Tag Archives: The EU/ The European Union

The Russian’s cozy up to Italy….

Some could say Trump has made this possible by being too busy to care….

Or maybe something else?

President Trump made the most of his short time in Italy. He was treated to a private audience with the pope, met with both the country’s president and its prime minister in Rome, flew to Sicily for a summit meeting of world leaders and visited with American troops at a nearby naval air station.

But as the sudden burst of diplomatic activity subsided with his departure, European and American officials fear a return to the new normal of American inattention as the administration struggles with political turmoil and Russia-related scandals back home.

All the while, Russia is assiduously courting Italy, a country that once had the largest Communist party outside the Soviet bloc and that many analysts consider the soft underbelly of the European Union.

In Rome, Mr. Trump left behind an embassy without an ambassador, and forfeited a geopolitical playing field that Moscow’s ambassador in Rome, Sergey Razov, is exploiting.

A deliberate, gray-haired career diplomat, Mr. Razov has been plugging away at building relationships with Italian politicians, organizing concerts for Italy’s earthquake survivors and visiting Italian regional officials who lament the “unfair” sanctions on Russia — which Moscow dearly wants lifted.

Next month, Mr. Razov will offer a sumptuous buffet when he hosts the annual Russia Day celebration amid the dripping chandeliers, coffered ceilings and gilded interiors of his Villa Abamelek residence.

Like Mr. Razov’s energetic diplomacy, much of Russia’s relationship building is being done in plain sight, as when President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia hosted Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni this month in Sochi, and President Sergio Mattarella a few weeks before that in Moscow.

But there is a fear among Italian, European and American officials that Russia is also using the same kind of behind-the-scenes influence and news media obfuscation it has employed in the United States and elsewhere, creating a tilt in Italy toward Moscow…..


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Prime Minister May gives notice of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU….

The vote by the British public to seperate itself from the European Union will begin shortly and no one knows how it will turn out …..

And what it will cost the Brit’s…..

In one of the most consequential diplomatic events in Britain since World War II, Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday sent formal notice of the country’s intention to withdraw from the European Union, starting a tortuous two-year divorce littered with pitfalls for both sides.

Speaking in Parliament, Mrs. May said she was invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, putting Britain on track to leave the European Union in 2019 and raising a host of thorny issues involved in untangling a four-decade relationship.

In addition to a welter of trade and customs matters, the Conservative government faces the prospect of a new independence referendum in Scotland, where a majority voted to remain in the European Union, and deep worries about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

Just before 12:30 p.m., Britain’s top envoy to the European Union, Tim Barrow, walked to the office of Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, and handed him a letter with the official notification. Mr. Tusk then posted on Twitter acknowledging receipt of the letter.

Mrs. May told Parliament, “Today, the government acted on the democratic will of the British people, and it acts too on the clear and convincing position of this house.”

“The Article 50 process is now underway,” she added, “and, in accordance with the wishes of the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union….


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Brits to start break from EU on March 29th….

British PM May moves ahead….

Britain’s government will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on the two years in which to complete the most important negotiation for a generation.

Britain’s ambassador to the 28-nation EU, Tim Barrow, informed the European Council President Donald Tusk of the timing on Monday morning, the Department for Exiting the European Union said.

The notification of triggering Article 50 of a key EU treaty will come in the form of a letter delivered to Tusk — though it was unclear whether it would come through an actual letter or an electronic missive.

‘‘We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation,’’ Brexit secretary David Davis said. ‘‘The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the UK and indeed for all of Europe – a new, positive partnership between the U.K. and our friends…


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The UK will make a clean break from the European Union….

British Prime Minister May has decided to make a ‘hard’ break  after the country voted to do so and Germany’s Chancellor Merkel took a hard stand against any soft break on favorable terms for the Brit’s….

Nationalism IS on the rise around the globe….

The United Kingdom will leave Europe’s single market, put new restrictions on immigration, and remove Britain from the jurisdiction of the European Union laws, Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday in a long-anticipated speech detailing her government’s approach to the June vote to leave the bloc.

