Pepe ESCOBAR: The future of the EU at stake in Catalonia; Asia Times 02.10.2017

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 03.10.2017

Dear all,

below an extract of Escobar’s many-faceted op-ed article referring to the Catalonian „Battle“.

Greets,
Martin Zeis

02.10.2017 — http://www.atimes.com/article/future-eu-stake-catalonia

Catalonia independence

The future of the EU at stake in Catalonia

A new paradigm has been coined right inside the lofty European Union: ‚In the name of democracy, refrain from voting, or else‘

By Pepe Escobar

Fascist Franco may have been dead for more than four decades, but Spain is still encumbered with his dictatorial corpse. A new paradigm has been coined right inside the lofty European Union, self-described home/patronizing dispenser of human rights to lesser regions across the planet: “In the name of democracy, refrain from voting, or else.” Call it democracy nano-Franco style.

Nano-Franco is Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose heroic shock troops were redeployed from a serious nationwide terrorist alert to hammer with batons and fire rubber bullets not against jihadis but … voters. At least six schools became the terrain of what was correctly called The Battle of Barcelona. (1)

Extreme right-wingers even held a demonstration inside Barcelona. Yet this was not shown on Spanish TV because it contradicted the official Madrid narrative.

The Catalan government beat the fascist goons with two very simple codes – as revealed by La Vanguardia. “I’ve got the Tupperware. Where do we meet?” was the code on a prepaid mobile phone for people to collect and protect ballot boxes. “I’m the paper traveler” was the code to protect the actual paper ballots. Julian Assange/WikiLeaks had warned about the world’s first Internet war as deployed by Madrid to smash the electronic voting system. The counterpunch was – literally – on paper. The US National Security Agency must have learned a few lessons.

So we had techno power combined with cowardly Francoist repression tactics countered by people power, as in parents conducting sit-ins in schools to make sure they were functional on referendum day. Some 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who made it to the polls ended up voting in favor of independence from Spain, according to preliminary results. Catalonia has 5.3 million registered voters.

Roughly 770,000 votes were lost because of raids by Spanish police. Turnout at around 42% may not be high but it’s certainly not low. As the day went by, there was a growing feeling, all across Catalonia, all social classes involved, that this was not about independence any more; it was about fighting a new brand of fascism. What’s certain is there’s a Perfect Storm coming.

No pasarán

The “institutional declaration” of overwhelming mediocrity nano-Franco Rajoy, right after the polls were closed, invited disbelief. The highlight was a mediocre take on Magritte: “Ceci n’est pas un referendum.” This referendum never took place. And it could never take place because “Spain is a mature and advanced democracy, friendly and tolerant”. The day’s events proved it a lie. (…)

ESCOBAR-EU-future-at-stake-in CATALONIA171002.pdf

Katalonien – Interview von Ralf Streck mit der katalanischen Parlamentspräsidentin Carme FORCADELL, TP 30.09.2017

From: Martin Zeis <martin.zeis>
Sent: Sonntag, Oktober 1, 2017 17:22
Subject: Katalonien – Interview von Ralf Streck mit der katalanischen Parlamentspräsidentin Carme FORCADELL, TP 30.09.2017
To: <globalcrisis%martin.zeis>

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 01.10.2017

Hallo zusammen,

wer heute die eindrücklichen Reportagen, Berichte, Videos aus Katalonien mitverfolgt hat, kann den Aussagen / Einschätzungen der katalanischen Parlamentspräsidentin Carme Forcadell zur Entwicklung, Durchführung, dem Ausgang des heutigen Unabhängigkeitsreferendums viel abgewinnen.

Das folgend dokumentierte Interview mit Forcadell ist gestern von Ralf Streck für telepolis geführt worden – vgl. www.heise.de/tp/features/Ueber-jedes-Ergebnis-hinaus-wird-Katalonien-gewinnen-3847971.html

D o k u m e n t i e r t

“ …Doch nun zum Interview mit der Frau, die zentral und an vorderster Front dafür gekämpft hat, dass es nun Westeuropa mit einer riesigen Demokratiebewegung zu tun hat. Carme Forcadell gehört der Republikanischen Linken Katalonines (ERC) an, die stets das Ziel der Unabhängigkeit Kataloniens von Spanien vertreten hat. Nachdem aus dem ohnehin abgehobelten neuen Autonomiestatut über das spanische Verfassungsgericht weitere 14 zentrale Artikel ausgehebelt wurden, führte sie ab 2011 als Präsidentin der Katalanischen Nationalversammlung (ANC) die riesigen Mobilisierungen für „Katalonien als neuer Staat in Europa“ mit an. Es war die christdemokratische Volkspartei (PP), die diesen Pyrrhussieg an einem Gericht errang, das von Richtern beherrscht wird, die der Partei nahe stehen.

