The Struggle for Europe

Discussion of current events
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Sertorio
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Re: Other possible European rats?

Post by Sertorio » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:38 am

neverfail wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:17 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:30 am

The US keeps attacking Europe and European interests, and Europe just folds...
List of key European countries re. % of exports that go to the USA

Germany = 8.8%

France = 7.2%

Italy = 9.0%

Spain = 4.4%

I will go no further. It should be noted that as a broad imperfect rule the demographically larger the country and the bigger its GDP, the less reliant it becomes on the proceeds of international trade and the more reliant on domestic supply and demand for its overall economic health.

Europe's largest economies would therefore "set the pattern" for Europe as a whole. Europe is none too reliant on trade with the USA for its economic vitality. I doubt whether US investment in Europe would be any more important as I believe that Europe is a nett exporter of capital in its own right.

So please tell me Sertorio: what sort of "handle" does the US have on Europe that could compel the degree of political cowardice that you allege?
Trade is important, but the US has other means to intimidate Europe. Their control of the dollar and the willingness to weaponize it, and the disruptive power that sanctions can have on the economy of any country. Even when governments might be willing to resist the US, firms definitely are not. The threat of stopping firms doing business in the US or in any country friendly to the US is enough to make governments think twice before defying the US. Just see how easily the US stopped the Swiss firm which was laying the Nord Stream 2 pipes. To be independent of the US Europe would have to be willing to sustain important economic losses, and they haven't been so willing, so far. True, American behaviour in the last couple of years may have made it easier for Europe to resist, but not easy enough. It will be a while before Europe may be willing to free itself from the American stranglehold.

neverfail
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Re: Other possible European rats?

Post by neverfail » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:43 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:38 am
neverfail wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:17 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:30 am

The US keeps attacking Europe and European interests, and Europe just folds...
List of key European countries re. % of exports that go to the USA

Germany = 8.8%

France = 7.2%

Italy = 9.0%

Spain = 4.4%

I will go no further. It should be noted that as a broad imperfect rule the demographically larger the country and the bigger its GDP, the less reliant it becomes on the proceeds of international trade and the more reliant on domestic supply and demand for its overall economic health.

Europe's largest economies would therefore "set the pattern" for Europe as a whole. Europe is none too reliant on trade with the USA for its economic vitality. I doubt whether US investment in Europe would be any more important as I believe that Europe is a nett exporter of capital in its own right.

So please tell me Sertorio: what sort of "handle" does the US have on Europe that could compel the degree of political cowardice that you allege?
Trade is important, but the US has other means to intimidate Europe. Their control of the dollar and the willingness to weaponize it, and the disruptive power that sanctions can have on the economy of any country. Even when governments might be willing to resist the US, firms definitely are not. The threat of stopping firms doing business in the US or in any country friendly to the US is enough to make governments think twice before defying the US. Just see how easily the US stopped the Swiss firm which was laying the Nord Stream 2 pipes. To be independent of the US Europe would have to be willing to sustain important economic losses, and they haven't been so willing, so far. True, American behaviour in the last couple of years may have made it easier for Europe to resist, but not easy enough. It will be a while before Europe may be willing to free itself from the American stranglehold.
That appears to answer my question. Thanks!

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Sertorio
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by Sertorio » Mon May 25, 2020 3:57 am

Ex-German Finance Minister Confirms Support for EU Economic Recovery Plan
by Oleg Burunov

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron proposed that a hefty recovery fund should be set up to shore up EU economies struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has confirmed his support for a Franco-German economic recovery plan worth €500 billion ($545 billion) to help the bloc’s member states tackle the coronavirus crisis.

“We now have a new situation. If Europe wants to have any chance at all, it must now show solidarity and demonstrate that it’s capable of acting. Germans have a huge interest in seeing Europe get back on its feet”, Schaeuble was quoted by the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag as saying on Monday.
The ex-German Finance Minister, who reportedly remains an influential figure within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, pointed out that he “argued very much in favour” of the plan during internal discussions, adding that one should not be concerned over the blueprint possibly posing a moral-hazard risk.

“No, because the member countries aren’t just getting money with which they can do what they want. Rather, there will be programmes by the European Commission and it has to strictly control whether the money is put to proper use”, he told Welt am Sonntag.

He added that the proposal does not stipulate that “we aren’t mutualising old debt”, adding, “rather, the idea is that the EU Commission pushes ahead with Europe’s economic recovery”.

The interview comes after the plan was proposed by Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron during EU virtual talks on 18 May.

Under the blueprint, the bloc’s 27 members would jointly borrow on financial markets to offer grants rather than loans to the European Union's hardest-hit sectors and regions. The suggested €500 billion would be in addition to the €1 trillion EU budget for 2021-2027.

Merkel admitted the proposal was a "short-term" one, with further long-term solutions slated to be taken up in the coming weeks. "Due to the unusual nature of the crisis we are choosing an unusual path”, she emphasised.
Macron, for his part, noted that the joint proposal by Paris and Berlin underscored “the necessity of this response, the mechanism for it, and its scale”.

