“Ukraine has proudly announced that it shall receive 700,000 tonnes of American coal this year.
At three times the price of Donbass coal, the hefty price of long-distance coal shipments is not just demonstrative of the Ukrainian regime’s detachment from economic realities, but a wider lesson in how ideology can warp any sense of logic and pragmatism.”
An expensive way of proving loyalty to a realistically lost cause.
In the winter of 2017, the Ukrainian regime following the lead of neo-Nazi radicals, decided to ban all imports of coal from Donbass, one of the most abundantly coal rich places in the world. To add to the troubles, existing coal burning power stations in Ukraine had been designed specifically with Donbass coal in mind as Donbass coal has certain particles which make it unique to other varieties around the world.
The blockade of cheap local coal is said to have cost the regime $550, a figure which becomes all the more magnified when one considers that the regime is practically bankrupt.
The solution to the problem has been found and its an expensive one. Kiev has agreed to purchase large quantities of American coal, coal which has to be expensively shipped from Pennsylvania to the north-west Black Sea.
Ukraine has proudly announced that it shall receive 700,000 tonnes of American coal this year.
At three times the price of Donbass coal, the hefty price of long-distance coal shipments is not just demonstrative of the Ukrainian regime’s detachment from economic realities, but a wider lesson in how ideology can warp any sense of logic and pragmatism.
If Ukraine accepted the peaceful, democratic self-determination of the Donbass republics and if indeed it accepted the will of other regions to do the same, Kiev could realistically save a great deal of money. There is no chance that the industrial parts of Donbass will ever return to Kiev’s rule and the over all inefficiency of tax collection in Ukraine means that cutting costs is more important and more realistic than trying to find ways to increase revenue. According to many reports, one of the best options Kiev has come up with in order to raise revenue is by selling Soviet made rockets to North Korea.
In trying to save face by pretending that expensive American coal is somehow a better option than cheap coal from a nearby place, Ukraine is doing what all ideologues eventually do: they are putting fanaticism before common sense.
This is what led Hitler to invade Russia in the winter and it is also what has led Donald Trump to think it is possible to ‘win’ a war in Afghanistan.
The move also serves as a lesson to Europe that in paying for expensive imports of US natural gas as Lusitania just did and as Poland is set to do, they are not harming their former Russian suppliers, they are only harming themselves.
Barcelona, 17 August, 5 PM – a white van plows with 70 km/h into a mass of pedestrians, many of them tourists, on the famous Las Ramblas, in the heart of Barcelona. The death toll, 13 plus more than 100 injured. In an adjacent event, the police kill one alleged perpetrator. The main suspect flees and is still at large. Or is he? – Maybe he has already been killed.
All the recent truck killings were carried out by white vans. Does it mean anything? Maybe not. But importantly ISIS has already claimed responsibility, through their news agency Amaq, so say the presstitute media. Does anybody other than the mainstream media check? – Probably not. Doesn’t matter. When ISIS claims responsibilities, it puts hearts and minds at ease. The culprit has been found. It’s always the bloody Islamists-jihadists. We can rest in peace. And life goes on.
Indeed, life must go on and being prepared for more and increasing terror attacks is what the Mayor of London and Mr. Macron, the novice French President, already predicted. They must know a thing or two we don’t. OK, let’s brace ourselves. Much else we can’t do anyway – or can we?
The French head of the conservative Republican Party, François Fillon, a losing contender of the recent Presidential elections, said with regards to the French tourists who died in the Barcelona attack: “We must assume our responsibility…” referring to the fact that he was not elected President – as he, Monsieur Fillon, would have done away with this Islamist terror. How low-low can you sink? There are no words, no comments.
Fortunately, the alleged chief perpetrator leaves, as usual and conveniently, an ID behind in the cabin of the white van. So, he can be traced to Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco. In a related event, in a small town, Alcanar, some 250 km south of Barcelona, where on Wednesday night – well before the deadly Ramblas run, a massive explosion took place in a residence, leaving one person dead and 7 insured. One person was arrested by police. One of the injured persons was suspected to be the driver of the white Rambla van.
In the early morning hours of Friday, hours after the Barcelona van-ram in the beach town of Cambrils, some 120 km south of Barcelona, another van runs a police barricade, attempting to embark on a similar terror attack against a tourist-packed pedestrian strip. Apparently one pedestrian was killed. The police however, so the ‘news’, killed all five alleged terrorists in the van. The police now say they suspect one of them was the driver of the white van that rammed the Rambla. Dead men can’t talk.
