Ireland may lose badly by obstructive behaviour over the border

This piece, by Ray Bassett, was forwarded to us by the veteran Irish Eurosceptic Anthony Coughlan

Playing the EU’s Game on the Border Will Damage Ireland’s Interests, says former Irish diplomat in Politeia’s new analysis.

Dublin should accept UK border plan and work with Britain to make Brexit a success for both islands

The Irish border has become an obstacle to the Brexit negotiations. All sides want to keep the border ‘soft’ and friction free and preserve the gains of the Good Friday Agreement. But the EU and Dublin have rejected Britain’s proposals.

In Politeia’s next publication, Brexit and the Border: where Ireland’s True Interests Lie, Ray Bassett considers the border against the background and reality of Ireland’s economic and political interests, and the options for the UK government. A former diplomat, who served as Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada and was also a Good Friday Agreement negotiator, Dr Bassett explains that the Irish Government’s present policy is not in the country’s best interests. It leaves Ireland dangerously exposed if the border problem scuppers an overall EU/UK deal.

The author analyses the different options floated to ‘solve’ the border question. Politically the only possible solution is one based on technology along the lines proposed by the UK. This would be based on a trusted trader programme. Proven models, such as that in Australia, already exist from which some useful features might be adopted.

By contrast the EU’s proposals would endanger the stability of the island. Brussels should abandon its red line that anything on the island of Ireland must “maintain the integrity of the Union’s (i.e. the EU’s) Legal Order”. Bassett questions the wisdom of the Irish Government in aligning itself with Brussels at a time when the EU itself is undergoing changes, none of which are in Ireland’s interests. Moreover, a number of national elections across the EU have made clear a rising alienation of voters from the centralising policies of the present EU.

Irish leaders should change course and work to resolve the border dispute rapidly and towards a comprehensive free trade agreement between the UK and the EU. Given the historic, ethnic, cultural and economic links between Ireland and Britain, it is strongly in their country’s interests to do so. Ireland needs a successful Brexit.

The author concludes by proposing the Irish government should:

 *   Make clear both to London and Brussels that the Border must not be used as a weapon to thwart Brexit.
 *   Enter into immediate and practical bilateral discussions with London to resolve the border question.
 *   Work with the British government and the political parties in Northern Ireland to avoid any undue hardening of cross-border arrangements on the island of Ireland.
 *   Work with the British government to avoid any new barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
 *   Seek to join EFTA and leave the EU. EFTA membership would facilitate continued trade with the EU and allow a free trade with the from outside the Customs Union

Commenting on the legal framework, Professor David Collins explains that legally Bassett’s proposals would work well to Ireland’s interests. Liam Halligan explains why economically, Ireland cannot afford to play the EU’s game over the border, but should accept that Ireland’s economic interests demand that it should work with Britain to develop and put into effect the technological solution.

The paper was launched at a special meeting in House of Commons Committee on Thursday 17th May, with the speakers including the author, Ray Bassett, David Collins, Professor of International Economic Law, City University, and Liam Halligan, co-author of Clean Brexit with Gerard Lyons and Economics Columnist at The Sunday Telegraph.

THE  AUTHOR


Dr Ray Bassett has been a senior diplomat at Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin and has served as the country’s Ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas 2010-2016. Other diplomatic postings include Copenhagen, Canberra, Belfast (twice), London and Ottawa. He was involved in the Good Friday Agreement negotiations as part of the Irish Government Talks Team and participated throughout the discussions, including the final session at Castle Buildings in Stormont.


Report from Greece: Revolution postponed

The first thing which you notice about the Greeks is their kindness and consideration to visitors. From the moment we were met at the airport, Ellen and I were well looked after. We had the sort of tour of Athens which is not available to the tourist, accompanied by the sort of information which is disregarded by the mainstream media.

Ours was a modest sort of hotel, not far from Syntagma Square where the rally was to be held and it was literally between two worlds. The hotel was spick and span: on one side was a handsome square with the great Church of St Constantine- imposing without and glorious within- as well as other handsome  private and public buildings and shops.

On the other side were filthy streets with people delving into dustbins for anything edible or of possible value. This was an area of high illegal immigration and, whilst it might be easy for a wealthy Western liberal to condemn the Greeks for a lack of official compassion, one has to remember how greatly the Greeks too have been pauperised by the EU.