“We seek a new and equal partnership,” May said of Britain’s departure from the EU. “Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out. We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave.”


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How should Hillary Clinton handle the Brexit question?

Right from the jump Donald Trump has tried to turn the British vote into a plus for HIM….

In Scotland to promo HIS Golf Course’s ….

Not gain some knowledge of Foreign Affairs….

Trump says the vote plays to his anti-establishment show….


But in a country where the British voters more mirror the GOP Primary ones…

Things are different in the general election…

Here we have more than double the amount of non-white voters and they are firmly behind the Democrats…

Hillary Clinton has been circumspect in her response to the vote…

Pointing to her experience and leaning more and more on Bernie Sanders campaign talking points that go to the voter anger by those American’s who feel they want more, like the feelings in the UK….

For now?

Everybody will have to wait for the dust to settle…

Hillary Clinton included…

The Democratic candidate who prides herself on being a wonk — one who embraces policy details, compared to her opponent whom she paints as a self-congratulating empty suit — notably steered clear Friday of the gritty details of what Britain’s stunning exit from the European Union means for the economy, or for her centrist, establishment campaign.

“This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House to protect Americans’ pocketbooks and livelihoods, to support our friends and allies, to stand up to our adversaries, and to defend our interests,” Clinton said in a brief statement, underscoring her own campaign themes as well as her contrast message with Trump. “It also underscores the need for us to pull together to solve our challenges as a country, not tear each other down.”

Clinton campaign operatives distanced the problems abroad from those at home, noting that a vote on whether or not the UK left the European Union was “profoundly” different from a vote on who should serve as commander-in-chief of the United States.

“Britain and the United States are different countries,” said Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri. While the far right in Europe has fanned the flames of anti-immigrant nationalism, a Clinton aide pointed out that the non-white population in the United Kingdom is 13 percent, compared to twice that — 26 percent — at home.

Clinton’s senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan also said his boss had not spoken to any European leaders Friday, noting they “had their hands full dealing with the crisis.”

“The American people need a steady hand at the wheel in times of uncertainty,” Sullivan repeated multiple times on a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon, a few hours after Trump lauded the vote as a “great thing” and noted it would only increase business at his Turnberry golf course if the pound faltered. “Every time there is a significant national and global event, he proves again that he is temperamentally unfit for the job,” Sullivan said. “Donald Trump actively rooted for this outcome, and he’s rooting for the economic turmoil in its wake. He actually put his golf business ahead of the interests of working families in the United States.”

Even with Democrats watching the Brexit vote with some consternation, Clinton’s team claimed it is already fully addressing those economic issues fueling populist resentment at home and abroad. “She has heard and felt the sense of frustration,” Sullivan said, “the sense that our economy is not working for everyone. She’s made clear that she intends to make the kinds of bold investments and policy reforms to make the economy work for everyone.”…


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Britain votes to leave European Union…

Britons voted Thursday to leave the 28-nation European Union, a historic vote that could profoundly reshape Europe’s economy.

With the “Leave” vote racking up large majorities in much of the country, the BBC and ITV both declared that the referendum, dubbed the “Brexit,” had won. The vote showed Britain to be sharply divided geographically, with a strong pro-EU vote in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and majorities for leaving in much of the rest of the country.

There were reports that turnout was lower than expected in some of the areas most committed to staying in the European Union – in particular, Scotland, where voters overwhelmingly opposed leaving the union.

The British pound – Britain had never adopted the Euro – fell sharply in international markets on the news.

The vote promised political, economic and social changes for Britain and the member nations as well as global ramifications. Supporters say Britain would be in a better financial position, but opponents say the potential problems outweigh any benefits….


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Are the British gonna vote themselves Out of the European Union?

Two weeks out from the vote ?

Polling says YES..

A new online poll released on Saturday shows that Britons who want to leave the European Union have pulled ahead by 10 points of the Remain camp.

