Herbert W. Armstrong warned the Nazis only went underground and a declassified US document confirms it...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Re: Operation Paperclip
Just read your blog. Though I have researched Paperclip, and other CIA black ops, thoroughly, it still stuns me that so few people know of these activities. Americans who sit by while their history is manipulated by unseen forces deserve what they get.
The MARK of the BEAST
by Herbert W. Armstrong
Better be sure whether this brand is upon you! Without it, no man will be able to buy or sell! Without it, you may be tortured even unto death! But with it, you shall suffer the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES OF GOD
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Beyond Babylon drops the bomb:
THE GERMAN-JESUIT JACKBOOT WILL STOMP JERUSALEM!
All the while during my six and a half hours of Israeli interrogation, I clearly warned them that the "peace process" is a trap; that it's about to blow up in their faces, and that a German-led Europe is going to wage a New Crusade to enforce the Vatican's version of peace. Catholic Europe will backstab and betray both the Arabs and the Jews. They'll push for Jerusalem to become "an international city," all under the cover of UN Resolution 181.
I maintained that the only explosives that I'm involved with is the bombshell I've written, Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. I continually referred them to it, stating that's where my beliefs are on public record. (Later I gave them a computer disk with my book on it to assist their investigation). I told them I know that Israel won't take G-d's warning seriously, any more than those Jews who spurned Jabotinsky's efforts to save them from Hitler. (Ze'ev Jabotinksy warned the Jews of Hitler's fury but they thought he was just crying wolf). Nevertheless, the Almighty will intervene and save us after our worst time of suffering, if we so insist, and every survivor in Jerusalem will be holy.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Congratulations to The Atlantic Times on its first-anniversary issue!
As reported by "This week in Germany," the English-language paper was launched "to stop the drifting apart of Europe and America, and especially Germany and America … and to build on common ground while learning to live with our differences," said the paper's executive editor, the renowned journalist Theo Sommer...the paper has featured scores of articles by prominent leaders and experienced journalists from both sides of the Atlantic..."Our basic message, in print and online, has been, and will be: We are still friends, and we must remain friends," said Sommer. "So let us not confront each other with swollen necks, but let us reason together."
Noble aims that are praiseworthy indeed! Mr. Theo Sommer is definitely to be commended for his efforts. However, based upon the stark testimony of the two witnesses of history and the Bible, Germany and the United States are going to continue to have some very serious disagreements that will ultimately destroy our friendship, alienate our countries and find Germany leading the European Union in a blitzkrieg nuclear attack against the United States!
Before that horrifying "Time of Jacob's Trouble," "the Great Tribulation," the British-Israelites will trust the Assyrian-Germans with their security! Our Anglo-Saxon-Celtic fools will increasingly rely on blind alliances with Germany and Europe that will be broken to pieces like so much shattered crystal!
Ephraim (Anglo-Saxons) also is like a silly dove, without sense— They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria (Germany).
Herbert W. Armstrong, chancellor of Ambassador College and founder of the Worldwide Church of God and editor-in-chief of The Plain Truth magazine and broadcaster of The World Tomorrow radio and television program, warned the world for years that a European combine, driven by Germany, would thresh the nations. He dared to make such bold proclamations when Germany was in rubble after WWII and divided.
Germany is destined to lead the European Union against the American, British and Jewish peoples, a divine instrument to punish us for our intolerable sins that rise up against Heaven (not that they're without sin):
5 Woe to Assyria (Germany), the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
6 I will send him against an ungodly nation (the Anglo-Saxon-Celtics and Jews),
And against the people of My wrath
I will give him charge,
To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 Yet he does not mean so,
Nor does his heart think so;
But it is in his heart to destroy,
And cut off not a few nations.
It is not in Germany's mind today, or its present peaceful people, to wage war against us, but that will all change overnight, after a head-on collision with the Islamic leader of a confederation of Muslim states, their mahdi, whetting Europe's appetite for more blood and morphing the EU into THE BEAST. They will destroy all Muslim opposition with a vengeance.
Whereas most Germans are not aware of vile intentions of influential Germans under Jesuit influence to revive the unholy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the Fourth Reich, to embark on a new crusade into the Middle East, Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall bares their grand design before the world: the German-Assyrians will strike again!
The Atlantic Times, regardless of whether or not they believe any of this prophetic scenario possible, owes it to their readers to address this issue that is most serious to a growing number of Bible-believing Christians and many Jews. Can we trust them to deliver?
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Toledo City Paper, December 7, 2005 by Aaron Shapiro
"Beyond Babylon: Europe’s Rise and Fall"
Author: David Ben-Ariel
David Ben-Ariel was born in Bowling Green and currently lives in Toledo. His focus is not local however, as he tends to divert his energies to writing about World War III and the coming nuclear holocaust. Ben-Ariel subscribes to the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong the founder of the Worldwide Church of God and as a result Ben Ariel uses his writings to warn of our impending doom.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
After WWII ended in 1945, victorious Russian and American intelligence teams began a treasure hunt throughout occupied Germany for military and scientific booty. They were looking for things like new rocket and aircraft designs, medicines, and electronics. But they were also hunting down the most precious "spoils" of all: the scientists whose work had nearly won the war for Germany. The engineers and intelligence officers of the Nazi War Machine...
The British Royal Family must be reminded of their Hebrew roots and Israelite origins and encouraged to become like King David, "a man after God's own heart." After all, they are scions of King David and continue his dynasty.
May Queen Elizabeth II use her Christmas message to educate the world of her Davidic ancestry and biblical responsibilities, and announce she will no longer participate in heathen customs and pagan holidays that masquerade as Christian, but will begin to love and obey God and keep the biblical festivals that God has blessed Israel with to share with all the world. Why should folks exchange these gifts for the cheap counterfeits of Romanizers?
Plea to Diehard Catholics & Protestants to Repent
C.H. Spurgeon on Christmas and Roman Catholicism
Christmas is About Giving -- Says Who?
Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas
Will God Curse Our Countries for Christmas?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sarkozy backs Brazil's ambition for permanent Security Council seat
The BBC reports that at the EU-Brazil summit yesterday President Sarkozy backed Brazil's ambition to attain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Sarkozy is also due to sign a number of defence agreements with Brazil, among which is a deal for France to help Brazil build four conventional submarines and facilitate the purchase of 50 French Cougar helicopters to be built in Brazil.
The EU and Brazil have also agreed to speak with "one voice" on the financial crisis at the next G20 summit in London in April, reports Deutsche Welle. Agreements were reached on plans to reform the IMF, according to Reuters, which quotes Sarkozy arguing that "We cannot allow a single financial institution to be uncontrolled or unsupervised."
EUbusiness Reuters DW Euronews BBC
EU staff get a free ride for Christmas
An Austrian member of the European Parliament has denounced the EU practice of paying for employees' Christmas travel home at a time of financial crisis, reports New Europe. Last year the European Commission and Council spent just under 47 million euros on Christmas travel arrangements, which Hans-Peter Martin MEP has denounced as a "shocking priviledge."