Those who attended our 2017 CIB rally in London will remember Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos telling us that his pension had been cut from 3,500 euros per month to 1,200 – and he is one of the fortunate! A leading lawyer told me that his wife, a civil servant of 18 years’ service with two doctorates, now receives a salary of around 800 euros a month – and she too, is fortunate. A senior insurance manager told me how he was unemployed for three years. State benefits and health service entitlement cease after one year. He now considers himself lucky to be working for the same salary which his secretary had ten years ago. Below the senior careerists of the international set, these are people who recognise that they are fortunate in comparison with very, very many of their fellow countrymen and women.

So we did not quite know what to expect, as we made our way to Syntagma ( Constitution) Square in front of the parliament building for the demonstration.

There was a stage and loud recorded music of folk songs with which those assembling joined. In between, an impressively energetic lady moved around with a microphone, inviting impromptu speeches,  all of which were heartfelt and some clearly born of deepest despair but tinged with stern defiance.  Then there was a live folk group and a much-appreciated performance of Greek dance by agile young men.

The crowd was slow in assembling and not in the hoped-for  numbers. Not only had a media blackout been imposed earlier but the mainstream media was warning people to stay away because of possible trouble with a rival anarchist rally nearby. There was a fairly low-key police presence but I noticed several police vehicles around the square about the size of a regular bus, which probably contained reinforcements if needed.

When it came to the platform speeches, I could not follow much – my Greek only being adequate to ask the way or order a meal. However, the priest who spoke before me commenced with “Christos anesti” (Christ is risen) to which the audience responded. Several times in his speech he referred to “Orthodoxia” (Orthodoxy) and the Gospel (Evangelion).

Then it was my turn with the ever-vivacious Georgia Bitakou as interpreter. She was magnificent and I enjoyed double applause for many of the points I made – firstly from the members of the audience who understood English and then from those who followed her translation. That was quite a bonus!

When I came to finish, using quotations from the poetry of Byron, as Jim Reynolds did a while ago, she put heart and soul into it. I could not help reflecting that she was just the sort of lady who inspired Byron and would defend any barricade to the last.

Then coincidence reached out with a long arm. Manu Bennett, a Maori from New Zealand, was inspired to make his speech by the seven hundred of his kinsmen who lie buried in Crete, attempting to defend that Greek Island against the aggression of fascism. He was joined on the platform by an impressive gentleman in traditional Cretan dress which would be recognised by anybody who watched the film of the capture of the German General Kreipe.

Our family business used to buy large quantities of New Zealand milk powder before that was forbidden by the European Common Agricultural Policy. That betrayal of our friends made me angry in 1972 as it still makes me angry now.

—————————————————————————————————-

Here are the words of the speech which was so well received:-

IT IS A GREAT HONOUR to be invited to speak here to our Greek friends who are fighting the same battle as ourselves to recover self government and independence for our countries. IT IS A PLEASURE to meet the tough, undaunted people who so cheerfully continue the fight in the face of the appalling damage which the institutions of the EU and the International Monetary Fund have inflicted on the Greek people – including the deaths of hundreds of thousands whose lives have been sacrificed on the altar of austerity, dead from malnutrition, lack of heating in winter and the plundering of resources from their hospitals and health service.

This process of plunder, including the forced sale of public assets and utilities, is portrayed as somehow helping Greece out – each additional tranche of unrepayable debt as somehow helping the Greek people, when all it represents is a transfer of liabilities from banks to taxpayers – privatising any profits and socialising the losses.

At the beginning, many people in Britain and Greece believed that the EU was a benign project, dedicated to peace and economic development – but it always was about power – power to in the hands of very few untouchable people. As early as 1947, A British politician, Peter Thorneycroft, wrote in Design for Europe “No government dependent on a democratic vote could possibly agree in advance to the sacrifice any adequate plan must involve. The British people must be led slowly and unconsciously into the abandonment of their traditional economic defences”. Thorneycroft later became Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) and Chairman of the Conservative party. What an arrogant insult to a people who had just fought a world war to defend their democratic self-government – to lead them deceitfully into a new form of definitely undemocratic government, of which they were to be kept in ignorance.