He added that the two sides had sought to ensure greater unanimity for the upcoming vote by the 27 member states on the European Commission’s own proposal for a Recovery Fund, scheduled for 27 May.

Earlier, Italy and Spain favoured grants to be used for helping ailing economies, while the governments of Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands had rejected linking their finances to nations with very high public debt. They underlined that they preferred the economic recovery to be stimulated by loans, ruling out risks for their own taxpayers.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/20200525 ... 19-crisis/
This plans shows that with the UK out of the EU it is possible to start taking steps towards a more united - inclusively politically - Europe, capable of showing the US to the door. Mutualising debt, common European taxes and a bigger European budget are the necessary steps to Europe becoming relevant. Some minor countries, like Austria and The Netherlands (which are in the Euro), and Sweden and Denmark (which are not), will not be able to stop the French-German plan. The UK might have been able to prevent it, but fortunately it no longer is part of the European equation.

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Sertorio
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by Sertorio » Tue May 26, 2020 2:55 am

German Lawmaker Berates US Envoy for Issuing Threats 'Like a Hostile Power'
by Oleg Burunov

Last Saturday, US Ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell reportedly hit out at German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas over his criticism of US President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Open Skies Treaty.

German lawmaker Andreas Nick has gone on Twitter to сast doubt on outgoing US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell's legacy in terms of Berlin-Washington relations.

Nick, who is also head of the country's delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), noted that "for a generation, each and every US Ambassador I got to know personally - career diplomat or political appointee alike - used to leave his post as a highly respected figure and trusted friend of Germany".

"Now someone leaves issuing threats as if he were representing a hostile power", the German MP added, in an apparent reference to Grenell.

The US ambassador was quick to respond by tweeting that Berlin allegedly "always wanted me to stop asking you publicly to pay your NATO obligations and calling for an end to [the Russian gas pipeline project] Nord Stream 2".

Earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lauded Nord Stream 2 as a "very important" project that will benefit not only Germany, but many other European countries, calling for its completion regardless of the threat of US sanctions.

The Grenell-Nick war of words occurred after the envoy reportedly lambasted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas over the latter's critical remarks related to the recent US decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty (OST).

"Instead of complaining about the US reaction, Heiko Maas should have ramped up pressure on Russia in recent years so that it meets its obligations [under OST]", Grenell told the German newspaper Rheinische Post last Saturday, according to the German news network N-TV.

The remarks followed Maas stating that he "very much" regrets the US government's announcement about Washington's pullout from the OST, described by the top German diplomat as "an important part of the European arms control architecture".

"By withdrawing, the United States would significantly reduce the scope of the Open Skies Treaty and weaken the whole regime", Maas pointed out.

Russia, in turn, has repeatedly rejected US accusations of Moscow's non-compliance with OST, warning that the country would not accept any US ultimatums on the issue and that it is determined to engage in dialogue based on equal terms.

As far as Berlin is concerned, US President Donald claimed last year that Germany is not doing enough when it comes to NATO financing, as Berlin plans to spend 1.5% of its GDP on it by 2024, which is lower than the 2% guideline.

"Germany honestly is not paying their fair share. I have a great feeling for Germany, but they're not paying what they should be paying", Trump argued during his talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House at the time.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/20200526 ... ile-power/
Good. Maybe Germany will slowly come to understand that the US is not an ally but an hegemon ordering its vassals around. The sooner we dump the US as an ally, the sooner will Europe be free to decide its own policies.

neverfail
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by neverfail » Wed May 27, 2020 7:02 am

I believed that I understand why the German government wants the completion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline project. Apart from Russian gas being cheaper to buy than US liquidfied shale gas and other alternatives in imported gas any German Chancellor would need to take into account German geopolitics. The undeniadle fact is that Germany and Russia are located on the same continental landmass separated only by a thin veneer of flat ground in the form of Poland.

It would be in the best interests of Germany to maintain the image of a friendly, co-operative power in Russia in order to mollify Russian memories of past German aggression towards their country.

If the USA truly wanted to me a good friend of Germany it would be quietly encouraging such collaboration instead of trying to scupper it for the sake of gratituous sales of US gas by Mr. Donald (America first) Trump.

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Doc
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by Doc » Wed May 27, 2020 7:39 am

neverfail wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 7:02 am
I believed that I understand why the German government wants the completion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline project. Apart from Russian gas being cheaper to buy than US liquidfied shale gas and other alternatives in imported gas any German Chancellor would need to take into account German geopolitics. The undeniadle fact is that Germany and Russia are located on the same continental landmass separated only by a thin veneer of flat ground in the form of Poland.

It would be in the best interests of Germany to maintain the image of a friendly, co-operative power in Russia in order to mollify Russian memories of past German aggression towards their country.
Hmmm raping every woman in eastern germany an average of five times didn't do it?

