Germany Backpedals On NATO Spending Promise As France Goes Full Throttle

germany-backpedals-on-nato-spending-promise-as-france-goes-full-throttle

19-03-19 08:50:00,

Germany is poised to renege on its promise to boost NATO spending, backtracking on a public commitment last year by Chancellor Angela Merkel to increase German military expenditure to 1.5% of gross domestic product by 2024 – bringing it closer to the 2% level set by NATO themselves, according to the Wall Street Journal.

If confirmed at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the move would mark a fresh step in the gradual estrangement between the U.S. and its erstwhile loyal European ally and comes after Mr. Trump’s repeated attacks of North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders for not meeting a 2% military-spending target. –WSJ

German soldiers during a NATO-led military exercise in October in Trondheim, Norway. PHOTO:JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Berlin currently spends around €43 billion ($49 billion), equal to just over 1.2% of GDP on defense. Under a new plan unveiled on Monday by the finance ministry, the spending would rise to just 1.37% of GDP next year, then decrease again to 1.33% in 2019, 1.29% in 2022 and 1.25% in 2023.

“The commitment we have made to NATO states that spending should reach 2% if the budget conditions allow for it. We haven’t abandoned the target but it remains a challenge that the federal government wants to master,” said a senior government official. 

Berlin’s change of heart is the second recent rebuke of President Trump – who publicly embarrassed Germany during a July 2018 bilateral breakfast over their reliance on Russian energy. 

Germany is “captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” said Trump, adding “The former Chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline company that is supplying the gas.” 

“Ultimately Germany will have almost 70 percent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas. So you tell me, is that appropriate?” Trump asked. “It should have never been allowed to happen. So Germany is totally controlled by Russia.” 

Bilateral Breakfast with NATO Secretary General in Brussels, Belgium… pic.twitter.com/l0EP3lzhCM

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018

Berlin has not taken kindly to Trump’s rhetoric, which includes criticism over Germany’s decision to let Chinese technology giant Huawei build their next generation 5G mobile network.  

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Germany’s Über Hypocrisy over Venezuela

germanys-uber-hypocrisy-over-venezuela

12-03-19 11:59:00,

Germany’s Über Hypocrisy over Venezuela

Germany has taken the lead among European Union member states to back Washington’s regime-change agenda for Venezuela. Berlin’s hypocrisy and double-think is quite astounding.

Only a few weeks ago, German politicians and media were up in arms protesting to the Trump administration for interfering in Berlin’s internal affairs. There were even outraged complaints that Washington was seeking “regime change” against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

Those protests were sparked when Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, warned German companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia that they could be hit with American economic sanctions if they go ahead with the Baltic seabed project.

Earlier, Grenell provoked fury among Berlin’s political establishment when he openly gave his backing to opposition party Alternative for Germany. That led to consternation and denunciations of Washington’s perceived backing for regime change in Berlin. They were public calls for Grenell to be expelled over his apparent breach of diplomatic protocols.

Now, however, Germany is shamelessly kowtowing to an even more outrageous American regime-change plot against Venezuela.

Last week, the government of President Nicolas Maduro ordered the expulsion of German ambassador Daniel Kriener after he greeted the US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido on a high-profile occasion. Guaido had just returned from a tour of Latin American countries during which he had openly called for the overthrow of the Maduro government. Arguably a legal case could be made for the arrest of Guaido by the Venezuelan authorities on charges of sedition.

When Guaido returned to Venezuela on March 4 he was greeted at the airport by several foreign diplomats. Among the receiving dignitaries was Germany’s envoy Daniel Kriener.

The opposition figure had declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela on January 23 and was immediately recognized by Washington and several European Union states. The EU has so far not issued an official endorsement of Guaido over incumbent President Maduro. Italy’s objection blocked the EU from adopting a unanimous position.

Nevertheless, as the strongest economy in the 28-member bloc, Germany can be seen as de facto leader of the EU. Its position on Venezuela therefore gives virtual EU gravitas to the geopolitical maneuvering led by Washington towards the South American country.