Bei den vorgezogenen Neuwahlen 2015 kandidierte sie auf der lagerübergreifenden Liste „Junts pel Sí“ (Gemeinsam für das Ja), um Katalonien auf den Unabhängigkeitsweg zu bringen. Die Einheitsliste gewann die Wahlen und hat mit der linksradikalen CUP eine absolute Mehrheit im Parlament, dem Forcadell seither vorsteht. Sie wird durch mehrere Anklagen mit Haftstrafen dafür bedroht, weil sie die Behandlung von entsprechenden Gesetzen zur Unabhängigkeit trotz Verbot des spanischen Verfassungsgerichts im Parlament zugelassen hat. Mit ihr sprach Ralf Streck für Telepolis.

Carme Forcadell: „Ein Referendum zur Selbstbestimmung ist legal, legitim und demokratisch“

Wird es am Sonntag in Katalonien trotz der Drohungen der spanischen Regierung, ein Referendum mit allen Mitteln zu verhindern, die Abstimmung geben?

Carme Forcadell: Ja, es wird ein Referendum geben, geöffnete Wahllokale, Stimmzettel und Wahlurnen. Vor allem wird es lange Schlangen geben, weil die Menschen frei über ihre Zukunft abstimmen wollen.

Haben wir es mit einem „Aufruhr“ zu tun? Der spanische Generalstaatsanwalt José Manuel Maza spricht sogar schon von „Aufstand“. Gegen die 14 Beamten, die kürzlich bei Razzien in Ministerien festgenommen wurden, wird wegen „Aufruhrs“ ermittelt, eine Richterin am Nationalen Gerichtshof ermittelt auch wegen der riesigen Gegendemonstrationen auch unter diesem Vorwurf.

Carme Forcadell: Es ist ein Skandal, dass von einem Aufruhrdelikt gesprochen wird. Das ist die Strategie von einigen Sektoren im spanischen Staat, der ein Bild von Chaos und Gewalt in Katalonien vermitteln will, das keinesfalls der Realität entspricht. Die Mobilisierungen der Bevölkerung in Katalonien waren stets friedlich, da die katalanische Gesellschaft gegen jede Art von Gewalt ist. Wir sprechen von einem Land mit 7,5 Millionen Einwohnern, in dem seit sechs Jahren immer wieder mehr als eine Million Menschen auf die Straßen gehen, ohne dass es Zwischenfälle gab.

Angesichts einer friedlichen, demokratischen und erwachsenen Gesellschaft, die in einem Referendum über ihre Zukunft frei entscheiden will, hat der Staat keinen Dialog angeboten: nur Anklagen, Festnahmen, Drohungen und die Verletzung von Grundrechten. Veranstaltungen wurden verboten – nicht nur in Katalonien – die für das Selbstbestimmungsrecht eintreten, es sind mehr als 100 Webseiten gesperrt worden, in Redaktionen von Kommunikationsmedien und in Druckereien wurde eingedrungen, Korrespondenz abgefangen, gewählte Regierungsvertreter festgenommen und Mitglieder der Regierung und des Parlamentspräsidiums angeklagt. In Katalonien will ein sehr großer Teil der Gesellschaft abstimmen und das wird friedlich und demokratisch am 1. Oktober geschehen.

Wie erklären Sie das Festhalten am Referendum, das nach Ansicht der spanischen Regierung illegal ist und vom Verfassungsgericht ausgesetzt wurde?

Carme Forcadell: Ein Referendum zur Selbstbestimmung ist legal, legitim und demokratisch. Die katalanische Regierung hat es per Gesetz angesetzt, das vom katalanischen Parlament beschlossen wurde. Es wird zudem von der überwiegenden Mehrheit der katalanischen Gesellschaft getragen. Das Recht auf Selbstbestimmung ist im Internationalen Pakt über bürgerliche und politische Rechte als Menschenrecht anerkannt. Den UNO-Vertragstext hat auch der spanische Staat unterzeichnet und ratifiziert. Darüber hinaus ist es auch nach spanischem Recht keine Straftat ein Referendum durchzuführen. Die Frage lautet deshalb: Warum respektiert die spanische Regierung nicht das legitime Recht der Katalanen, setzt stattdessen auf Repression und verstößt gegen internationales Recht? Warum wird strafrechtlich etwas verfolgt, was im eigenen Strafrecht keine Straftat ist? Weil man unfähig ist, politisch mit politischen Konflikten umzugehen.

Glauben Sie, dass Polizei und die Zivilgarde die Abstimmung verhindern? Was wird die Regionalpolizei tun?

