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Nach der partiellen Schließung der schwedischen Grenzen für Flüchtlinge verhängt das erste deutsche Bundesland einen Aufnahmestopp.

EU oder Krieg
Luxemburgs Außenminister Jean Asselborn warnt vor einem Zerfall der EU.

Neue Lager
Die Innenminister der EU haben sich auf Maßnahmen geeinigt, die Flüchtlinge aus Deutschland fernhalten sollen.

Krieg in Europa?
Der ehemalige Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt warnt vor einem neuen Krieg in Europa.

Verletzte ausgeflogen
Die Bundeswehr hat 20 verwundete Kämpfer aus der Ukraine zur Behandlung nach Deutschland ausgeflogen.

Außen und innen
Der deutsche Außenminister moniert eine mangelnde Zustimmung in der Bevölkerung für eine offensive deutsche Weltpolitik.

Die Verantwortung Berlins
Der ehemalige EU-Kommissar Günter Verheugen erhebt im Konflikt um die Ukraine schwere Vorwürfe gegen Berlin.

"Ein gutes Deutschland"
Das deutsche Staatsoberhaupt schwingt sich zum Lehrmeister der Türkei auf.

Die Dynamik des "Pravy Sektor"
Der Jugendverband der NPD kündigt einen "Europakongress" unter Beteiligung des "Pravy Sektor" ("Rechter Sektor") aus der Ukraine an.

Der Mann der Deutschen
Die deutsche Kanzlerin hat am gestrigen Montag zwei Anführer der Proteste in der Ukraine empfangen.

The Moment of the Europeans
(Own report) - Germany's top politicians are calling on the EU to close ranks behind Europe's "central power," Germany, following President-Elect Donald Trump's recent declarations in an interview. Trump suggested the possibility of "deals" with Russia, predicted the further disintegration of the EU and pointed to Germany's dominant role within the EU. A new Russian-American world order is looming, according to Elmar Brok (CDU), Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is therefore imperative that the EU "close ranks." Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed a similar opinion. Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, called for Russian and US disarmament and for enhancing the EU's militarization. He recommended that "German nuclear armament" not be discussed - at least "at the moment."

On the Brink of the Third Failure
(Own report) - Berlin's efforts to influence developments in Libya are on the brink of failure. The "Government of National Accord," installed in Tripoli on behalf of the United Nations by the German diplomat Martin Kobler, is on the verge of disintegration. Following an Islamist militia coup attempt in October, its "Prime Minster" Fayez al-Sarraj, the West's main partner, was barely able to retain his position against insurgents within his ranks, earlier this year. Last fall, his strongest opponent, General Khalifa Haftar, who is cooperating with the elected Libyan parliament, has conquered Libya's most important oil shipment port and seems to be able to extend his power base. In case al-Sarraj and the "Government of National Accord" cannot hold their ground, Berlin and the EU would not only loose their main Libyan partner for warding off refugees. They would also loose ground in Libya to Russia's advantage, which had recently begun to cooperate with Haftar. As in Syria, this cooperation is based on a common struggle against Islamist militias.

The Utility of Ethnic Minorities (II)
(Own report) - The Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa, the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations), founded 100 years ago, had been a leading institution for the Nazi's "Germanization" policy in Eastern Europe, as historians have exposed in their research. The institute, which celebrated the anniversary of its January 10, 1917 founding yesterday - with the German foreign minister attending - is also active today in cultural exchange activities. For more than four decades, it has been coordinating Germany's contribution to the Biennale in Venice on behalf of the German foreign ministry. In the 1930s and early 1940s, the institute's staff had been engaged in using their contacts to members of German-speaking minorities abroad also for purposes of espionage. Following Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, members of the institute's staff, such as Karl Stumpp, carried out ethnic surveys of settlements in today's Ukraine, thereby contributing to the annihilation of East European Jews. The institute, which had been disbanded by the Allies in 1945, was re-established in 1951 under the leadership of a former high-ranking cultural functionary of the Nazis. Still today, the institute is nurturing relations with German-speaking minorities abroad for use in the interests of German foreign policy.

Cheap Commemoration
(Own report) - Representatives of Namibia's Ovaherero and Nama peoples have filed a class action complaint, while Berlin is trying to get off cheap in the dispute over compensation for Germany's colonial crimes. The victims' descendants are demanding compensation for the seizure of their land and cattle and for the genocide perpetrated on their ancestors in South West Africa, a German colony at the time. The German government was poised to reach a negotiated settlement with the Namibian government in the compensation dispute. Windhoek was supposed to renounce all compensation claims and, in return, receive a "Future Foundation" to appease the Ovaherero and Nama peoples - who would otherwise be left empty handed - with memorial sites and other projects of cheap "commemorative culture." Berlin sees good chances to ward off compensation lawsuits. The relevant norms of international law, at the time, offer no basis for proceedings against the massacres in German South West Africa, according to an expertise of the Reference and Research Service of the German Bundestag. Genocide is a criminal offense only since 1948, and therefore cannot be retroactively prosecuted. The "Future Foundation" was scheduled to be soon inaugurated with an official apology by Germany's president. The class action complaint has now put this timetable on hold.