In 1962 the leader of the Labour party, Hugh Gaitskell, warned that joining the European Economic Community would be for us “The end of a thousand years of history” – the time over which our constitution and self-government evolved. Greek democracy has a longer history but the modern independence, achieved in 1821, is, for the time being, extinguished. But not forever! If I judge your fighting spirit right, the fire of freedom will blaze again and not be long in coming!

General De Gaulle saw the reality of the European project. In 1965 he said “As for the Commission, it deserves to disappear. I want no more of Hallstein (the President)….I want no more to do with them…I want no more that the French government should have to do business with these types…. They are all enemies. They have been put there by our enemies”.

In 1990, Mrs Thatcher put it this way. “Mr Delors (President of the Commission) said ….that he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body…He wanted the Commission to be the Executive and the Council of Ministers to be the Senate …. No! No! No!” which reminds me of the response of the Greek people to Mussolini which was also “No” and you celebrate the event to this day as a national holiday.

Today’s Mussolinis are less flamboyant and more subtle – people like Giuliano Amato, one-time Italian Prime Minister and Vice president of the European Constitutional Convention. He was interviewed by Barbara Spinelli who reported in La Stampa of 13 July 2000 “He said that sovereignty lost on a national level does not pass to any new individual. It is entrusted to a faceless entity… eventually the EU. The EU is the vanguard of this changing world… The new entity is faceless and those in command can neither be identified nor elected. As a matter of fact the metamorphosis is already here. All we need are a few corrections here and there along with a great deal of cunning”.

There is nothing much we can do to the successors of Jacques Delors and Giuliano Amato. They are largely faceless and immune. But they and those like them could never have the least power over us, if it had not first been surrendered by our own countrymen, politicians in positions of trust, bound by the most sacred commitment to uphold the integrity and sovereignty of the state. Those are the people who are to blame – regardless of party. Mark them well and make sure they never, ever hold office again!

We are seeing them now in Britain, trying to overturn the verdict of the people in the referendum because they have given their first loyalty to a foreign power, the European Union. Yet they look and speak like our fellow countrymen. One of the most odious things about this is that many of them claim to be acting out of concern for the powers and tradition of our parliament – something which never troubled them in the least when they were handing massive power to the EU.

General De Gaulle and Mrs. Thatcher were both betrayed by their own colleagues. Two of the strongest political personalities in Europe slowed down the European project for a while but could not stop it. Yet I am sure that our united peoples can do it, if we keep our wits about us. That and a sense of trust, of duty to our respective countries, inherited from one generation and handed down to the next in a lively tradition. We can learn from each other’s experiences.

So we also support the Greek people in their battle to secure the territorial integrity of their state in its rich regional diversity and cultural Hellenic unity. We look with concern on the political instability of this region, adversely affect by Western operations which have succeeded only in driving the movement of millions of migrants with unassimilable, unappeasable alien ideology through Greece and into Europe. This process of mass migration is deliberately supported and approved by the EU as a means of breaking up and destroying cohesive peoples and nations.

Our Secretary Jim Reynolds visited here a few years ago, initiating and strengthening our friendship and co-operation. I can do no better than he, in ending with some verses of Lord Byron:-

 

The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung.

Where grew the arts of war and peace,

Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!

Eternal summer gilds them yet,

But all, except their sun, is set.

The mountains look on Marathon –

And Marathon looks on the sea,

And musing there an hour alone,

I dreamed that Greece might still be free;

For standing on the Persians’ grave,

I could not deem myself a slave.

 

A message of support to our Greek friends

A demonstration is to be organised in Athens on 13th May to protest against EU-imposed austerity. Among the organisers is former Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, who spoke at last year’s CIB rally. CIB has sent the following message of encouragement:-

The Campaign for an Independent Britain salutes the struggle of the Greek people to be free of the oppression which they suffer at the hands of the European Union.

As democrats and patriots from all parties and none, we join in supporting the demonstration organised by “DIEXODUS” on 13th May to proclaim and reclaim the sovereignty, constitutionality and democracy which is the birthright of the Greek people.