Carme Forcadell: Ich kann hier nicht für die Regierung sprechen. Allerdings meine ich, dass die Polizei, bei einem demokratischen Vorgang wie am Sonntag, die öffentliche Ordnung und die Sicherheit der Menschen gewährleisten sollte. Ich kann aber versichern, dass die katalanischen Gesellschaft abstimmen wird: friedlich, ruhig und heiter.

Was wird nach dem 1. Oktober passieren? Präsident Puigdemont hat am Donnerstag erklärt, eine „einseitige Unabhängigkeitserklärung liegt nicht auf dem Tisch“. Der Außenamtschef Raül Romeva sagte aber in Brüssel: „Wenn das Ja gewinnt, wird das Parlament in 48 Stunden die Unabhängigkeit erklären“.

Carme Forcadell: Nach dem Referendum müssen die Ergebnisse umgesetzt werden. So sieht es das Referendumsgesetz vor und so hat es Präsident Puigdemont erklärt. Gewinnt das Nein, wird es Neuwahlen in Katalonien geben. Siegt das Ja, wird die Unabhängigkeit erklärt, nachdem die definitiven Ergebnisse veröffentlicht wurden. Das haben Puigdemont und Romeva verteidigt.

„Wenn Katalonien demokratisch entscheidet, ein unabhängiger zu Staat sein, wird die internationale Anerkennung kommen“

Glauben Sie, dass die europäische Gemeinschaft oder einzelne Mitgliedsstaaten ein unabhängiges Katalonien anerkennen? Es scheint dafür eher Bereitschaft in den Vereinigten Staaten zu geben.

Carme Forcadell: Ja, davon bin ich überzeugt. Klar ist, dass wir in einem Europa der Staaten leben, in dem sich die Staaten gegenseitig schützen. Doch die Geschichte zeigt auch, dass die EU und Europa stets von Pragmatismus geprägt sind. Mit anderen Worten, angesichts neuer, unvorhergesehener Situationen wurden Lösungen gesucht, die allen Seiten eine vorteilhafte Lösung bietet. Wenn Katalonien demokratisch entscheidet, ein unabhängiger zu Staat sein, wird die internationale Anerkennung kommen.

Stets wird erklärt, EU-Kommissionschef Jean-Claude Juncker hat das kürzlich unterstrichen, Katalonien müsse sich in die Schlange zum Eintritt in die EU einreihen. Glauben Sie auch, dass es eine pragmatische Lösung für 7,5 Millionen Bürger geben wird, die schon Teil der EU sind?

Carme Forcadell: Auch hier wird, wie bei der Frage zuvor: Pragmatismus herrschen. Katalonien erfüllt alle Voraussetzungen, um Teil der Europäischen Union zu sein. Hier operieren tausende multinationale Unternehmen, es ist das Tor für Güter, die aus Spanien in europäische Länder und in die Welt exportiert werden, Katalonien ist Netto-Beitragszahler in der EU …

Berücksichtigt man all diese Faktoren und analysiert die Reaktionen der EU auf neuartige Vorgänge, bin ich überzeugt davon, dass die beste Lösung für Katalonien, Spanien und Europa gefunden wird. Wird die EU 7,5 Millionen europäische Bürger verstoßen, die alle Kriterien erfüllen, die darin bleiben wollen? Sicher nicht. Die europäischen Institutionen werden das größte Interesse am Verbleib haben. Ich glaube aufrichtig, sollten unsere Bürger in der EU bleiben wollen, werden sie auch weiterhin Mitglied bleiben.

Sehen Sie sich in einem Jahr in einem unabhängigen Land oder in einem spanischen Gefängnis wegen Ungehorsam, Aufruhr, Aufstand … ? Es scheint, Sie seien Spaniens Staatsfeind geworden.

Carme Forcadell: Ich sehe mich in einem Land, das frei über seine Zukunft entschieden hat. Über jedes Ergebnis hinaus wird Katalonien gewinnen, denn es hat entschieden. Und ich nehme Ihre Anmerkung zum spanischen Staat auf, um deutlich zu machen, dass weder die Unabhängigkeitsbewegung noch die Referendumsbefürworter antispanisch eingestellt sind. Wenn Katalonien unabhängig wird, wird keine Mauer entstehen. Katalonien wird weiterhin enge kulturelle, soziale, sprachliche und wirtschaftliche Verbindungen mit Spanien haben. (Ralf Streck) „

Diana JOHNSTONE: U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies

Elke Schenk

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/28/collateral-damage-u-s-sanctions-aimed-at-russia-strike-western-european-allies/

via

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/collateral-damage-u-s-sanctions-aimed-at-russia-strike-western-european-allies/

Collateral Damage: U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies

31/07/2017

by Diana Johnstone

Do they know what they are doing? When the U.S. Congress adopts draconian sanctions aimed mainly at disempowering President Trump and ruling out any move to improve relations with Russia, do they realize that the measures amount to a declaration of economic war against their dear European “friends”?