Aleppo, Mosul and the Hegemony
(Own report) - In light of the western powers' possible massive loss of influence in the Middle East, German foreign policy-makers are intensifying their threats of sanctions on Moscow. Norbert Röttgen (CDU), Chair of the Foreign Policy Committee of the German parliament calls for economic punishment to be imposed for suspected or actual war crimes committed by the Russian military in East Aleppo. The renowned British Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, strongly criticizes the rampant propaganda campaign raging - also here in Germany - around the hard fought battle for East Aleppo. Fisk notes that it is remarkable that the militias in East Aleppo are being euphemized as "rebels," because one of the most powerful among them is an Al Qaeda subsidiary. After all, that embellishes and is protective toward those responsible for 9/11. Besides, the large number of civilian casualties caused by western air raids in the war against IS is being ignored. A renowned NGO source in the USA estimates currently more than 2,000 civilians killed. The notorious double standards of western propaganda are accompanying the US and European powers' unsuccessful efforts to thwart Russia's rising influence in the Middle East.

The European War Union (II)
(Own report) - The EU will significantly increase the number of its military interventions. This was one the results of the EU heads of state and government summit meeting, held yesterday in Brussels. The member countries will also intensify cooperation of their armed forces. This coincides with demands repeatedly put forward by the German government during its campaign, launched last summer to promote the militarization of the EU. Recently, after the EU defense ministers, along with other bodies, including the European Parliament, passed several resolutions, the EU Commission published a "Defense Action Plan," which provides for annual expenditures from a "European Defense Fund" of half a billion Euros for weapons research, beginning in the early 2020s. Most recently, the European Parliament called for the EU to upgrade its military to be able to use "its full potential as a world power." The objective, according Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), Parliamentary Commissioner for the German Armed Forces, is to establish an EU army.

Reversal of Business Trend with Russia
(Own report) - German business circles are discerning a clear reversal of trend in business with Russia, despite the EU's alleged prolongation of sanctions against Moscow. In the third quarter of 2016, German exports to Russia have increased for the first time since sanctions were imposed. German investments in Russia are again growing already reaching a volume of two billion Euros this year. The Daimler Group, for example, is currently planning to construct a plant worth 300 million Euros near Moscow. The gradual growth in business relations is flanked by negotiations at the state secretary level, with the preliminary groundwork being laid by leading think tanks. However, that President-elect Donald Trump, who, together with his designated Foreign Minister, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, intends to change course and cooperate more closely with Russia, at least on a punctual basis, is not seen very favorably from the German perspective. It would undermine the traditional division of labor among western countries in relationship to Russia that had been to Germany's advantage. While Washington was usually exerting massive pressure on Moscow, Berlin could often assume an advantageous mediator role - with a consensus on exerting pressure on Moscow to submit to western policy, while enhancing its own business relations.

The Foam of German Diplomacy
(Own report) - When the German foreign minister appeared in the synagogue in Thessaloniki (Greece), he was met with strong protest from prominent members of the Jewish community. In his speech at the synagogue on December 4, (published by the German Foreign Ministry) Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) praised "our German hands to be used in the life of your community" - after Jewish life was eradicated under the Nazis. In his historical reflections, the German foreign minister alluded to the more than 50,000 Jewish Greeks, who, in 1943, had been forced to buy "Reichsbahn" tickets to Auschwitz, where they were murdered upon arrival. He did not utter a single word about the German receipts (89 million Euros) from those trips taking them to their death, or about Berlin's refusal to pay its debts. Neither did Steinmeier mention the reimbursement of the several million Euros in racist "ransoms" as the Jewish community demands. Prominent Jewish Greeks were outraged because Berlin's foreign policy is obviously undermining the legal claims of Nazi victims with moralist avowals and non-committal monetary hand-outs. Protests were also raised against Steinmeier's being offered "honorary membership" in Thessaloniki's synagogue. Steinmeier made similar appearances in relationship to Italian victims of Nazi mass crimes.

No Chance
(Own report) - Shortly after the conservative candidate in the French presidential elections was decided, Berlin began to apply pressure on François Fillon, who had won his party's nomination. Even though Berlin is applauding Fillon's neoliberal austerity measures - which include an increase in the value added tax and the firing of half a million civil servants - his foreign policy plans clearly run counter to Berlin's policy, according to experts. A fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), for example, criticizes the fact that Fillon "aims" to "retake France's sovereignty" and to have a cooperative relationship with Russia. Invoking "European civilization," Norbert Röttgen, chair of the German Bundestag's Committee on Foreign Affairs, declared with an air of an ultimatum that this "obviously must be discussed with François Fillon." Even France's experts are assuming that should Fillon win the presidential elections - according to polls a real possibility - he would not be able to pursue a policy toward Russia independent of Berlin's.

A Time Bomb
(Own report) - Following Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi's defeat in Sunday's referendum, Berlin is urging Rome to quickly form a "capable government" and resume its adjustment to the German model of austerity. "The economic problems have to be tackled at the roots," said Jens Weidmann, head of Germany's central bank, yesterday. German financial experts are floating the idea of a cabinet of technocrats, modeled on the Mario Monti government. Monti ruled for a year and a half beginning in November 2011, without having been democratically elected and initiated an austerity program considered extremely harsh. Time is pressing: the bank crisis, caused, to a large extent, by bankruptcies due to German austerity dictates, which has been festering in Italy for a long time, is threatening to escalate. The Monte dei Paschi di Siena tradition bank's recapitalization planned this week is acutely endangered. It cannot be ruled out that its bank crisis could soon spread to other Italian credit institutions and to German banks.

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