Tag Archives: Germany

Scholz refuses Russian oil soon

Brussels 02.05.2022 The European Union will stop importing Russian coal in summer and will refuse Russian oil by the end of 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (pictured) said in an interview with The Indian Express newspaper published on Monday, May 5.(Image above: illustration).

The European Union has adopted, along with its transatlantic partners, “unprecedented sanctions against the Russian Federation,” the Chancellor ensured. “Many countries have joined these sanctions, even if this necessarily implies economic costs for ourselves,” he noted.

“We are furthermore now implementing a very ambitious policy to reduce our dependency on the import of fossil fuels from Russia. We will stop the import of Russian coal this summer, we will phase out Russian oil until the end of the year and will reduce gas imports from Russia severely,” Scholz said.

Russia recognises Donetsk and Lugansk independence

Brussels 21.02.2022 Before the signature Russian President Putin informed President of France Emmanuel Macron
and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz of his intention to endorse the decree to recognise Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognise the republics’ independence without delay.

“On behalf of all of the people of the DPR, we are asking you to recognise the Donetsk People’s Republic as an independent, democratic and social state based on the rule of law,” Pushilin announced the request.

Futher, the LPR’s leader, Leonid Pasechnik, said: “With the goal of preventing mass deaths among the Republic’s civilian population, some 300,000 of whom are Russian citizens, I’m asking you to recognise the sovereignty and independence of the Lugansk People’s Republic.”

The leaders of the self-proclaimed Republics have also suggested the signature of a treaty on friendship and cooperation with Russia, including on military cooperation.

The situation in the Donbass has aggravated up on February 17. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian armed forces over the past months. On February 18, LPR and DPR Heads Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin announced civilian evacuations from the republics to Russia due to the mounting danger of hostilities. On February 19, the Donbass republics announced a general mobilisation.

Japan considers sanitary regime

Brussels 06.02.2022 Japan plans to decide whether to extend a COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo and 12 prefectures in the first half of this week, government sources said Sunday, February 6.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida affirmed the plan during talks with health minister Shigeyuki Goto and related ministers, the sources said, as the Tokyo metropolitan government reported 17,526 daily coronavirus cases in the capital, the highest tally for a Sunday.

Kishida instructed Noriko Horiuchi, minister in charge of promoting vaccine rollouts, to speed up administering third shots to cope with the new wave of infections spurred by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The government is considering extending the quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo and 12 prefectures by two weeks or to the end of the month from the original end date of February 13.

The 12 prefectures are Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, which border the capital, as well as Gunma, Niigata, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Kagawa, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Miyazaki.

If any of the 13 local authorities do not wish to extend the emergency, the government will respect such intent.

Quasi-emergency measures involve restricting business hours of restaurants and bars, as well as a request to refrain from nonessential travel between prefectures in an effort to reduce strain on the medical system.

EU welcomes Serbia reforms

Brusssels 14.01.2022 “France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union welcome Serbia’s January 16 national referendum on constitutional changes as a key step to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and to enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the country’s rule of law institutions. We believe that these reforms are a step forward towards Serbia’s alignment with European standards and will support Serbia’s EU accession process”, reads the Joint Statement by Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, UK, USA and the Delegation of EU on the Referendum. (Image: Belgrade,Serbia).

“We have encouraged all Serbian citizens to take part in the referendum and believe it important for eligible voters to be able to vote in elections and referenda. We note with regret that the Kosovo government has not allowed the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to collect ballots of eligible voters living in Kosovo for the upcoming referendum in accordance with past practice. We call on the Kosovo government to allow Serbs in Kosovo to exercise their right to vote in elections and electoral processes in accordance with this established practice”.

“We call upon the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to refrain from actions and rhetoric that increase tensions and to engage constructively in the EU-facilitated Dialogue. It is important that both governments achieve progress towards a comprehensive agreement that unlocks the EU perspective and increases regional stability”.

Merkel antivaxers exclusion

Brussels 02.12.2021 Angela Merkel has announced a de facto lockdown of the unvaccinated, and that Germany’s parliament Bundestag will soon vote on making vaccination mandatory.