Back in 1962, Hugh Gaitskell the leader of the British Labour party, warned that joining what was then the European Economic Community would be for Britain “the end of a thousand years of history” – the time over which our constitution and self-government had evolved. Democracy in Greece has a far longer history than that but the modern independence achieved in 1821 is now extinguished for a time. The fire of freedom will blaze again!

As early as 1965 General De Gaulle saw the reality of the European project. He said “As for the Commission, it deserves to disappear. I want no more of Hallstein (the President) ….I want no more to do with them …I want no more that the French government should have to do business with these types. The problem is this mafia of supranationalists, whether commissioners, deputies or bureaucrats. They are all enemies. They have been put there by our enemies”.

Neither General De Gaulle nor Mrs Thatcher, two of the strongest political personalities of Europe, could get rid of the EU. They were defeated by the treachery of their own political colleagues. But the people can defeat it! They did in Britain although we are still having trouble with politicians who seek to defy the people. The politicians have to be firmly reminded that they are privileged to be the servants of the people and are not the masters. We are sure that the Greek people will be able to teach them the same lesson.

We also support the Greek people in their battle to secure the territorial integrity of their state in its rich regional diversity and cultural Hellenic unity.

Before she was betrayed by her own colleagues, Mrs Thatcher replied to the demands of the EU No! No! No! The people of Greece did the same to the demands of Mussolini.

So we support the Greek people now, bidding stern defiance to the tyrants of today.

With the profound respect and goodwill of your British friends.

Edward Spalton

Chairman

2 May 2018

Photo by Images George Rex

Some Brexit insights from Ireland

Dr Anthony Coughlan, a leading supporter of  “Irexit” and long-term acquaintance of Edward Spalton, our Chairman, has recently forwarded some interesting insights into Brexit which come from a well-placed Irish friend of his.

“The editorial in today’s Irish Times and the article by Stephen Collins are saying – obliquely – what you … and others have been saying since the referendum, i.e. that the British and Irish Governments have to sit down and work out a post-Brexit border regime, which requires technical and pragmatic solutions according to Michel Barnier.

Indeed it does, but the European Commission was not saying that at first. It is doing so now, I suspect, because the continental Member States are getting fed up with the Irish Government and the European Commission, along with British Remainers, attempting to use the border to scupper Brexit. The Continentals just want the thing sorted.”

This is one glimmer of light in what has not been a happy time for negotiators as far as the Irish border issue has been concerned. Barnier’s “backstop” proposal of keeping Northern Ireland in the Customs Union was greeted with widespread anger among Unionists in Northern Ireland. It does not bring the issue any closer to resolution but does suggest that, not withstanding public shows of solidarity by the other 26 EU member states, the Irish government will not garner much support for being deliberately obstructive over the search for a resolution to the border issue.

On a less encouraging note, however, Dr Coughlan’s friend goes on to say:-

I suspect, incidentally, that if the West attacks Syria the British Government might use it as an opportunity to “suspend” Brexit. I have little doubt that the British Foreign Office is working up something along those lines to present to Theresa May. If there is a really serious war, i.e. WW3, it won’t matter, but a shooting war that is something less than WW3 would suit the Remainers down to the ground.

The latter are well capable of urging an attack on Syria for that purpose. I hope the Brexit community in the UK is alive to this possibility, particularly Tory MPs, some of whom might otherwise be expected to be gung-ho for war over Syria.”

Since Dr Coughlan sent us his friend’s comments,  a military force including the USA, the UK and France has bombed Syria. The first polls taken after this action suggests that there is strong opposition from the UK public to these actions, with supporters outnumbered by two to one. Furthermore, Mrs May faces strong opposition from Parliament, annoyed at not being given a vote. So while an escalation of the conflict may be in the remainiacs’ interests, it does not look particularly likely at the moment.

Even so, this bunch of bad losers needs careful monitoring. A meeting of remoaners took place yesterday (Sunday 15th April ) in London, with the hope of launching a major drive to stop Brexit. Our friends from Leavers from London turned out in some force with a counter-demonstration, holding placards yet being polite and friendly.

It remains our opinion that a badly- executed Brexit remains a far greater concern than the activities of disgruntled, incorrigible remoaners,  but they must not be underestimated.