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How Germany Gave Russia Bolshevism

how-germany-gave-russia-bolshevism

09-03-19 10:29:00,

Not a revolution. It was a coup cooked up by the Kaiser, may he forever burn in hell

    Zurich, April 9, 1917: 32 Russian emigrants are at the train station, waiting to depart. But they’re not the only ones there. Shouts of “traitors, scoundrels, pigs” ring out at the travelers. Supporters of the group are also there, singing “The Internationale.” The tracks are blocked for a short while, then train moves off.

    The German chartered train was provided by Kaiser Wilhelm II with the aim of furthering the Russian Revolution. In one of the wagons sat none other than Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin. With German help, Lenin left his exile in Switzerland and, a week later, reached his destination: Petrograd, which would later be renamed to Leningrad then changed back to today’s Saint Petersburg.

    In Russia, the February Revolution was just over, Czar Nicholas II had been swept from the throne, a provisional government was in office, and the October Revolution was not yet in sight.

    Prussian bayonets and Russian proletarian fists

    Lenin’s return to his home country was followed with great attention in Berlin.

    “Lenin’s entry into Russia was a success. He is working according to your wishes,” was the message Germany’s top army command sent to its Foreign Office.

    A political paradox, or so it would seem: Kaiser Wilhelm II joining forces with the communist Lenin. The German emperor’s aim was to finally undermine the czarist empire with which the so-called Central Powers – Germany and Austria-Hungary – had been at war since 1914.

    Berlin’s strategy was clear: Lenin and his Bolsheviks were meant to destabilize Russia thereby — in the middle of the First World War — easing the burden of fighting on the Eastern Front. The German Empire was relying on an old rule of diplomacy: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. And the plan worked.

    The idea originated with a man who took the communist nom de guerre”Parvus,” or the little one: Israel Lazarevich Gelfand. He was a Russian Jew who at the end of 1914 had already been using his influence to offer the German ambassador in Constantinople an alliance of “Prussian bayonets and Russian proletarian fists.”

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    Germany: Number Of Foreign-Born Prison Inmates Reaches Record High

    germany-number-of-foreign-born-prison-inmates-reaches-record-high

    15-02-19 08:47:00,

    Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,

    • North Rhine-Westphalia once had 114 prison imams, but now has only 25. The drop occurred after German authorities carried out security checks on prison imams and discovered that 97 imams were Turkish civil servants whose salaries were paid for by the Turkish government. Turkey refused to allow the imams to be interviewed by German officials.

    • In an article entitled, “German Becomes a Foreign Language in Many Prisons,” the Berliner Morgenpost reported on the growing number of conflicts between German prison officers and foreign inmates because of communication barriers

    • German authorities are also reporting an increase in inmate attacks on prison staff. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, since 2016, the number of assaults on prison staff have more than doubled.

    A surge in foreign prison inmates in Germany has led to overcrowded prisons and a shortage of staff. Prisons in Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia are currently at 100% capacity. Pictured: Remscheid Prison in Remscheid, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. (Image source: Coltdragoon/Wikimedia Commons)

    The proportion of foreign-born inmates in German prisons is now at a record high, according to a new survey of the justice ministries in Germany’s 16 federal states. In Berlin and Hamburg, for example, more than 50% of inmates are now from abroad, according to the report, which also revealed a spike in the number of Islamists in the German prison system.

    The data, compiled by the newspaper Rheinische Postshows that the surge of foreign-born inmates began in 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into Germany more than a million mostly unvetted migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

    All of Germany’s federal states reported a “very strong increase” of foreign and stateless prisoners in the last three to five years, according to the paper, although a definitive nationwide total is difficult to calculate because of differences in the way federal states compile statistics.

