Europe in Turbulence
RAIR Foundation, July 8, 2022
The European Union is fighting to slash its carbon emissions by 55% by 2030, a goal requiring radical policies that will destroy farmers. For weeks there have been protests by farmers in the Netherlands against their left-wing government’s Great Reset policies, the EU’s “Green Deal,” and the associated forced closure of farms. Their government’s radical ‘climate change’ measures aim to slash emissions in some provinces by 95%. That would mean the end for about 30 percent of the farmers. The Netherlands is one of Europe’s largest agricultural exporters, which has made it a target of E.U. climate change policies. As reported at RAIR, “the socialists pushing these outrageous proposals care much less about the environment than about controlling you.” Farmers in other nations, Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany, and France, have begun their own protests as the E.U. intensifies its efforts to slash emissions in all member states causing harm to citizens livelihoods and the global food supply.
Oilprice.com, By Leonard Hyman & William Tilles – Jul 08, 2022, 5:00 PM CDT
- Europe failed to prioritize energy security and has now found itself overly reliant on Russian energy and paying sky-high prices for power
- France is dealing with this issue by renationalizing its largest utility in order to ensure the survival of nuclear power.
- Germany, which is arguably the country that has suffered most from energy security failures, may soon have to bail out its largest utilities.
“Social Peace Is In Great Danger”: Germany Is Quietly Shutting Down As Energy Crunch Paralyzes Economy
ZeroHedge, by Tyler Durden, Saturday, Jul 09, 2022 – 06:00 PM
Earlier today we wrote that Germany’s largest landlord, Vonovia, had taken the unprecedented step of restrictring heating at night, a terrifying preview of what lies in stock for the “most advanced” European nation this winter. Alas, it’s going to get worse, much worse. According to the FT, Germany is now rationing hot water, dimming its street lights and shutting down swimming pools as the impact of its energy crunch begins to spread like the proverbial Ice-Nine wave, from industry to offices, leisure centers and residential homes.
The 5Star Movement vows to boycott a key vote, leaving Mario Draghi in trouble.
Politico, July 13, 2022
ROME – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s ruling coalition is at risk of collapse, as the populist 5Star Movement threatens to quit his government. The 5Stars is vowing to boycott a crucial vote in Parliament on Thursday, destabilizing Italy’s government just as its economy suffers from drought, soaring energy prices and rising borrowing costs. If Draghi goes, Europe will also lose one of its most experienced leaders at a critical time, with key decisions looming over the Ukraine war and its economic fallout.
The European Dream of Progress – Who Really Ruined It?
NEO – New Eastern Outlook, 14.07.2022 Author: Phil Butler
For anyone still puzzled about what’s going on in the world, just look to Germany. Whatever the EU’s ruling nation is mulling over, that’s at the core of the world’s problems. Take German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s most recent whining about the world’s hopes of progress being ruined by Putin and the demilitarization campaign on Ukraine. Did Europeans not notice the EU’s failures before February 2022?
I was reading Scholz on Politico this morning and thinking about a global pandemic, the Germans’ domination of EU economics and policy for decades, and the general failures of western capitalism overall. It’s no stretch to theorize that the whole Ukraine affair is another facet of the cover-up/reset the western elites set in motion some years back. The world has been sick economically, morally, and idealistically for some decades now (maybe forever), and puppets like Germany’s chancellor use convenient enemies and excuses, often contrived ones, to cover their crimes against humanity.
Putin and Russia warned this conflict would happen for over a decade. Everybody on the planet knows this. Well, except for BBC, Bild, and CNN viewers, that is. Let’s look at some facts about the shining “progress” Mr. Scholz is now grieving over it.
Professor John J. Mearsheimer presented much evidence that supports my contention in his paper from MIT, “Bound to Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Liberal International Order.” He rightly points out that the American-led liberal order demanded that states relinquish too much authority to the order’s international institutions. But, the diffusion of power and national identity this causes is part of the darker and more disastrous process of complete domination, which is the goal of the liberal elites.
At its core, the western order was always about favored status at the global level and for individual societies. Mearsheimer goes on to discuss how the hyper-globalization the American run order built caused huge economic problems among the lower and middle classes within the liberal democracies. This, combined with the inevitable clash globalists would have with national identity, doomed the post-Cold War order from the start.