The Greek tragedy deepens

Retired Greek Diplomat Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos spoke at CIB’s 2017 rally. This is a translation of an interview he recently gave to Afrique-Asie of France. Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos was the Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization from 200 to 2012. He represented Greece at the U.N.,was director of the diplomatic cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director general of EU affairs. His diplomatic experience extends from Toronto to Warsaw and from Erevan to Beijing. He is fighting today against the policy of reducing the sovereignty of his country by the EU and NATO.

1) Last January and February massive demonstrations were held in Greece in support of the return  of national sovereignty and the protection of territorial integrity of the country. After almost two centuries from the uprising of Greece against the Ottoman occupation, it seems that your country remains to be decolonised. How have we reached this point?

The issue is that we liberated ourselves from the Ottomans only to find ourselves under the influence of the great Powers of the time. Our first leader of independent Greece was Ioannis Kapodistrias, who as foreign Minister of Russia played an important role in creating the Swiss constitution. However we assassinated him and was replaced by a Bavarian king. Our first political parties were called the Frenchofile,the Russianofile and the Englishofile – all under the influence of the country they were named after.

During WW1, Athens and Piraeus were bombed by the French fleet in order to force the pro-German king to abdicate and Greece to join the allies. Then the fascist pro-German prime minister of Greece Ioannis Metaxas on October 28,1940 opposed Mussolini when he wanted to march through Greece. Greek armed forces threw the Italians back to the sea from Albania.

All through WW2 our resistance was under British domination until the USA took over in 1947.The NATO-supported military dictatorship collapsed after seven years in 1974 but at a tragic cost since almost half of Cyprus was and still is occupied by Turkey.

In 1976 we opted to join the EEC mainly for political reasons-to protect our fragile democracy and Greece from Turkey. We joined the EEC in 1981 and right after PASOK of Andreas Papandreou came to power, for a few years Greece enjoyed an independence that it never had before. The US bases were removed, Greece  became an important actor in international politics respected by the Non-aligned movement .

Papandreou had made world headlines by organising in 1983  a meeting between Mitterand and Gadaffi  in Crete.

From the 90s onwards a united Germany became gradually the driving force of the EU  which from an EEC of the people became the EU of the bankers. And as the EU supported the bankers, Greek politicians became professional liars and were elected on programs that were never  kept. George Papandreou  was elected in 2009 with the slogan that there were sufficient financial resources to allow the country to progress, only to put Greece under IMF and EU control with the Memorandum of 2010 which never was voted by Parliament and was instrumental in bringing financial and social collapse.

 The left party SYRIZA was elected with the slogan  we will denounce the Memorandum and thus save Greece. When Brussels started blackmailing the Tsipras government ,he called for a referendum which by a large majority – 62% – rejected further austerity measures. During a Summit in Brussels right after the July 2015 referendum, Germany blackmailed Tsipras by telling him that if he did not do what Berlin wanted, then they would create a bank run in Greece and further chaos. Tsipras got scared and instead of cutting off diplomatic relations with Germany for a period, he succumbed and since then has been following orders from Brussels to the detriment of Greece and its people.

2) Why is the Turkish army once again displaying aggression towards the Greek islands of the Aegean? Do you see a link between between the Turkish officers that have asked for asylum in Greece and the Greek officers being held in Turkey?

Erdogan is taking advantage of the fact that Greece and its people are exhausted by the austerity measures imposed upon it. Furthermore he is going through a phase of illusions de grandeur and wants to recreate the Ottoman empire. Statements like “We had territories that we lost but that we may get back, we will shed our blood to make Turkey a great country again and if necessary we shall shed the blood of others” are not helpful for consolidating  peace and stability. I do not see a link between the Turkish officers who have applied for asylum and the two Greek officers that were apprehended, but I cannot exclude the thought that the Turkish authorities make such a link. The issue of the Greek islands was first raised by Turkey in 1973 when oil was discovered in the Aegean. From 1923 until then it had never been an issue. Now this aggression is within the policy of taking advantage of an exhausted Greece.

3) Why is President Erdogan opening the issue of the Lausanne Treaty by threatening directly his Greek neighbour? Is it a simple populist manoeuvre?