All has – sadly but predictably – the putrefied smell of another false flag. And the ‘system’, the deep-deep dark state, again, gets away with it.
The mix of information, is seemingly incoherent and purposely very confusing. Connections must be fabricated. Let chaos reign. Keep people confused. Keep them in the belief that police are on top of it and on the guard. You people must not think. Indeed, shopping, according to RT is almost back to normal. There is a candle vigil going on in plain daylight – and a bit of a somber ambiance – and a crowd is holding an anti-islamisation rally in the center of Barcelona. All the while the Rambla is overflowing with tourists as usual. That’s the way it should be. Shopping is first. Put police in charge. They will protect us henceforth. In case they can’t handle it, the military are right at hand.
In the meantime – and foremost – and immediately after the horror massacre, messages of condolences poured in from such illustrious personalities, like Theresa May, Madame Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Sweden’s PM Stefan Löfven, from Belgium, Denmark…. Sorrow, no end.
Let’s not forget, in the last year the Ram-Truck-Terror, now a convenient tool of horror, fear and killing, has hit Nice, France – 14 July 2016, Promenade des Anglais, 86 killed, almost 500 injured; Berlin, 19 December 2016, Christmas Market, 12 people dead, 56 injured; England twice, 22 March 2017, Westminster Bridge, 5 dead, more than 50 injured; London Bridge, June 2017, 7 dead; Stockholm, 8 April 2017, the city’s busiest shopping street – 4 died, 15 injured. And now Barcelona Spain.
The condolences of these leaders sound hollow and so hypocritical because they, the very leaders, are at the heart of the problem. If not the direct instigators of this simply patterned string of terror attacks, they are utterly complicit, allowing the strings being pulled on their secret services by order of the Master Global Deep State, whose goal it is to subdue Europe, to convert her into a police – military state, chaos, possibly civil war. A civil war not as bad as to curtail essential consumption. But civil strife all the same. Give corporate finance enough room to escalate their debt and profit spiral, but leave the populace poor enough to produce a Europe that is devoid of thinking; no time to reflect, no time to protest – as people will struggle for their sheer survival.
You don’t believe it? Look at Greece and elsewhere, what’s going on around you. Militarization slow motion. Macron is fully committed to it – and doesn’t shy from saying so. The French have understood, and Macron’s popularity has sunk from 66% after the “election” to less than 35% today. Never mind. He is there to stay for 5 years. The French Constitution says so. A (people’s) miracle would have to happen to remove him.
On another occasion, I have mentioned the sophisticated hundreds of millions of euros worth ghost town being built in a German military camp in Saxony-Althaus – for the very purpose of training urban warfare – just in case, you and your fellow protesters, when you can’t take it anymore, you may take to the streets and go on the barricades – that’s when the urban trained forces of power come in to oppress you, even kill you, if necessary. What you saw in Hamburg at the G20 Meeting in early July was just a benign precursor of what’s to come.
Yes, that’s what’s expecting us Europeans – the US is already there, they are always a few notches ahead of us, they are doing the trial run for us. – Barcelona is just a little stone in the mosaic, in the Big Picture of “Full Spectrum Dominance” – the ultimate goal of the PNAC (Plan for a new American Century) – the Washington’s and the Deep-Dark One-Eyed State’s Bible, written and periodically updated by the ultimate One-Eyed Anglo-Zionists on top of the echelon. We are almost there.
Why now Spain? – Spain has been spared of major terror attacks since the 11-M (11 March 2004) attack, when a few explosions at Madrid’s Atocha train station killed 192 people and injured over 2000, three days ahead of Presidential elections. This had nothing to do with Jihadism. Though the terror was immediately blamed on Al Qaeda, no proof was ever found. It was the work of the right-wing government under PP (Partido Popular) in power at the time, blaming the Socialist Party (PSOE), hoping to defeat it. It backfired. The socialists won and stayed in power for two terms, a total of 8 years. But in the second term neoliberal might descended also on the socialists in Spain, as it did and does everywhere in Europe. The Socialists became and still are to this day, traitors to the people.