New Europe Open Europe blog
Russia threatens Europe with gas shortages
The Guardian reports that Russian gas provider Gazprom has warned western Europe that it could be hit by gas shortages this winter due to a dispute with Ukraine. Russia is threatening Ukraine over an alleged 2bn dollars of arrears. Viktor Zubkov, who is Russian First Deputy Minister as well as Chairman of Gazprom, said: "We cannot rule out that the position of the Ukrainian side and certain steps, which are linked to gas transit through Ukrainian territory, could lead to a disruption of supply stability to Europe."
The BBC notes that ministers from the world's major gas-exporting countries have gathered in Moscow to discuss closer co-operation, leading to suggestions that they want to set up an organisation similar to the oil producers' cartel, Opec.
The Mail notes that Russia has also threatened to supply surface-to-air missiles to Iran, despite Western concerns over its nuclear ambitions. Meanwhile, the BBC reports that a bill to extend the presidential term from four to six years has been backed by Russia's upper house of parliament after regional assemblies endorsed it. The article notes that the bill is being seen as a sign Vladimir Putin may return to the presidency soon.
Mail Guardian Metro Echos Reuters Irish Times BBC BBC 2
Czech PM outlines priorities for EU presidency
The Czech PM Mirek Topolanek, due to take over the EU presidency on 1 January, has said that economic stimulus programmes must have a limited timeframe and respect the rules of the common market and the stability pact, reports Deutsche Welle.
Topolanek has also sought to reassure concerns over President Vaclav Klaus, who has previously dubbed the EU presidency as "unimportant", reports EUbusiness. The Czech PM has outlined his priorities for the six-month presidency as 'the 3 E's': economy and the crisis, energy security and external relations (most notably with President-elect Obama).
German Finance Minister: Debt-financed stimulus package not the answer to crisis
In the WSJ Germany's Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück writes that we need to learn from the financial crisis. He argues that "The laissez-faire capitalism of the Chicago school of economics has proven to be unsuitable as a model for the supervision of financial markets."
He rejects claims that Germany has been slow to cooperate with other EU countries in reacting to the crisis: "The German government -- despite claims to the contrary -- is pursuing a decidedly countercyclical economic policy in close cooperation with our European and global partners." However, he writes that "It is more than questionable whether a large-scale, debt-financed stimulus package would actually enable Germany's economy to emerge from the recession earlier or in better shape."
Industrial orders in eurozone in sharpest drop on record
There has been a sharp fall in eurozone industrial orders, with October orders down 15.1% on a year earlier - the sharpest drop since 1995 when comparable records began, reports the FT. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, based in Germany, has predicted that Germany's economy will contract by 2.7% in 2009, and the eurozone by the same amount.
Meanwhile a survey of confidence of Belgian business, viewed as a strong indicator of the health of the euro-zone economy, fell to its lowest level since records began in 1980, writes the WSJ.
EU and IMF impose austerity measures on Latvia in return for emergency loans
Latvia will receive a 7.5 billion euro loan from the EU and the IMF to help its suffering economy, hit hard by the ongoing global financial crisis. As part of the loan agreement, public sector wages are to be slashed, alongside deep cuts to government expenditures, cuts to income tax and increases in VAT rates, with the European Commission and the Ecofin council in effect becoming the superintendents of the Latvian economy, EUobserver reports.
An EU statement says that "this will also help meet the conditions for the adoption of the euro." However, Edward Hughes argues on the FFOE blog that "a bailout program without devaluation is a mistake", adding that "currency policy has become almost a matter of national strategic importance in Latvia".EUobserver FFOE Blog
European Commission gives its conditional approval of EDF's deal to buy British Energy
The Guardian reports that the European Commission yesterday cleared the £12.5bn takeover of Britain's main nuclear power operator British Energy by French state-owned group EDF. The Independent notes that the Commission will force a sell-off of assets to allay competition fears. In return, EDF will avoid a drawn-out inquiry into its acquisition of Britain's biggest electricity provider in a deal that will put it at the forefront of UK nuclear power development.
In the Times David Wighton describes the deal as "critical to Britain's future energy security", arguing that "the sooner that work starts on building our next generation of nuclear power stations, the better."
Independent Times-Wighton Mail Guardian EUbusiness European Voice
Bulgarian PM asks for more time to defeat corruptionIn an interview with the Times, Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev has said that it was unfair to expect his country to have reached the same levels as Sweden after only two years as a member of the European Union. The paper notes that there are growing calls within Bulgaria to look for more for financial support from Russia, which is offering lucrative energy deals through Gazprom.Times
Barclays voices concern over EIB lending fund
Barclays has made moves to clarify what it thinks were initial misunderstandings about the nature of the European Investment Bank's emergency lending fund for small businesses, reports the Telegraph. The head of Barclays Local Business Banking said that, "My concern is that people don't really understand what the EIB is about...It's not a cash bail out for small and medium sized enterprises. It's a slightly cheaper form of lending." He added that the money was not available to cover short term cash flow problems for businesses.
The UK plans to make a fresh attempt next year to persuade the EU to step up economic sanctions against Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe says it will close its mission in Georgia early in 2009 because of Russian opposition.
Passengers should be compensated by airlines if their flight is delayed due to mechanical faults, the European Union's highest court ruled yesterday.
Emil Boc has been sworn in as the new Romanian PM, becoming the youngest ever Romanian leader.Euronews
Monday, December 22, 2008
“The United States of Europe”
December 22, 2008 From theTrumpet.com
Welcome to the king of the north. By Philip Nice
BERLIN—Before you know it, you’re here. Drive yourself up the ramp of a Dover-Dunkirk ferry, disembark onto E-40 eastbound, and a few hours later, you’ll pass Otto-von-Bismarck-Allee, looking out the window at the thick woods of the majestic Tiergarten. Take a right on Wilhelmstraße, and another on Unter den Linden, and now you’re staring 50 feet up at the magnificent Brandenburg Gate.
It takes more time to drive from New York to Cincinnati than it does to go from England to the heart of Europe, and that’s counting the two-hour ferry ride. Riding by rail through the Chunnel to Berlin’s brand-new Hauptbanhof station, you’ll arrive in the German capital even quicker.
And you will have had almost no idea that you just traveled through four completely separate sovereign nations. It feels about as extraordinary as driving from Oklahoma to Indiana.
Because this isn’t just Europe. This is the United States of Europe.
The History of War
First-time visitors to the Continent often expect much more of a distinction from country to country. After all, these are completely separate nations with their own borders, citizens, laws and governments. More than that, these aren’t new kids on the historical block like Australia or Canada or the States. Each of Europe’s proud states has its own extensive historical root system with its own stately history branching into its own long traditions and ingrained inside its own unique language.
Rubbing these contrasting cultures against each other for the past 22 centuries has kindled more than a little friction—it has ignited more wars than there are decades of European history. The Continent has been blasted and bloodied in wars—some of which lasted for decades—literally dozens of times: England vs. France, Spain vs. England, France vs. Spain, England and France vs. Germany, England and Germany vs. France, Italy vs. Austria, the Netherlands vs. Spain, Germany vs. Sweden, Germany vs. all comers, ad infinitum. The history of Europe and the history of war are virtually indistinguishable.
