David Cameron and other leaders (including Angela Merkel) have historically expressed severe reservations about Jean-Claude Juncker being the right man for the job as president of the executive European Commission

These doubts are underpinned by the fact that Juncker is a staunch supporter of a federal European state and therefore unlikely to change the ‘status quo’. Although, this stance would seem to be totally at odds with the very clear message which seems to have been recently sent by the electorate in many EU countries that change must happen

Furthermore, to all accounts Jean-Claude Juncker is described by colleagues as an ‘inveterate drinker’ and has been on record as the subject of various drunken outbursts in the past whilst in office; which in itself should surely ring warning bells. The extraordinary thing is that all this is glossed over and ignored by the European political elite – however, in another context, no country in the EU would allow a person who was drunk to drive a motor car (Germany limits are 0.5 mg per ml) so why is it deemed acceptable to have someone who is an ‘old soak’ eligible for the top European Commission appointment; where the damage he could inflict is immense?

Now everything seems to have altered almost overnight and Juncker is flavour of the month, so what happened to change people’s minds about Junckers suitability for the job?

According to the Sunday Times - 20 June 2014 there is more to this than meets the eye - claiming:

 

‘.. European Commission sources say Bild’s publishers were given assurances by Juncker’s team that, if elected, he would support them in their long-running battle with Google ..’

 

Which in turn resulted in the following article in Bild

 

Bild - Juncker muss Präsident warden – 30 May 2014

‘..So was geht vielleicht in der DDR oder in rechtsnationalistischen Bananenrepubliken ..’

Translated as

‘..So what is going on perhaps in the GDR or in right-wing nationalist banana republics ..’

 

Therefore on the face of it, Bild and Mathias Döpfner (CEO of Axel Springer SE) would seem to categorise the UK as a ‘.. right-wing nationalist banana republic ..’ – which coming from a German newspaper in an article written 6 days prior to the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings really is a bit rich!

Well ‘seig heil’ –  Where have we heard this chant before?

Anyway to get back to the underlying issues

If these allegations by the Sundays Times are actually remotely true they raise all manner of questions which really need to be answered by Bild, Angela Merkel and Junckers

The fact that Google and Bild (Springer empire) are at loggerheads is a matter of record and identified by the Financial Times – 09 June 2014

 

‘.. Where Mr Döpfner led, politics followed. In May, Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economy minister, publicly called for the possible break-up of Google should the company be found to have abused its dominant position ..’

‘.. But the latest demonstration of Springer’s power came after the European elections, when Angela Merkel changed course over backing Jean-Claude Juncker for the presidency of the European Commission hours after Bild backed him in an editorial ..’

 

Naturally there is nothing wrong with Angela Merkel changing her mind based upon a newspaper article, after all that is her prerogative. Nevertheless, she would be well advised to understand the underlying motives for the Bild article in the first place and whether it arose out of a ‘behind the scenes’ deal between Bild and Jean-Claude Juncker, because being potentially manipulated by bribery and a corrupt undisclosed arrangement by someone hoping for EU office as president of the executive European Commission, would be very damaging indeed

Perhaps Angela Merkel would like to state her case for interference on the basis of the following and explain the justification for her recommendation:

 

Letter in the Times of 22 June 2014

Correct route to selecting the EU president

The relevant provision is Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union

Members of the commission “shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution” — including the European Parliament

In making its choice the European Council must “[take] into account the elections to the European Parliament”. This time, the elections have shown the deep disaffection of many citizens throughout the Union. The president of the commission must be someone who can respond to this challenge and maintain the credibility and independence of the commission.

 

Therefore, in the light of all these matters, has ‘.. a senior member of Juncker’s team had held talks with Springer over Google ..’ and if so, was a bribe offered to Mr Döpfner over supporting Springer in their spat with Google?

If this was the case then surely it graphically demonstrates another reason on precisely why Jean-Claude Juncker is not the right person for the job; or does Angela Merkel wish to turn yet another blind eye to the reality of a corrupt Europe?

Disclosure over this matter really is required and the standard method of Junckers avoiding to engage on uncomfortable issues should not be regarded as acceptable

Tags: , , | Categories: European Union

Never really understood why Germany continues to persevere with the EU. Especially as it was an ideological/political rather than realistic economic dream and one only has to look at those still doing well out of the EU – on the one hand those in Brussels & MEP’s etc. and on the other countries who see it as a grants ‘cash cow’ in one form or another. After all one only has to look at any graph of net contributors .v. receivers to form a conclusion

Germany have already successfully been through the painful process of reunification in the 1990's, so why would they want the pain all over again with the EU; with no realistic end in sight?

Of course the real problem is that at least with reunification there was the potential of a successful result in the future. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the EU, where all that Germany is doing is bankrolling the southern block of EU members and taking a massive ‘hit’ for its support

This whole EU disaster area is no longer just Greece, but is now also being acknowledged as France, Italy, Spain … and so on … just look at the historic track record of some of the countries who have been in default over the last 50 years longer than they have been solvent. Why does anyone think they can, or are willing to change their ways under the current situation?

Clearly Germany is getting edgy about their gold reserves and nervous regarding trusting France to hold their gold in safe keeping. What happens if France goes down and they subsequently hijack Germanys gold reserves to help them out?

All that Germany is doing by maintaining the current situation is giving credibility to a basket of other countries that would otherwise revert back to their own currencies and suffer devaluation, rocketing inflation (destroying savings) and resulting political unrest – not what politicians want

And now we have France (Hollande) as the voice for all the other countries that want a weaker euro which would potentially be against Germanys interests – so why do they stay?

Nevertheless if Germany did leave they would no longer be weighed down by supporting the rest of Europe and would probably see its currency soar

Alternatively a two tier Europe might be the answer, with all the solvent countries banding together and letting all the others jostle over support payments for each other; which would definitely flush out nationalistic feelings

Tags: | Categories: European Union

We hear that the German Bundesbank has plans to repatriate a large chunk of its overseas gold holdings (post 1945) back to Berlin in a decision ratified by the German Government last September; currently 69% is held outside Germany and only the US holds more gold reserves than Germany

This in turn, raises the interesting historic issue of the gold reserves of the Third Reich which is an entire subject matter on its own, although it has no bearing on the current situation, because Germany's current gold reserves do not relate to gold from the pre-1945 era

The mechanics of the arrangement are that 300 tonnes of gold from the Federal Reserve in New York and all of Germany's gold stored at the Banque de France in Paris, 374 tonnes, will be returned to Frankfurt

This move suggests that Germany does not trust other central banks to hold it's gold and more importantly, questions whether Germany has underlying doubts about the value of the Euro. Therefore repatriating the gold brings control directly back under Germany's sphere of influence

However, the interesting aspect of the whole arrangement is that ALL Germany's gold held by France is being removed, whilst some of their gold remains in the US and the Bank of England

According to the FT:

'.. we don’t think it’s too much of a wild speculation to suggest that in the event of a euro break-up, Germans would feel much more jumpy about France holding a chunk of their gold hostage, than the US or the UK ..'

Interesting in these times where the UK is being pilloried by the rest of Europe over their membership of the EU, that Germany does not seem to trust their major partner in Europe to hold their gold

Tags: | Categories: European Union