Today, Spain, with a smooth Parliamentary coup in 2016 that went almost unnoticed, has quietly slipped back to the neoliberal Rajoy Government. So, Spain is supposed to be safe for the system. It also followed the strict rules of the IMF, today reaching 100% debt to GDP, up from about 66% before the neoliberal manufactured crisis hit Europe and the western world in 2007 / 2008.
That’s exactly what the system wants. Spain is ready for another economic collapse, orchestrated in connivance with her leadership. Ready for another round of rent taking – more privatization, pension and base salary cuts – the usual. Again, look at Greece and you see the pattern. Wall Street’s appetite is never satisfied. It’s the fraudulent dollar (and euro) economy we are enslaved to that makes this human tragedy possible – and people don’t seem to even notice who and what is behind the planned misery.
Spain is on track for further ‘milking’. So, why more suffering now? – Spain is an important NATO country with three naval and military bases. The majority of the population hates NATO, would like to get rid of it. What better way of convincing the people that the forces of NATO are useful defenders against Islamist attacks. Yes, weak and with fear you accept (almost) anything. Actually, you call for your hangman to protect you – in fact, it’s the collective Stockholm syndrome.
Therefore, let’s not get sidetracked by the hollow and hypocritical words of sorrow of the chief vassal-leaders (sic) of our three most powerful European countries which are meant to lead the way for the people of the European Continent to become gradually but surely enslaved into mere hapless and powerless serfs, deprived of civil and human rights. We are well on the way there. Have you noticed?
It’s called Fascism with a smile. It’s a slow-moving soft but deadly fascism that fascinates you at every corner, pulling you deeper and deeper into the hole of no return. It’s the neoliberal fascism, that has abrogated and done away with every law, every regulation that may have protected you and your hard-earned savings and public assets; it conveyed everything to the market. Even your pensions and your saving. They are no longer yours. The market decides. Don’t believe it? – Just look at Greece. – “Hasn’t happen yet to me” – Well it will, I guarantee it, if you don’t take over your nation and make her again YOUR sovereign country. Act rather sooner than later. Time is running out.
Naturally, the situation will become unbearable to the point where you can’t take it anymore, and you will want to take to the street. It’ll be too late. Urban warfare will be ready against you.
Fascism with a smile has brought you to the point where there is no going back. It’s a new fascism. It’s not Hitler’s fascism. It’s soft, sophisticated and deadly, if you oppose it. You are manipulated by a blue-managed matrix, encircled by police and military, ready to fire – but you will be fine and get fed as long as you nod, as in agreement.
Barcelona, Nice, London, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm – and whatever else is to come, are mere little pebbles in a growing mosaic. You better look ahead what the picture, the mosaic may look like when its finished – the Big Picture is nasty, very nasty.
Think about the message of sorrow Mr. Putin sent to King Felipe VI of Spain:
“We strongly condemn this brutal and cynical crime against civilians. What has happened once again emphasizes the need for the global community to join efforts to fight against the forces of terror.”
Mr. Putin has not mentioned Islam. He knows that he talks to western leaders who are in bed with terror, that getting them out of bed is a pipe dream. They are bought or threatened – with promises of heaven – to lead this system of terror all the way to a One World Order, or as India’s President Modi said so eloquently in a recent RT interview – until the world is eventually one happy family. Bingo.
But it is not the end. There are alternatives. The western world is like a sinking ship. It’s a slow sinking ship, slow and smiling as the fascism that drives it. We may not notice it. But look all around you, the massive killing, the fraud, the lawlessness at every step, up to the highest levels of government. Forget the msm presstitute, they are lying.
Most everybody knows this today. The next few centuries or more, are the Age of the East – Russia and China are opening the gates for an Economy of Peace, led by President Xi Jinping’s initiative, the enormous multi-pronged OBI – One Belt Initiative, formerly the OBOR – One Belt One Road; a new Silk road that stretches from Shanghai to Hamburg and from Vladivostok to Lisbon and connecting Syria and Iran in the South.
Be brave! Dare to detach. Detach from the lie and fraud we have been living for the last two millennia, all the way back to the Roman Empire and which may be reaching soon a peak, a fiery and bloody peak which may end life as we know it in a nuclear all-annihilating holocaust. Because the dying beast may not want to leave survivors on this planet of ours.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America.