Whether they know or not, they obviously don’t care. U.S. politicians view the rest of the world as America’s hinterland, to be exploited, abused and ignored with impunity.

The Bill H.R. 3364 “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” was adopted on July 25 by all but three members of the House of Representatives. An earlier version was adopted by all but two Senators. Final passage at veto-overturning proportions is a certainty.

This congressional temper tantrum flails in all directions. The main casualties are likely to be America’s dear beloved European allies, notably Germany and France. Who also sometimes happen to be competitors, but such crass considerations don’t matter in the sacred halls of the U.S. Congress, totally devoted to upholding universal morality.

Economic “Soft Power” Hits Hard

Under U.S. sanctions, any EU nation doing business with Russia may find itself in deep trouble. In particular, the latest bill targets companies involved in financing Nord Stream 2, a pipeline designed to provide Germany with much needed natural gas from Russia.

By the way, just to help out, American companies will gladly sell their own fracked natural gas to their German friends, at much higher prices.

That is only one way in which the bill would subject European banks and enterprises to crippling restrictions, lawsuits and gigantic fines.

While the U.S. preaches “free competition”, it constantly takes measures to prevent free competition at the international level.

Following the July 2015 deal ensuring that Iran could not develop nuclear weapons, international sanctions were lifted, but the United States retained its own previous ones. Since then, any foreign bank or enterprise contemplating trade with Iran is apt to receive a letter from a New York group calling itself “United Against Nuclear Iran” which warns that “there remain serious legal, political, financial and reputational risks associated with doing business in Iran, particularly in sectors of the Iranian economy such as oil and gas”. The risks cited include billions of dollars of (U.S.) fines, surveillance by “a myriad of regulatory agencies”, personal danger, deficiency of insurance coverage, cyber insecurity, loss of more lucrative business, harm to corporate reputation and a drop in shareholder value.

The United States gets away with this gangster behavior because over the years it has developed a vast, obscure legalistic maze, able to impose its will on the “free world” economy thanks to the omnipresence of the dollar, unrivaled intelligence gathering and just plain intimidation.

European leaders reacted indignantly to the latest sanctions. The German foreign ministry said it was “unacceptable for the United States to use possible sanctions as an instrument to serve the interest of U.S. industry”. The French foreign ministry denounced the “extraterritoriality” of the U.S. legislation as unlawful, and announced that “To protect ourselves against the extraterritorial effects of US legislation, we will have to work on adjusting our French and European laws”.

In fact, bitter resentment of arrogant U.S. imposition of its own laws on others has been growing in France, and was the object of a serious parliamentary report delivered to the French National Assembly foreign affairs and finance committees last October 5, on the subject of “the extraterritoriality of American legislation”.

Extraterritoriality

The chairman of the commission of enquiry, long-time Paris representative Pierre Lellouche, summed up the situation as follows:

“The facts are very simple. We are confronted with an extremely dense wall of American legislation whose precise intention is to use the law to serve the purposes of the economic and political imperium with the idea of gaining economic and strategic advantages. As always in the United States, that imperium, that normative bulldozer operates in the name of the best intentions in the world since the United States considers itself a ‘benevolent power’, that is a country that can only do good.”

Always in the name of “the fight against corruption” or “the fight against terrorism”, the United States righteously pursues anything legally called a “U.S. person”, which under strange American law can refer to any entity doing business in the land of the free, whether by having an American subsidiary, or being listed on the New York stock exchange, or using a U.S.-based server, or even by simply trading in dollars, which is something that no large international enterprise can avoid.

In 2014, France’s leading bank, BNP-Paribas, agreed to pay a whopping fine of nearly nine billion dollars, basically for having used dollar transfers in deals with countries under U.S. sanctions. The transactions were perfectly legal under French law. But because they dealt in dollars, payments transited by way of the United States, where diligent computer experts could find the needle in the haystack. European banks are faced with the choice between prosecution, which entails all sorts of restrictions and punishments before a verdict is reached, or else, counseled by expensive U.S. corporate lawyers, and entering into the obscure “plea bargain” culture of the U.S. judicial system, unfamiliar to Europeans. Just like the poor wretch accused of robbing a convenience store, the lawyers urge the huge European enterprises to plea guilty in order to escape much worse consequences.