    Since 2016, for example, in the western federal states the proportion of foreign inmates increased to 61% from 55% in Hamburg; to 51% from 43% in Berlin;

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    Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

    germany-pulls-rank-on-macron-and-american-energy-blackmail

    13-02-19 10:38:00,

    Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

    It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

    Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

    Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

    The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

    Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

    Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

    In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

    Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states.

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    France And Germany Take Major Step Toward EU Army To Protect “Europe Threatened By Nationalism”

    france-and-germany-take-major-step-toward-eu-army-to-protect-8220europe-threatened-by-nationalism8221

    23-01-19 11:47:00,

    French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for what he previously called “a real European army” got a big boost on Tuesday amid France and Germany signing an updated historic treaty reaffirming their close ties and commitment to support each other during a ceremony in the city of Aachen, a border town connected to Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire. But the timing for the renewal of the two countries’ 1963 post-war reconciliation accord is what’s most interesting, given both the rise of eurosceptic nationalism, the uncertainty of Brexit, and just as massive ‘Yellow Vests’ protests rage across France for a tenth week. 

    Macron addressed this trend specifically at the signing ceremony with the words, “At a time when Europe is threatened by nationalism, which is growing from within… Germany and France must assume their responsibility and show the way forward.”

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a signing of a new agreement on bilateral cooperation and integration, known as Treaty of Aachen. Image via Reuters

    Germany’s Angela Merkel agreed, adding in her own remarks: “We are doing this because we live in special times and because in these times we need resolute, distinct, clear, forward-looking answers.” The agreement, which is being described as sparse on specifics or detail, focuses on foreign policy and defense ties between Berlin and Paris. 

    “Populism and nationalism are strengthening in all of our countries,” Merkel EU officials at the ceremony. “Seventy-four years – a single human lifetime – after the end of the second world war, what seems self-evident is being called into question once more.”

    Macron said those “who forget the value of Franco-German reconciliation are making themselves accomplices of the crimes of the past. Those who… spread lies are hurting the same people they are pretending to defend, by seeking to repeat history.”

    And in remarks that formed another affirmation that the two leaders are seeking to form an “EU army” Merkel said just before signing the treaty: “The fourth article of the treaty says we, Germany and France, are obliged to support and help each other, including through military force, in case of an attack on our sovereignty.” 

    The text of the updated treaty includes the aim of a “German-French economic area with common rules” and a “common military culture” that Merkel asserted could “contribute to the creation of a European army”.

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    France, Germany To Merge Economic And Defense Policies; Create Cross-Border “Eurodistricts”

    france-germany-to-merge-economic-and-defense-policies-create-cross-border-8220eurodistricts8221

    12-01-19 01:26:00,

    Germany and France are set to forge a pact aligning their defense, diplomatic and economic policies in an unprecedented “twinning” pact “regarded as a prototype for the future of the European Union,” according to The Times‘ Oliver Moody.  

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will sign the “Aachen treaty” later this month which will govern a coordinated diplomatic front as well as joint actions on peacekeeping missions. 

    What’s more – areas on both sides of the Franco-German border will be encouraged to establish “Eurodistricts” in which both countries would merge water, electricity and public transport networks. 

    Berlin and Paris will offer cash to incentivise these cross-border areas, which could involve shared hospitals, joint business schemes or environmental projects. Some officials regard these experiments as a petri dish for the integration of the EU. –The Times

    No word on whether France will accept half of Germany’s refugees.

    Additionally, both countries will lobby for Berlin to receive a permanent seat on the United Nations security council, where France already sits with the United States, China, Russia and Britain. Berlin was elected to the council as a non-permanent member last June. 

    France and Germany will also coordinate policy positions ahead of pivotal EU summits in order to make the bloc a “more decisive power on the world stage.” In short – the treaty will solidify the two countries’ commitments to “the values of multilateralism at a time when the global liberal order is under threat,” writes Moody. 

    The two countries will hold “regular consultations on all levels before major European meetings, and take care to establish common positions and issue joint statements,” according to the agreement, and will “stand up for a strong and effective common foreign and defence policy, and strengthen and deepen the economic and currency union.”