The unipolar order tried to forge new traditions and ideals from dozens of nations with centuries-old cultural, linguistic, and ideological identities. The EU’s failures reveal the folly there. But more importantly, the loss of jobs, income, and welfare (hope) that globalization brought, ruined any chance this ordered world would succeed. For decades the United States and its satraps steamrolled much of the world into compliance using finance and the military as levers. Germany is a perfect example now, of how this order was doomed from the beginning. Let me illustrate, but before I continue, I’ll share a definition from Mearsheimer on what an “order” is made up of:
“International institutions, which are the building blocks of orders, are effectively rules that the great powers devise and agree to follow because they believe that obeying those rules is in their interest. The rules prescribe acceptable kinds of behavior and prescribe unacceptable forms of behavior.”
The professor goes on to point out the obvious problem that “great powers write those rules to suit their own interests.” Ironically, it is not the international institutions that are the problem. These interconnecting organizations are fundamentally needed. What’s gone wrong is the uneven, biased, or rigged influence Americans, Germans, the British, Luxembourg, or Swiss bankers have within those institutions. This is no secret, either. The United States has tried to shape the world in its own image, and by proxy, the Germans have tried to shape the EU in their image, regardless of the cultural or ideological consequences. The bigger problem is that the US and the central European idea of liberalism was doomed from the start, as well. The world cannot exist simply to sustain a prioritized elite society, or two.
My American countrymen have lived a privileged life for decades now. And so have Germans and other north-central Europeans. Even Britain has seen the benefits our unipolar system has wrought. Elsewhere, many have paid the price for a few societies to prosper. I don’t want to get into the economic disasters of eastern Europe here. However, it’s completely fair to say Greeks, Romanians, and Bulgarians have had nothing of the prosperity Germans and Netherlands people know. What I do want to emphasize is how America and the German industrial state self-restricted. This can be explained with another Mearsheimer idea on how come international orders fail:
“The same two factors that account for the prevailing order, the distribution of power and the leading state’s political ideology, explain the fall of realist and agnostic orders as well as the kind of order that replaces them. While those same factors also help explain the dissolution of ideological orders, two other factors, nationalism and balance of power politics, usually play the central role in causing their collapse.”
The good professor makes much effort at differentiating so-called “realist orders” from “agnostic orders,” and the specific bases of power within each type. The liberal world order we are discussing here has been of the realist type, powerful, but in the end, unbending at the most crucial points. America, with the help of some European nations, has endeavored to micromanage every aspect of the world’s systems.
Conversely, had the US-led order being more agnostic, we would not be seeing the hegemony crumble now. For Germany (the German people) and Mr. Scholz, we would also not be watching their high and mighty EU notions crumble into unmanageable bits over an energy crisis. Make no mistake, the German leadership and the lever pullers who controlled them had a vision of “progress” that was powered by Russian gas. Only the ownership being retained by Russians seems to have been a problem. So, we have Ukraine, which followed the Arab Spring and a string of institutionalized wars. Yes, Putin has ruined the progress these liberal order captains envisioned, but that happened long before the current Ukraine crisis. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (deceased) and former President Barack Obama used to say, the United States is “the indispensable nation.” This has been acted out. This is how we got to where we are. This was the authentic “progress” Mr. Scholz speaks of.
What of the lesser states? What “progress” were the eastern European nations staring up at with dewy eyes? Well, as our brilliant professor says, problems at home have a way of undermining any kind of broader regional or world order. Nowhere is this more evident than here in Greece. A country that should be one of the most robust and affluent in the world is what one German elitist called the “Florida of Germany.” If the EU were anything true unto itself, Germany’s GDP would not be almost 100 times that of Greece. If the world order has spent decades trying to achieve true “progress,” the average Greek or Romanian worker would not make less than half what their German, French, or British contemporaries do. Thirty years since the fall of the Soviet Union, these people are worse off than under communism or military juntas.
Greeks, Romanians, Albanians, and others can take the bus to Germany or France to become field workers or bus drivers. And the five Lidl stores here in Heraklion, Crete are another testament to German mercantilism, paying Greeks local wages to send profits back to the Neckarsulm headquarters in Germany. Sorry, Greece does send olive oil and feta cheese to western Europe too, I almost forgot. I am sure I made my point, but if not there’s Fraport, TUI, and a slew of powerful German outfits across the former Soviet sphere that testify for me. Progress ground to a half by the evil Vladimir Putin!
Greece is 52nd in the world economically. Romania is doing better at position #47. The Czech Republic is 48th, but even they are behind tiny Israel. Germany went from a divided and bombed-out ruin in 1945 to become the world’s 4th biggest economy today. In Europe, they are tops above the UK, France, and Italy, with everybody else trailing far, far behind. And in the Netherlands, a country with Tulips, the average worker makes three times what a Greek laborer does. And a German leader blames the Russians for the great liberal democratic dream not coming true?
