russian Sanctions In Jeopardy As “One Country” Holds Out

As ‘rumors’ of European sanctions against Russia’s major oil energy firms are leaked strawman-like to the market and expected to be enacted as soon as tomorrow, it appears there is a ‘glitch’ in the union. The FT’s Peter Spiegel reports that one country is holding out on EU sanctions and that is the reason for an emergency unscheduled meeting of EU diplomats this evening.
I'm told one country is holding out on #EU's #Russia sanctions, hence an emergency meeting of ambassadors just called.
— Peter Spiegel (@SpiegelPeter) September 8, 2014

*EU DIPLOMATS SAID TO MEET LATER TODAY ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS PLAN *EU DIPLOMATS SAID TO MEET 6PM CET ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS ENACTMENT *EU DIPLOMATIC MEETING ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS WAS UNSCHEDULED

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/08/2014.

Marine Le Pen Ahead of Hollande in France Presidential Poll; Le Pen Blames EU for Crisis in Ukraine

French president Francois Hollande’s term does not end until 2017, but for the first time ever Marine Le Pen’s Front National party is on top in head-to-head polling.
Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen once shocked France by taking Front National to round two in the 2002 election, but was defeated by incumbent president Jacques Chirac who obtained 82% of the votes.
The Financial Times reports Poll shows Le Pen beating Hollande in presidential run-off
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front, would beat struggling incumbent Franois Hollande in a run-off election for the French presidency, according to a new poll.
The unprecedented finding came as a fresh blow to Mr Hollande at the end of a week in which he suffered a cascade of bad news, including the publication of a lacerating book by Valrie Trierweiler, his former partner.
A poll for Ifop, published on Friday, showed that Ms Le Pen would beat Mr Hollande by 54-46 per cent if they were matched today in the decisive second round of the presidential election. The next election is due in 2017.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Sunday, September 07, 2014.

US Corporate Espionage

Glenn Greenwald documented yesterday that, last August, the US government announced that it:
… does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber. [emphasis original] Right after that, the US government was revealed to be, as Greenwald documents:
…spying on plainly financial targets such as the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras; economic summits; international credit card and banking systems; the EU antitrust commissioner investigating Google, Microsoft, and Intel; and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In response, the U. S. modified its denial to acknowledge that it does engage in economic spying…
And about 13 years earlier, in the year 2000, William Blum documented:
Like a mammoth vacuum cleaner in the sky, the National Security Agency (NSA) sucks it all up … if it runs on electromagnetic energy, NSA is there … Twenty-four hours a day. Perhaps billions of messages sucked up each day. No one escapes. Not presidents, prime ministers, the UN Secretary-General, the pope, the Queen of England, embassies, transnational corporation CEOs, friend, foe, your Aunt Lena … if God has a phone, it’s being monitored … maybe your dog isn’t being tapped. The oceans will not protect you. American submarines have been attaching tapping pods to deep underwater cables for decades.
Under a system codenamed ECHELON, launched in the 1970s, the NSA and its junior partners in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada operate a network of massive, highly automated interception stations, covering the globe amongst them.

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 6, 2014.

Understanding the 3 Faces of Nationalism

Nationalism is not unique to any country, yet it is a very important aspect to analyze in the field of political-economy. There are different types of nationalism and these types do not always fit together comfortably.
The first type of nationalism emerges from expanding a nation in what I call the Conquest-Model like the growth of Rome. This brand of nationalism was accomplished well by Rome only because it sought to create an economy building roads and expanding investment opportunity with a common language and monetary system. Others who have sought to create empire, such as Spain, failed to view its possessions as equals and instead sought to exploit their resources. Britain expanded around the world but it too did not actually embrace the different cultures as did Rome. Rome permitted its conquered states to retain their own religion and customs, but created a single economy through language that the EU has failed to even understand. The USA expanded from East to West building a common language and economy in the same manner as Rome.
The second type is often considered the only type that is defined very broadly to include all of the people and religious groups that have traditionally lived in a given the territory creating the image of one country v another. This is truly perhaps the most common for it is typically the one furthered by the state and political leaders for it supports greater power in their hands. The key desire of these nationalists is often inspired by the state for the goal is to reintegrate the territory after a fall, or defend it against the world when the economy declines such as Germany post-WWI. These two flavors within the second type provide subcategories that are distinct. This second form nationalism is also one of pride where a lot of Russians ascribe to this seeing the old empire as a dream and respond that taking Ukraine is good because Russia is getting bigger once again. They do not see the economic impact.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 6, 2014.