American writer and investigative historianAug 19, 2017
The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans
The reason for the US government’s hostility — at least since 4 February 2014 —toward Europeans, has been a mystery, until now.
This hostility wasn’t even publicly recognized at all, until it leaked out, on that date, from a tapped phone-line of arguably the most powerful person at the US State Department, the person whom American President Barack Obama had personally entrusted with running his Administration’s most geostrategically sensitive secret foreign operations (and she did it actually throughout almost the entirety of Obama’s eight years in office, regardless of whom the official US Secretary of State happened to be at the time): Victoria Nuland.
Her official title was «Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs» and she was appointed to that post by the President himself, but nominally she reported to him through the Deputy Secretary of State William Joseph Burns, who reported to the Secretary of State, who, in turn, reported to the President.
In this phone call, Nuland said «F—k the EU!» and no one, at the time, paid much attention to what this outburst was all about, but only that it sounded shockingly undiplomatic. Finally, however, clear evidence has now emerged, concerning what it was actually about.
On 15 June 2017, the Associated Press headlined «Germany, Austria slam US sanctions against Russia», and reported that both of those US vassal-nations, while paying obeisance to the imperial master, were not going to proceed further all the way to destruction of their own major oil and gas companies, in order to please that master:
In a joint statement, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was important for Europe and the United States to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, where Russian-based separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.
«However, we can’t accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies», the two officials said, citing a section of the bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don’t pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.
Gabriel and Kern accuse the US of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They said the possibility of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project «introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations».
However, the big European oil and gas corporations would then play a smaller role in the European market, because those firms have mutual commitments with Gazprom and other Russian giants. The only big winners, now, of increased sanctions against Russia, would thus be US firms.
«Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America», Kern and Gabriel said.
Europe already has suffered considerable economic harm from complying with the US on taking over Ukraine, and from absorbing millions of destitute and alien refugees from Syria, Libya, and other countries where the US CIA, and other agencies, fomented the «Arab Spring» to unlock, in those countries, the oil and gas pipeline potential, which, if controlled by the US, would go to US oilfield-services firms such as Halliburton, and not to European ones such as Schlumberger.
Kern and Gabriel — and the local national aristocracies (respectively Austrian, and German) whom they represent — are now speaking publicly about the limits beyond which they will not go in order to obey their US masters.
The US aristocracy hate Europeans because the US aristocracy are determined to conquer Russia, and because Europeans aren’t fully cooperating with that overriding US government goal — many EU billionaires want deals with Russia, but America’s billionaires are determined instead to take over Russia, and so the US (and the Sauds) might be losing its traditional support from the EU.
International affairs — US, Russia, Sauds, Thanis, Iran, Germany, UK, etc. — are in unpredictable flux. But Europe seems gradually to be drifting away from the US
And resistant European aristocrats seem to be digging in their heels on this. Here is a translation of a report dated June 17th from the most reliable source of news regarding international relations, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or «German Economic News»:
German Economic News | Released:17.06.17 00:36 Clock
The Eastern Committee of the German economy is indignant at the new US sanctions against Russia.
The German companies have sharply criticized the US sanctions against Russia. «The sanctions plans of the US Senate are deeply alarming and, in principle, a threat to the European and German economy», said Klaus Schäfer, Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, on Friday evening in Berlin. «America first is a new dimension to open up international markets to US providers at the expense of European jobs. Furthermore, we consider an extraterritorial application of economic initiatives generally wrong, «he said. In the Eastern Committee, the German companies active in Eastern Europe are organized. The federal government had also clearly criticized the sanction decision.
«Every further turn at the sanctioning screw increases the danger of new trade wars and the uncertainty of the world economy», warned Schäfer. The solution of the Ukraine conflict is not a step closer. A de-escalation on all sides was necessary. He pointed out that the US-Russia trade represented only one-tenth of the EU-Russia trade. «We pay the price of sanctions to Europeans», he criticized. «Implementation of the planned sanctions would make Europe more difficult to provide with favorable energy and inevitably lead to higher prices».
The most remarkable thing about this intensification of economic aggression by the US aristocracy against some of the European aristocracies, is that instead of the aggression being spearheaded this time by the US President, it’s being spearheaded by an almost unanimous US Senate: 97 out of the 100 US Senators voted for this bill. One cannot, this time around, reasonably blame «Donald Trump» for this ‘nationalism’ — it is instead clearly a Cold War, this time, by the US aristocracy (who are represented by the US government), against some European aristocracies, which are paying insufficient obeisance to the demands by the imperial aristocracy: the US gang.
