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.
EU leaders formerly endorsed the harmless sounding Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO, pact on Thursday evening in Brussels. After the shock of Brexit, the goal of defence integration was revived by former military foes, Germany and France, supported by Italy and Spain, in a show of EU unity. A similar proposal was blocked by the French parliament in the 1950s (see below). Now a treaty has been signed which sees the defence union complete by 2025 in what has been described as ‘one of the most tangible steps in EU integration since Brexit’. Britain, thanks to Brexit, Malta and Denmark, which has an ‘opt out’ on EU defence issues did not sign the agreement. Standing in the front row on the left of the group photo was the President of the undemocratic European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, who has been calling for an EU army for many years. In 2015, The Guardian reported. The European Union needs its own army to help address the problem that it is not ‘taken entirely seriously’ as an international force, the president of the European commission has said. Jean-Claude Juncker said such a move would help the EU to persuade Russia that it was serious about defending its values in the face of the threat posed by Moscow. ‘You would not create a European army to use it immediately,’ Juncker told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper in Germany in an interview published on Sunday.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.
Via GEFIRA, Headlines were made in Italy a few days ago when a ‘casual, unidentified photographer’ happened to walk in the streets of Florence and had the uncanny ability of taking a snapshot of an inside wall of the Carabinieri barracks that are literally steps away from the city center. The flag was not hanging outside a window, as it was inside the private dormitory of military personnel, but it could be partially visible from the outside as the window was open.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 13, 2017.
Over the past couple of years, Europe has experienced a record influx of asylum seekers fleeing conflicts in Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries. Not surprisingly, the massive wave of Muslim migrants has become a political hot topic, particularly in countries like Germany, U. K., France, Italy and Sweden which have taken in a combined total of nearly 3 million migrants over just the past couple of years. Per the Pew Research Center (PRC):
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 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.
Technically, she was one of the richest women in the world, although her fortune is all for charity and held in trust. Born Agnes Gonxha in Albania, Mother Teresa founded the world-famous ‘Missionaries of Charity’ and spent the majority of her life in Calcutta, India, providing care for people living in poverty there. Before her passing in 1997, she had opened 517 missions in more than 100 countries. Her brand of altruism soon developed a worldwide reputation, with her name becoming synonymous with good deeds and earthy sacrifice in the service of the poor. In 2003, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was beatified by the Vatican, approaching sainthood. She was not without her critics however. Accusations of mishandling cash followed the iconic charity figure after her death. Critics maintain that the hundreds of millions of dollars collected by her foundation have not been distributed as effectively as many thought. This week another new chapter to this story has emerged. According to a newly-released book by Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, it was Mother Teresa’s cash savings which helped to prop-up the Vatican’s shadowy financial institution, and that if she had withdrew those funds the bank could have potentially defaulted, said Italy’s La Presse magazine.
As we’ve pointed out, the supervolcano phenomenon is hardly unique to Yellowstone National Park, where a long dormant volcano with the potential to cause a devastating eruption has been rumbling since mid-summer, making some scientists uneasy. Surprisingly active supervolcanos have been documented in Italy, North Korea and, now, Antarctica after scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have found new evidence to support a theory that the breakup of Antarctic ice may be caused in part by a massive geothermal heat source, with output close to the scale of Yellowstone National Park. Of course, if accurate, this theory would help rebut the notion that man-made climate change is in part responsible for the melting ice, Russia Today reports. A geothermal heat source called a mantle plume, a hot stream of subterranean molten rock that rises through the Earth’s crust, may explain the breathing effect visible on Antarctica’s Marie Byrd Land and elsewhere along the massive ice sheet. While the mantle plume is not a new discovery, the recent research indicates it may explain why the ice sheet collapsed in a previous era of rapid climate change 11,000 years ago, and why the sheet is breaking up so quickly now.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.
The Madrid government sacked Catalonia’s president and dismissed its parliament on Friday, hours after the region declared itself an independent nation in Spain’s gravest political crisis since the return of democracy four decades ago. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who seems to think he has the power of Franco, called for new elections and fired the Catalan police chief. The crisis in Spain is a reflection of the crisis in the EU as a whole. This unprecedented dictatorial array of measures to seize control of the administration in Barcelona is so undemocratic, it is guaranteed to send warning signals to many other regions of the EU especially Italy. Armstrong Economics
Via GEFIRA, Gianandrea Galiani interviewed by Daniel Moscardi Gianandrea Gaiani is the director of the highly respected online magazine analisidifesa.it and an expert on immigration. He is a regular contributor to a number of Italian newspapers and appears frequently on numerous TV channels as an on immigration and security topics. He’s also the author (together with Giancarlo Blangiardo and Giuseppe Valditara) of the recent book (in Italian) Immigrazione, tutto quello che dovremmo sapere (Immigration. All you need to know about’). Gefira asked Gianandrea Gaiani in an exclusive interview about his views on the latest developments in the arrivals from Libya and Tunisia and the current approach of the Italian government. Outspoken and anything but politically correct, Gaiani hits the spot about the recent change of policy of the Italian government on the NGO’s code of conduct as well as Italy’s achievements and (so called) ‘partners’ in Libya. GE: What caused last summer’s change of course by the Italian government and its approach toward the NGOs and the arrivals from Libya in general? GG: The answer is quite simple. The disaster for the PD (Partito Democratico), leader of the current government, at the June administrative elections, sounded an alarm, showing clearly that when it comes to immigration, many center-left voters steer clearly to the right. A swift change of course was badly needed, with the obvious intent of reassuring disenchanted and alarmed Italians that the government was in charge of the situation. GE: The numbers show that the arrivals have diminished significantly but that’s just that. We are still very far from the pre-2011 numbers. GG: That’s because the government, on the other side, has to keep being complacent to the industry of immigration. It’s a network that profits – and thrives – on new arrivals, and this network galaxy is NOT happy if the arrivals complete stop. And their votes are also badly needed by the current government.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 24, 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.