Lessons on Hornets and Bears; Ukraine Ceasefire a Victory for Common Sense

If you are looking for something to gag on today, please consider the Bloomberg View by Leonid Bershidsky Ukraine’s Cease-Fire Is Putin’s Victory.
…As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he has secured a ringside seat and may settle down with a bowl of popcorn. Any outcome suits him as long as Ukraine struggles to get out of its impasse alone. He will be happy to see the Lugansk and Donetsk regions turn into a frozen-conflict zone, precluding Ukraine’s further integration into NATO and the European Union, and equally pleased to have them gain broad autonomy from Kiev and a veto on major political decisions. A military solution suits him, too, since the West has refused to engage him except in the form of ineffectual sanctions.
Make no mistake about it: The ceasefire is a victory for Putin, a vindication of his aggression and duplicity. I just hope it ends the bloodshed.
Victory for Common SenseWhile one can claim this is a victory for Putin, one should rightfully gag over Bershidsky’s comment regarding “aggression and duplicity.”The US and EU fomented this crisis and now apologists for failed US policy don’t like the results: Russia annexed Crimea and Ukraine may splinter.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Friday, September 05, 2014.

Europol Chief Takes Instructions on Document Access from Americans

The head of the E.U. police agency Europol is taking instructions from the Americans on what EU-drafted documents he can and cannot release to E.U. lawmakers.
The issue came up over the summer when U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Anthony Gardner told E.U. ombudsman Emily O’Reilly she cannot inspect an annual Europol report drafted by the agency’s own internal data protection review board.
The report describes how data concerning E.U. citizens and residents is transferred to the US.

This post was published at EU Observer

Ukraine, Separatists Agree On Cease-Fire; EU May Suspend Sanctions

UPDATE: So far no good…*HEAVY ARTILLERY BLASTS HEARD IN UKRAINE’S MARIUPOL: RIA
While we had grown weary of trashed truces and snapped cease-fires in Israel, it appears, according to Interfax, that Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine (having gained notably over the army in recent days) have agreed a cease-fire:
*UKRAINE, SEPARATISTS AGREE ON CEASE-FIRE FROM 6PM TODAY: IFX *POROSHENKO: PRELIM. PROTOCOL TO CEASE-FIRE SIGNED IN MINSK: BBC Great news, especially for Merkel (and Hollande) who has already come out and noted that the cease-fire means EU could suspend sanctions (saving face and avoiding some further escalation). The question is – how much of Putin’s 7-point-peace-plan will Ukraine acquiesce to? If any?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/05/2014.

Slovakia Asks EU to Cut Sanctions Some Against Russia

Slovakia speaks against some sanctions against Russia, proposed by the European Union, according to the Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico.
“We have addressed the EU, asking them to remove some clauses from the sanctions proposal. We want a number of products included in the list to be exempt from sanctions, so that we can continue exporting them to Russia,” Fico said during press conference after a special meeting dedicated to the discussion of new EU sanctions against Russia.
The ministers, who took part in a meeting, spoke against proposed export ban on goods that can have both military and civilian use, aimed for Russian private companies. According to the ministers, some Slovak machine-tool makers may become bankrupt if sanctions become effective.

This post was published at RAI Novosti

Finland Most Vulnerable to Russian Gas Cutoff

Finland would experience gas shortages even if Russia cut off exports just for one month, while other EU countries would last between three to nine months without Russian gas, according to a German study.
"A Russian gas export embargo during the winter of 2014/15 lasting for more than 6 months would cause supply shortfalls in many European countries, in particular, in central and eastern Europe, including Germany," according to a study published Wednesday (3 September) by the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne.
Based on a computer simulation of European pipelines, storage facilities and liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure, the study explores what would happen if Russia would cut off the gas for one, three, six or nine months.

This post was published at EU Observer

EU Targets Bank Loans, World Cup in Russia Sanctions Talks

EU ambassadors are holding talks in Brussels on new proposals for Russia sanctions – seen by EUobserver – with ideas including “action” to block its 2018 World Cup.
The talks are taking place amid news of a “ceasefire process” agreed between Kiev and Moscow, which EU diplomats regard with caution.
According to an options paper tabled by the European Commission and the E.U. diplomatic service, "there are two possible avenues for stepping up economic pressure" to make Russia cease hostilities.