    Both President Macron and Mrs Merkel have expressed frustration at the rise of populism and nationalism, and at Europe’s dithering in the face of problems such as climate change and mass migration.

    On New Year’s Eve Mrs Merkel declared that Germany would “stand up and fight” for multilateralism and was ready to assume more responsibility in the world.

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    Germany’s ‘Achilles heel’? Report claims Middle East consulates sell forged visas to migrants

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    27-11-18 11:39:00,

    Corrupt officials at German consulates in some Middle Eastern states have been collaborating with people smugglers and literally selling forged visas to migrants seeking to come to Germany as refugees, Der Spiegel revealed.

    The corrupt schemes “have been run smoothly [by employees] in the visa centers of many German diplomatic missions abroad,” and the Middle East in particular, German Der Spiegel weekly reported, calling the consulates an “Achilles heel” in the fight against people smuggling. The paper also calls the local employees a “weak spot” of German visa departments, as it is they who usually work with people smugglers.

    A German consulate in Iraq’s northern city of Erbil was particularly involved in one such fraudulent scheme, according to the paper’s investigation. Local human traffickers offered to get their clients visas through corrupt consulate officials without the need for an approval by the visa and registration department in Germany. A false document, which could allow a would-be asylum seeker to legally enter Germany as part of a refugee reception program, cost between $3,000 and $13,000.

    Read more


    © Fabrizio Bensch

    The shady scheme reportedly ran smoothly between August and December 2017 until finally came to the attention of Foreign Ministry officials. The forgers managed to sell some two dozen visas over this period, Der Spiegel says, adding that the real number of such cases might be much greater.

    A similar scheme was run by an employee at a German consulate in Beirut, Lebanon, identified as Mohamad J. The man is reported to have been handling a lucrative visa trade in the consulate between December 2014 and May 2015. He is now facing charges in Germany over 11 instances of selling visas. However, the real number may be much larger, as the investigators have identified as many as 201 suspicious visa applications processed in the consulate over that period.

    The German authorities, however, seem to be surprisingly reluctant to investigate such cases. According to Der Spiegel, such probes are usually set in motion only after such incidents hit the media headlines. The authorities started actively investigating the Beirut consulate fraud only after German WDR broadcaster reported on it in its ‘Monitor’ show.

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    The Fate of Germany v Euro – The Export Economic Model Risks | Armstrong Economics

    the-fate-of-germany-v-euro-the-export-economic-model-risks-armstrong-economics

    05-11-18 07:33:00,

    QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I watched the new documentary on your solution. I really want to thank you for everything you do and for free. It is so nice to see someone who actually gives back and has no personal agenda to enrich themselves. My question is this. You mentioned the reason why the United States economy was the envy of the world and differentiated it from Germany which has an export model economy that is why they supported the euro, to begin with. What do you see for Germany ahead?

    Thank you

    CB

    ANSWER: Germany has an export-dependent economy which has directly benefited from the continent-wide trade liberalization and the creation of the Euro which eliminated foreign exchange fluctuations for German manufacturers in Europe at least. However, that simply means that Germany also has the most to lose from a worsening Euro crisis and a resulting wave of Euroscepticism. The political freedoms lost with the creation of the Euro will tear Europe apart. The refusal to consolidate the debt within Europe was profound. The Italy Crisis demonstrates what I have been warning about. BECAUSE there is no central debt, Brussels sticks its nose into every budget of every member state. The economic conditions within Europe are different between each member. Germany is an export economy and Greece is a tourist economy. There are great differences between each member so one policy does not fit all.

    They are trying to PRETEND they are creating the United States of Europe but that is a joke. The refusal to have consolidated the debts created an unsustainable political union. The USA has a federal debt and budget. Washington does not stick its nose into the budgets of all 50 states. They issue their own debt which is NOT ACCEPTABLE for reserves of any bank. They are also all on their own paying different rates of interest according to their credit rating. In the EU, they are trying to manage the budgets of every member which will only lead to political differences. The structure is absurd and then the banks have to be politically correct and hold the debt of all member states. Thus, the risk becomes if one member is in a crisis, they bring down the entire system.