I am putting this on the front page because this is an important documentary for those, like me, that want to understand the new world evolving around us presently. Remember years ago when we used to say that China would one day rule the world? Well, it has begun. If I was raising children these days, or if I was in my twenties, I would definitely teach them and learn Chinese. Mandarin?
China asked the USA to include its currency, the RMB, on the list of accepted currencies at the World bank, which the USA controls. The USA said no, so China created its own banking and financial system that is bound to eventually become the world standard.
The Chinese have a different way of looking at hings. They claim us Westerners are vindictive and revengeful. True, look at our culture. The Chinese seem to have reverted back to their true inner-self, Confucianism, which does not advocate revenge. Ultimately, the New Chinese World Order might be more human and kind.
The doc might be funded by the Chinese Communist party but nevertheless it teaches us westerners what to expect when China becomes the world’s next superpower, a title it is acquiring through finesse and diplomacy instead of brute force and deception.
23 Jul 2017
For some time now, the establishment of the World Bank and IMF has had a Chinese counterpart: AIIB, which China intends to use to finance a huge infrastructure project to connect Asia and Europa, a New Silk Route. This new international financial institution forces Europe to take a side. The UK decided, against the urgent advice from the United States, to become a member, and also the Netherlands has joined the Chinese initiative. According to China watcher Martin Jacques, this is the beginning of a new Chinese world order.
Original Title: Chinese Wereldorde While Europe is being tested by a tragic economic crisis, terrorist attacks and refugees at the gates, the founding meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank has been quite unnoticed. These are two new multilateral financial institutions that challenge the current order of the World Bank and the IMF. Both are led by China and are set up to bring the world-dominated World Bank and IMF to the crown. After the British became members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, due to economic opportunities, the Netherlands, France and Germany also followed. The importance of this, initially, British shift of foreign policy is difficult to underestimate. The United States feels this is a direct threat to their sphere of influence. “The biggest diplomatic battle since the Second World War between the US and its main ally,” said journalist and China expert Martin Jacques about the surprising British step. And symptomatic of a new world order. But how does the Chinese influence differ from the American influence? Will Europe become a pawn in the battle between the two influence spheres?
There is an invariable first rule of propaganda: know exactly what your agenda is, and then design every statement to forward that agenda.
The World Health Organization is now touting a measles epidemic in Europe. And of course, they’re explaining it with propaganda—it’s the fault of people who refuse to allow their children to take the measles vaccination.
The focus is on Italy, where, “coincidently,” protesters are outraged at a new law mandating vaccination for children. Perfect. “You see? Don’t take the shot and this is what you get. A massive outbreak.”
Well, here is an official report. In Italy, there are 3300 case of measles and two deaths.
That’s the classic and traditional and age-old picture of measles. 3298 children have survived. Kids get measles, they recover, and thereafter they’re immune.
As for the two children who died, you would have to do a very careful independent investigation, to determine what health problems they may have had before they contracted measles. And “health problems” would include prior toxic medical treatment. The actual cause of death isn’t always what health authorities say it is.
In addition to the above, here are two revealing quotes to consider:
“…the window of vulnerability of an infant may be even greater in vaccinated women than in with women with natural measles infection.” (Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 79(5), 2008, pp. 787–792).
Translation: Measles occurring in infants—which is unusual and dangerous—is more likely to occur when the mother has been vaccinated against measles. Why? Because, as a result of her being vaccinated, she no longer passes down, to her child, the natural components of immunity to measles from her having had the disease. And the vaccination she received didn’t confer immunity to her baby.
“Administration of KMV (killed measles vaccine) apparently set in motion an aberrant immunologic response that not only failed to protect children against natural measles, but resulted in heightened susceptibility.” JAMA Aug. 22, 1980, vol. 244, p. 804, Vincent Fulginiti and Ray Helfer. The authors indicate that such children can come down with “an often severe, atypical form of measles. Atypical measles is characterized by fever, headache… and a diverse rash (which)… may consist of a mixture of macules, papules, vesicles, and pustules… ”
In other words, the measles vaccine can create a worse form of measles. This is not the normal form of the illness, from which children routinely recover with the bonus of lifetime immunity. No, this is a severe, atypical, dangerous, synthetic, vaccine-induced disease.