Via GEFIRA, guest author: Daniel Moscardi An exclusive interview with Anna Bono. Prof. Anna Bono has been a researcher in African history and institutions at the University of Turin until 2015 after living many years in Africa. She has collaborated as an expert on Africa with a number of Universities and Institutions, including the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and written over 1600 articles, essays and books on topics such as international relations and cooperation with Africa, as well as demographics and migrations. GEFIRA asked in an exclusive interview the opinion of an expert on Africa about the current situation in Italy, about the ‘asylum seekers’ coming mostly from sub-Saharan countries. Professor Anna Bono recently made headlines in Italy with a book that completely debunks the ongoing narrative of ‘poor Africans’ running away from starvation and knocking on wealthy Europe’s doors through Sicily or other ports of southern Italy. * * * GEFIRA: Can we identify one of the more specific events as the beginning of the ongoing biblical numbers arriving in Italy? ANNA BONO: It all started with the removal of Qaddafi. Qaddafi, bound by the 2008 treaty of cooperation with Italy, implemented an effective control of Libyan coasts, thus preventing the departure of migrants from other African countries. The numbers of arrivals of Africans to Italy prior to Qaddafi’s overthrow were manageable; moreover, they were not organized as they are today. It is important to remind Europeans that Libya prior to 2011 was a relatively wealthy and stable country, hosting approximately 1 million foreign workers mostly from sub-Saharan Africa. When the civil war broke out, some of these foreign workers went home, but the majority started to look for ways of crossing over to Italy.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.
The EU has been dictating to the member states but has failed to shoulder common costs for the refugee crisis they did not create. The EU denied Italy to subtract the cost of feeding refugees from their budget restrictions imposed by the EU. Now the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called for a payment of 400 million for the Hungarian border fence. What is clear is that ‘European solidarity’ is a one-way street. Everyone must do as the EU commands and pay up to support Brussels, but Brussels will not share the costs of the crisis they have created. This is tearing the ‘solidarity’ apart because it is clearly a one-way arrangement.
Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, Although the European Union successfully bribed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year — inducing him to slow the flow of migrants heading through Turkey into Greece — Italy has received almost 100,000 people so far this year. This summer, even more than in previous years, it has become plain that some of the NGOs working in the Mediterranean are acting as something more than intermediaries. Many have in fact been acting as facilitators. This makes the NGOs effectively no more than the benign face of the smuggling networks. Undercover workers have also discovered NGOs handing vessels back to the smugglers’ networks, effectively helping them to continue their criminal enterprise indefinitely. A group that which seeks to oppose Europe’s current self-destructive insane trajectory can now not even source independent financial support. Groups, however, that continue to push Europe along its current trajectory continue to get all the official support they need. In the difference in reaction to these two groups lies a significant part of the story of the ruin of a continent. Sometimes it is in the gap between things that the truth emerges. In recent years Europe has been on the receiving end of one of the most significant migrant crises in history. In 2015, in just a single year, countries such as Germany and Sweden found themselves adding 2% to their respective populations. Although much of the public continue to labour under the misapprehension that those still coming are fleeing the Syrian civil war; in fact, the majority of those now entering Europe are from Africa, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa. Although the European Union successfully bribed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year — inducing him to slow the flow of migrants heading through Turkey into Greece — Italy has received almost 100,000 people so far this year. Spain — which had ducked much of the movement of recent years — now finds itself receiving thousands of people who are sometimes (as in this memorable footage from earlier this month) simply landing on the country’s beaches and running straight into the country. In doing so, they are not only breaking into Europe in a fashion that is illegal, but flouting all the asylum protocols, and other protocols, however inadequate, that are meant to exist.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.