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is a puppet liar. A desperate politician in need of a villain to replace Germany’s real enemy, the greedy liberal order dream of selective prosperity.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
Davos Loses Big Time… Draghi On the Way Out In Italy
by Tyler Durden, Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, ‘n Guns blog,
Saturday, Jul 16, 2022 – 02:00 PM
Leaders of the League and Forza Italia say they can no longer govern with the 5Star Movement ahead of a potential confidence vote.
Politico, By Hannah Roberts , July 17, 2022 8:54 pm
ROME — Mario Draghi’s Italian government tilted even further toward collapse Sunday, as the leaders of the two right-wing parties within the ruling coalition said they could no longer work with the 5Star Movement. Draghi’s leadership has been hanging by a thread since last week when the populist 5Star Movement boycotted a confidence vote, prompting the prime minister to offer his resignation and plunging the country into uncertainty.
President Sergio Mattarella, the head of state, provisionally rejected Draghi’s resignation and asked him to first refer back to parliament, raising hopes that Draghi could still remain in office if it is clear that he still commands a majority. Draghi will go back to parliament Wednesday, potentially holding a vote on his government or resigning.
NATO’s plan to vastly increase its forward force is wishful thinking, and the UK’s struggle for military relevance is a perfect case in point.
The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, recently announced the US-led military bloc’s goal of expanding its so-called ‘Response Force’ from its current strength of 40,000 to a force of more than 300,000 troops.
The announcement, made at the end of NATO’s annual summit, held in Madrid, Spain, apparently took several defense officials from the NATO membership by surprise, with one such official calling Stoltenberg’s figures “number magic.” Stoltenberg appeared to be working from a concept that had been developed within NATO headquarters based upon assumptions made by his staffers, as opposed to anything resembling coordinated policy among the defense organizations of the 30 nations that make up the bloc. Confusion is the name of the game at NATO these days, with the alliance still reeling from last year’s Afghan debacle and unable to adequately disguise the impotence shown in the face of Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine. The bloc is but a shadow of its former self, a pathetic collection of under-funded military organizations more suited for the parade ground than the battlefield. No military organization more represents this colossal collapse in credibility and capability than the British Army.
Jul 14, 2022·Alasdair Macleod
The euro system and its currency are descending into crisis. Comprised of the ECB and the National Central Banks, the system is over its head in balance sheet debt, and it is far from clear how that can be resolved.
Normally, a central bank is easy to recapitalise. But in the case of the euro system, when the lead institution and all its shareholders need to be recapitalised all at the same time the challenge could be impossible. And then there’s all the imbalances in the TARGET2 system to resolve as well before national legislatures can sign it all off. Additionally, but part of the TARGET2 problem there’s the repo market with €8.7 trillion outstanding, set to implode on rising interest rates, destroying commercial bank balance sheets which are already highly leveraged.
The War in Ukraine is a Foretaste of Much Wider Changes
29.08.2022 Author: James ONeill NEO New Eastern Outlook
When viewing the war in Ukraine one has the experience of reading the Western media and having to ask oneself, where do these people gather their information from? There is almost a complete detachment from the events on the ground and the way it is reported in the Western media. This is more readily apparent in the British press than anywhere else in Europe.
Having recently visited the United Kingdom, I was shocked by their reporting on the war, or rather what purported to be their reporting. It was so completely detached from reality that one had to pause and remind oneself that what was being reported was not so much a chronicle of events but rather a series of statements that reflected what the British hoped would be the case.
In this they reflected the complete detachment from reality that is embodied in the increasingly bizarre statements of the Ukrainian president. In his latest statement given last Sunday, president Zelensky said that Ukraine will recapture Donbass. That is the predominantly Russian speaking portion of the country that signed an agreement with the Ukrainian government in 2015 and appeared to present the Donbass with a significant degree of independence.
What the government of the Donbass did not realise then was that the Ukrainian government had no intention of fulfilling its obligations under the agreement. Instead, tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops occupied the region and are only now being forcibly removed following the Russian intervention in February of this year.
That the Russians took so long to intervene is one of the great puzzles of the whole exercise. It must have been obvious, long before the Russian intervention in February, that the Ukrainian government had no intention of fulfilling is obligations under the 2014 and 2015 agreements. The real reason for Ukrainian intransigence one suspects is that the Ukrainian government was not the one actually making the decisions. Rather, it was the Americans. They were the ones after all who engineered the coup that overthrew the legitimate Ukrainian government in 2014 and have supported the government it installed there ever since. The objective then, as now, was essentially an anti-Russian move.