This post was published at EU Observer

Warning to the World: Washington and its NATO & EU Vassals are Insane – Paul Craig Roberts

Herbert E. Meyer, a nutcase who was a special assistant to the CIA director for a period during the Reagan administration, has penned an article calling for Russian President Putin’s assassination. If we have ‘ to get him out of the Kremlin feet-first with a bullet hole in the back of his head, that would be okay with us.’ As the crazed Meyer illiustrates, the insanity that Washington has released upon the world knows no restraint. Jose Manual Barroso, installed as Washington’s puppet as European Commission President, misrepresented his recent confidential telephone conversation with Russia’s President Putin by telling the media that Putin issued a threat: ‘If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks.’
Clearly, Putin did not issue a threat. A threat would be inconsistent with Putin’s entire unprovocative approach to the strategic threat that Washington and its NATO puppets have brought to Russia in Ukraine. Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said that if Barroso’s lie stands, Russia will make public the full recording of the conversation
Anyone familiar with the disparity between the Ukrainian and Russian militaries knows full well that it would take the Russian military 14 hours, not 14 days, to take all of Ukraine. Just remember what happened to the American and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian Army when Washington set its stupid Georgian puppets on South Ossetia. The American and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian army collapsed under Russian counterattack in 5 hours.
The lie that Washington’s puppet Barroso told was not worthy of a serious person. But where in Europe is there a serious person in power? Nowhere. The few serious people are all out of power. Consider the NATO Secretary General, Anders Rasmussen. He was a prime minister of Denmark who saw he could rise beyond Denmark by serving as Washington’s puppet. As prime minister he strongly supported Washington’s illegal invasion of Iraq, declaring that ‘we know that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.’ Of course, the fool didn’t know any such thing, and why would it matter if Iraq did have such weapons. Many countries have weapons of mass destruction.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on September 2, 2014.

Sanctions Against Russia ‘Unproductive’ – France’s National Assembly

EU sanctions against Russia are unfair and unproductive, according to Thierry Mariani, member of the National Assembly of France.
“I, and many of the other participants of today’s meeting, think that the sanctions imposed against Russia are unfair, unconstructive and unproductive,” Mariani said during a meeting between Sergei Naryshkin, Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Speaker, with French political and social activists in Paris Monday.
Over the past few months, the United States and the European Union introduced several rounds of targeted sanctions against the Russian economy, unjustifiably blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

This post was published at RAI Novosti

Moldova Asks EU to Provide Its Farmers With Financial Assistance

Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca asked the European Union to provide Moldovan farmers with financial aid during a meeting with Stefan Fule, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, a spokesman for the Moldovan government told RIA Novosti Monday.
“European financial assistance was one of the main topics discussed by Leanca and Fule. The Commissioner stated that he would consider the possibility of Europe providing [Moldovan] farmers with financial help,” the spokesman said.
On July 18, Russia's agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor introduced temporary restrictions on fruit imports from Moldova.
On September 1, a law cancelling nullified duties for imports of certain Moldovan products to Russia, including wine, meat, vegetables, grain and fruit, came into effect. The law was drafted in order to protect the Russian market from an uncontrolled flow of European duty-free goods following Moldova’s signing of a free-trade agreement with the EU on June 27.

This post was published at RAI Novosti

Ebola becoming harder to treat -US experts: rapid mutation could ‘render treatment and vaccines ineffective’

August 2014 – AFRICA – As countries across the world battle to contain the spreads of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the killer ailment appears to be devising means of circumventing efforts to stop it, researchers have said. Experts claim that the virus is ‘rapidly and continually mutating, making it harder to diagnose and treat.’ This is just as former President Olusegun Obasanjo declared, on Saturday, that the index case, Patrick Sawyer, in a ‘devilish’ connivance with some Liberian authorities, intentionally brought the disease to Nigeria. He also noted that the disease, which he said had become a global problem, had been taking a toll on Nigeria’s economy, charging the Federal Government to partner the World Health Organization (WHO), European Union (EU) and government of America in containing the virus. Sunday Tribune’s finding showed that result of a research by a team of American scientists indicates that the initial patients diagnosed with the virus in Sierra Leone revealed almost 400 genetic modifications, concluding that this could render current treatment ineffective and put vaccines that are being worked on for its cure in danger. According to reports, the team of researchers, under the Broad Institute in Massachusetts and Harvard University, analyzed more than 99 Ebola virus genomes which were collected from 78 patients diagnosed with the disease in Sierra Leona in the first 24 days of the current outbreak. Dr Pardis Sabeti, a senior associate member at the Broad Institute and an associate professor at Harvard University, who was among leaders of the research, said ‘by making the data immediately available to the community, we hope to accelerate response efforts.

This post was published at The Extinction Protocol on September 1, 2014.