The European Commission is offering European consumers the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, which provides for the supply, in particular, of Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas along the Turkey – Greece – Italy route. The project’s potential participants have their own interests, however, and are divided by long-standing antagonisms that are turning the corridor into a military and political delayed-action mine. *** Turkey, which is traditionally reluctant to play by the European Union’s rules, is playing a particular role here. Ankara’s plans to build an Israel – Turkey pipeline are being superimposed on the desire of the Turkish elite to occupy key positions in the development of offshore natural gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, primarily around Cyprus. These plans are unleashing a whole host of problems between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, while, at the same time, affecting the interests of Israel, as well as Egypt and Libya, which are claiming their rights to the continental shelf. The world’s leading oil and gas companies are also pursuing their own economic objectives in the region, the most active of which are the French company Total and the Italian company ENI. The current focus of contention is the offshore Block 11, situated in the territorial waters of Cyprus. Turkey, which is also speaking on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has already sent a frigate, TCG Gkeada, to the region. The frigate’s commander has been ordered to use whatever measures necessary to counteract ‘undesirable’ activity around the continental shelf. But any actions by Nicosia and Athens in support could be deemed ‘undesirable’, since Turkey’s official position is that all the gas resources on Cyprus’ continental shelf belong not only to the Greek Cypriots, but also to the Turkish Cypriots. And by the latter is meant the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 28, 2017.
Venice’s right-wing mayor has ordered cops to shoot anyone who shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ – rather than risk a terror attack. The Times reports that Italian mayor Luigi Brugnaro claimed that his city Venice was safer than Barcelona – where 14 people died being run down by a van last week. “In contrast with Barcelona, where they had not set up protection, we keep our guard up.” Speaking at a conference in Rimini, north east Italy, he further revealed the extraordinary order he has given to armed police at one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe. ‘If anyone runs into St Mark’s Square shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’, we will take him down. “A year ago I said within four paces, now within three. I will say it in Venetian: ‘Ghe Sparemo’ (We will shoot him).“ The Mirror additionally reports that he went on to recall the arrest in March of four suspected jihadists who allegedly planned to kill hundreds of tourist by blowing up the world famous Rialto bridge.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.
The EU has abandoned Italy while simultaneously demanding that the refugees must be taken care of. Nearly 100,000 refugees have arrived in Italy since the start of this year alone. The Italian government cannot cope with the refugee crisis and Brussels said they cannot exempt them from the restraint of busgets. That means that money for Italians must be diverted to the refugees and they keep coming. Italy is being pushed to the limit and cannot possible cope with this burden alone while Brussels refuses to compensate them. Let any country refuse to accept refugees and Brussels is quick to condemn them, but wont pay for them itself.
The European Refugee Crisis is really completely out of control. The bulk of these people are by no means refugees. You see no women and children here in the boat – only young men. Now Spain is the new target and will overtake Greece as the second-biggest gateway for economic invader entering Europe by sea. The sudden surge in migration to Spain comes following a crackdown on human smuggling along the Libya-Italy sea route, which has been the main entry route to Europe. Africans are migrating to Europe because there is little to do at home. Egypt will grow to 100 million people while Nigeria to soon reach 400 million. Europe will be swallowed up whole as it was when the Roman Empire was subjugated by the Barbarians who crossed the Rhine River.
“The biggest migration movements are still ahead: Africa’s population will double in the next decades. A country like Egypt will grow to 100 million people, Nigeria to 400 million. In our digital age with the internet and mobile phones, everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle.” – German Development Minister Gerd Mller. “Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.” – Michael Mller, Director of the United Nations office in Geneva. “If we do not manage to solve the central problems in African countries, ten, 20 or even 30 million immigrants will arrive in the European Union within the next ten years.” – Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. Spain is on track to overtake Greece as the second-biggest gateway for migrants entering Europe by sea. The sudden surge in migration to Spain comes amid a crackdown on human smuggling along the Libya-Italy sea route, currently the main migrant point of entry to Europe. The westward shift in migration routes from Greece and Italy implies that Spain, situated only ten miles from Africa by sea, may soon find itself at the center of Europe’s migration crisis.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 17, 2017.
The European Union recorded the largest increase in slavery of any world region in 2017, with the arrival of more than 100,000 migrants, many of them extremely vulnerable to exploitation, analysts said on Thursday. As KeepTalkingGreece.com reports, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria are the countries with the most slave labour within the EU. The risk of slave labour in farming, construction and other sectors rose across the region, with 20 of the EU’s 28 member states scoring worse than in 2016 in an annual global slavery index by British analytics company Verisk Maplecroft. ‘The migrant crisis has increased the risk of slavery incidents appearing in company supply chains across Europe,’ said Sam Haynes, senior human rights analyst at Verisk Maplecroft. Globally there are 21 million people in forced labour, including children, in a business worth $150 billion a year, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The index, which assessed incidents of human trafficking or slavery, as well as laws and law enforcement in 198 countries, ranked Romania, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Bulgaria as the countries with the most slave labour within the EU.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 11, 2017.