The Americans would have been delighted at Russia’s intervention in February 2022 as it gave them the perfect excuse to extend their anti-Russia policy, including the intended replacement of Vladimir Putin as Russian president. That whole policy, including the separation of Europeans from the Russian economy, has been an abject failure. Far from bringing the Russians to the point of collapse, that has been the fate of the vast majority of the 30 member European Union. It is they who are now facing the dismal prospect of being literally frozen this winter as the Russians greatly reduced the supply of oil and gas and effectively reduced the role of Nord Stream 1 in keeping the European system functioning.
There is now even talk by the Germans of reviving the Nord Stream 2 project which was ready to supply energy to Europe months ago, but was shut down by a weak German government so in thrall to the Americans that they were willing to jeopardise their own vital energy supplies in order to abide by the American wishes. As the old saying goes, it was a classic example of cutting off their nose to spite their face. Now the Germans are in the uncomfortable position of having to admit that they made an error and effectively to beg the Russians to free them from their self -imposed trap. The Russians, unsurprisingly, are less than interested in rescuing the Germans from the results of their own folly.
The embodiment of this detachment from reality was Zelensky’s address this past Sunday. He claimed that Ukraine would recapture the Donbass. “We have not forgotten and will not forget any of our cities or any of our people” he said. Further emphasising his complete detachment from reality, Zelensky continued “Ukrainian Donetsk was humiliated by the Russian occupation and robbed. But Ukraine will return. For sure. Life will return. The dignity of the people of Donbass will return.” He even claimed that the Ukrainian flag will “definitely” be set up again in Crimea.
There are conflicting reports that Zelensky has both an alcohol and a drug problem. He may have neither or both. What is certain however, is his complete detachment from reality. His references to reclaiming Crimea is a case in point. That island was gifted to Ukraine by then Russian President Khrushchev in 1954. The people of Crimea were not consulted. At the time both Ukraine and Crimea were part of the USSR and the transfer had few practical consequences. It is an example of the selective reporting of history by the Western media however, that they completely disregard the relevant history and report seriously Zelensky’s claims of reclaiming Crimea. The people of Crimea are as unlikely to be consulted about such a move than they were in 1954. What is certain however, is that the vast majority of Crimeans are happy with the present status quo and have absolutely no desire to be returned to the Ukraine, under Zelensky or anybody else. It is typical of the Western media that they ignored the wishes of the Crimean people in promoting the ephemeral dream of the Ukraine’s current president.
The rest of Zelensky’s speech, quoted above, is equally detached from reality. The Donbass has now been re-claimed by Russia and is highly unlikely to return to Ukrainian control. Any Ukrainian claims to the territory have been undermined by the extensive discrimination against the region by Ukrainian forces, including killing more than 14,000 people and forcing one million more into exile. The barring by Ukraine of the use of the Russian language was another move that was highly unlikely to cause the Donbass people to react positively to Ukrainian claims to governance.
Given these facts, it is difficult to see the Donbass ever returning to Ukrainian control. The Americans would like to see the war continue. From their point of view, it is a win – win situation. The Russians are engaged in an unpopular war that has lost them much support in the West. The Americans get to try out their new weapons without exposing their own soldiers to the risk of being killed. What they failed to see was that the bulk of the world’s nations does not support their version of events. Russia has survived European sanctions and is prospering elsewhere in the world. It is the Europeans you are suffering and that will grow a whole lot worse in the foreseeable future.
European reaction has however, greatly hardened Russia’s attitude to the existing social order. Together with China they are forging a wholly new system of geopolitical and economic relations. The consequences of these changes will eventually undermine residual United States influence in large areas of the world. Such an outcome is in my view to be welcomed.
James O’Neill, an Australian-based former Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
The Real Zeitenwende: A Europe That Defends Itself
Article by Stephen Wertheim
With growing tensions between the US, China and Russia, it is not a smart bet for Europe to rely on Washington to provide security. The good news: it is also no longer necessary.
When German Chancellor Olaf Scholz proclaimed the war in Ukraine to be a Zeitenwende, or turning point, in the history of Europe, he expressed a noble aspiration. But although it is fairly clear in which direction Germany and Europe is turning – toward strengthening the security of the continent and separating itself from the Russian economy – the final destination has yet to be determined. And without an end goal in sight, good intentions will remain just that. Future historians will judge 24 February 2022 be a turning point that failed to turn.
