The scenario seems to be like this: President Erdoğan lets loose immigrants wave after wave; the European Union negotiates with him in a bid to have him stop the immigrants flood and contain them on Turkish soil; President Erdoğan demands that Turks be allowed to enter the EU without a visa and that Turkey be admitted to the Union as soon as possible; Brussels-slash-Berlin apparently agrees though the idea of having Turkey as a member state without it conforming its laws to European standards is not palatable; so the German Bundestag comes up with the idea of slapping Ankara in the face by passing a resolution that recognizes and thus brings to the world’s attention the annihilation of Armenians that took place a hundred years back as an act of genocide. In response to or in retaliation for which Ankara recalls its ambassador from Berlin, blocks a visit of German politicians to 250 German soldiers stationed at İncirlik Air Base, and threatens with the worsening of the bilateral relationship. And to top it all, a Turkish party is to be formed in Germany.
As we predicted, Cameron resigns after the British have cast “a leave vote” but Germany’s Chancellor Merkel is to blame for the disastrous result of the referendum.
Last year she mishandled three problems:
In 2015, under Angela Merkel’s leadership, the problems in Greece span out of control and Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister of Greece, was able to jeopardize the whole euro project;
- When in 2015 millions of refugees were heading for Europe, it was Angela Merkel that single-handedly, without consulting her political counterparts in Warsaw, London or Rome, decided how Europe had to deal with it ;
- Chancellor Merkel held talks with Erdoğan: Turkey was being considered as a member-state of the European Union, which lacked any support in Europe whatsoever .
No wonder the British voters came to doubt the democratic legitimacy of Brussels as they saw Berlin mishandle the European project.
Belarus the last pariah of Europe? Its leader, referred to as dictator, shunned by polite society? Its image tarnished in the media? No longer so. Alexander Lukashenko’s fortress has been laid siege to, has been bombarded and… emerged victorious. With flying colors. Minsk has hosted talks on Ukraine’s future, the sanctions have been lifted, and President Lukashenko has been readmitted both to the lay (Rome) and spiritual (the Vatican) European salons.
The time of Kazakhstan’s stability and prosperity is just passing away. And this conclusion does not come from recent protests and shootings in the city of Aktobe, but from the panicky reaction of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. According to the 75-year old declared Leader of the Nation and his officials, latest developments are a “color revolution” aiming at a “coup” made by “pseudo-religious extremists” financed by detained pro-Russian businessmen; the President voices this opinion despite the fact that previously he claimed it was the “fifth column” of undefined third (western) powers that attempted to interfere with Kazakhstan’s internal policy. Madness. As if it were not the sharp decline in oil revenues has nothing to do with that in a country which produces 1.7 million barrels per day.
Making things even worse, it is questionable if the Aktobe event was prepared by Wahhabis or other Islam terrorists. Religious extremists usually do not attack gun shops and military units, but prefer bombings and random mass killings. Moreover, they usually wear beards, whereas most of Aktobe assailants were clean-shaven. Radio Liberty attributes the responsibility for the attack to the “Army for the Liberation of Kazakhstan,” which, according to officials and some other experts, does not even exist. The level of misinformation is enormous.
Two weeks before the UEFA EURO 2016 starts in Saint-Denis near Paris the situation in France is deteriorating rapidly now that the country is also running out of petrol due to labor unrest. The French police are overwhelmed due to the state of emergency after the two terrorist attacks in Paris last year. Since then there have been large-scale civil upheavals and riots due to labor law reforms and chaos as a result of immigration problems near Calais.
France is known for its radical labor protests and it is not the first time the country experienced a petrol shortage due to blockades. But this time it is different because there is now discontent at all levels of French society. Francois Hollande has an approving rating of 17 %, which is the lowest ever for a president of the Fifth Republic.
The European Union does Germany a lot of good. To say that the country would develop better or worse without the common currency would be risky. However, the fact is that Germany is doing much better than other EU-members and the Eurozone has never been so dominated by one country. Germany has been growing faster at the regional as well as at the national level and has been gaining its relevance at others’ expense. Accusations of German supremacy may well be grounded, but then the question is who is to blame? Those who are able to improve or those who are lagging behind?
European gas supply
Currently, less than half of the EU’s gas demand is met by domestic production. The rest is imported, mainly from Norway (36%), Russia (41%) and Algeria (10%). In recent years, LNG, or liquefied natural gas, has accounted for around 10% of the imports, with most of them coming from Qatar, Algeria, and Nigeria.
The 1992 Treaty of Maastricht came two years after the unification of Germany and laid the groundwork for the 2002 introduction of the euro. The French elite was afraid for the resurgence of a new German powerhouse. To eliminate the dominant Deutschmark, they wanted to extend the use of the German currency to the whole European Common market and have it renamed to the euro. In 1992, Le Figaro wrote that the “Maastricht is the Treaty of Versailles without war”. A French observer noticed, “Maastricht is only a calculated move against the predominance of the Bundesbank and against an independent German currency.”
Demographic trends that are taking place are having an adverse effect on pension systems. Some experts are painting a black picture: pension systems will collapse. Others, especially those in the pay of the governments, assure us of their stability. We had better ask whether the economies of the countries concerned will support their pension systems because the ageing societies certainly will not.
Pension systems are not only about elderly people. They are constructed on the basis of a contract between generations or, to put it otherwise, on the concept of social solidarity: people who are currently economically active provide in the form of pensions for those who are not. That’s the first, the main pillar of the pension system, often referred to as the pay-as-you-go pension plan.
Europe is planning on recolonizing Libya, and so it will send in armed forces in the coming months to restore order and stem the flow of migrants coming from Africa. If this expedition army succeeds in securing parts of the country and restoring law and order, Italian and German engineers from ENI and Wintershall will follow suit to help resume the country’s oil production, which will add 1.3 million barrels per day (Libya produced 1.7 million barrels per day before Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011) to the world oil glut .
At least that’s what Yegor Firsov says, a former deputy to the Ukrainian Parliament, and head of the Donetsk Udar Party. The forty-odd-year-old lawyer made the headlines when he announced his resignation from his participation in the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. He did not want to be privy to the process of hushing up corruption, he said. So long as Minister Igor Kononenko and Attorney General Viktow Shokin were at the helm of power, said Yegor Firsov, that long he could not participate in the doings of the presidential bloc.
There is a good chance Donald Trump will win the presidency as we already said in August 2015. Trump has the support of the most powerful part of the American elite. A Media Research Center study finds that, over a two week period, coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign took up nearly 78 percent of all CNN’s prime time GOP campaign coverage. According to mediaQuant, the big networks gave Trump 1.8 billion dollars’ worth free publicity, far more than the other candidates, with Clinton receiving a mere 746 million dollars.