So, you may expect separation, delineation, reservation. And, of course, much of that remains, particularly in the cultural sphere. But especially since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, fragmented, wall-building Europe has merged into something much different.
Europe is changing.
Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Borders
If you are going to Europe, your passport will be stamped a grand total of about once. Once you’re in, you’re in. Driving through the Continent, you may be shocked to see how many of these former borders between nations have become porous—literally.
If you are traveling the Continent by car, you experience a different sensation driving off the ferry in Dunkirk than you did driving on. The difference is perceptible; you are in France now. But what might surprise you is what happens when you cross the border from France to Belgium. Nothing. You experience the same remarkably unremarkable occurrence when you pass from Belgium to the Netherlands—or the Netherlands to Germany—or Germany to Austria.
In fact, you almost certainly will not realize that you have passed into a completely new country until well after the fact. There are no border crossings. No passport checks. No customs. No stopping. In fact, it’s hard to notice any prominent signs—even on major interstate highways like the A-21 and A-40—informing you, “Welkom in Nederland” or “Wilkommen in Deutschland.” There’s more of a distinction driving from state to state in the U.S. than there is crossing the border from country to country here. You just zoom right through.
To travel European highways is to join a homogeneous mix of commercial vehicles, traveling businessmen, family vans, tourist buses and other cars from dozens of different countries crisscrossing borders without even easing off the accelerator. Trucks and vans bear company names in three or four different languages and carry multiple registrations. Passing the familiar white oval bumper stickers of PL for Poland, D for Germany, BE for Belgium, H for Hungary—all in one day—in France is about as remarkable as seeing out-of-state tags in the States.
It’s not so much that you’ve arrived in France as you’ve arrived in Europe.
Traveling throughout Europe prior to 1990, a Dutchman meeting contacts in Poland, Spain, Italy and elsewhere had to gear down for a number of border crossings to fish out his documentation as he reached across several plastic baggies of petty cash: one each for gilders, lire, marks, assorted francs and other currencies.
Inside today’s pan-European Schengen Zone, not only are those border crossings long gone, so are the baggies.
Currency symbolizes sovereignty. It is one of the main features of a sovereign state. In addition to traveling, one thing you do daily is use money. Whether you’re behind the helm of a gigantic hedge fund or a grocery cart, money is intrinsic to daily life. Currency unifies and identifies a country. And before 2002, you talked in terms of gilders if you’re Dutch, lire if you’re Italian, schillings if you’re Austrian or escudos if you’re Portuguese—each coin of which is imprinted with your culture, your leaders, your history, your identity.
No more. Today, wherever you go in Europe, you talk in euros.
The bill in your hand could be Slovenia or Finland, Greece or Luxembourg—it doesn’t matter; just so long as it’s European. Because, after all, when it comes to the all-important world of money, you’re not so much a Slav or a Finn as you are a European.
Beyond the everyday, real-world impact a united currency has on the average European, it also requires closer cooperation between member states for the sake of the Continent’s economy. “The euro, a symbol of European identity, is one of the strongest tangible symbols of European integration,” the European Commission says, adding that implementation of the single currency was “not only an economic decision; it was also a political commitment by the EU member states to work together.” A united currency also means more cross-border trade, and smoother investment and lending within Europe—less time and money lost in translation.
What a Superstate Looks Like
Not only are the geographic, societal and financial transitions of driving between nation-states comparatively seamless, but whether you speak German, Dutch or French, everyone from the business executive in the queue behind you to the petrol clerk in front is likely to understand. Most Europeans speak three or four languages, another factor that is helping modern Europe solidify.
Although each culture absolutely displays profound individuality—the aspiration of the French, the heartiness of the Swedes, the passion of the Italians, the proficiency of the Germans—Europe’s distinct societies still share core similarities. As a whole, European culture is unified in its values of refinement, sophistication and—thanks to the historic dominance of the Frankish, Romish and Germanic cultures—perceived entitlement to lead the world. The leading nations of Europe also have a different worldview than those across the Atlantic, being less obsessed with things like freedom, democracy, deregulation and excess. The European Union has also been largely unified in its overall opposition to the United States—particularly regarding today’s economic crises—and its desire for a greater world political role for itself.
Further behind the scenes, European countries are already cinched together with tightly bound cross-border trade, business and investment ties, the basis for political union and superstate status. Trade is, after all, how European integration began: first with the European Coal and Steel Community, then the European Economic Community and now the European Union. Whether the name changes or not, the next step is clear: a federal superstate.
But a superstate would require its own citizens, borders, government and law—right? It would need its own constitution, its own citizens, its own president, its own foreign-policy diplomats, superiority to its member states and those member states surrendering their sovereignty—right?
And that is exactly what has happened. Besides integrated borders, a common currency and tight trade ties, the European Union already has almost all the final remaining instruments of assimilation ready to operate. The Lisbon Treaty:
*Changes the EU’s legal form from a group to an official state
*Outlines the primacy of EU laws over member states’ laws
*Empowers the EU to act as a state separate from and superior to its member states
*Subordinates national parliaments to the superstate
*Institutes its own president to preside while other national leaders come and go
*Creates a de facto foreign ministry to represent Europe to the world.
*Establishes each nation’s citizens as European citizens
*Defines its citizens’ civil rights
The superstate is ALREADY HERE!
When Lisbon zigzags its way around popular opinion and rolls to a very undemocratic ratification by member states, it will become the constitution of Europe. And the Continent will be even less the fractured, warring patchwork of variegated sovereign states it once was, and much more the imperial federal superstate it is about to become—and, in many ways, already is.
Of course, many of the centuries-old heterogeneous distinctions and disparities remain. The differences between a Swede, a Slovene and a German are certainly more pronounced than the differences between an Oklahoman, a New Yorker and an Arizonan. But this centuries-old Continent has already found itself coming together over the most important issues—the essential structural components that can fasten it together as a superstate—and the remaining beams and loose bolts required to lock it into place are spinning tighter right now.
This doesn’t even include the soldering effect religion will have in fusing this continent together for one last crusade. This is not your father’s Europe. This is the new European superstate.
All the pieces are in place for Europe to unify, and some of them have already been welded together. The rest of the machine will be forged in a matter of years, if not months. Today’s Europe is not a union, a confederacy, a coalition or a treaty of sovereign states. It’s one. It’s a resurrected superstate.
The late commentator Herbert Armstrong originally described Europe’s future dead-on in February 1949—it took four words. It is the “United States of Europe.” •
Bible Prophecy States EU to Form Core Group
Europe's Bitter Roots
The EU is a German Ruse
The Intelligence Summit Misses the Mark: the German-Jesuit Threat to World Peace
Bavarian Pope to Sweep Europe Off its Feet?
Is a World Dictator About to Appear?
Will The Atlantic Times address the German threat?
Why Europe Is Furious With Germany
December 18, 2008 From theTrumpet.com
Germany is stonewalling attempts to rescue Europe’s collapsing economies. What is Berlin’s motivation?
That’s how Paul Krugman, this year’s distinguished Nobel Prize laureate for economics, defined Germany’s response to Europe’s financial crises. Krugman is part of a vast chorus of economic gurus, journalists and politicians disgusted and enraged at Berlin.