Does all this mean the health authorities in Europe aren’t telling the whole story, are twisting the truth?
I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked.
To cite just one parallel in the US among many, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) buys and dispenses several billion dollars’ worth of vaccines every year. At the same time, the CDC is in charge of doing key studies to test the safety and efficacy of those vaccines. This unconscionable conflict of interest is an ongoing crime—because there are NO circumstances under which the CDC would ever say that vaccines are dangerous and ineffective, since they, the CDC, are a leading commercial customer and purveyor of those medical products. They would be cutting their own throats.
Do public health authorities lie?
Is the Pope Catholic?
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
It is time for the EU to decide whether they want to defend Europeans and European business interests and stand up against what the Americans are trying to do, says MEP Nathan Gill from the UK Independence Party.
An EU delegation is holding crunch talks on Monday with US lawmakers. It comes as a leaked memo suggests Brussels is preparing retaliation if Washington pushes ahead with new anti-Russian sanctions that could hurt European businesses.
RT: Do you expect the European Commission delegation to change US lawmakers’ mind ahead of the voting on new sanctions?
Nathan Gill: No, not really. What we are seeing here is some very jingoistic Russia-phobia legislation that is coming out primarily pushed by some very angry Democrats and CNN who are trying through the fog of smoke and mirrors distract people from the real reasons why they voted for Trump in the election for the presidency. What we’ve got to remember is it hasn’t affected American business or industry. The sanctions, the recrimination that Russia has put against American and EU countries – exports, imports, etc. – the Austrian Institute [of Economic Research] estimate that has already cost the EU over €100 billion and up to 2.5 million jobs…
…But it is not really costing the Americans. They are going to try and punish Russia because we are seeing this witch hunt against Trump and against Trump’s family for the so-called links during the election which is all smoke and mirrors. The reality is, the only people that are going to be hurt are the people from Europe. We are looking at the energy cost rise by at least €3 billion. This is big money we are talking about.
RT: If fresh sanctions are approved, what kind of measures can Brussels apply to retaliate and defend its business deals with Russia?
Nathan Gill: It is time for the EU to decide whether or not they want to defend Europeans and European business interests and stand up against what the Americans are trying to do. If they truly want to stand up and defend Europe over internationalism, then they will do that, and they will say “no, we are not playing the games of Washington any longer.”
‘US government wants to put Trump in a box’
Martin McCauley, author, and Russia analyst, told RT: “There is a majority in the House of Representatives for increased sanctions, it is expected to go through tomorrow. Then it will go to the Senate. And there is majority already in the Senate for increased sanctions. It looks like a done deal from an American point of view. All the European Commission officials could say is “this is going to damage us.” Because one of the things the Americans would target will be the construction of the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. They may put pressure on German companies to slow that down; they don’t really favor that going ahead… The House of Representatives and the Senate want to tie President Donald Trump down, put him in a box so he can’t really relax any sanctions on his own.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
More and more people in work in Europe are being forced into poverty. This is demonstrated by a new study by the Hans Böckler Foundation which was made public last Thursday. The study, titled “Activation policies and poverty,” notes that a growing proportion of the population of Europe live in poverty, although they are working.
The researchers from the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Böckler Foundation examined the effects of labor market and social policy measures in 18 EU countries from 2004 to 2014. All of the measures were aimed at forcing unemployed people into low-wage labor.
According to their research, an average of about 10 percent of the workforce aged between 18 and 64 in the countries studied were “working poor.” This means they earn less than 60 percent of the average income in their country. The proportion of working poor was highest in Romania at 18.6 percent, followed by Greece, 13.4 percent, and Spain, 13.2 percent.
In Germany, the number of working poor doubled from almost 1.9 million, or 4.8 percent, in 2004 to almost 4.1 million, or 9.6 percent, in 2014. The increase is even higher in absolute figures, because the total number of employed in Germany increased during this period from 39.3 million to 42.6 million. In Germany in 2014, a single person with less than €986 net per month was considered poor. For a household with two adults and two children under 14 years, the threshold was €2,072.
“In most countries, poverty for those in work had already begun to increase before the crisis in the euro area,” the study states. In the wake of the crisis, however, the situation in many countries worsened. “The measures taken to combat high unemployment have seen a further deregulation of the labor markets and a reduction in social benefits.”