The survey of 2,000 people by ORB found that 55 percent believe the U.K. should leave the European Union, up four points since the last poll in April, while 45 percent want it to remain (down four points), according the Independent.

These figures are reviewed taking into account the people’s likelihood to vote in the June 23 referendum. It is by far the biggest lead the Leave camp has enjoyed since ORB began polling the EU issue for The Independent a year ago, the newspaper said. It was Remain who enjoyed a 10-point lead then. Now the tables have turned…..


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German Chancellor Merkel will run for 4th Term…

Who still has troubele with a strong woman leading an country?

Angela Merkel will run for a fourth term as Germany’s chancellor in 2017, according to a report in Der Spiegel, although she will not officially announce her candidacy until 2016.

According to the report, which cited undisclosed sources, Merkel has already scheduled a meeting with CDU Secretary-General Peter Tauber, who will run the election campaign. She also has apparently discussed her plans with Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CSU — the Bavarian sister party of the Christian Democratic Union.

Merkel became the first female chancellor and the first from former East Germany in 2005.



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Greece and EU working on a deal….

Wednesday morning finds Greek leaders signaling that they may be will to accept some the European Union’s for more austerity….

Merkel of Germany has been holding a hard line for the EU….

The actions seem a bit  more political than economic now….

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signaled he’s ready to end his standoff with creditors as the country gets a taste of financial meltdown.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s dominant leader, refused to engage until after a July 5 referendum called by Tsipras on budget cuts demanded by creditors.

It took a third day of capital controls, rationing pensions and the expiry of Greece’s bailout for the government in Athens to say it’s willing to accept his adversaries’ latest offer as a basis for compromise. The looming vote was the major stumbling block, along with disagreements over pensions, spending and taxes.

“This is not quite the climbdown it seems,” said Peter Chatwell, a strategist at Mizuho International Plc in London. “I strongly doubt Europe will accept this proposal and if Europe sticks to its guns and waits for the referendum, the greater the chance that the government fails.”

Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, burned by five months of brinkmanship, said there would be no immediate talks….


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Breaking…Greece asks for a 2 Year Bailout…

Trying to leverage the uncertainty in Global markets against Germany’s Merkel’s hardline….

The Greek government is offering a short term economic relief plan…

While the media reported that the European Union would let the country sink on it’s own?

One HAD to know that the market drops in Euorpe and AMERICA menat that SOMETHING HAD to be done….

Greece’s government is considering a last-minute overture to its creditors in search of more favorable financing terms, as the country nears the expiration of its European bailout program on Tuesday night as well as a default on loan repayments to the International Monetary Fund.

Athens “is taking initiatives in order to end the impasse,” said one Greek official. “There is some movement,” another official said.

The discussions in Athens came as the European Commission confirmed on Tuesday that its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, had approached Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday night about a marginally sweetened financing offer that would require the Greek government to campaign in favor of creditors’ demands in the country’s July 5 bailout referendum, a commission spokesman said….

More…..from a WSJ paywall piece


The American markets have already begun to recover with the talk of a possible last minute deal…

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Greece economic problem’s leak to the EU, Asian and US markets…

The European Union is playing tough…..

But the media reports of banks being closed in Greece is just causing issues in other places ….

Greeks faced shuttered banks and a closed stock market Monday at the beginning of a fateful week that may determine whether they will be able to hold on to the euro currency.

The blows from the breakdown in talks between Greece and its credits also pummeled financial markets. Asian and European exchanges were down sharply, the euro slumped and Wall Street pointed lower with Greece less than 24 hours before being unable to pay its bills.

Greece’s creditors and its leaders were poised to keep talking about whether there was any way to pull back from the brink of economic collapse amid anger and recriminations on both sides.

Greece’s European partners and international lenders say further cutbacks are needed in order to maintain the financial lifeline that has kept the country afloat for years. Greece’s government — elected on its anti-austerity pledges — has stood firm in opposing politically sensitive measures such as further slashing pensions….