“For the first time in my life, I am starting to feel twinges of anti-German sentiment,” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, international business editor for the Daily Telegraph, wrote on Monday. “[E]ven Teutophiles who think that Germany has played an enlightened role for 60 years are losing patience with the antics of the finance ministry and Bundesbank, and with the DICTATORIAL TURN in Berlin’s EU strategy” (emphasis mine throughout).
European politicians are similarly enraged.
“France is working on it and Germany is thinking about it,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy jabbed recently in reference to Berlin’s sloth-like approach to solving Europe’s economic crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s habit of shooting down rescue efforts for Europe’s crashing economies has earned her the nickname Madame Non in France; in Britain, Frau Nein.
Across Europe, the impression is that Germany is fiddling while the Continent is burning.
Britain’s frustration with Berlin boiled over early last week when, ahead of Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels, Prime Minister Gordon Brown snubbed Merkel and invited only Sarkozy and José Manuel Barroso to London for pre-summit economic discussions. Press releases that claimed the snub was unintentional and denied reports of a rift in the EU were taken with a grain of salt. As Spiegel Online reported Thursday of last week, “Growing annoyance with Germany inside the European Union had hardly been the best kept secret in recent weeks.”
What’s going on? Why is nearly every European state furious at Berlin? More importantly, why is Germany stonewalling Europe’s rescue efforts? What does Germany expect to gain by infuriating its neighbors and isolating itself from the rest of Europe?
Europe’s economic chaos has received sparse coverage in America. That’s understandable: It’s hard to pay attention to the house burning across the street when your own house is going up in flames. Nevertheless, the economic fires roasting Europe’s economies are as deadly as those ravaging America’s economic house. In December, Europe’s manufacturing and service industries contracted at the fastest pace in a decade or more. Payrolls are falling. Consumer and executive confidence dropped last month to the lowest level in 15 years. Industrial production plummeted the most since 1993. Half of EU member states are running budget deficits; most others are right on the fence, and quickly eating into surpluses. Social unrest is now a reality, and the recent riots in Greece are fundamentally a result of Greece’s bankrupt economy and the government’s inability to solve its financial troubles. The Greeks are not alone; with recession striking Continent-wide, similar economy-precipitated crises are smoldering, particularly in Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe.
Europe’s leaders are alarmed and scrambling to douse the flames. The problem lies with someone who is stalling these rescue efforts. Europe’s largest, most influential and best-positioned national economy disagrees with how its counterparts—particularly France and Britain, in addition to the European Commission—plan to put out the fires.
While London, Paris and Brussels seek the flamboyant American-style quick-fix, billion-dollar-bailout/stimulus-package approach, Berlin views that as reactionary and potentially dangerous. Instead of further rupturing national budgets by borrowing billions and haphazardly throwing money at the problem, Germany believes the bona fide solution lies in sound, cautious fiscal management that will solve the root cause of the problem.
“At a time when the global benchmark for decisive leadership boils down to the number of zeros that are attached to economic stimulus packages,” reported the New York Times Tuesday, “Germany has taken a different path.” Chancellor Merkel highlighted that path during a recent speech in the German region of Swabia, where she “lambasted the bailout mentality gripping Western leaders and lauded financial discipline, balanced budgets and the ethic of thrift …” (Washington Times, December 14). Every Swabian housewife knows the root cause of this crisis, she said: “You can’t keep on living beyond your means. … We are not going to participate in this senseless race for billions. We have to have the courage to swim against the tide.” Merkel was insinuating that German housewives know more about the cause of the economic crises than some European leaders.
Talk about bold.
Recently, Germany’s feisty finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, set off sparks during an interview with Newsweek. When asked what was wrong with the stimulus proposals being bandied about by Europe’s leaders, Steinbrück denounced the plans and said that the “speed at which proposals are put together under pressure that don’t even pass an economic test is breathtaking and depressing.” That was before the EU summit in Brussels where Europe’s leaders agreed to ignore EU rules limiting government borrowing and debt and decided to inject €200 billion, or 1.5 percent of the bloc’s gross domestic product, into European economies to bolster growth.
During the interview, Steinbrück specifically excoriated Britain for a recent tax cut: “Our British friends are now cutting their value-added tax,” he said. “We have no idea how much of that stores will pass on to customers. Are you really going to buy a DVD player because it now costs £39.10 instead of £39.90? All this will do is raise Britain’s debt to a level that will take a whole generation to work off.” Steinbrück called Britain’s efforts to kick-start its economy “crass Keynesianism,” in reference to the famous British economist who believed nations should spend their way out of recession.
Experts say that the German finance minister’s caustic swipe, aside from sparking outrage in Britain and being undiplomatic and divisive, also undermined the British pound and was designed to sap global confidence in the British government and economy. “The recession [in Britain] looks to be deeper than predicted,” wrote Philip Stephens in the Financial Times. He added,
[T]he last thing Mr. Brown’s government needs is a further weakening of confidence in sterling assets among international investors. IT SCARCELY HELPS TO HAVE GERMANY'S FINANCE MINISTER DECLARE THAT BRITAIN'S STRATEGY AMOUNTS TO "CRASS KEYNESIANISM." … [The danger] has always been that international investors—in British government bonds, in particular—will take fright. MR. STEINBRUCK SEEMS TO BE EGGING THEM ON IN THAT DIRECTION.
Were Steinbrück’s remarks a direct attack on one of Germany’s largest competitors in the European Union? Of course they were! Why? Because, as Evans-Pritchard put it on Monday, there has been a “DICTATORIAL turn in Berlin’s EU strategy.”
“[Y]ou can’t have a coordinated European effort if Europe’s biggest economy not only refuses to go along, but heaps scorn on its neighbors’ attempts to contain the crisis,” writes Paul Krugman.
Let’s not misunderstand. It’s not that Germany is not unwilling to deal with the economic chaos. Berlin has already passed a $31 billion economic package of its own—while still managing to balance its budget—and announced earlier this week that it is considering another stimulus package, to be released after the inauguration of Barack Obama. Over the past few days especially, it seems the Continent-wide uproar has caused Berlin to slightly soften its opposition to the let’s-slash-interest-rates-and-taxes, leverage-ourselves-to-the-hilt-and-pump-piles-of-money-into-our-economies approach to Europe’s economic crises.
Despite its relative softening, however, the German government still doesn’t believe that slashing taxes or handing out vouchers to promote spending are the primary solutions. Earlier this week, Merkel said that any stimulus package put forward will largely involve injecting money into the German economy by tackling infrastructure projects and promoting public works. Germany remains staunch in its refusal to bankrupt itself by injecting money into the failed economies of other European states.
But not everyone is furious at Berlin. Fiscal conservatives are praising Germany for its sound economic reasoning. “Germany is seemingly in good shape to weather the downturn,” wrote the Washington Times on Sunday, and is “in a better position than other nations such as the UK, Spain, Italy and France, for example, which have strained their budgets in attempting to stimulate the economy.” The Times concluded:
In the headlong rush to find an economic panacea, Mrs. Merkel is among few Western leaders keeping a cool head. As the EU moves forward on the Eastern Partnership and other platforms, she must continue to stand firm against the pressure to leverage Germany’s—and Europe’s—future with government bailout schemes.
