Archive for the ‘Euro’ Category

The Extinction Protocol

September 2014ICELAND – The red-hot fountains of molten lava, glowing like wildfire, are nothing short of spectacular. Yet they could be ominous portents of things to come. For the second time in four nail-biting years, seismologists in the land of fire and ice, Iceland, are bracing for a monumental volcanic eruption that, once again, threatens to disrupt European air traffic. Back in 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which melted through 200 meters of glacier, sent more than 200 million cubic meters of fine ash billowing almost 10 kilometers into the sky. As a result, several European countries were forced to ground or re-route thousands of flights for several days. This time the threat of an eruption – potentially even more powerful than the one in 2010 – is posed by Bardarbunga, the biggest of Iceland’s 30 or so volcanic systems. Located roughly at the country’s centre, the volcano’s 10-kilometre…

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Cintayati

THE WORLD IS WATCHING: SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA
10 July, 2014 WAFA
Hundreds of Palestinians and pro-Palestinians rallied Thursday to protest Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian community in Spain and pro-Palestinians from United Left, Spanish Solidarity Network against the Occupation of Palestine, Boyott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) participated in the rallies held in various Spanish cities.

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US Blackmailed France using the Banque Nationale de Paris as Hostage

On July 1st, during a meeting with all Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives, President Vladimir Putin revealed the details of a blatant blackmail against France. The US Administration used its unilateral (and de facto illegal) sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan to punish France and in particular the Banque Nationale de Paris – Paribas. The Bank was blackmailed in to paying $8.97 billion for not submitting to the malicious diktat of the power-drunk but weakening hegemon, even though the sanctions are not a decision agreed to by France.

In a development that has a direct impact on national sovereignty, Senior BNP executive Dominique Remy resigned in mid-May after New York state banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky (read Wall Street) named him as one of the 12 officials who should step down due to their roles in the “scandal”.

Putin revealed publicly something even worse. The case against France’s BNP was set up by Washington in order to blackmail France and force the country to refuse the delivery to Russia of two French-produced Mistral-class helicopter carriers for $1.6billion.

France and Russia, however, did not back down on the Mistral deal: at this very moment 400 Russian sailors are receiving training on the first Mistral in a French port.

Far from representing a demonstration of hegemonic power, the degrading blackmail is strengthening the links between Russia and the main countries of the European Union: namely France, Germany and Italy.

Putin told the Russian ambassadors:

“… What is being done to the French banks can cause nothing but indignation in Europe in general and here as well. We are aware of the pressure our American partners are putting on France to force it not to supply Mistrals to Russia. We even know that they hinted that if France does not deliver the Mistrals, the sanctions will be quietly lifted from their banks, or at least they will be significantly minimised.

What is this if not blackmail? Is this the right way to act on the international arena? Besides, when we speak of sanctions, we always assume that sanctions are applied pursuant to Article 7 of the UN Charter. Otherwise, these are not sanctions in the true legal sense of the word, but something different, some other unilateral policy instrument….” http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/22586

The increasingly irrational and predatory US foreign policy has reached its climax,  characterised by a vast gamma of tools of pressure and intimidation. Now the US bully policy of the “with me or against me” is pushing more and more countries to look at a rational alternative.

Putin’s Russia, contrary to the desperate Wall Street media, is shining as a beacon of rationality and humanity, as the only adult and reliable person in the global saloon in which the drunk US cowboy is shooting his last bullets.

The Ukraine crisis, the creation of the grotesque ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the frantic pressure on Romania, Serbia, Italy and others to denounce the agreement with Russia for the South Stream gas pipeline and prevent Russia from exporting its raw materials – these seems to be the last bullets shot in the air.

Italy, for one, answered with a clear-cut statement by the state secretary for European affairs Sandro Gozi:

”The South Stream project has always been and remains most important for Italy.”

The interview was published on June 30, the day before Italy assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“As Italy takes over the European Union presidency, we give absolute priority to establishing political and economic integration with Kiev while resuming strategic partnership between the EU and Russia,… Relations with Moscow can be neither broken off nor suspended. On the contrary, we are convinced of the need to strengthen them further.”