Alstom, a major multinational corporation whose railroad section produces France’s high speed trains, is a jewel of French industry. In 2014, under pressure from U.S. accusations of corruption (probably bribes to officials in a few developing countries), Alstom sold off its electricity branch to General Electric.

The underlying accusation is that such alleged “corruption” by foreign firms causes U.S. firms to lose markets. That is possible, but there is no practical reciprocity here. A whole range of U.S. intelligence agencies, able to spy on everyone’s private communications, are engaged in commercial espionage around the world. As an example, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, devoted to this task, operates with 200 employees on an annual budget of over $30 million. The comparable office in Paris employs five people.

This was the situation as of last October. The latest round of sanctions can only expose European banks and enterprises to even more severe consequences, especially concerning investments in the vital Nord Stream natural gas pipeline.

This bill is just the latest in a series of U.S. legislative measures tending to break down national legal sovereignty and create a globalized jurisdiction in which anyone can sue anyone else for anything, with ultimate investigative capacity and enforcement power held by the United States.

Wrecking the European Economy

Over a dozen European Banks (British, German, French, Dutch, Swiss) have run afoul of U.S. judicial moralizing, compared to only one U.S. bank: JP Morgan Chase.

The U.S. targets the European core countries, while its overwhelming influence in the northern rim – Poland, the Baltic States and Sweden – prevents the European Union from taking any measures (necessarily unanimous) contrary to U.S. interests.

By far the biggest catch in Uncle Sam’s financial fishing expedition is Deutsche Bank. As Pierre Lellouche warned during the final hearing of the extraterritorial hearings last October, U.S. pursuits against Deutsche Bank risk bringing down the whole European banking system. Although it had already paid hundreds of millions of dollars to the State of New York, Deutsche Bank was faced with a “fine of 14 billion dollars whereas it is worth only five and a half. … In other words, if this is carried out, we risk a domino effect, a major financial crisis in Europe.”

In short, U.S. sanctions amount to a sword of Damocles threatening the economies of the country’s main trading partners. This could be a Pyrrhic victory, or more simply, the blow that kills the goose that lays the golden eggs. But hurrah, America would be the winner in a field of ruins.

Former justice minister Elisabeth Guigou called the situation shocking, and noted that France had told the U.S. Embassy that the situation is “insupportable” and insisted that “we must be firm”.

Jacques Myard said that “American law is being used to gain markets and eliminate competitors. We should not be naïve and wake up to what is happening.”

This enquiry marked a step ahead in French awareness and resistance to a new form of “taxation without representation” exercised by the United States against its European satellites. They committee members all agreed that something must be done.

That was last October. In June, France held parliamentary elections. The commission chairman, Pierre Lellouche (Republican), the rapporteur Karine Berger (Socialist), Elisabeth Guigou (a leading Socialist) and Jacques Myard (Republican) all lost their seats to inexperienced newcomers recruited into President Emmanuel Macron’s République en marche party. The newcomers are having a hard time finding their way in parliamentary life and have no political memory, for instance of the Rapport on Extraterritoriality.

As for Macron, as minister of economics, in 2014 he went against earlier government rulings by approving the GE purchase of Alstom. He does not appear eager to do anything to anger the United States.

However, there are some things that are so blatantly unfair that they cannot go on forever.

* Diana Johnstone is co-author of From MAD to Madness, by Paul H. Johnstone (Clarity Press).
She can be reached at diana.johnstone

F. W. ENGDAHL: Eastern Europe Tilts to OBOR and Eurasia

Elke Schenk

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO27May2017.php

Eastern Europe Tilts to OBOR and Eurasia
By F. William Engdahl
27 May 2017

Small but geopolitically important steps were taken by key members of the European Union from the EU’s Eastern periphery. While largely ignored in Western mainstream media and in Brussels, they could well portend a longer-term alternative economic space to the failing construct known misleadingly today as the European Union with its bankrupt Eurozone single currency and European Central Bank. I refer to the talks recently in Beijing at the major Belt and Road Forum, between leaders of 29 nations and China’s President Xi Jinping with the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Greece, Italy, Spain as well as the President of the Czech Republic and the President-elect of the Republic of Serbia .

The significance of the attendance of these specific European countries is underscored by the conspicuous absence of the leaders of Germany, France (maybe excusable due to presidential elections), and the remaining EU member countries, as well as the absence of the President of the EU Commission.

The list of Beijing attendees confirms that a tectonic fault line is developing across Europe between government leaders opting for national economic growth and development versus the nations whose leaders are still tied to the scelerotic, dying economies of the old Atlanticist order known as the American Century.

‘Historical Cusp’

China made clear to the USA and the EU that their OBOR infrastructure project was not at all exclusionary. Beijing made clear months ago that it genuinely wanted their participation in what Vladimir Putin called the development of an Eurasian Century.