It seems that Germany is giving the world a lesson in how it believes economic crisis ought to be handled! But we ought to dig a bit deeper to discern the true motives behind the German government’s resistance to the general stance of the rest of the EU on priming the pump of the European economies.
When it comes to economic management, the Germans are nearly the opposite of profligate Americans and some of their European counterparts. Where Americans want to spend their way out of a crisis, Germany prefers to save its way out. In general, the German national character is among the most thrifty, efficient and hard-working in the world. That’s partly why the German government abhors ridiculous spending and massive deficits. Even now, for example, Germany has a current account surplus of 7 percent of its GDP.
The prudent and thrifty national character of the German people is surely a reason for Germany’s fervent opposition to Europe’s rescue plan. But it’s not the PRIMARY REASON!
History shows that Germany has a frightening tendency to exploit a crisis. In fact, as British political commentator Rodney Atkinson once told the Trumpet, “THE GERMAN IS EXPERT IN CREATING A CRISIS, THEN POSING THE SOLUTION, WITH AN OUTCOME DESIGNED TO FURTHER HIS OWN ENDS.”
That’s what is now occurring in Europe!
Berlin’s stalling tactics are intensifying Europe’s economic crises. Europe-wide cooperation is essential if Europe’s bailouts and stimulus packages are to work. “[I]f Germany, the largest economy, refuses to go along,” Krugman said in an interview with Spiegel, “there will be no cooperation. EVENTS HAVE GIVEN GERMANY A STRATEGIC POLICY IMPORTANCE DISPROPORTIONATE TO ITS SIZE.”
This is a time-tested principle of European politics: GERMANY IS CREATING A CRISIS WITH THE INTENTION OF POSING A SOLUTION THAT WILL FURTHER ITS OWN ENDS! By hijacking Europe’s plans to rescue its economies, Germany is essentially DICTATING EUROPEAN ECONOMIC POLICY! Of course Berlin realizes it is infuriating its European neighbors. That doesn’t matter to it, because at the end of the day, whether European states like Berlin or not, this financial crisis will cause Europe to increasingly look to and rely on Germany as the savior of Europe!
Watch Germany. Watch Europe. Berlin’s strategy to establish itself as the leader of Europe is well underway—AND THERE'S PLENTY MORE GROUND TO COVER! To properly understand what’s going on in Germany and in Europe, we must not only set our gaze on current events happening on the Continent, we must also set our minds on both history and Bible prophecy. This is what Christ meant when He said in Luke 21, “Watch and pray.” Watching world events will not save a person from the impending disaster. Our watching must be done in the context of urgent prayer and in-depth Bible study.
Actually, effective watching—that which leads a person to being so moved by the danger of the times in which he lives that he feels impelled to seek after God—is a function of prayer and how well a person knows the Bible and God’s prophecies regarding end-time events. To truly understand what’s happening in Europe, one must understand Germany in history and prophecy. If this subject genuinely interests you, it’s critical you read, in this order, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Germany and the Holy Roman Empire and Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? •
Can the leopard change its spots?
Is Germany in Danger of Backsliding?
Germany Behind the Mask
The EU is a German Ruse
Germany's Fourth Reich Spreads Its Wings Over the World
The Intelligence Summit Misses the Mark: the German-Jesuit Threat to World Peace
Will The Atlantic Times address the German threat?
Sarkozy refuses to attend EU Presidency handover;
Czech PM: Lisbon Treaty is not "one of the priorities of our presidency"
De Morgen reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has refused to be present at the ceremony in Prague when the EU Presidency will be handed over to the Czech Republic, reportedly challenging the legitimacy of the Czech Presidency. Former French Europe Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet has declared in Libération that, with regards to the Czech Presidency, "France and other countries will take initiatives: no one can prevent member states from meeting, notably at the level of the eurozone."
A leader in the FT argues that "At times of crisis, it certainly helps to have a heavyweight in the EU presidency." It continues, "Thanks to the present system of rotation, however, the Czech Republic must now take the chair. Many in Brussels fear business will grind to a halt." The article concludes that the "[Lisbon] treaty may well have the answer in replacing rotation with a semi-permanent president." Likewise, a leader in Saturday's Guardian argued that the French EU Presidency "has been a success" and that Nicolas Sarkozy "provided the best possible argument for replacing the current rotating presidency with an elected president."
AFP reports that Czech PM Mirek Topolanek said that "The Lisbon Treaty is not expressly one of the priorities of our presidency". Topolanek said he believed the Czech Republic will ratify the Treaty during its Presidency but added "If it does not, it will not be fatal."
Meanwhile, according to La Croix, an aide to Czech President Vaclav Klaus has dismissed demands to fly the EU flag over Prague castle, saying "the EU flag doesn't fly at the seats of the Heads of State of Italy, Belgium, Lithuania, Sweden or the United Kingdom. Also, one should understand the Czech sensibility with regards to this subject: for forty years, red flags had to be placed here, not only at official buildings but also at homes".
Guardian FT: Leader EurActiv Liberation Coulisses de Bruxelles La Croix
Wind energy not as effective at cutting CO2 emissions as previously thought;
Britain could be facing blackouts by 2015
The Sunday Telegraph reported that the wind farm industry has been forced to scale back the estimated carbon emissions savings achieved by wind power. The British Wind Energy Association, BWEA, had previously estimated that electricity from wind turbines 'displaces' 860 grams of carbon dioxide emissions for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated. Now it has revised that figure to 430 grams following discussions with the Advertising Standards Authority. Experts had calculated that 50,000 wind turbines would be needed to generate 15% of Britain's electricity, to help the Government to meet the EU target for a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020. However, the paper wrote that this new CO2 estimate would double the number of turbines needed.
The chief of the National Grid, Steve Holliday, has warned that Britain could be facing power shortages as soon as 2015 as ageing coal and nuclear stations are retired from service, reports the Times. He called on the Government to introduce incentives to encourage fresh investment over the next decade to ensure stability in the power sector.
Meanwhile, the FT reports that Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has said the Government will not ban the construction of new coal fired power stations while new carbon capturing technology is being developed.
The CEO of the world's leading chemicals company BASF, Jürgen Hambrecht, has warned in FAZ that the recent EU climate package represents a danger for the competitiveness of European industry, saying it will cost his company over 100 million euros. He added that the idea that Angela Merkel would have given in to industry needs "doesn't make sense", adding that the contrary is true and that industry needs "clear and simple rules" for emissions trading certificates used in the Emissions Trading Scheme.Telegraph Telegraph 2 Times Times 2 FT RP.online Open Europe Events
European Commission plans to introduce quotas for recreational fishermen
The Sunday Times reported that the European Commission wants to introduce quotas for recreational sea anglers. The move is designed to protect endangered species such as cod, ling, pollack and shark. Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, has outlined plans that will see each EU state being given a quota for each protected species with governments then dividing this quota between commercial fishermen and anglers.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that at last week's EU Fisheries Council ministers agreed to a 30% increase in next year's fishing quota for North Sea cod, but will reduce catches for several other species. Fishing crews will have to install new nets which allow threatened species such as cod and hake back into the sea. The new nets are intended to reduce discards - the common practice of crews throwing fish back into the sea because the quotas have already been exceeded.