The social counterrevolution in Europe finds its sharpest expression in Greece under the Syriza government. High levels of unemployment due to the destruction of regular paying jobs is combined with savage cuts to unemployment benefits and pensions. Due to the already existing level of social decline, however, the statistical increase in the numbers of working poor in Greece is relatively low.
The example of Germany, where the number of those employed increased was “particularly remarkable,” the Böckler report concludes. “Evidently the link between employment growth and poverty is more complicated than commonly assumed.” This is a deliberately vague understatement of the social counterrevolution that has taken place in the past two decades.
The increase in precarious, temporary, low-paid, part-time employment for millions is an international phenomenon implemented by the ruling elites.
“The positive development in the German labor market is to a large extent due to an increase in atypical employment, especially part-time, often in the service and low-wage sector,” the study notes. The growth of the low-wage sector has been accelerated by extensive deregulation of the labor market, the reduction of benefits and increased pressure on workers to take any form of work. This increased pressure on the unemployed forces them to find a job as quickly as possible.
The trade unions in all countries played a major role in this development. They rushed to the side of capitalism in the crisis of 2008/2009, and helped transfer benefits for workers won over the course of decades into fresh reserves for bankrupt banks and their respective governments. The Böckler Foundation is the official think tank of the German trade union movement (DGB), and this explains the diplomatic tact of the WSI researchers in their report, although their statistics on poverty among workers are an indictment of the system.
The explosive growth of the low-wage sector in Germany was inaugurated in 2005 by the Hartz IV anti-social laws and Agenda 2010 program introduced by the SPD-Green coalition government led by Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer. In 2004 the trade unions actively opposed those seeking to protest against the Hartz IV laws. The priority for unions was to enforce the new measures.
The concrete effects of the increasingly severe and far-reaching sanctions used by job centers is clear in the city of Duisburg, situated in the former industrial hub (Ruhr area) of Germany. With a population of almost half a million inhabitants, 77,000 people in Duisburg are dependent on measly Hartz IV benefits. The number of those employed in jobs with social security protection rose between 2006 to 2016 by about 15,000 to just under 166,000. However, the number of full-time employed fell by 700 during the same period, while the number of part-time employees rose by around 14,000 to over 38,000.
The number of temporary contract workers (most of them working full-time) has tripled during the past 10 years to 9,986. Some 37,000 workers in Duisburg have a so-called mini-job and 10,000 of these workers have more than one job in order to earn enough money to survive. This means that more than a third of all workers in Duisburg are employed part-time, on a temporary basis or/and in a mini-job.
A study drawn up by the DGB, reported by the Berliner Zeitung at the beginning of July, notes that this trend is taking place nationwide. More than 1 million people are hired out by agencies, 8.5 million in part-time work, while 2.53 million have temporary employment. Nearly 2 million are registered as self-employed.
The DGB study also notes that the one-fifth of the workforce with the lowest hourly wages between 1995 and 2015 experienced a real wage loss of 7 percent. The next fifth of the workforce lost 5 percent. This is a direct consequence of the policy of the trade unions themselves.
While the WSI researchers seek to conceal the reasons for widespread poverty, referring to the “complex links” between employment growth and poverty, it is clear who profits.
The Global Wealth Report drawn up by the Swiss bank Crédit Suisse (November 2016) reveals a significant growth in the fortunes of the rich and super-rich. The report notes that the number of dollar millionaires in Germany increased by 44,000 to around 1.6 million between mid-2015 and mid-2016. The club of super-rich, with a fortune of at least $50 million, increased by 500 to a total of 6,100. This put Germany in third place behind the US and China. According to Forbes, 114 billionaires live in Germany. The richest 36 of them have as much wealth (€276 billion) as the poorer half of the population.
This growing social inequality can only be halted by a policy directed against all of the political parties at the beck and call of the major banks and corporations.
In its election statement for this autumn’s federal election, the Socialist Equality Party declares:
“The SGP fights for a society in which the needs of the many stand higher than the profit interests of big business. The super-rich, the banks and the corporations must be expropriated and placed under the democratic control of the population. Only in this way can the social rights of all be secured. These include the right to an adequately paid job, a first-class education, affordable housing, a secure pension, high quality old-age provisions and access to culture.”