Imposing the German Way across the Globe [IroniesToo]

 

 

The cover of this week’s New Statesman certainly seems to wish to alert its readers and newsstand browsers to such a possibility with this week’s edition reproduced here:

The agreed “Conclusions” to the European Council Meeting of last evening, available in pdf format from this link, make absolutely clear how the Teutonic Juggernaut has been able to merely roll over and completely disregard PM David Cameron’s pointless attempt to make an impact by removing Britain from the EU “Compact for Growth and Jobs” note this passage from the main summary:

The European Council had a comprehensive discussion on the economic and social situation and set the orientations for the economic policy of the Member States and the European Union in 2013. The focus should be on the implementation of decisions taken, in particular as regards the Compact for Growth and Jobs.

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One in four Germans would back anti-euro party [Reuters]

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel answers questions from reporters after a meeting with representatives of the German Economic Associations at the International Trade Fair in Munich March 8, 2013. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

BERLIN | Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:42am EDT

(Reuters) – One in four Germans would be ready to vote in September’s federal election for a party that wants to quit the euro, according to an opinion poll published on Monday that highlights German unease over the costs of the euro zone crisis.

Germany’s mainstream parties remain solidly pro-euro despite grumbling over bailouts of countries such as Greece. A German taboo on nationalism, rooted in atonement for the crimes of the Nazi era, has helped to muffle eurosceptic voices.

But the poll conducted by TNS-Emnid for the weekly Focus magazine showed 26 percent of Germans would consider backing a party that wanted to take Germany out of the euro and as many as four in 10 Germans in the 40-49 age bracket would do so.

“This suggests there may be potential here for a new protest party,” Emnid chief Klaus Peter Schoeppner told Focus.

The survey canvassed the views of a representative sample of 1,007 people on March 6-7.

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Happy New Year Germany: Greece Needs A New Bailout [Zerohedge]

When it comes to the main sovereign story of 2011 and 2012, namely the endless bailout of Greece, now in its third iteration, the conventional wisdom is that courtesy of the near elimination of the country’s private sovereign debt and the fact that its official foreign debt held by benevolent taxpayer funded globalist powers (IMF, ECB, EFSF) has been mostly converted into a zero-coupon, perpetual piece of paper, the country is fine. After all it has no debt interest expense to finance, and the only shortfall it has to plug is that created by its primary budget deficit (which as we showed earlier is “improving” on a year over year basis not because the economy is improving, but because the Greek government is simply refusing to pay its bills). So there is nothing more to do but sit back and wait while the economy slowly recovers, the unprecedented internal imbalance with Germany is gradually aligned, are the unemployment rate drops, (while hoping that the population does not die out first) right? Wrong.

 

 

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German man locked up over HVB bank allegations may have been telling truth [Guardian]

Horst Seehofer

Horst Seehofer, the prime minister of Bavaria, has called for Gustl Mollath’s case to be reopened. Photograph: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

A German man committed to a high-security psychiatric hospital after being accused of fabricating a story of money-laundering activities at a major bank is to have his case reviewed after evidence has emerged proving the validity of his claims.

In a plot worthy of a crime blockbuster, Gustl Mollath, 56, was submitted to the secure unit of a psychiatric hospital seven years ago after court experts diagnosed him with paranoid personality disorder following his claims that staff at the Hypo Vereinsbank (HVB) – including his wife, then an assets consultant at HVB – had been illegally smuggling large sums of money into Switzerland.

Mollath was tried in 2006 after his ex-wife accused him of causing her physical harm. He denied the charges, claiming she was trying to sully his name in the light of the evidence he allegedly had against her. He was admitted to the clinic, where he has remained against his will ever since.

But recent evidence brought to the attention of state prosecutors shows that money-laundering activities were indeed practiced over several years by members of staff at the Munich-based bank, the sixth-largest private financial institute in Germany, as detailed in an internal audit report carried out by the bank in 2003. The report, which has now been posted online, detailed illegal activities including money-laundering and aiding tax evasion. A number of employees, including Mollath’s wife, were subsequently sacked following the bank’s investigation.

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The Nightmare German Inflation [usagold]

If history teaches anything, it is that government cannot be trusted to manage money. When currency is not redeemable in gold, its value depends entirely on the judgment and the conscience of the politicians. (That is the situation in this country today.)

Especially in an economic crisis or a war, the pressure to inflate becomes overwhelming. Any alternative may seem politically disastrous. Whether it be the Roman emperors repeatedly debasing their coinage, the French revolutionary government printing a flood of assignats, John Law flooding France with debased money, or the Continental Congress issuing money until it was literally “not worth a Continental,” the story is similar. A government in financial straits finds its easiest recourse is to issue more and more money until the money loses its value. The entire process is accompanied by a barrage of explanations, propaganda and new regulations which hide the true situation from the eyes of most

german national currency
German national currency (1920s)

people until they have lost all their savings. In World War I, Germany — like other governments — borrowed heavily to pay its war costs. This led to inflation, but not much more than in the U.S. during the same period. After the war there was a period of stability, but then the inflation resumed. By 1923, the wildest inflation in history was raging. Often prices doubled in a few hours. A wild stampede developed to buy goods and get rid of money. By late 1923 it took 200 billion marks buy a loaf of bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Nazis out!’ Greek protesters attack conference, throw coffee at German diplomat

Dozens of Greek activists protesting austerity policies broke into a conference and clashed with police in a protest against a German government official.

Law enforcement officers used truncheons and teargas to disperse some 250 activists in the northern city of Thessaloniki, where a meeting of Greek and German mayors was taking place.

Riot police formed a shield around German Consul Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier, who was attending the event, after some of the protesters stormed into the conference center complex. The intruders were trying to pelt the diplomat with bottles of water and coffee.

The protestors changed “Nazis out” and “This will not pass”, while holding mock gravestones and banners proclaiming “Fight until the end!”

A protester holds a plackard of  German Chancellor Angela Merkel featuring a Hitler moustache near the Greek parliament in Athens during a demonstration against the vist of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 9, 2012. (AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki)

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Germany’s Fear And Desperation Leak Out [TestosteronePit]

A hullabaloo erupted between France and Germany that both governments are trying to silence to death. According to unnamed sources of Zeit Online and Reuters, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble broached an unprecedented topic with the members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts on Wednesday when they presented their Annual Report. In its 49-year history of advising German governments, the Council has never delved into policy proposals for other countries. And yet, Schäuble asked them: Could they produce a reform concept for the troubledFrench economy?

The French, who are currently engaged in national soul-searching and navel-gazing to halt their declining “competitiveness,” were not amused. The office of President Francois Hollande wrapped itself in silence. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault brushed it off. The German Ministry of Finance declined to comment on “unofficial discussions.” Council Chairman Wolfgang Franz backpedalled: “That’s largely misinformation,” he said. “An order for a Special Report is not even in the most distant sight.” He figured that the French government “wouldn’t tolerate something like that.”

Nevertheless, he said, the government is highly interested in reform ideas that would make the monetary union more stable. And it is in this context that the Council would “think about France” in December. After which they would talk again with Schäuble, he said.

But the Council is already “increasingly worried” about the economic developments in France, admitted Council member Lars Feld when he presented the Annual Report to Schäuble. “The largest problem isn’t Greece anymore, or Spain or Italy, but France because France has done nothing to rebuild its competitiveness and is even heading in the opposite direction.” He didn’t mince words. “France needs labor market reforms,” he said. “It is the country among Eurozone countries that works the least each year; so how do you expect any results from that?”

 

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