If the USA truly wanted to me a good friend of Germany it would be quietly encouraging such collaboration instead of trying to scupper it for the sake of gratituous sales of US gas by Mr. Donald (America first) Trump.
If Germany wants to be Putin's B***h who is the US to stop them?
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by neverfail » Wed May 27, 2020 2:00 pm

Don't be silly, doc. Of course Germany has no intention or desire To become a Russian vassal. Least of all would their Chancellor Angela Merkel who grew up in East Germany in the shadow of the Soviet occupation garrisons.

While Russia has a thermonuclear arsonel the likes of which Germany lacks;. Germany has a national GDP that dwarfs Russia's several times over. Rather clear that the German's are confident to be able to deal amicably with the Russians on that basis.

So why is Trump attempting to screw his European ally with gas deals whose cost/benefit does not stack up?

.

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Sertorio
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 30, 2020 2:28 am

Merkel rebuffs Trump invitation to G-7 summit

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/2 ... mit-290174

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G-7 summit, which the president is keen to portray as a symbol of a return to normality from the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis.

"The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G-7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told POLITICO on Friday.

"She will of course continue to monitor the development of the pandemic."

Merkel's refusal to accept Trump's invitation is the latest in a long line of examples of the difficult relationship between the two leaders. Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany, and Merkel specifically, over issues ranging from Berlin's trade surplus to its defense spending and commitment to NATO. Merkel has pointedly and publicly taken issue with the Trump administration's unilateral approach to a range of foreign policy issues, from climate change to the Iran nuclear deal.

In a call this week, the two leaders had heated disagreements on topics including NATO, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, and relations with China, according to a senior U.S. official, who declined to be named. Seibert, the German spokesman, did not respond to a question about whether the conversation was heated.

The White House had not commented by the time of publication.

Merkel's refusal to attend the summit in person risks scuppering Trump's attempts to present the gathering as a landmark moment drawing a line under the lockdowns and travel bans imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

(...)
Sooner or later Germany will get fed up with the US, and that will open the door for Europe's liberation from vassal status.

neverfail
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by neverfail » Sat May 30, 2020 3:28 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 2:28 am
Merkel rebuffs Trump invitation to G-7 summit

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/2 ... mit-290174

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G-7 summit, which the president is keen to portray as a symbol of a return to normality from the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis.

"The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G-7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told POLITICO on Friday.

"She will of course continue to monitor the development of the pandemic."

Merkel's refusal to accept Trump's invitation is the latest in a long line of examples of the difficult relationship between the two leaders. Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany, and Merkel specifically, over issues ranging from Berlin's trade surplus to its defense spending and commitment to NATO. Merkel has pointedly and publicly taken issue with the Trump administration's unilateral approach to a range of foreign policy issues, from climate change to the Iran nuclear deal.

In a call this week, the two leaders had heated disagreements on topics including NATO, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, and relations with China, according to a senior U.S. official, who declined to be named. Seibert, the German spokesman, did not respond to a question about whether the conversation was heated.

The White House had not commented by the time of publication.

Merkel's refusal to attend the summit in person risks scuppering Trump's attempts to present the gathering as a landmark moment drawing a line under the lockdowns and travel bans imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

(...)
Sooner or later Germany will get fed up with the US, and that will open the door for Europe's liberation from vassal status.
Germany's trade surplus (and not just with the USA either) = they manufacture quality products that the rest of the world want to buy.

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Sertorio
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Re: The Struggle for Europe

Post by Sertorio » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:42 am

German officials call US troop withdrawal a ‘wake-up call for Europeans’ & chance to loosen ties
6 Jun, 2020 14:40
https://www.rt.com/news/491032-germany- ... reactions/

While some in the German establishment fumed over the US presumably keeping Berlin uninformed about plans to withdraw thousands of troops, others envisioned it as a chance to loosen ties with their turbulent NATO ally.

Washington didn’t bother to inform Berlin of its intent to redeploy thousands of troops from Germany to other locations, with the news coming out of the blue for the government, German media reported on Saturday. Previously, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported that some of the 9,500 service members would be sent to Poland, some to other allied nations, and the rest would eventually return home.

Keeping Germans in the dark is “quite unusual,” but the rationale behind it is easy to recognize, Andreas Nick, a high-ranking member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said. Everything here suggests “that it was not technical, but a purely politically motivated decision,” he told Deutsche Welle.

Lamenting the move, Nick said US soldiers and their families are “welcome” in Germany.

Dietmar Bartsch, who leads the non-mainstream Left Party, wasn’t as reserved. He fired off a somewhat incendiary tweet, saying the government should thank Washington and lay the groundwork for “a full withdrawal of US soldiers” during talks with the Trump administration.

If it happens, the departing troops “should take the American atomic bombs with them at the same time,” Bartsch added.

His sentiment was somewhat echoed by Johann Wadephul, who co-heads the ruling coalition’s faction in the parliament. Trump and his team are “neglecting a fundamental management task: the involvement of the allies in decision-making processes,” he stated. For him, the news provides an opening to make Europe less dependent on the US.

(...)
Little by little Europeans realize that they don't need an alliance with the US. If Germans see it, soon everybody will see it too... About time, too...

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