One of the first calls Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini made at the beginning of the six month of Italian Presidency was with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov announcing a visit to Moscow within the month of July.

Serbia itself, after an internal debate to evaluate the strength of the US threats, decided to go ahead with the South Stream. And, of course, so did Austria during the official visit of Putin in Vienna on June 24. As the German agency Deutsche Welle wrote, uncharacteristically allowing itself a hint of polemics:

Austria defies US, EU over South Stream during Putin visit – Austria’s OMV and Russia’s Gazprom have signed a deal for the Austrian section of the controversial South Stream gas pipeline that bypasses Ukraine. Austria’s president, Heinz Fischer, has rejected US and EU criticism.”  http://www.dw.de/austria-defies-us-eu-over-south-stream-during-putin-visit/a-17734602

Germany is happily supplied with Russian gas through the North Stream.

Many in Europe expects now a new line from the European Union, despite the anti European policy the London’s city – controlled Brussels bureaucracy.

Behind the façade, the “Battle for Europe” is raging.

The ferocious and desperate ultimata coming from Washington appears increasingly impotent. And it is more and more clear why US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland in her infamous conversation with ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in preparation for the coup d’etat in Kiev pronounced her immortal: “Fuck the EU!” The bloody destabilization of Ukraine was a means to an end: Keep Europe under control. It’s not working.

Source: Global Research 

 

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CounterPsyOps

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Ukrainian troops outside the town of Andreyevskoe near Slaviyansk, Donetsk Region, where local residents blocked a column of Ukrainian Army armored personnel carriers. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

About 400 elite mercenaries from the notorious US private security firm Academi (formerly Blackwater) are taking part in the Ukrainian military operation against anti-government protesters in southeastern regions of the country, German media reports.

The Bild am Sonntag newspaper, citing a source in intelligence circles, wrote Sunday that Academi employees are involved in the Kiev military crackdown on pro-autonomy activists in near the town of Slavyansk, in the Donetsk region.

On April 29, German Intelligence Service (BND) informed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government about the mercenaries’ participation in the operation, the paper said, RIA Novosti reported. It is not clear who commands the private military contractors and pays for their services, however.

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PN

RT

Published time: April 24, 2014 09:05
Edited time: April 24, 2014 20:00

Ukrainian special forces take position in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 24, 2014 (AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Five anti-government protesters have reportedly been killed and one injured in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk after Kiev authorities sent tanks and armored vehicles against the local population.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on military operation in eastern Ukraine

“During the antiterrorist operation, three checkpoints erected by illegal military groups have been destroyed in the northeastern part of Slavyansk,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said, adding: “At least five terrorists have been killed. One policeman was injured.”

Witnesses report on Twitter Slavyansk self-defense forces are now burning tires to hamper the entrance of infantry vehicles from Kiev into the city.

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Dandelion Salad

with Michael Hudson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
michael-hudson.com
April 17, 2014

TheRealNews on Apr 16, 2014

Michael Hudson: A German TV investigation disproves the West’s claim that Yanukovych was responsible for killing of dozens of Ukrainian protestors, making this President Obama’s WMD moment.

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PN

RT
Mar 17, 2014

While the Crimean referendum tops world media headlines, an attempt at secession is going on in Veneto, Italy, with its major city Venice. But as it is being virtually ignored by media, people in Europe are hardly aware of what’s happening next door. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/7f5f3n

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[related: Venice votes in referendum on splitting from Rome]

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Dandelion Salad

by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
East Africa
Crossposted from PressTV
March 18, 2014

Gun Bang Image by Ryan Greenberg via Flickr

The stupid Western so-called leaders are playing a fatal game of Russian roulette as they ratchet up threats of sanctions against Russia over the tensions in Ukraine.

Washington, London, Paris and Berlin think they are being smart by threatening Russia over bogus claims of “aggression” and “violation” of Ukrainian sovereignty.

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Ukraine: The New Cold War Heats Up.