Trump responded by sending a low-level National Security Council civil service bureaucrat named Matt Pottiger. Germany’s Merkel sent her Economics Minister who pompously declared in Beijing that Germany would not sign the Forum Joint Communique, complaining instead that she wanted a “level playing field,” newspeak for the old Anglo-American globalization midel that makes the rules for “less developed” countries and thereby gives superior advantage for the Western G-7 multinational giant corporations and states.

Notably, leaders of the EU countries most strongly objecting to Brussels policies in key areas of the economy and refugees, such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban, strongly embraced participation in China’s vast $22 trillion infrastructure project called One Belt, One Road or OBOR, more recently Belt and Road, for short.

In remarks in Beijing summarizing his talks there, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke bluntly of an emerging global tectonic fault line. Orban declared that the old globalisation model is obsolete, noting that “a large part of the world has had enough of a world where “a few developed countries have been continuously lecturing most of the world on human rights, democracy, development and the market economy,” a direct slap in the face to the US-led “democracy and human rights” NGOs of George Soros and the CIA-tied USAID which have ferociously tried to topple the very popular Orban.

Orban added that the world today has, “arrived at a cusp between historical eras: the old model for globalisation – built on the assumption that money, profit and technological know-how are in the West, flowing ‘from there to less developed, eastern countries.’ That model, Orban stressed, has “lost its impetus.” The Hungarian leader emphasized the crucial point that Washington and the stagnating governments of much of the EU are in denial. “Over the past ten years, the global economy’s engine room is no longer in the West, but in the East. More precisely, the East has caught up with the West.”

The Hungarian Prime Minister noted the fact that in Hungary over the past year or so, “large American and European companies have been bought up by Chinese enterprises, leading to a sharp increase in the number of Hungarian development projects that are now Chinese-owned. This movement of capital is totally different to what we have been used to, and to what we have been taught about how the global economy operates.”

Orban obviously gets the very central point that Washington, Wall Street, Brussels and Berlin are in denial over: The emerging Eurasian Century represents an entire new quality of globalization. No longer are the colonial European powers or their American cousins holding the key cards or calling the shots.

During his private talks in Beijing with Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials, Orban signed Memoranda of Understnding in connection with linking the OBOR infrastructure with the economies of Europe.

For Hungary, Orban signed financial and economic agreements in Beijing. He stated that the “most spectacular” of these agreements was for modernisation of the Budapest, Hungary to Belgrade, Serbia railway line, including the financing. Serbian President-elect Aleksandar Vučić, together with Orban a major target of destabilization protests led by Washington NGOs of George Soros and the National Endowment for Democracy, also participated in the signing. […]

The Greek Connection

In addition to Hungary and Serbia, debt-ridden Greece is also drawing closer to Beijing and her OBOR initiatives. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, until recently a darling of the International Monetary Fund for bringing his Parliament to sign savage pension cuts and other austerity laws so that the EU and IMF debt deals go forward, is finding the Chinese OBOR option increasingly attractive.

In a meeting with Tsipras in Beijing before the opening of the OBOR forum, China’s Xi Jinping offered Tsipras proposals of expanding cooperation in infrastructure, energy and telecommunications. Xi told Tsipras, according to the official Chinese news agency, that Greece was an important part in China’s new Silk Road strategy. He put it in characteristic Chinese language: “At present, China and Greece’s traditional friendship and cooperation continues to glow with new dynamism.”

Greek infrastructure development group Copelouzos signed a deal with China’s Shenhua Group to cooperate in green energy projects and to upgrade power plants in Greece. The deals are worth more than $3 billion. In 2016, China’s largest shipping company, state-owned COSCO bought majority ownership stake in Piraeus Port Authority as preparation to turn Greece into a transhipment hub for the rapidly growing trade between Asia and Eastern Europe.

It is important to recall that, contrary to the religious dogma of economic simpletons such as Milton Friedman, there exist in nature no such entities as “free markets.” Markets are the careful product of man-made economic infrastructure developments. This is the core of China’s “globalization with Chinese characteristics,” as Deng might have termed Xi’s OBOR idea.

In recent months China has been a major investor in Greece’s economy, a sharp contrast to the demands of the EU and IMF for Greek austerity. The China State Grid last year bought a 24 percent stake in Greek power grid operator ADMIE for 320 million euros.