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    Germany Has Made Over 3 Billion Profit From Greece’s Crisis Since 2010

    Germany Has Made Over 3 Billion Profit From Greece’s Crisis Since 2010

    22-06-18 10:52:00,

    Germany has earned around 2.9 billion euros in profit from interest since the first bailout for Greece in 2010.

    As KeepTalkingGreece reports, this is the official response of the Federal Government to a request submitted by the Green party in Berlin.

    The profit was transmitted to the central Bundesbank and from there to the federal budget.

    The revenues came mainly due to purchases of Greek government bonds under the so-called Securities Markets Program (SMP) of the European Central Bank (ECB).

    Previous agreements between the government in Athens and the eurozone states foresaw that other states will pay out the profits from this program to Greece if  Athens would meet all the austerity and reform requirements. However, according to Berlin’s response, only in 2013 and 2014 such funds have been transferred to the Greek State and the ESM. The money to the euro bailout landed on a segregated account.

    As the Federal Government announced, the Bundesbank achieved by 2017 about 3.4 billion euros in interest gains from the SMP purchases. In 2013, approximately 527 million euros were transferred back to Greece and around 387 million to the ESM in 2014. Therefore, the overall profit is 2.5 billion euros.

    In addition, there are interest profits of 400 million euros from a loan from the state bank KfW.

    “Contrary to all right-wing myths, Germany has benefited massively from the crisis in Greece,” said Greens household expert Sven Christian Kindler said and demanded a debt relief for Greece.

    “It can not be that the federal government with billions of revenues from the Greek interest the German budget recapitalize,” Kindler criticized. “Greece has saved hard and kept its commitments, now the Eurogroup must keep its promise,” he stressed.

    “Sorry, Angie, I couldn’t make more, yet 2.9billion is not bad profit either…”

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    Is Germany Heading to a Policial Crisis in 2019? | Armstrong Economics

    Is Germany Heading to a Policial Crisis in 2019? | Armstrong Economics

    04-06-18 07:28:00,

    The German Bild newspaper, which has been a staunch supporter of  Chancellor Angela Merkel, has just reported on Sunday with the headline “Merkel knew about asylum failure” demonstrating that her support is declining steadily and the entire refugee crisis in Europe has been her making unilaterally without ever asking the leaders of other member states for their agreement. Frank-Jürgen Weise served as CEO of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit, the German Federal Agency for Employment from 2004 until 2017 and also during 2010 he chaired the ad-hoc Bundeswehr Structural Commission, and from 2015, Weise also headed of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The Bild reports that Merkel knew the disaster she created and that there as “secret documents, which are to be kept under lock and key”.

    Apparently, from the beginning of 2017 Weise is said to have found that the new management of the Office “in their professional experience has never experienced such a bad state of authority”. He had criticized the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which was led by Merkel’s confidant Thomas de Mazière, for mismanagement. The agency cannot explain how it can possibly manage the refugees no less consider increasing the refugee numbers. SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil calls Merkel’s (CDU) to quickly take a position on the events in the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) position: “Angela Merkel also bears responsibility for the conditions in the Bamf.” 

    Merkel became the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany in 2000 and then Chancellor of Germany in 2005. Cyclically, it is highly likely that Germany will move into a political crisis once more and Merkel will no longer be head of state in 2019.

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    Germany Creates Criminal Law That Applies to Small Business | Armstrong Economics

    Germany Creates Criminal Law That Applies to Small Business | Armstrong Economics

    19-04-18 07:53:00,

    QUESTION: The coalition agreement in Germany provided for criminal sanctions against companies of any size. Naturally, the large companies can withstand such an attack. Small business cannot. Do you see this as another push over the cliff for Europe since Germany is the pillar of the EU economy?