The Strategic Role of Natural Gas and Pipeline Routes

Some Western Europeans say, jokingly, that at least winter is almost over, and if “Putin shuts off the gas,” they will not have to be cold for long.

But as the Ukrainian crisis amplifies, European laughter will be short lived. If the European Union had not been a doormat for Washington’s neocons to wipe their feet on, the crisis in Ukraine would not have been engineered. What were the mock-up EU leadership thinking, if anything at all?

What can the EU gain from forcing the back of Russian President Vladimir Putin against the wall? Further, what can the EU offer to Ukraine at this juncture besides a belt-tightening austerity program similar to the Greek model? It might still be cold in Europe, but the new cold war is heating up.

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Economic war on Russia

Europeans should be concerned about the implications of the economic sanctions being pushed by Washington on Putin’s Russia. Russia’s not so secret weapon in Ukraine’s crisis is gas, and it is an economic weapon that could be aimed both at an unruly West Ukraine and at the EU. In effect, 30 percent of the natural gas used by the EU is Russian, and 60 percent of it transits in a pipeline through Ukraine. Ukraine itself imports 60 percent of its gas from Russia. With the powerful gas supply issue, Russia can easily put the squeeze on the 28 EU members. While only 15 percent of gas used in France is Russian, in Baltic countries it is 100 percent. Something to think about before getting “tough” on Russia.

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Meanwhile, Russia is under attack by the finance sector. On March 3, 2014, the ruble fell by 2 percent against the dollar, and $55 billion were lost in one day from the Russian stock exchange. The banksters are pulling their money out of Russia. The value of Gazprom, Russia’s energy giant, whose exports to Europe transit via Ukraine, fell by $12 billion. Some in Washington’s neocon think tanks are recommending drastic measure to punish Russia, such as: reject visas across the board for Russian citizens to visit Western countries; immediately put Ukraine under the umbrella of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); artificially drive down the price of oil, a prime source of revenue for Russia, by dumping on the global market some of the 700 million barrels from the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For some suits of the global corporate empire, regime change in Ukraine is a stepping stone to the real goal of removing Putin from power in Russia.

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Why regime change in Ukraine is casus belli for Russia

Ukraine’s independence from Russia is recent: about 20 years. Before this, Ukraine was part of the Tzars’ empire for almost 300 years and then part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the communist era post World War II as a Soviet Republic. In the context of the Soviet Union, Crimea, in majority (60 percent) an ethnic Russian area, was given to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.

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Further, in East Ukraine there is also a substantial ethnic Russian population (about 45 percent). Thus the affairs and policies in Kiev will always involve Moscow. By comparison, US citizens should reflect on what would be their reactions if Russia or China were sponsoring a communist regime change, in let’s say Mexico or Canada.

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F@#k the EU: an economic giant but political dwarf

Germany is often described as “an economic giant but political dwarf.” This complete lack of political backbone or even basic dignity appears to have spread to the rest of Europe. The national spokespeople of global corporate imperialism let the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy on them without retaliation, and now the likes of Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, etc. (not that their names matter) are showing their subordination to Uncle Sam by letting Victoria Nulan, a United States official, insult them without demanding her resignation. Ms. Nulan is the wife of top neocon Robert Kagan, the co-founder of Project for the New American Century, and she remains the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the US Department of State. She summarized the EU’s lack of political will crudely but honestly when she said: “F@#k the EU.” F@#k the EU indeed, but mainly Ukraine’s population. If the crisis expands — and people like Mr. Kagan and his powerful friends are pouring gasoline on the open flame — it could become a world war.

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Is Ukraine’s partition the only way to prevent World War III?

In 2013, the world came very close to a major conflict over Syria. Many have credited Russia and China with defusing the situation. A few months later, we are on the verge of another international crisis that is potentially more dangerous. In both cases, Syria and Ukraine, the destabilization was triggered and financed by the West. Russia reacted in each instance more strongly than expected. For example, Russia and Russian nationals are flexing their military and militia muscles in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Even if the west’s foreign policy acumen is low, it should have expected a forceful reaction from Vladimir Putin. Nobody can be so dumb or so oblivious of recent history like the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 or Czechoslovakia circa 1968.

