The emerging ruling coalition in Germany might be experiencing hiccups when it comes to agreeing on complex issues, but the Nord Stream-2 project has proven a consensual ground. The German government has formally objected to the EC-proposed amendments to the EU Gas Directive citing trivial protectionist arguments atypical for a nation that pretends to lead the EU. The German government’s interpretation of its support for the Nord Stream-2 is that it is not defending Gazprom’s, but Germany’s own national interests, implying that German and Gazprom interests — Russia’s — are identical and run counter to the European Commission embodied shared interests. This is essentially Berlin’s bottom line – EU is dear to us, but when it comes to cash – our interests rate higher. There is nothing fundamentally
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/1/2017. The inability of Angela Merkel and her putative partners to form a government has given rise to persistent calls, including from the chancellor herself, that what Europe needs now is a strong Germany. In fact, it is Germany’s unquestioned strength and willingness to throw its weight around that are to blame for much of Eastern Europe’s unhappiness with the EU at the moment. A case in point is the growing rift between Berlin and its eastern EU neighbors on some of the issues discussed by Merkel and her potential government partners. Take for instance Merkel’s position claiming that the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline is simply a commercial project. To most of her eastern neighbors this is nothing if not crass German
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/25/2017. The failure of German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to form a coalition government in her fourth term of office has, for the first time, given rise to speculations as to her possible demise as the long-time and seemingly indispensable fixture of German and European politics. Such is the respect bordering on veneration, of ‘Mutti’ Merkel in the European mainstream press, that few bother to look critically at her policies and accept without question her assurances that she “will make sure that her country continues to be well governed.” Yet, there is by now overwhelming evidence that her policies have neither been very successful, nor marked with a great deal of “democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity,” as she
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 09/25/2017. As expected, Angela Merkel has convincingly won her fourth term as chancellor of Germany and unofficial, but no less real, leader of the European Union. The mainstream media will again erupt into an orgy of adulation for the new leader of the free world, the slayer of populism and last, but most, the anti-Trump. While the adulation-cum-EU-triumphalism is a given, few will notice that it is taking place as both Merkel and the EU are entering a period that will bring ruin to both Merkel’s reputation and the fantasy of a EU super state that will finally prove the superiority of Europe over Trump’s America. For her reputation is built on the fake assumptions of the European socio-political model which is doomed.
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/29/2017. The election of Donald Trump as the 45th American president in Novembeer 2016 resulted in a predictable wave of barely concealed anti-American sentiment in the European media and officialdom alike. The reasons are not difficult to understand. The European Union as the major European political institution is generally left-of-center and much closer ideologically to the Democratic Party elites in the United States than to the Republicans. Further, the European media are closely attuned to the mainstream media in the U.S. and look at the country through pretty much their prism. Not surprisingly, European and, especially German, elites were as shocked and devastated by Trump’s election victory as their American mainstream colleagues, and perhaps even more so, to the extent that conservative media, as such,
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German Socialists have lately been in the throes of two very socialist contradictions that help explain why they are likely to lose in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The left-wing violence that accompanied the recent G-20 meeting in Hamburg shocked Germans, who had come to expect their young people to focus on their studies, jobs, and careers, but it also unleashed a debate about the degree to which the violence may be characterized as left-wing. Conservatives asserted that German socialists had too long given priority to right-wing violence and thereby enabled left-wingers to mobilize for the Hamburg meeting undeterred. Many socialists argued that the left and violence are incompatible. Some intellectuals tried to find a middle ground by suggesting that left and right were anachronistic terms. In fact,
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 07/06/2017. Next week’s G-20 meeting in Hamburg promises to be more interesting than usual. The expected unhinged leftist crowds are already much in evidence and could be counted on for a dose of violence and turmoil. More seriously, this time the fireworks are more likely to come from inside the conference rooms than outside. In preparation for the event, the German chancellor Angela Merkel has already accused Trump of “Abshottung” (door closure or foreclosure) and promised to challenge him directly on a number of issues. Whether she already feels like the leader of the free world (as many pundits are trying to convince her that she actually is), or not is unclear, but she obviously has Trump in mind when she argues that “abshottung” from “climate
THE NEW US SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA AND THE STRAINS IN TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS In a matter of a week, the cards in the geopolitical exchange between the US and Russia have been dramatically shuffled. The new bill, which passed by an overwhelming (97-2) majority in the US Senate, signals potential tectonic moves in transatlantic, EU and West-Russia relations. Long before the EU public could read into the fine print of the US draft legislation, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern warned in a joint statement that Europe’s energy supplies were “a matter for Europe, not for the United States.” It is worth looking deeper into the semantics and the fallout of this bitter exchange. First, energy supplies and energy security are