Irish Times BBC European Voice Sunday Times EUobserver EUbusiness
NHS already employing bureaucrats to manage Working Time Directive
The Sunday Times reported that the NHS is to employ a new layer of managers to ensure compliance with the Working Time Directive which states that doctors cannot work more than 48 hours in one week from next August.
In a letter to the Scotsman Jim Kilpatrick, National Officer for the Retained Firefighters Union, writes that last week's vote to end the UK's opt-out from the Directive has seriously threatened the future of the Retained Fire Service. Since almost all retained firefighters have another form of primary employment, training and working a minimum of two calls a week would push them over the 48-hour limit. He writes that his members are "extremely concerned that the EU will 'legislate their jobs away' with dire consequences for the communities they are committed to serving."
Scotsman: Letters Sunday Times
EU pesticide ban resisted by Government and farmers
The Independent on Sunday reported that Britain is to get its "toughest crackdown on toxic substances in food and the environment, despite determined resistance to the safety measures from Gordon Brown". The European Parliament has long been pressing, with strong cross-party support, for radical controls on toxic pesticides, despite opposition from some governments, especially Britain.
A deal has been reached between the Parliament and member states that will see a list of 22 particularly hazardous chemicals used in scores of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides gradually being phased out to avoid abrupt withdrawal from the market. However, the National Farmers' Union said that the measures - which will have to be confirmed by the Parliament and EU leaders early in the New Year - "will have a devastating effect on the horticultural industry and will see a reduction in crop yield and quality", and would also force up prices.
Former Colonel: UK Defence cuts linked to plans for European fighting force
The Sunday Express reported that cuts in the UK's armed forces are part of a Government decision to form a European fighting force, according to former Army Officer, Tim Collins. Labour MP Eric Joyce denied the Government wanted a European army, saying "We could have a European security and defence policy that works in tandem in some limited capacity with European allies, but we already have issues in persuading our European allies in persuading them to shoulder their part of the burden".
EU enlargement set to slow next year
The EU's Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, has said in an interview that, "Next year will be an important litmus test of whether Turkey is serious about its EU accession perspective", reports the IHT. He also said it was likely that other Balkan states would apply for membership next year, following Montenegro's application, but urged them not to rush in because they first needed to show a track record of reform.
On his FT Brussels Blog, Tony Barber writes that 2009 will be a very "weary" year for the EU enlargement process, with Turkey, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia's accession processes all stalled.
In its annual Democracy Index, The Economist has noted that the "spread of democracy has come to a halt" and branded several EU member states and candidate members as "flawed democracies", including, Croatia and Montenegro.
IHT FT: Brussels Blog Economist
Irish MEP: Irish 'no' vote on Lisbon Treaty was "a vote for a different kind of EU"
In a head to head discussion in the Irish Times, Mary Lou McDonald MEP writes that that No vote to the Lisbon Treaty was "a vote for a different kind of EU." She also adds that the declarations received by the Irish government at the EU summit are not legally binding and are "like the promises of a government at election time, made only to be broken."
On the other side, Europe Minister Dick Roche refers to the assurances given to Ireland as "legally binding" once they have been finalised, but offers no insights into how the assurances might enter into force.
Irish Times Irish Independent
Booker: EU continues to (illegally) appease Iran
In Sunday's Telegraph Christopher Booker highlighted the EU's continued outlawing of Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI), despite an EU court ruling that the ban is "unlawful". The UK, which first called for the group to be banned, has been forced to reverse its decision by a High Court ruling. However, the EU has continued to enforce its ban, defying an EU Court of First Instance ruling.
Booker argued, "If the politicians who run the European Union were found to be acting repeatedly in gross breach of their own law, to appease one of the nastiest regimes in the world...might this not be thought worthy of some attention?"
Telegraph-Booker EU Referendum
Brazil and EU try to arrange free trade agreement
The BBC reports that the global financial crisis and climate change are expected to dominate the agenda at a summit between Brazil and the EU in Rio de Janeiro. However, Le Monde writes that the EU is trying to negotiate a free trade agreement with the Latin America customs union Mercosur and, while Brazil is leaning towards such an arrangement, it cannot force the hands of its neighbours and fellow members.
Echos Le Monde BBC
The Belgian government resigned on Friday over the sale of the struggling bank Fortis to BNP Paribas in which Cabinet Ministers allegedly tried to influence a judge, reports the WSJ. The now ex-Prime Minister, Yves Leterme, has declared that he is not now a candidate to serve in the next government.
BBC WSJ Euronews
The weekend FT reported that the EU is to give Latvia up to 3.1 billion euros in financial assistance.
European Voice Reuters
Friday, December 19, 2008
I've always done what I could over the years, with what I've got, to help warn our beloved peoples about the German threat to world peace. Whether by ads or articles or letters to the Editor of newspapers and magazines, since every little bit helps with God's blessing upon it, I do my best to warn the world.
While doing what I can to help warn the world, I've always encouraged the Sabbath-keeping Church of God to do more, to go public and step away from behind the podium (preaching to the choir), to get the Word out and let our God-given message become a household word, known and debated and discussed everywhere. Our God-given message must reach those high and low, rich and poor, regardless of race or religion or we will have failed our God-given mission.
The Greater Toledo, Ohio area has received the lion's share of my efforts, since that's where I'm from, although I've also reached out to Judea, Jerusalem, New York and elsewhere.
This ad (shown below) - Will Germany Launch a Nuclear Attack on America? - appeared several times in The Press newspaper, and a similar ad appeared twice in the AutoTrader (talk about taking it to the streets, reaching the general public!). I've also had a full-page ad in The Toledo City Paper warning about EUROPE'S NEW CRUSADE: "PEACE" FOR THE MIDDLE EAST.
I trust free publicity will offer greater opportunities, and God knows, by His grace, I'll walk through every open door to expand His Work. Your prayers are appreciated.
Sarkozy: "There won't be any change to the Lisbon Treaty"
The Independent has printed an extract from a speech delivered this week before the European Parliament by French President Nicolas Sarkozy saying that without the Lisbon Treaty reforms, the European Union may stall, adding that "we cannot have the Treaty unless our Irish friends vote and say yes. In order for them to say yes, there is a new fact needed. The European Council proposes that this new fact is one Commissioner per member state."
He said that if the Commission continues to have one Commissioner per member state, the Commission President's powers "need to be strengthened...otherwise things are shambolic".
However, he said that the "political pledges" made to Ireland will not change the Lisbon Treaty: "We put a compromise on the table allowing us to assure everyone that they won't have to go through a new Lisbon treaty ratification procedure because there won't be any change to the Lisbon treaty."