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During the Cuban missile crisis, which lasted for 13 tense days, the USSR and Cuba on one side, and the US on the other, almost came to a direct confrontation involving nuclear weapons over the installation of nuclear missiles by the Soviets in Cuba. The Russian move was meant to prevent the US from toppling its ally Fidel Castro; it was also a retaliation for the threats posed by US nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy, aimed at the USSR. The Cuban missile crisis is rightly considered to be the moment when the Cold War could have erupted into a full-blown nuclear war. The crisis was defused when Khrushchev accepted to withdraw the missiles, and at the time, the US presidency (President Kennedy) still held enough real power to resist the growing influence of warmongers.

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In the case of Ukraine, an involvement of BRICS, and especially its member with the biggest military might, China, to consider retaliations against the West including the threat of a fire sale of US Treasury Bonds, would avoid the crescendo of tensions and sanctions that might escalate to World War III. For Ukraine, it unfortunately appears that the only peaceful outcome is a partition (map above) of West from East plus Crimea. West Ukraine would become EU’s newest poor member, crippled with debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and perhaps with a far-right dominated government. The richer East Ukraine would be a Russian satellite state with all of the benefits and inconveniences.

Generation of crises as attempts to prevent real revolutions

The coup in Ukraine is as much about freedom and democracy as were the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and the sponsored attempt to topple Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. In this Orwellian climate, news outlets become propaganda machines that present neo-Nazis in Ukraine and Jihadists in Syria as being revolutionaries. The crisis is not about Ukraine at all, but rather about putting the squeeze on Russia. It also serves as yet another distraction to switch people’s focus from one fabricated crisis to another, to prevent any sustained examination of the looming systemic failure of global capitalism. Nothing beats a fake revolution to preempt a real one.

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Author’s  Note: Photographs one and three by Trey Ratcliff. Photograph two from World Bank Photo. Photographs four and eight from Pan-African News Wire. Photographs six, nine and eleven from Street Work. Photograph seven from Future Atlas, and photograph ten by Norma Desmond.

Source:

World

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday justified his country’s intervention in the Crimea region of neighboring Ukraine as necessary to protect Russian citizens from what he called an “unconstitutional coup” by protesters in Kiev.

Putin, in his first public remarks since Russian forces moved on Crimea late last week, declared that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych is Ukraine’s legitimate leader and was deposed in “an armed seizure of power.” But while Putin was adamant that the Russian military incursion was justified, he was vague when discussing the initial waves of troops in Crimea who have been photographed with no insignia on their uniforms. “They were self-defense teams,” Putin said, adding that one can buy Russian uniforms in shops. He denied that Russian forces were surrounding bases in Crimea, despite several reports to the contrary, and said he was “not concerned about war breaking out; we are not going to be fighting Ukraine.”

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Dandelion Salad

by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
East Africa
Crossposted from Strategic Culture Foundation
March 4, 2014

Fittingly, given the coincidence of the US cinema Oscars ceremony held at the weekend, American politicians and their Western allies were also starring in bravura performances of hypocrisy and double think with regard to their denunciations of Russia’s recent security response to chaos in Ukraine.

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PN

RT
November 6, 2013

In London a bonfire lit outside the gates of Buckingham Palace with crowds wearing white masks involved in scuffles with police. There were similar scenes near parliament too. RT’s Sara Firth reports. Read more http://on.rt.com/0t3ysl

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World

On Aug. 2, the sun blazed down on long lines of thousands of impoverished Roma in the town of Ozd, in northeastern Hungary, as they waited for water. Temperatures were soaring, but Mayor Pal Furjes had accused locals of wasting the free water supply and shut down public pumps on which the community depended. After several days, the Hungarian government intervened, ordering Furjes to restore water to the slums where many Roma live without electricity.

