Why Is Europe Courting Revolution?

03-11-20 09:13:00,

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

All eyes remain on the U.S. election, and on fathoming its consequences. But in the shadow of ‘The Election’, there are other ‘moving parts’: Germany just offered Washington ‘a sweetheart deal’ in which, Europe – with Germany leading – accepts to leverage America’s full-spectrum strategy of isolating and weakening Russia and China. And in return it is asking the U.S. to acquiesce to German leadership of a ‘power-political’, European entity that is raised to parity with the U.S. That, bluntly, is to say, Germany is angling for ‘superpower’ status, atop an EU ‘empire’ for the new era. Putin recognised such a possibility (Germany aspiring to be a superpower) during his recent speech to Valdai.

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But the other ‘moving parts’ to this bid are very much in motion, too: Firstly, Germany’s ploy is contingent on their hopes for a Biden win, which may, or may not, occur. And then, too, President Macron seeks for himself, and for France, the leadership of Europe – with this latter – to an extent – being contingent on a ‘no deal’ Brexit taking place at the end of the year, that would further weaken a dis-animated and fading Merkel. France rather, plots the ‘Great Reset’ of Europe: A regulatory and values enforced ‘space’, underpinned by a common fiscal and debt regime that would rebuild France’s economic infrastructure.

All this raises many questions: Should Trump win, he can be expected to puncture any German (or French) aspiration to drain away some of America’s power, however nicely the German FM wraps it, as the U.S. not so much losing power, but as gaining “a strong partner on equal terms”. Huh!

The idea that Europe can leverage this partnership through sweet-talking Germany’s commitment “to the West as a system of values”, which is “at risk in its entirety”, and which, only Germany and the U.S. together can keep strong – does seem a bit of a daydream. Even when sugar-wrapped with “defending against the unmistakable Russian thirst for power, and Chinese ambitions for global supremacy”. Firstly, there is still Trump, and secondly —

China and Russia clearly see the game.

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Over half of Europe’s smaller firms may be bankrupt within a year – McKinsey poll

25-10-20 04:31:00,

More than 50 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) operating in Europe’s top-five economic powerhouses fear they will have to close in 12 months as they’re struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic has pushed down the revenues of more than 70 percent of European companies, according to the results of the McKinsey survey of over 2,200 SMEs in five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. 

Covid-19 has hit businesses hardest in Italy and Spain, where 30 and 33 percent of SMEs respectively reported that their revenues dropped “greatly.” Additionally, nearly a half of those polled in the two countries, which saw one of the strictest lockdowns, said their revenues were “somewhat” down. 

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The poll was conducted in August, before Europe faced the second wave of infections and governments started to re-enforce some of the restrictions. Even then, the vast majority of companies described the economy as weak. 

At the current trajectory, one in 10 SMEs (or 11 percent) are expected to file for bankruptcy within half a year. The level may be nearly twice as high among the largest French companies, employing between 50 and 249 people. Among industrial sectors, logistics has by far the highest number of expected bankruptcies, followed by agriculture, accommodation providers, and food services, as well as retail and wholesale.

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If the poll reflects business sentiment across all the European SMEs, nearly a third of jobs may be at risk within a year, as they account for more than two-thirds of the entire workforce in the region. Europe’s economic rebound could also be hampered by massive closures, with SMEs generating more than half of the economic value added, according to the report. 

The pandemic triggered historic contractions in both the EU and the euro area, with seasonally adjusted GDP falling by 11.4 percent and 11.8 percent respectively in the second quarter. These were by far the sharpest declines observed since statistics started in 1995. According to a preliminary forecast, the EU economy is set to shrink by 8.3 percent in 2020 as the result of the crisis.

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Europe Helps US Destroy Libya, Now Blames/Sanctions Russia | New Eastern Outlook

23-10-20 07:19:00,

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The EU has leveled sanctions against Russia for – among other things – “meddling” in Libya’s ongoing civil war.

AFP in its article, “EU sanctions senior Putin aides over Navalny, Libya,” would claim:

The EU said Wagner had committed “multiple and repeated breaches” of a UN arms embargo on Libya, where Russia has backed warlord Khalifa Haftar in his uprising against the internationally-recognised government.

The UK – despite leaving the EU – has also said it would uphold the sanctions.

The EU’s attempt to high-road Russia, however, raises an important point – that it was the EU alongside the US who destroyed Libya’s government in 2011 in the first place.

The 2011 Western military intervention led to the civil war now currently consuming the nation and its people. And if Russia really is supplying weapons to Libyan groups in Libya – they are fighting groups who are being supplied arms in violation of the same UN arms embargo by other nations – namely the EU and the US.