Stephen Wertheim is a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a historian and author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of US Global Supremacy.
Europe’s Nightmare Scenario Comes True: Energy Bills To Rise By €2 Trillion, Will Reach 20% Of Disposable Income
by Tyler Durden Tuesday, Sep 06, 2022 – 09:25 PM
What is the scale of the energy challenge?
We got a very shocking sense of the staggering numbers involved in the existential, crippling European crisis earlier today when Norwegian energy giant Equinor echoed what Zoltan Pozsar said in March, warning that “European energy trading risks grinding to a halt unless governments extend liquidity to cover margin calls of at least $1.5 trillion.” As Bloomberg put it, in its best non-Zoltan imitation, “aside from inflating bills and fanning inflation, the biggest energy crisis in decades is sucking up capital to guarantee trades amid wild price swings. That’s putting pressure on European Union officials to intervene to prevent energy markets from stalling.”
“Socio-Economic Suffering”: Massive Protests in Prague against EU “Counterproductive Policies”
By Andrew Korybko Global Research, September 06, 2022
The self-sustaining cycle of socio-economic and political unrest triggered by European leaders complying with the US’ demands to promulgate counterproductive policies is expected to continue for the indefinite future. A large-scale protest took place in the Czech capital of Prague on Saturday involving an estimated 70,000-100,000 people who came out en masse to peacefully raise maximum awareness of their government’s policies that have drastically worsened their living standards over the past half-year.
Putin’s attack on democracy is working. Just look at Europe.
Politico, By Matthew Karnitschnig, September 8, 2022 4:02 am
As winter approaches, cracks in the West’s support for Ukraine are starting to show.
BERLIN — It was a scene that has played out on city squares across Europe for months: jarring eyewitness accounts of the war in Ukraine, a call to arms against colonial conquest and heartfelt appeals for the public to help.
Yet there was one important difference: The participants at this rally in Berlin late last month weren’t flying the Ukrainian colors, but those of the breakaway Kremlin-backed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. The target of their dark warnings was not Russia, but the United States.
Just how rapidly became clear in recent days as thousands of demonstrators from the far right and left took to the streets in the Czech Republic and Germany to protest against rising energy prices, NATO and Western support for Ukraine. In Prague alone, an estimated 70,000 demonstrators took part in a protest in the city center on Saturday. Thousands of others convened in the German cities of Leipzig and Magdeburg on Monday, heeding calls by extremist parties to reprise the civil unrest that brought down East Germany’s communist dictatorship.
“NATO has managed to do everything wrong in connection with Ukraine and Russia that one could do wrong,” said Gregor Gysi, the former leader of the European Left party, to enthusiastic applause in Leipzig.
The gathering storm is confronting Europe’s leaders with the difficult truth that even as Russia struggles on the battlefield against Ukraine, the Kremlin is holding its own in its long-running war against Europe’s democratic foundation.
By Martin Jay, Strategic Culture Foundation
September 27, 2022
Macron’s new bold plan to create a ‘community’ of EU countries plus non-EU members to form a new ‘super EU’ will give Macron everything he has ever dreamt of but it will also mean an EU army run by the French.
Strategic Culture Foundation
September 29, 2022
Europe should have heeded the advice of Henry Kissinger: “To be an enemy of the U.S. is dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”
With an investigation continuing into the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline that provided energy supplies to Europe from Russia, there appears to be just one prime suspect, and that should surprise nobody. Following the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski already seemed to know the identity of the perpetrator when he tweeted out: “Thank you, USA.”
By Nick Beams
Global Research, September 29, 2022
Global currency and bond markets are being hit by a growing storm driven by the rise of the US dollar fueled by interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, which could start to shake the financial system.
The turmoil reached a new level of intensity this week, sparked by the reaction of financial markets to the UK mini-budget which handed out £45 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy while increasing government debt by £72 billion. The reaction of the markets was to send the pound down to its lowest level in history. This led to a rapid sell-off of government bonds, sharply lifting their yields, or interest rates. It was, in effect, a savage directive to the UK government of Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng that the handout to the wealthy had to be accompanied by deep cuts to government social spending, coupled with further suppression of wages.
And it has a historical resonance. The crisis of the pound and the UK financial system at the end of the 1960s, was the harbinger of a dollar crisis that led in August 1971 to the decision by US President Nixon to remove the gold backing from the US currency and end the Bretton Woods monetary system established after World War II.
Much has changed since that time, but the crisis of the British pound could well be a warning of the demise of the entire system of fiat currencies, based on the US dollar, which has prevailed since the Nixon decision.