I think that my answer to the previous question covers this question. It is not a populist manoeuvre. The Lausanne Treaty has been violated ad nauseam by Turkey mainly as far as the minority issues are concerned. The recent invasion of Syria also constitutes a violation of this Treaty which defines the eastern borders of Turkey. Turkey thinks that by reopening the Lausanne Treaty it may get a better deal than now. A few islands for example.

4) What is the situation of the Greek Armed Forces 10 years after the gradual descent of your country to hell? Do you think that they are in a position to defend the integrity of national territory?

It is true that the eight years austerity measures have taken a toll on the Greek armed forces but not to the extent that it cannot fight. Our air force is one of the best of NATO since we have been practicing everyday chasing away Turkish warplanes violating Greek air space and our Navy is in good condition. Overall the Greek Armed forces are in a position to defend  the territorial integrity of our country.

5) What is NATO doing to help Greece and Turkey, who are both members, to find a peaceful solution to their differences?

Absolutely nothing, since NATO does not deal with differences between its members. It only deals with differences between a NATO member and a non NATO country. We saw that in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus and NATO stayed out of the issue.

6) Do you think that the Greek army can play a role so that your country can recover its sovereignty or it might awaken the old demons of the dictatorship of the colonels?

The Greek Armed Forces should remain vigilant to defend our borders against external threats. And when the Greek people attempt to overthrow the Athens régime, the Greek Armed Forces should refrain from following possible orders to defend the regime.

7) Returning to relations between Germany and Greece, how would you describe them today?

I would say that they would fit more to relations between a colony and a colonial power. With one difference, of course. In the colonial period, the colonial power would defend the colony against external threats which is not the case today. But between Greek and German people there are no problems. At least for the moment.

8) Where are we on the question of German reparations for the damages inflicted during the German occupation of Greece from 1941 to 1944?

There is no movement there also. Germany considers the issue closed, since Athens did not raise it at reunification. The Athens regime does not want to anger its masters by raising it. There is, however, one item that even Germany has difficulty in avoiding .That is the loan that was imposed upon Greece by Germany and Italy in 1942. According to that, Greece was obliged to pay 1.25 billion drachmas per month for costs of occupation to Germany and Italy. In 1964 it was estimated that the total amount that Germany owed to Greece was about 400 million DM. The loan is something separate from reparations which are still outstanding according to Greece. Yet the Athens regime is not doing anything about it. .The value of the loan today, if it were to be repaid by Germany to Greece, would cover the so-called debt amounting to 300 billion euros.

9) You write: “At the moment, capitalism without frontiers is crushing everything in its passage and that our leaders have chosen for a “globalisation” benefitting only the banks and the multinationals, they are presenting the collapse of our countries as a natural phenomena that is unavoidable. At the same time they are constantly repeating to us that the “minorities” (ethnic,national, religious) of Europe “are awakening” and that their claims are legitimate but result in the weakening of the sovereignty of the State to which they belong.”

Once again the Balkans are on the verge of a war, fomented by a reunited Germany. With the objective to strangle Russia, NATO is advancing its pawns, breaking the engagement made to Gorbachev at the moment of the German reunification. The last pieces of former Yugoslavia are being integrated, one by one into NATO. You condemn the breaking up of the Balkans to non-viable client states, while at the same time pointing your finger at Germany. According to you, what is the interest of Berlin in defending such a policy since the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991?

It is actually the same policy followed by Hitler before and during WW2, to control energy resources. By controlling the Balkans, Germany has easy access to the energy resources in the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and Azerbaijan.Not only that but it will be easier for Berlin to transfer the oil or gas to Germany.

10) Do you think that the Macedonian question is on the way to be solved since the leaders in Skopje agreed to change the name of their international airport and their highway?

No. It is more complicated than that. Already there are problems. Greece insists that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) changes its Constitution so that all nuances of irredentism are removed. Skopje refuses to do it. The vast majority of the Greek people are against ceding the name Macedonia to Skopje, a name that has belonged to Hellenism for the last three thousand years. Then if you give a country a false history, you create the conditions for a failed state. Also the politicians of FYROM do not believe in their “Macedonian” heritage. I have heard the present President of FYROM  Ivano, saying to a Georgian vice president in 2012 that the word Macedonia derives from the Turkish word dunya-which means world!!!!!!.Then why should FYROM enter NATO? What is the danger? where is the danger? Of course the West has so easily forgotten the promises given to Gorbachev in 1991 that Nato will not be enlarged  if Germany is allowed to be reunited. And we saw what happened .All the former Warsaw pact countries are today NATO members.