The episode was just the latest instance of discrimination faced by Roma communities in Europe. An ethnic group that can trace its origins back to ancient migrations from India, the Roma live primarily in Eastern and Central Europe and are sometimes known pejoratively as “gypsies.” Long marginalized, Roma often lack education and skills, and are more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty and suffer from poor health than others in their respective countries. They are…

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PN

CounterPsyOps
June 7, 2013

With Greek government bonds at multi-year highs (up 300% in the last year), the Athens Stock Index still up 100% in the last year, and leaders all over the Euro-zone proclaiming the crisis is over (and that Greece has “made big strides”); we thought it perhaps useful to look at the reality behind the propagandized talk and manipulation. The sad truth is Greece is rapidly dissolving into a ‘fourth world’ nation with unemployment rates (broad and youth) at unprecedented levels, poverty widespread, and homelessness rife. Perhaps, as Germany today stated that there will be no more debt reduction for Greece, it is ‘math’ in the first image that the TROIKA and the Greek representatives should pay special attention to…

By Tyler Durden zerohedge.com via Reuters

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40-year-old Yiorgos, who became homeless in 2010 after his grocery shop went out of business, sleeps outdoors in central Athens February…

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Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad

PressTVGlobalNews · May 4, 2013

Spanish people are giving life to many schools which have been abandoned for years, forsaken factories, foreclosed and empty buildings and many more places.

The local citizens of Madrid refurbish these abandoned places to express themselves, to fight, to manage the struggle, create new possibilities for the residents and carry out various projects.

They create these spaces to use as social centers, to held social workshops, cultural programs, classes and assembly meetings and also provide services to fellow citizens.

This, as the Spanish society is struggling with double-dip recession, fierce austerity measures and 26% unemployment can create a great refuge for the citizens and social activists.

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http://www.worldcrunch.com/mobile/#a:10876 STARE KIEJKUTY – The story begins on a wintery Thursday. On Dec. 5, 2002 at 2:56 p.m., a Gulfstream G-IV identified as N63MU lands at the tiny airport of Szczytno-Szymany in northeastern Poland. Its seven passengers get into a SUV with tinted windows and race off.They drive 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) north, to some woods off rural road 58 near the village of Stare Kiejkuty – to a training center of the Polish secret service.The center served as a CIA prison until the end of 2003. The seven passengers were presumably six CIA agents, and their first prisoner. More would soon follow.Prisoners later reported that they had been interrogated and tortured. Today, nearly 10 years later, what happened in Stare Kiejkuty is putting the Polish government and justice system, as well as opposition leaders, in an awkward situtation. They are now facing accusations of acting anti-constitutionally by having tolerated theimprisonment and torture of prisoners in 2002 out of blind loyalty to the United States – and of trying to cover-up the fact. Read the full report here

CounterPsyOps

Unemployment in Spain already stands at 26%. Crowds scavenge the streets at night for food. And life is about to get tougher still

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A family prepares to sleep on the street in Madrid. Oxfam says that by 2022, 38% of the Spanish population could be in poverty. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

By Giles Tremlett, The Guardian

Forget, for a moment, the Greek tragedy. The tale of social woe set to play out in Spain this year is both bigger and more important to the world. For the drama of rescuing the euro, or letting it sink, will be played out on Spanish soil.

That is not to say Spaniards will have it worse than Greeks, though Eurostat figures show only Bulgaria and Romania now have a higher percentage of people deemed at risk of poverty. Spain’s economy will shrink, once more, by 1.5% – a dramatic enough figure, though one most…

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Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

PRESSTV | Nov 18, 2012

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists have staged a demonstration in Germany to protest against the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The demonstrators took to the streets in the capital Berlin on Sunday to show solidarity with the Palestinians and slam the latest wave of Israeli violence on the besieged enclave.

People have staged rallies in Turkey, Italy, Spain, France, Iran, Algeria, Norway, Chile, South Korea, Australia and some other countries have held many demonstrations to condemn recent Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

The latest wave of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has claimed at least 70 lives since November 14. Ahmed al-Ja’abari, the popular and influential leader of the Hamas military wing, the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, was assassinated in an Israeli attack on his car on Wednesday.

Israeli aircraft bombed Hamas government buildings in the Palestinian territory on Saturday, after Israel’s cabinet authorized…

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