The US and Europe Destroyed Libya in the First Place 

Libya’s ongoing chaos is a direct result of a 2011 US-led military intervention which included forces from several European nations including the UK. After destroying much of the nation’s infrastructure and ousting the Libyan government led by Muammar Qaddafi – Libya was plunged into perpetual infighting as the country was divided by competing warlords and terrorist organizations flush with weapons the US and Europe provided them.

The US-led military intervention eventually impacted Washington’s European allies directly when a tidal wave of refugees flooded Europe from Africa to not only flee the war in Libya itself but also because Libya – once a safe haven for Africans from across the continent – was no longer hospitable. Arms the US and Europe provided militants and terrorists in Libya were also proliferated across the entirety of North Africa fuelling conflicts across the region.

The US and Europe have since cynically used the consequences of their own military intervention as a pretext to remain perpetually involved in Libya’s ongoing conflict – transparently exposing the self-serving politically-motivated nature of attempts to accuse Russia of “meddling.”

Despite Europe’s direct and continued role in Libya’s destruction – it has followed Washington’s lead in blaming Russia – but obviously for no real concern over Libya’s future which Europe itself helped destroy – and instead rather to aid Washington in its increasingly confrontational propaganda,

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WHO Europe Director Says Governments Should Stop Enforcing Lockdowns – Global Research

16-10-20 04:57:00,

The World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge says governments should stop enforcing lockdowns, unless as a “last resort,” because the impact on other areas of health and mental well-being is more damaging.

In an interview with Euro News, Kluge cautioned against the imposition of more lockdowns unless they are “absolutely necessary.”

NEW: WHO Europe Director, Hans Kluge tells me, no government should enforce another national lockdown unless it is absolutely necessary, a last resort

He says damage to other health areas, mental health, domestic violence, schools and cancer treatment is too great pic.twitter.com/jzbh9YbH7z

— Darren McCaffrey (@DarrenEuronews) October 13, 2020

“He says damage to other health areas, mental health, domestic violence, schools and cancer treatment is too great,” tweeted reporter Darren McCaffrey.

Kluge’s warning matches that of the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19, Dr David Nabarro, who recently told the Spectator in an interview that world leaders should stop imposing lockdowns as a reflex reaction because they are making “poor people an awful lot poorer.”

WATCH: Dr David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, tells Andrew Neil: ‘We really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method’. Watch the full interview here: https://t.co/XLdaedsKVS #SpectatorTV @afneil | @davidnabarro pic.twitter.com/1M4xf3VnXQ

— The Spectator (@spectator) October 9, 2020

It also resonates with numerous other experts who have desperately tried to warn governments that lockdowns will end up killing more people than the virus itself, but have been largely ignored.

Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Muller, recently warned that COVID-19 lockdowns will result in “one of the biggest” hunger and poverty crises in history.

“We expect an additional 400,000 deaths from malaria and HIV this year on the African continent alone,” Muller said, adding that “half a million more will die from tuberculosis.”

Muller’s comments arrived months after a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.

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No, Europe! More Debt Is Not The Answer

13-10-20 01:44:00,

Authored by Daniel Lacalle,

In an article published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB states that governments taking more debt now should not be a concern, and would strengthen the central bank independence in the future.

She claims that “the decisive fiscal policy intervention in the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis strengthens the effectiveness of monetary policy and mitigates the long-term costs of the pandemic. With targeted, forward-looking investment, not least under the umbrella of the EU Recovery Fund, governments can foster sustainable growth, increase long-term competitiveness and facilitate the necessary reduction of the debt ratio once the crisis has been overcome”.

The problem of Ms Schnabel’s article is that it ignores the facts and bets the future of the central bank independence on a rigorous, profitable and successful level of government investment that has never happened and is even more less likely to occur now.

http://www.zerohedge.com/

Ms Schnabel should be, in fact, warning about the enormous risk of malinvestment and excessive debt that may arise from the European Recovery Fund implementation and the massive deficit spending arising throughout the Eurozone. Why? Because she has the empirical evidence of the failure to achieve the virtuous growth and debt reduction she expects with the examples of the Growth and Jobs Plan of 2009, the Juncker plan and the enormous rise in deficit spending between 2009 and 2011 among many European nations. Once growth recovered, three things were evident:

  1. Most Eurozone countries maintained a level of deficit spending that elevated the debt to GDP in growth and recession periods because governments get used to spending more in boom times and even more in recession times.  Ms Schnabel expects of the Eurozone governments a level of discipline and fiscal prudence that only Germany and Holland implemented.  With the budgets of Spain and Italy soaring without control, the idea that governments will spend money wisely and productively is not just wishful thinking, it is negated by the evidence of the past.

  2. The debt burden created by the “decisive fiscal policies” in recession times not only stays and grows but leads to rising taxes afterwards to “reduce the deficit” that hinder growth and job creation.

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