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Posts Tagged ‘Spiegel’

France, Germany and the EU: The European Motor Sputters to Life

Posted by hkarner - 11. Juli 2017

Date: 11-07-2017

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron hope to reinvigorate the Franco-German partnership. Yet even as military cooperation moves forward, the two countries are still far apart on eurozone reforms.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

When Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron talk about their relationship, it’s easy to get the impression that they are a pair of lovers. „There’s a bit of magic in every new beginning,“ warbled the German chancellor during Macron’s visit to Berlin. The French president, for his part, wasn’t at a loss for ardor when he went before the press with Merkel at the end of the last EU summit. „When France and Germany speak with one voice, Europe makes headway,“ he gushed.

It’s hardly surprising that Brussels no longer speaks of two people when the pair comes up in conversation. „Mercron“ or „Emmangela“ is how the two are now referred to in the European Union capital, names that reflect the hope that Merkel and Macron, the German chancellor and French president, will re-start the German-French EU motor and finally bring the bloc forward. And the current situation is propitious: The election of Donald Trump in the United States and the ongoing political disaster unfolding in Britain has recently reminded many Europeans of just how important the EU really is. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Only Radical Thinking and Action Can Tame Globalization

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juli 2017

Date: 06-07-2017

The G-20 in an Unjust World

In Hamburg this week, thousands are preparing to launch protests against the exploitation of labor, the degredation of the environment and the extremes of capitalism. To solve the world’s problems, a radically new approach is necessary.

Can Our World Be Fixed?

There are injustices that have become so familiar that few are even bothered by them anymore. A brief reminder: Every 10 seconds, a child dies of starvation somewhere in the world, despite there being enough food on the planet to feed between 10 and 12 billion people — and the global population is just 7.5 billion. Almost 800 million people in the world live in extreme poverty, despite there being more money in the world than ever before. Fully 81 percent of the energy produced in the world is the product of burning fossil fuels, even though this practice warms the climate and alternatives such as wind and solar are available.

When G-20 leaders gather in Hamburg later this week, they will have an opportunity to at least mitigate some of the most blatant contradictions facing our world. After all, they are largely responsible for the existence of such contradictions in the first place. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Kohls letzter Dienst an Europa

Posted by hkarner - 2. Juli 2017

Date: 01-07-2017
Subject: Trauerfeier in Straßburg

Helmut Kohl bekommt kein Staatsbegräbnis – und in Deutschland regt das kaum jemanden auf. Die Deutschen haben sich offenbar an den Gedanken gewöhnt, dass selbst ihr Kanzler ein Bürger Europas sein kann. Gut so.

Man stelle sich vor, die Trauerfeier für Margaret Thatcher hätte nicht mit allem militärischen Pomp in London stattgefunden, sondern im Ausland. Oder man stelle sich vor, der Akt zum Abschied von François Mitterrand wäre von Frankreich nach Deutschland verlegt worden. Man darf annehmen, dass Briten und Franzosen wochenlang kaum etwas anderes diskutiert hätten.

In Deutschland aber scheint es nur wenige aufzuregen, dass die zentrale Trauerfeier für Helmut Kohl nicht etwa in Berlin, sondern im Straßburger Europaparlament stattfindet – und dass auf seinem Sarg nicht die Flagge Deutschlands, sondern die der EU liegen wird. Sicher, mancher hält das für befremdlich oder gar für einen Affront. Und es kursiert auch der etwas spitzfindige Hinweis, dass die Trauerfeier in Straßburg gar kein Staatsakt sein könne, weil die EU kein Staat sei.

„Na und?“ scheinen sich die Deutschen zu fragen, und das völlig zu Recht: Ob die Trauerfeier nun offiziell Staatsakt heißt oder nicht, wird die Erinnerung an Kohls historische Leistung kaum schmälern. Bei Thatcher, Mitterrand oder Charles de Gaulle geschah das übrigens auch nicht; sie alle hatten – übrigens auf eigenen Wunsch – kein Staatsbegräbnis bekommen.
Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Backyard

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2017

Date: 28-06-2017

Tensions Rising in Balkans as Hopes for EU Future Fade

Fourteen years after being told they had a future in the European Union, countries in the Western Balkans are losing hope. Meanwhile, Turkish and Russian influence in the region is on the rise. So too is the nationalist rhetoric of old.