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Greece is in deep trouble….

They are dancing around a financial collapse…..

Greece will keep its banks closed on Monday and place restrictions on the withdrawal and transfer of money, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address on Sunday night, as Athens tries to avert a financial collapse.

The government’s decision to close banks temporarily and impose other so-called capital controls — and to keep the stock market closed on Monday — came hours after the European Central Bank said it would not expand an emergency loan program that has been propping up Greek banks in recent weeks while the government was trying to reach a new debt deal with international creditors.

The debt negotiations broke down over the weekend after Mr. Tsipras said he would let the Greek people decide whether to accept the creditors’ latest offer. That referendum vote is to be held next Sunday, after the current bailout program will have expired.

Mr. Tsipras in his televised address criticized the European Central Bank for declining to increase its emergency loans to Greek banks.

“It is clearer than ever that this decision has no other goal apart from blackmailing the Greek people and obstructing the smooth democratic procedure of the referendum,” he said….


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Is Putin quietly out foxing NATO and the EU?

A Washington Post piece focuses on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his below the radar efforts to undermine NATO and President Obama in the Ukraine and other Baltic States……

Almost unnoticed in America, several countries that now have decades of life AWAY from Russia are  quietly backing away from sanction s that The European Union has tried to marshal up and turned their back on rhetoric from NATO , which several of these countries belong to , and let it be known that they do NOT want to make  the Russian ‘Bear’ annoyed at their friendships with the West….

Is the Russian President going about a snatch grab in plain sight as US troops exit Europe in downsizing and politicians in those Baltic countries get nervous ?

Energy and Commerce are Putin’s ‘soft power’ trump cards it would appear and the lastly the treat of military action…

To grasp how Vladi­mir Putin is progressing in his campaign to overturn the post-Cold War order in Europe, it’s worth looking beyond eastern Ukraine, where the Kremlin is busy consolidating a breakaway puppet state. After all, Ukraine, as President Obama likes to point out, is not a member of NATO — which has extended Western security and democratic governance to a dozen nations that had been dominated by Soviet dictatorship.

So let’s consider Hungary, a NATO member whose prime minister recently named Putin’s Russia as a political model to be emulated. Or NATO member Slovakia, whose leftist prime minister likened the possible deployment of NATO troops in his country to the Soviet invasion of 1968. Or NATO member Czech Republic, where the defense minister made a similar comparison and where the government joined Slovakia and Hungary in fighting the European Union’s sanctions against Russia. Or Serbia, a member of NATO’s “partnership for peace” that has invited Putin to visit Belgrade this month for a military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Red Army’s “liberation” of the city.

Then there is Poland, which until recently was leading the effort within NATO and the European Union to support Ukraine’s beleaguered pro-Western government and punish Putin’s aggression. This month its new prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, ordered her new foreign minister to urgently revise its policy. As the Wall Street Journal reported, she told parliament she was concerned about “an isolation of Poland” within Europe that could come from setting “unrealistic goals” in Ukraine.

Obama has been congratulating himself on leading a “unified response” by the West that, he claims, has isolated Putin. In reality, a big chunk of the NATO alliance has quietly begun to lean toward Moscow. These governments do so in part for economic reasons: Dependent on Russia for energy as well as export markets, they fear the consequences of escalating sanctions.

But some also seem to be hedging their security and ideological bets. They figure it’s not worth testing whether Putin’s reported threat to invade former Soviet-bloc countries was really in jest — or whether a NATO led by Obama would really come to their defense….



The sad truth maybe that just like in the Middle East?

Political vacuums last for fleecing seconds ….

There is ALWAYS a group looking to conqueer another ……

Democracy is the first thing to go in those cases….

And the one with the BIGGEST gun rules….

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MH17 Update 7/18/14…President Calls action ‘an outrage of unspeakable proportion’….

….from twitter…..