[…]

If we take the developments in Beijing’s OBOR forum of Hungary, Serbia, Greece, Czech Republic, and add to this the fact that Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan was also present and made a major committment to participate in the China-Russian-led OBOR, we have the seed crystal of a world geopolitical renaissance that contains the potential to replace the now-dead Anglo-American globalization model of top-down fascist economic domination, with a model truly based on mutual benefit among sovereign nations. As a traditional Russian saying goes, the select nations of Eastern Europe, along with Russia, China and perhaps also Turkey, are truly “making porridge together,” making rich nutritious Kasha. (emphasised ES)

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

Die Masken fallen. Hintergründe des Machtwechsels in Paris – drei Texte zu MACRONS Unterstützern

Globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

Stephan Best

14.05.2017

Hallo an die Listen.

Während die französischen Parlamentswahlen näher rücken, nimmt auch eine kritischere Sichtweise der Bewegung En Marche zu, die Emmanuel MACRON zum Präsidentensessel verholfen haben. Trotz weitgehend eingehaltenem Schweigegebot für die Medien die knapp vor den Wahlen aufgetauchten Leaks nicht zu veröffentlichen scheint das öffentliche Interesse an einer Berichterstattung über die Unterstützerkreise des Kandidaten wieder zuzunehmen. Die folgenden drei Artikel (a. b. c.) beschäftigen sich mit dem von deutschen Medien meist bejubelten und gerne mit seinen EU-Visionen begründeten kometenhaften Aufstieg.

(Der letzte Text wurde bereits über unsere englischen Listen verteilt.)

+++++++++

a) Frankreich

Die Masken fallen

Macron-Leaks enthüllen: Machtwechsel in Paris von langer Hand geplant

er künftige französische Präsident Emmanuel Macron (r) und der schei

Der künftige französische Präsident Emmanuel Macron (r) und der scheidende Amtsinhaber Francois Hollande (M) begrüßen am 08.05.2017 in Paris den Chef des französischen Generalstabs, Pierre de Villiers. (Foto: dpa)

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten | 14. Mai 2017, 0:52 Uhr

dwn-machtwechsel-geplant-20170514

b) Von der Stiftung Saint-Simon zu Emmanuel Macron

von Thierry Meyssan

Das plötzliche Erscheinen von „En Marche“ (Übersetzt: Vorwärts!) einer neuen politischen Partei auf der französischen Wahlbühne und die Kandidatur ihres Präsidenten, Emmanuel Macron ist keinem Zufall geschuldet. Es ist nicht der erste Versuch der Anhänger einer aus französischer Regierungskaste und den USA bestehenden Allianz.

Voltaire Netzwerk | Damaskus (Syrien) | 28. April 2017

http://www.voltairenet.org/article196126.html

c) Pepe ESCOBAR: Emmanuel Clinton and the revolt of the elites; Asia Times 08.05.2017

Dear all,

below an analysis by Pepe ESCOBAR about Macron’s movement „En Marche!“ – set up for him by a network of powerful players and think tanks.

Below an excerpt – full text attached.

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/change News

Emmanuel Clinton and the revolt of the elites

By Pepe Escobar May 8, 2017 9:31 PM (UTC+8)

So in the end the West was saved by the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France: relief in Brussels, a buoyant eurozone, rallies in Asian markets.

That was always a no-brainer. After all, Macron was endorsed by the EU, Goddess of the Market, and Barack Obama. And he was fully backed by the French ruling class.

This was a referendum on the EU – and the EU, in its current set up, won.

(…)

An Orwellian shock of the new

Contrary to global perceptions, the biggest issue in this election was not immigration, it was actually deep resentment toward the French deep state (police, justice, administration) – perceived as oppressive, corrupt and even violent.

Even before the vote, the always sharp and delightfully provocative philosopher Michel Onfray, author of Decadence, the best book of the year and founder of the Popular University of Caen, identified some of the main players behind the Macron bandwagon: the “bellicose” philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy; Le Monde’s Pierre Bergé; Jacques Attali – who almost single-handedly turned the Soclalists into hardcore neoliberals; eminence grise Alain Minc; former MSF head Bernard Kouchner; and former May 1968 stalwart Daniel Cohn-Bendit – “In other words, the feral promoters of a liberal policy that allowed Marine Le Pen to hit her highest score ever.”

All of the above are faithful servants of the French deep state. I have outlined in Asia Times how the Macron hologram was manufactured. But to see how the deep state managed to sell him, it’s essential to refer to philosopher Jean-Claude Michea, a disciple of George Orwell and Christopher Lasch, and author of the recently published Notre Ennemi, Le Capital.

http://www.atimes.com/article/emmanuel-clinton-revolt-elites

Ciao Stephan Best

Pepe ESCOBAR: Emmanuel Clinton and the revolt of the elites; Asia Times 08.05.2017

Dear all,

below an analysis by Pepe ESCOBAR about Macron’s movement „En Marche!“ – set up for him by a network of powerful players and think tanks.