The EU’s Fading Attraction in the Balkans

The man who hopes to become the prime minister of Kosovo has a past, documented under case file IT-04-84 at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Forty-eight-year-old Ramush Haradinaj, aka Smajl, was accused of crimes against humanity in 37 cases, including murder and torture.

The allegations are from the 1990s, when he was a field commander for the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK) in the war against the Serbs. The court ultimately found Haradinaj not guilty, a product of witnesses declining to testify at the last moment or, in some cases, dying suddenly. The United Nations police force in Kosovo has accused the UÇK veteran of dealing cocaine, while Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, described him in a 2005 analysis as being the head of a group involved in „the entire spectrum of criminal activities.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Früher war alles schlechter

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2017

Date: 18-06-2017

Die Reichen werden reicher – die Armen aber auch

Der Anteil der Menschen in extremer Armut hat in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten stark abgenommen. Den Vermögenden dieser Welt geht es zwar immer besser; doch auch die Schwachen haben zunehmend mehr zum Leben.

Die Zahl der Menschen mit mehr als 10 Dollar pro Tag ist enorm gewachsen. Angaben in internationalen Dollar 1990

Es ist nicht gerecht, wenn acht Männer so viel Geld besitzen wie 3,6 Milliarden Menschen. Doch dieses Phänomen begleitet uns seit Jahrhunderten. Die Einkommensungleichheit geht für gewöhnlich nur in Krisenzeiten zurück – während des Zweiten Weltkriegs etwa oder in Folge der Finanzkrise. Doch gerade in den USA entfernen sich die Top-1-Prozent immer weiter vom Rest ihrer Mitbürger. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit Is Dead: A Wave of Anger Crashes over Britain

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2017

Date: 16-06-2017

Europe used to have a fearful respect of the Tories. But those days have long since passed. Now, the weakened party may have accidentally killed off Brexit — a pet project that most party leaders didn’t want in the first place.

British Prime Minister Theresa May

Once upon a time, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, the Tories filled all of Europe with trepidation. French President François Mitterrand complained to his psychologist that he was plagued by nightmares caused by the British leader and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, as unclassified British documents revealed in late 2016, once preferred to chow down on a cream pie in Salzburg than meet with the British prime minister.

Many in the UK thought a bit of fear was a good thing. Fear sounded like respect and influence — and, more than anything, like good deals. But now, after two catastrophic elections in less than a year, that is over. Completely.

„The country looks ridiculous,“ the Financial Times — not exactly a leftist mouthpiece — wrote recently. Indeed, the party of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher has turned into a gaggle of high rollers and unwitting clowns.

First came Boris Johnson, who vociferously supported Brexit last year to show his boss, Prime Minister David Cameron, what an outstanding orator he was even though he, Johnson, didn’t really want Brexit. They both went all in, and the country lost. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Interview with Jean-Claude Juncker

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juni 2017

Date: 09-06-2017

Europeans ‚Must Learn World Affairs‘

In an interview with DER SPIEGEL, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 62, discusses the EU’s growing self-confidence, its differences with President Trump and Brexit negotiations in the wake of an unclear election outcome in Britain.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

SPIEGEL: Mr. Juncker, have you recently found yourself looking at your mobile phone anxiously when you wake up each morning?

Juncker: No. Why would you think that?

SPIEGEL: We thought you’d want to know what Donald Trump tweeted during the night.

Juncker: If Mr. Trump has tweeted anything worth mentioning, I’ll be told. It doesn’t cause me to sit up agitated in bed in the morning.

SPIEGEL: But it’s different when Angela Merkel sends you a text in the morning, isn’t it?

Juncker: She texts me directly and never without reason. And that interests me. We have a solid and close relationship.