The Caucus ‏@thecaucus
President Obama on Malaysia Airlines deaths, including one U.S. citizen: Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions…

Putin joins calls for cease-fire in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday joined international calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine after a missile apparently took down a commercial plane near the Russian border.

Putin again called the downing of the Malaysia Airlines jet with nearly 300 people aboard a tragedy, saying, “It is with great concern and sadness that we are watching what is happening in eastern Ukraine,” according to Reuters.

“Direct talks between the opposing sides must be established as soon as possible. All sides in the conflict must swiftly halt fighting and begin peace negotiations,” Putin said.


John McCain: Obama White House ‘cowardly’

While President Barack Obama is raising funds across the country, Sen. John McCain is raising questions about what he describes as a “cowardly administration.”
“It’s just been cowardly, it’s a cowardly administration that failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves,” McCain said.

The former Republican opponent to Obama’s 2008 campaign said these comments after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed into Ukraine, causing the deaths of nearly 300 people. But while rumors surface that Russian separatists were responsible for shooting down the commercial jet, McCain is taking aim at the president.


World Leaders Match Anger With Calls for Inquiry Into Ukraine Plane Crash

Angered and dismayed by the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, European leaders cast about for some form of joint response to the tragedy on Friday, but beyond calls for an international inquiry they showed few signs of immediately following the United States in imposing harsher sanctions on Russia.

With sentiments ranging from shock to fury, political leaders across the globe urged a rapid, independent and international effort to investigate the crash, which killed 298 people and provoked accusations and counteraccusations about who brought the plane down.


Will this stop Putin from his actions against the Ukraine?

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The Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova sign trade agreements with the EU…

Russian President Putin has tried in vain to stop the moves….

But he has failed…..

And although the fighting still goes in sections of the Ukraine….

It is reported that the European Union countries have declined to follow President Obama in suing anymore sanctions against Russia for the time being…..

Seven months after Ukraine’s former president Viktor F. Yanukovych rejected a sweeping trade deal with the European Union and set off protests that drove him from power, Ukraine’s new leader on Friday concluded the pact, which Russia has bitterly opposed as a threat to its own economic and strategic interests in the former Soviet Union.

The news agency Interfax in Moscow quoted Russia’s deputy foreign minister as warning that “serious consequences” would follow the signing of a deal that Moscow has long worked to derail.

Petro O. Poroshenko, a confectionary mogul who won Ukraine’s presidential elections in May to fill a post left vacant by Mr. Yanukovych’s flight from the country in February, signed the so-called Association Agreement at the Brussels headquarters of the European Union shortly before a summit meeting of leaders of the bloc’s 28 countries.

In a statement issued by his office, Mr. Poroshenko said: “This is one of the most important days in the time since Ukraine won independence. We use this possibility to modernize the country. But we need only one thing — peace and security.”

The European Union also, as expected, sealed similar trade pacts with Georgia and Moldova, two other former Soviet republics that Moscow had been eager to keep within its own orbit. As with Ukraine, the big question now is how Moscow will respond to Europe’s renewed push to draw former Soviet territories into its own sphere of influence…..


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Anti-Immigration and nationalist feelings surface in the EU Parliament voters….

The Right comes to the forefront in picking members for the European Union……

Will the EU be forced to slow it’s move towards a United States of Europe?

Members of the European political elite expressed alarm on Monday over the strong showing in European Parliament elections by nationalist and anti-immigrant parties skeptical about European integration, a development described by the French prime minister as an “earthquake.”

In France, Britain and elsewhere, anti-immigrant parties opposed to the influence of the European Union emerged in the lead. In France, the National Front won 26 percent of the vote to defeat both the governing Socialists and the Union for a Popular Movement, the center-right party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy. In Britain, the triumph of the U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP, which won 28 percent of the vote, represented the first time since 1910 that a nationwide vote had not been won by either the Conservatives or Labour.

“The people’s army of UKIP have spoken tonight and delivered just about the most extraordinary result that has been seen in British politics for 100 years,” said Nigel Farage, UKIP’s leader…..


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