Meanwhile, commenting on Sarkozy's EU Presidency, the Economist says: "Despite German hostility, he has not given up hopes of presiding over meetings of countries in the euro, which conveniently excludes the Czechs", with the Charlemagne column stressing that "the French presidency has little to do with Lisbon. Instead, it offered a glimpse of how Europe may work in a world in which the rules of global governance are in flux." It warns that "amid all this manoeuvring, France often angered small countries, which felt pushed around. A multi-speed Europe is a risky idea that could break up the EU."Independent-Sarkozy Economist Economist - Charlemagne Sarkozy speech in full
Governments will struggle to meet climate targets as investment in green energy projects collapses
The Times reports that global investment in clean energy technology, including solar and wind power, has collapsed in the past three months after hitting record levels this year. The warning of a steep downturn in activity comes as Ed Miliband, the Energy Secretary, is today set to appeal for greater investment in low-carbon sources of energy at a meeting of oil-producing and oil-consuming countries in London.
The UK has pledged to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, while the EU has committed to cutting carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, and to obtaining at least 20 per cent of energy from renewable sources.
The paper notes that the British Government views a huge expansion of offshore wind and tidal energy schemes as a key priority. However, problems in the industry could leave governments across the EU struggling to meet their ambitious targets.
On his BBC blog Mark Mardell writes that Europe's carmakers want more money from the EU in order to cope with the EU's rules on CO2 emissions. He quotes the head of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, Ivan Hodac, saying "We have asked for a soft loan from the European Investment Bank because at this moment the industry is doing very badly and it will be very, very difficult to get the money to invest in the fuel-efficient technologies to meet the target."
Mardell concludes suggesting, "In the end I suspect it will be oil prices and scarcity, not new laws or guilty feelings about the environment, that will force us to adopt different technology."
In the Guardian, Michael White looks at Wednesday's vote in the European Parliament to end the UK's opt-out from the EU's 48 hours working week, citing Open Europe's estimate that losing the exemption would cost the UK £2,300 per household by 2020.
UK fights to save Scottish fishing grounds at EU Fisheries Council
PA reports that British fisheries ministers were battling last night to avoid the closure of key fishing grounds off the west coast of Scotland as part of next year's EU catch quotas. The BBC notes that negotiations are taking place today at the EU Fisheries Council in Brussels to fix the fishing quotas for 2009. PA quotes UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies saying "With a cod deal already secured, the issue for us now is the potentially catastrophic closure of West coast fishing grounds which are a major part of the economy for many communities up and down the Scottish west coast."
Irish Times BBC
Economist: Pound's weakness strengthens case for staying out of the Euro
Yesterday Sterling reached 95.56p to 1 euro - the ninth successive day of record lows and with gathering momentum. It now appears highly likely that the two currencies will reach parity. The FT reports that this is in light of the ever increasing likelihood that the Bank of England will follow the US Federal Bank with a near-zero interest rate policy, as the economic climate continues to deteriorate. The Economist suggests that "the pound's recent weakness has reinforced the economic case for staying out [of the Euro]." It has allowed the Bank of England to cut rates decisively and will strengthen British international competitiveness now and in the eventual recovery.
The FT also notes the extra hardship the Euro's appreciation is inflicting on Eurozone members. As the recession looms large at home and abroad, a strong currency will compound the falling export demand facing the continent.
In the Irish Times, Anthony Leddin and Brendan Walsh, two Irish-based economics professors, discuss the Irish experience of Eurozone membership. They consider the difficulties that arise when, despite experiencing structural and cyclical differences, the union must respond with a homogenous monetary policy. But equally they note the added economic security and stability that a small country can gain by being under the umbrella of a shared currency. In the FT, comparing and contrasting the Finnish and Swedish experiences David Ibison suggests that the current weakening Krona may provide impetus for Sweden to adopt the Euro. A recent poll suggested that 38% now wanted the Euro, up from 35% in May.
FT FT2 FT3 FT4 Economist Irish Times: Comment Express
Practical details of EU stimulus package still unclear
EUobserver notes that EU finance ministers yesterday met at an informal session in Paris, discussing the concrete details of the 'stimulus package' that was agreed formally last week. The package calls for EU governments to inject 200 billion euros - 1.5% of GDP - into the economy. The article notes, "some experts argue that most spending ideas have so far only been presented by politicians and not really put into practice, while the government schemes to save banks have been linked with political conditions that many banks are refusing to sign up to, sparking fears that not enough is being done in Europe to stop the recession." Jean-Claude Juncker, the ECB President stressed the need to respect the EU's stability and growth pact.
Barroso warns Bulgaria over corruption
European Voice reports that José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, has reiterated calls for Bulgaria to improve its performance in fighting corruption and managing EU money, warning that he would not allow people to "play politics" with EU funds. The Commission has frozen a total of 486m euros of Bulgaria's EU funding, because of concerns over maladministration and corruption.
In November Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, criticised the Commission's decision not to unfreeze the money, describing it as "unfair" and a sign that the country was "not treated like the rest". Speaking alongside Stanishev at a briefing yesterday, Barroso said that Bulgaria "is treated like every other member state", and that "we will not allow people to play politics with EU funds".
MEPs and member states reach deal on toxic pesticide ban
EUobserver reports that MEPs and representatives of EU governments have reached a deal on two pieces of EU legislation banning a number of highly toxic chemicals within pesticides and reducing pesticide use. European Voice notes that up to 22 pesticides could be lost to European farmers and that the proposed rule changes had roused strong opposition from the pesticides industry and from some member states - notably the UK.
EUobserver European Voice
MEPs adopt 2009 EU budget
Agence Europe reports that the European Parliament adopted the EU budget for 2009 yesterday. The budget adopted will amount to 133.8bn euros, a slight increase of 2.5% on 2008. The Structural Funds will grow by 2.5% next year, totalling 48.5bn euros and 34.9bn euros in payments. Spending on agriculture will remain stable in 2009, absorbing more than 40bn euros.
According to a European Commission poll, 50 per cent of western Europeans think that EU enlargement to the east has weakened the EU. AGD
The House of Lords EU Committee has published a preliminary report on the EU's response to the financial crisis, calling on the Government to clarify its position on proposals to strengthen the supervisory framework on the EU-level of financial markets.
House of Lords report
UK Ministers have decided to retain migration restrictions on Romania and Bulgaria, introduced when the countries joined the EU last year.
The Czech government has announced its plans for its EU Presidency, focussing on relations with Russia and the Balkans.
European Voice notes that MEPs yesterday voted to increase bank-deposit guarantees to 100,000 euros, from 20,000 euros. The guarantee will rise to 50,000 euros from next year and to 100,000 euros in 2010.
Pressure is mounting on the Belgian Prime Minister to resign over allegations that his government had tried to prevent the country's judges from blocking the dismantling of Fortis, the troubled financial services group.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The PCG just ran a series of ads (Flurry's fluff pieces) in Oklahoma that failed to drive home what they supposedly believe, and instead downed others to lift themselves up, stressing their good works to vainly impress the world (Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims do good works, so what?), and, at least, offered Herbert W. Armstrong's book, Mystery of the Ages. That's a great book, but it's the gospel, and the Work of God must go forward - the Church of God must warn the world!
What's "merry" about what God condemns? Don't you believe the Bible that whitewashed pagan hollow days are abominations? Aren't you a Christian? National captivity won't seem too merry. Merry national captivity? Merry catastrophe? Think again and have the change of heart God calls upon our nation to experience or suffer the serious consequences!
C.H. Spurgeon on Christmas and Roman Catholicism
Christmas is About Giving -- Says Who?
Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas
Will God Curse Our Countries for Christmas?
European Parliament votes to ban free choice over working hours
The European Parliament yesterday voted to scrap the UK's exemption from the EU's 48-hour maximum working week. The FT notes that the vote to end the so-called "opt-out" within three years was carried by a 421 to 273 majority, with 11 abstentions, and contradicted the position taken by member states in June. If the opt-out is finally scrapped, it would mean that working more than 48 hours would be illegal in the UK. MEPs also voted against revisions to on-call time rules for doctors and other public sector workers. Member states and the Commission have for years tried to change these rules following two court decisions from the ECJ, which had imposed very high costs on public sectors across Europe.
Several Labour MEPs chose to defy the Government and vote in favour of ending the exemption. One third of the members of the EPP, the centre-right group in the European Parliament, supported the amendment against the opt-out. The Times quotes Labour MEP Stephen Hughes, who led the European Socialist Group's opposition to the opt-out, saying "I think it is now a question of when the opt-outs end rather than if."
The vote was slammed by both the Government and business groups in the UK. According to the Guardian, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said removing the opt-out would be "absurd" and the Government would work to retain it. "Millions of employees and businesses in the UK and across Europe have benefited from freedom of choice on working hours for many years," he said.
A leader in the Mail notes that the vote came on the same day as Whitehall statisticians "released one of the bleakest sets of employment figures in memory". The leader cites Open Europe's estimate that ending the opt-out would cost £2,300 per British household by 2020, arguing "If any further proof were needed that our MEPs are living in la-la land, utterly detached from the grim economic reality, it arrived in spades yesterday".
Open Europe's Mats Persson was quoted in the Telegraph, arguing that "The real losers from this deal will be ordinary workers and taxpayers. Politicians should be focusing on how to cut taxes and create jobs to boost the economy, not forcing through expensive new EU rules." Open Europe's estimate of the cost of ending the opt-out was also mentioned in the Mail, Guardian, Express, Belfast Telegraph, and on Euractiv. Mats was also interviewed on BBC Wales Radio.
The issue will now go to the so-called 'conciliation' stage, where representatives from the European Parliament and the 27 EU member states will try to find a compromise. They have until May to reach a compromise or the entire revised directive will fall, leaving the British opt-out in place. However, that still leaves the issue of on-call time unresolved. In addition, the UK does not have a veto in the conciliation stage.
Times Times-Bremner Mail Mail-Leader EUobserver AFP Euractiv Telegraph FT Belfast Telgraph Guardian European Voice BBC BBC Mardell: Blog Telegraph Waterfield: Blog Telegraph Hannan: Blog Open Europe blog Open Europe briefing
MEPs pass the EU's climate and energy package;
EU to outsource 50% of its industrial emissions to developing countries
The BBC reports that the European Parliament yesterday approved the four directives making up the EU's climate and energy package, agreed by member states last week. The EU is now committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020; generating at least 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020; and increasing energy efficiency by 20%.
The FT notes that many MEPs complained that changes made to the EU's emissions trading scheme at the centre of the package were too generous to corporate interests and that the legislation allowed member states to undertake most of their emissions reductions outside of Europe.
European Voice notes that member states have given themselves more room to meet the targets, by allowing themselves more scope to buy carbon credits from clean development projects in developing countries in place of emissions cuts at home. The final deal means that the EU will be able to outsource 50% of its industrial emissions and around 80% of non-industrial emissions, according to Commission estimates.
FT Irish Times European Voice BBC
Commission buckles under pressure from member states to relax state aid rules
The European Commission has been forced to relax its strict rules on state aid for business yesterday following pressure from several member states who have found the procedures "cumbersome and bureaucratic", the Times reports. Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, said yesterday that, "These changes are justified given the exceptional economic conditions" but added that the "measures must also be temporary", according to EUobserver.
The FT reports that the previous maximum limit of lump-sum state-aid payments has been raised from 200,000 euros over 3 years to 500,000 euros over 2 years.
Meanwhile, the EU Court of First Instance yesterday overturned a decision by the European Commission in 2004, ruling that a 4.5 million euros discount received by budget airline Ryanair from the Belgian state was not a form of illegal state-aid, the BBC reports.
Times WSJ EUobserver AFP FT Guardian WSJ-Vives WSJ 2 European Voice Irish Times BBC
Evans-Pritchard: ECB faces a mutiny The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard blogs on how for the first time since the launch of monetary union, an ECB board member has dared to confront the influence of the German Bundesbank on ECB policy for not following the US Federal Reserve in reducing interest rates.
A comment piece by Holger Stelzner in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung predicts that European central banks will ultimately follow the Federal Reserve into a zero interest rate policy as the financial market will force them into it, adding that "in the end there will be a massive transfer of wealth from creditor to debtors, and the recognition that life is not always fair."Telegraph blog FAZ Eurointelligence
Sarkozy wants to "help" the Czechs during their EU PresidencyAn article in Le Monde reports that Nicolas Sarkozy "wants to continue to have influence in Europe" after the end of his EU Presidency later this month. He is quoted saying that the "big countries... do not have more rights, but have more responsibilities", which Le Monde says may be a signal of an intention to "bypass the Czech Presidency". He said he wants France "to help" the Czechs during their Presidency of the EU from January onwards. Le Monde
Cowen: Lisbon Treaty is only way for Ireland to keep Commissioner
The Irish Times reports that Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny yesterday called on PM Brian Cowen to name a date for the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and also clarify how the assurances from the EU on key issues, such as tax and abortion, can become legally binding.
Meanwhile, Brian Cowen yesterday said that, "only if Lisbon enters into force will Ireland, and each member state, now keep a commissioner."
A separate article in the Irish Times reports that Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary has vowed to campaign vigorously in a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
Irish Times Irish Times: Letters Irish Times 2 Irish Times 3
Limits on Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants to the UK likely to remain
PA reports that UK Ministers will today announce the results of a review of limits on workers coming to Britain from Romania and Bulgaria. Immigration Minister Phil Woolas is expected to announce to Parliament that the limits will remain, to be reviewed again in a year's time.
'Anti-crisis' loan to boost Eastern Europe
The FT reports that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide loans to central and eastern European businesses. Systemically significant banks in the region will be amongst the recipients of the 1bn euros available. The funds will supplement the 5.9bn euros that have been allocated to the region previously.
EU faces battle on fishing quotas
As the annual two day summit begins to agree on quotas for the EU fisheries policy, the Irish Times quotes industry leaders who suggest that meeting will be "one of the most difficult in recent years". As well as balancing the need to restock fish populations with the viability of national fishing industries, they suggest that President Sarkozy has made removing Ireland's special dispensations, dubbed the "Hague Preferences", a priority.
Irish Times BBC BBC 2 BBC 3
Slovenia's Prime Minister, Borut Pahor, has said his country will block Croatia's EU accession talks due to a long-running border dispute between the two countries.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has warned that the European members of Nato will face a tough choice next year on whether to respond to expected pressure from US president-elect Barack Obama to send more troops to Afghanistan.
The Commission has defended EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy after three prominent MEPs accused him of bypassing demands for stricter regulations governing hedge funds and private equities.