11)Is the current Greek Government in a position to defend Cyprus givne the ambiguous positions of prime Minister Tsipras on this issue?

Diplomatically it can but militarily it is not easy because of the distance. But that goes for all governments. We saw what happened in 1974. Itt was the coup d’état against Makarios organised by Athens that provoked the Turkish invasion. When the military regime collapsed the armed forces in Greece were in disarray and in no position to defend Cyprus. However if the circumstances were different it would have been very difficult for the invasion to have succesfully taken place, taking into consideration that the Turkish air force sank one of their destroyers.

Is the end night for Angela Merkel and her disastrous EU?

By Professor Arthur Noble

‘Après moi, le déluge’

The EU is in chaos after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, once dubbed ‘the most powerful woman in Europe’, stormed out of the Bundestag on 22 February 2018 when Dr Alice Weidel, the new (though in her personal life controversial) leader of the anti-EU and anti-Islam Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD), blasted her for threatening to “punish” the UK over Brexit and for squandering German taxpayers’ money to finance “her” [Merkel’s own] EU project. The speech drew huge applause.

In her fiery address,1 Weidel demanded that Merkel should “stop issuing threats” against the UK: “The EU wants to make an example of Great Britain, a punishment beyond any economic or political reason. This is not how one treats a European partner.” She pointed out that the predicted recession in the wake of the Brexit vote did not happen, but that on the contrary the British economy showed growth. Rodney Atkinson, who is well known for his incisive analyses and accurate predictions, has summarised the already positive results of Brexit for the UK even before it happens, and its negative effect on the EU.2

Weidel then denounced the Chancellor’s refugee quota system for immigrants and refugees; but it was a comment by the AfD co-founder, Alexander Gauland, that provoked Merkel’s hasty flight from the chamber: “Countries want to decide for themselves whom they take in. There is no national duty with regard to multiculturalism.”

Money

Weidel warned that the European Commission was planning to restrict Britain’s access to the single market, even during the transition period, specifically because of the fear that other countries in Europe could follow suit and “take back their sovereignty”: “By supporting these plans to ostracise Germany’s biggest trading partner in the EU, you [Merkel] are taking free trade and competition hostage and establishing a failed EU ideology. The good trading relationship with Great Britain and the rest of the Continent must be maintained; otherwise Europe will be disadvantaged in global trade.”

The speech also attacked Merkel’s plan to transfer “more money and sovereignty” away from the Europe’s nation states to Brussels because Brexit has drained the financial coffers of the EU and would leave “a huge financial black hole” in its budget, which she said should be “cut” instead. In fact, the EU Statistics Office Eurostat has discovered and admitted that the EU already has a debt of “at least 21.5 trillion Euro”.3

Brussels is now trying to solve its looming post-Brexit financial bankruptcy by targeting Central and Eastern Europe countries (the so-called Visegrad nations – the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary) with drastic cutbacks on agricultural subsidies. Czech State Secretary for European Affairs Aleš Chmelař says that this will put the whole EU project at risk. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an angry confrontation with the EU elite, is demanding a massive refund of 1bn Euro from Brussels’ coffers as compensation for his country’s having been on the front lines of the EU’s borders and forced to build a wall to keep migrants out.4

Revolt

The rise of populist movements across Europe has been slow but steady. The recent spate of electoral defeats which they inflicted on the EU actually started with Merkel herself, where the AfD gained record electoral support and won seats in the Bundestag for the first time in the January 2018 election, severely damaging her and her CDU. The AfD is now more popular in the polls than the Social Democrats (SPD), with whom Merkel is desperately trying to form a Grand Coalition. Recent elections across Europe nevertheless testify to her coming demise as Chancellor.

Despite the narrow defeat of the National Front’s (FN) Marine Le Pen by the EU’s globalist plant in the French Presidential elections, she did beat the two major French parties. Her niece Marion Maréchal Le Pen, who is “waiting in the wings” to become FN leader, has blasted the EU and proposed that France should follow in the footsteps of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump by putting “France first”.