Below an excerpt – full text attached.

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/change News

http://www.atimes.com/article/emmanuel-clinton-revolt-elites

Emmanuel Clinton and the revolt of the elites

By Pepe Escobar May 8, 2017 9:31 PM (UTC+8)

So in the end the West was saved by the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France: relief in Brussels, a buoyant eurozone, rallies in Asian markets.

That was always a no-brainer. After all, Macron was endorsed by the EU, Goddess of the Market, and Barack Obama. And he was fully backed by the French ruling class.

This was a referendum on the EU – and the EU, in its current set up, won.

(…)

An Orwellian shock of the new

Contrary to global perceptions, the biggest issue in this election was not immigration, it was actually deep resentment toward the French deep state (police, justice, administration) – perceived as oppressive, corrupt and even violent.

Even before the vote, the always sharp and delightfully provocative philosopher Michel Onfray, author of Decadence, the best book of the year and founder of the Popular University of Caen, identified some of the main players behind the Macron bandwagon: the “bellicose” philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy; Le Monde’s Pierre Bergé; Jacques Attali – who almost single-handedly turned the Soclalists into hardcore neoliberals; eminence grise Alain Minc; former MSF head Bernard Kouchner; and former May 1968 stalwart Daniel Cohn-Bendit – “In other words, the feral promoters of a liberal policy that allowed Marine Le Pen to hit her highest score ever.”

All of the above are faithful servants of the French deep state. I have outlined in Asia Times how the Macron hologram was manufactured. But to see how the deep state managed to sell him, it’s essential to refer to philosopher Jean-Claude Michea, a disciple of George Orwell and Christopher Lasch, and author of the recently published Notre Ennemi, Le Capital.

Michea studies in detail how the Left has adopted all the values of what Karl Popper dubbed “open society.” And how media spin doctors molded the term “populism” to stigmatize the contemporary form of Absolute Evil. Marine Le Pen was ostracized as “populist” – while media propaganda always refused to note that National Front voters (now 11 million) come from the “popular classes.”

Michea emphasizes the original, historical meaning of “populism” in Czarist Russia; a current within the socialist movement – much admired by Marx and Engels – according to which peasants, artisans and small entrepreneurs would have their place of honor in a developed socialist economy. During May 1968 in France nobody would have thought that populism could be equated with fascism. That only happened in the beginning of the 1980s – as part of the new Orwellian language of neoliberalism.

Michea also notes that now it’s much easier to be a Left neoliberal than a Right neoliberal; in France, these Left neoliberals belong to the very closed
circuit of the “Young Leaders” adopted by the French American Foundation. French Big Business and high finance – essentially, the French ruling class – immediately understood that an Old Catholic Right candidate like François Fillon would never fly; they needed a new brand for the same bottle.

Hence Macron: a brilliant repackaging sold as change France can believe in, as in a relatively soft approach to the “reforms” essential to the survival of the neoliberal project.

What French voters have – sort of – endorsed is the unity of neoliberal economy and cultural liberalism. Call it, like Michea, “integrated liberalism.” Or, with all the Orwellian overtones, “post-democratic capitalism.” A true revolt of the elites. And “peasants” buy it willingly. Let them eat overpriced croissants. Once again, France is leading the West.

ESCOBAR-Emmanuel-Clinton+revolt-of-the-elites170508.pdf

BREXIT-Document: Letter Delivered From The UK To The EU Triggering Article 50 – full text, 29.03.2017

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
29.03.2017

29.03.2017 — www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/6-page-letter-delivered-uk-us-triggering-article-50-full-text

This Is The 6-Page Letter Delivered From The UK To The EU Triggering Article 50: Full Text

Moments ago, the UK Prime Minister’s office posted the 6-page letter that was delivered by the UK to the EU, triggering Article 50 and officially starting the 2 year Brexit process.

In the letter, Theresa May proposes “bold and ambitious” Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and says the agreement should cover important sectors, including financial services and network industries. Some of the key highlights from the letter, courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • U.K. Seeks to Minimize Disruption in Brexit Talks
  • U.K. Seeks Technical Talks on Policy Details ASAP
  • U.K.’s May Wants to Avoid Return to Hard Irish Border
  • U.K. Seeks Implementation Periods to Ease Transition to Brexit
  • U.K. Seeks Free Trade Agreement That Includes Finance

A scanned version of the letter can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/604079/Prime_Ministers_letter_to_European_Council_President_Donald_Tusk.pdf

Transcript by zerohedge (see attachment, pdf-file)

Greets,
Martin Zeis

BREXIT-Letter-to-EU170329.pdf