    Thank you from Berlin

    HS

    ANSWER: Unfortunately, this new provision was demanded by the SPD. It allows for major suits through the back door which will destroy small business and expose them to financial risks that may make it just impossible to do business. Major companies like VW can weather the storm of a criminal action. This allows even for antitrust proceedings in price agreements. People will be able to allege and off you go on with years of investigation that may lead even nowhere. Even the closure of a production plant that violates environmental guidelines will be actionable. The list goes on and on. While the administrative offense law can impose fines. here we are looking at actually criminal prosecutions. When criminal actions become profitable to the accusor, tyranny flourishes.

    This is one more step at the exact wrong moment that will only further restrain economic growth when it becomes too risky for small business.

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    Germany Arrests Former Head of Catalonia for Spain Confirm the Spanish Constitution Violates Human Rights | Armstrong Economics

    Germany Arrests Former Head of Catalonia for Spain Confirm the Spanish Constitution Violates Human Rights | Armstrong Economics

    27-03-18 06:44:00,

    One day soon, the world will suddenly discover that the European Project is authoritarian because they believe the people are stupid and politicians know better. When that day dawns, the crisis in Europe will erupt in total shock and this will undermine the entire economy which has rapidly fallen to even behind China. At the core of this true European Crisis is the fact that individual human rights come behind the rights of government. Make no mistake about it, politicians in the West secretly admire China and in turn, many Chinese view the model for democracy in the West is crumbling before their eyes.

    Germany has arrested the former Catalan Prime Minister Carles Puigdemont enforcing Spain’s dictatorship and anti-Democratic government to save the EU. Spain is by NO MEANS a democratic nation and evidence of that statement is the Spanish Constitution. I know readers in Spain will write emails saying I am wrong. All I ask is keep reading.

    The Spanish Constitution exempts all politicians and Judges from the law and denies the right of the people to even disagree with the government. Puigdemont was arrested on the German-Danish border traveling from Finland to Belgium. The state police office in Kiel announced that Puigdemont had been arrested and the charge is advocating a democratic vote in Catalonia to separate from Spain. This is the most outrageous legal persecution that has taken place since the Communist Revolution in Russia who imprisoned or killed anyone who opposed them.

    Puigdemont proclaimed Catalonia’s independence from Spain in October, that Madrid says violated the constitution. Their interpretation of their Constitution is permanent slavery no different from the positions of France and Britain that justified the French and American Revolutions. Then the Spanish judiciary began investigations into rebellion and charged Puigdemont and other leading separatists who were forced to then flee to Belgium into exile. Clearly, anyone who is charged with a political crime MUST leave Europe for the governments will conspire to save the EU.

    Puigdemont went to Finland to attend a conference and Spain submitted an application for the arrest of the deposed regional president. Finland then agreed to arrest Puigdemont so he fled to return to Belgium. Germany intercepted him and arrested him and he now faces 25 years in prison where he will certainly die. 

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    Germany: Return Of The Stasi Police State?

    Germany: Return Of The Stasi Police State?

    26-01-18 10:37:00,

    Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestone Institute,

    • Germany’s new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the government. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint — regardless of whether the content is accurate or not.
    • Social media platforms now have the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who will speak and what they will say.
    • Notice the ease with which the police chief mentioned that he had filed charges to silence a leading political opponent of the government. That is what authorities do in police states: Through censorship and criminal charges, they silence outspoken critics and political opponents of government policies, such as Beatrix von Storch, who has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policies.
    • While such policies would doubtless have earned the German authorities many points with the old Stasi regime of East Germany, they more than likely contravene the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) to which Germany is a party, as well as the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

    Germany’s new censorship law, which has introduced state censorship on social media platforms, came into effect on October 1, 2017. The new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint — regardless of whether the content is accurate or not. Social media companies are permitted seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.

    The new censorship law, however, was not fully enforced until January 1, 2018, in order to give the social media platforms time to prepare for their new role as the privatized thought police of the German state. Social media platforms now have the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who will speak and what they will say.

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