SPIEGEL: Does Donald Trump represent the last chance for Europe? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Isolating Trump: Merkel’s G-20 Climate Alliance Is Crumbling

Posted by hkarner - 11. Juni 2017

Date: 09-06-2017

The German chancellor had been hoping to isolate Donald Trump on climate issues at the upcoming G-20 summit in Hamburg. But Merkel’s hoped-for alliance is crumbling, underscoring Germany’s relative political weakness globally. Many countries are wary of angering the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had actually thought that Canada’s young, charismatic prime minister, Justin Trudeau, could be counted among her reliable partners. Particularly when it came to climate policy. Just two weeks ago, at the G-7 summit in Sicily, he had thrown his support behind Germany. When Merkel took a confrontational approach to U.S. President Donald Trump, Trudeau was at her side.

But by Tuesday evening, things had changed. At 8 p.m., Merkel called Trudeau to talk about how to proceed following Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. To her surprise, the Canadian prime minister was no longer on the attack. He had switched to appeasement instead.

What would be wrong with simply striking all mentions of the Paris Agreement from the planned G-20 statement on climate, Trudeau asked. He suggested simply limiting the statement to energy issues, something that Trump would likely support as well. Trudeau had apparently changed his approach to Trump and seemed concerned about further provoking his powerful neighbor to the south. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Reformpläne für Putin: Duell um Russlands Zukunft

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juni 2017

Date: 03-06-2017

Wie kann Russlands Wirtschaft den Rückstand zum Westen aufholen? Beim Internationalen Wirtschaftsforum in Sankt Petersburg streiten Experten über zwei Strategien. Wird Präsident Putin auf sie hören?

Der erste Tag der Konferenz gehört ganz ihm, dem treuesten Revolutionär des Kreml. Alexej Kudrin, 56, war ein Jahrzehnt lang Wladimir Putins Finanzminister. Im September 2011 ist er zurückgetreten, doch er ist immer ein „Teil des Teams“ geblieben, so hat es Putin einmal formuliert.

Österreichs Kanzler Christian Kern spricht in Sankt Petersburg, Indiens Premier Narendra Modi, Horst Seehofer war da, Sigmar Gabriel. Alexej Kudrin aber ist der eigentliche Star der Tagung: Er soll dort seine „Strategie 2035“ vorstellen, ein Paket liberaler Wirtschaftsreformen. Den Auftrag hat er von Putin persönlich bekommen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Paris Disagreement Donald Trump’s Triumph of Stupidity

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juni 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other G-7 leaders did all they could to convince Trump to remain part of the Paris Agreement. But he didn’t listen. Instead, he evoked deep-seated nationalism and plunged the West into a conflict deeper than any since World War II. By SPIEGEL Staff

June 02, 2017  06:00 PM, Spiegel Online 

Until the very end, they tried behind closed doors to get him to change his mind. For the umpteenth time, they presented all the arguments — the humanitarian ones, the geopolitical ones and, of course, the economic ones. They listed the advantages for the economy and for American companies. They explained how limited the hardships would be.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the last one to speak, according to the secret minutes taken last Friday afternoon in the luxurious conference hotel in the Sicilian town of Taormina — meeting notes that DER SPIEGEL has been given access to. Leaders of the world’s seven most powerful economies were gathered around the table and the issues under discussion were the global economy and sustainable development.

The newly elected French president, Emmanuel Macron, went first. It makes sense that the Frenchman would defend the international treaty that bears the name of France’s capital: The Paris Agreement. „Climate change is real and it affects the poorest countries,“ Macron said.

Then, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded the U.S. president how successful the fight against the ozone hole had been and how it had been possible to convince industry leaders to reduce emissions of the harmful gas.

Finally, it was Merkel’s turn. Renewable energies, said the chancellor, present significant economic opportunities. „If the world’s largest economic power were to pull out, the field would be left to the Chinese,“ she warned. Xi Jinping is clever, she added, and would take advantage of the vacuum it created. Even the Saudis were preparing for the post-oil era, she continued, and saving energy is also a worthwhile goal for the economy for many other reasons, not just because of climate change. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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