The Austrian People’s Party’s (ÖVP) Sebastian Kurz took his country’s electorate by storm to form a rightwing coalition with the Freedom Party’s (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache in a centre-right coalition government for the first time since World War II – a coalition which Deutsche Welle says “threatens the EU”.5 In the Czech Republic, the ANO’s Andrej Babiš, who rails against EU migrant quotas and has repeatedly stated that Euroscepticism would grow in his country, garnered 30% of the vote to defeat seven other candidates, while Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, who has consistently expressed his uncompromising defence of national sovereignty and his opposition to so-called ‘political correctness’, built anti-immigrant razor wire fences with water cannons stationed on his borders and denounced Merkel’s demand for the rest of the EU to follow her unilateral opening of its borders as “moral imperialism”.6

Similar revolts have occurred in the Netherlands, where, in the opinion of The Atlantic,7 Geert Wilders with his Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) actually “won by losing”, and “still poses a grave threat” to the EU with his demographic warning that ‘the bell tolls for Europe’ as Muslim immigration is in danger of replacing Europeans.8 Finland’s right-wing populist party True Finns has had great success with its Eurosceptic programme and is now urging Helsinki to hold a Brexit-style referendum reflecting a growing anti-EU backlash across Brussels.

In 2017 Spain reacted with brutality when the Catalan regional Parliament became the first area of the EU to declare actual independence from the staunch EU puppets in Madrid and therefore symbolically from Brussels, while referenda in the richer regions of northern Italy – Veneto and Lombardy – revealed overwhelming support in favour of more autonomy if not outright secession.

Auf Wiedersehen, Angela!

Merkel’s hasty exit from the Bundestag on 22 February may well become a potent historical symbol of the break-up of the EU. The populist revolt against her disastrous policies make it more difficult, if not impossible, for Germany to dictate to the rest of the EU in the way that she and her globalist supporters like Tony Blair and global mischief-maker billionaire George Soros want. The latter interfered with a donation of £400,000, and when criticized contributed a further £100,000, in a last-ditched attempt to thwart Brexit and overturn the democratic will of the British people.

As the de facto leader – or rather ‘misleader’ – of a Union which is disintegrating under the weight of her dictatorship, Merkel can now no longer convince or win with her policies of ‘more Europe’ which are the very cause of the Europe’s disintegration. Europeans have rejected her policies on security and immigration, making it impossible for a bankrupt EU9 to provide debt relief for countries such as Italy and Spain or to secure control over the EU’s insubordinate eastern members.

Merkel has suffered a series of deadly blows from which she cannot recover, and yet, obviously oblivious of reality, she continues to parrot the same incessant rant about her plans to create an EU superstate. She calls it “a new dawn for Europe”, but it is nothing but the old one dressed up like the legendary Emperor in his new clothes. Speaking ahead of the most recent EU summit, symbolically unattended by the UK, she said rather laughably: “We want to have a Europe capable of action that is in solidarity and has self-confidence.”10 It clearly has neither. “To achieve this we must be ready to strengthen Europe where a European solution is better than a purely nationalist one.” There you have it: ‘Nation states are out; the European model must prevail.’ No change then!

FOOTNOTES

1 https://youtu.be/uTNAr_k4k9M
2 http://freenations.net/massive-eu-losses-of-no-deal-brexit-german-industry-expects-free-trade/
3 http://www.eutimes.net/2018/02/eurostat-discovers-that-the-eu-has-at-least-e12-5-trillion-debt/
4 https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/923338/EU-finances-Viktor-Orban-Hungary-Brussels-450m-border-protection
5 http://www.dw.com/en/opinion-a-right-wing-coalition-in-austria-threatens-the-eu/a-40962645
6 https://www.politico.eu/list/politico-28/viktor-orban/
7 https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/03/geert-wilders-won-by-losing-netherlands-vote/519834/
8 http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/06/02/wilders-europeans-danger-replaced/; http://www.eutimes.net/2017/06/wilders-surgingdemographic-
change-means-europeans-are-in-danger-of-being-replaced/
9 See fn. 3
10 https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/922389/Angela-Merkel-EU-latest-news-Germany-coalition-SPD-EU-superstate-Bundestag

Photo by Glyn Lowe Photoworks.