Germany’s outgoing Chancellor has announced that the authorities will be barring the unvaccinated from events, leisure facilities, and all non-essential retail.

Such restrictions are already in place in some states in Germany, but they will soon be rolled out nationwide, the Associated Press reports.

Merkel has also revealed that the German parliament will be asked to decide on whether to make vaccination against the Chinese coronavirus mandatory for all, with a mandate possibly coming into force as early as February next year — adding that she would vote for such a move herself if she was still had a seat in the legislature.

“The situation in our country is serious,” Merkel insisted, calling the new measures an “act of national solidarity”.

According to Deutsche Welle, a draft agreement worked on by both Merkel and Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz, of the leftist Social Democratic Party (SPD), also discusses forcing the unvaccinated to limit their personal contacts, mandating the wearing of masks in schools, and capping the number of people allowed in buildings and at outdoor events.

It is increasingly difficult to convince the citizens to participate in the ongoing III stage of the experiment while the previous two vaccinations did not deliver an obvious positive result.

Germany: centre-left at rise

Brussels 27.09.2021 The projections suggest the centre-left parties were the biggest winners of the election. Both the SPD and the Greens are on course to gain more than 5% compared to their result in the last federal election in 2017.

The conservative bloc suffered heavy losses as the Angela Merkel era comes to an end. They were down by over 8% on the previous election and are heading towards their worst result since World War II.

It’s unclear if Die Linke will be in the next German parliament. The latest projected results have the democratic socialist political party below the 5% threshold required to join parliament, while the SPD maintain their lead over the CDU/CSU, the DW writes:

The first projected results are in for Germany’s 2021 federal election, with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) on 25.8%, narrowly ahead of the centre-right Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party (CDU/CSU) on 24.1%.

Both the conservative bloc and the SPD have said they want to lead the next government, and mathematically, either party could if they secure the necessary allies.

The environmentalist Greens are on course to record their best ever result, headed for around 14% of the vote. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) had 11.5%, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) had 10.5%. The socialist Left party was hovering around the 5% mark.

Danish NSA spies on EU leaders

Bruxelles 30.05.2021 Denmark’s secret service helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a European media investigation published on Sunday revealed. (Image: illustration).

The disclosure that the US had been spying on its allies first started coming to light in 2013, but it is only now that journalists have gained access to reports detailing the support given to the NSA by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE).

The report showed that Germany’s close ally and neighbour cooperated with the American spying operations targeting the chancellor and president.

The then chancellor candidate for the German centre-left socialist party (SPD), Peer Steinbrück, was also a target, the new report disclosed.

The Danish government knew of the involvement of the country’s secret service in the NSA scandal by 2015 at the latest.

They began to collect information on the FE’s cooperation with the NSA between 2012 and 2014 in the secret Dunhammer report following the disclosures by the former NSA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden, NDR reported.

The information they gathered made it clear that the FE had helped the NSA to spy on leading politicians in Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and France.

Danish intelligence also helped the US agency to spy on the Danish foreign and finance ministries as well as a Danish weapons manufacturer. The FE also cooperated with the NSA on spying operations against the US government itself.

Upon discovering exactly how far the cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services went, the Danish government forced the entire leadership of the FE to step down in 2020.

Navalny: OPCW confirms Novichok

Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that the banned nerve agent called “Novichok” was found in samples taken from poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, the U.K.’s envoy to the body via his Twitter micro blog on October 6.

“These results constitute a matter of grave concern,” OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias said in a website statement.

The finding could lead European countries to impose sanctions on Russia for violating the treaty banning the use of such weapons, German officials have underlined.

Hungary official refused word by German press

Hungary State Secretary Zoltán Kovács’s response to Der Tagesspiegel – has been refused the publication of his response ot Der Tagesspiegel, and started to share it via social media:
“In an article published last week in German daily Der Tagesspiegel entitled “Why nationalism doesn’t help against the pandemic,” Judith Langowski and Jonas Bickelmann claim that instead of organizing an effective defense against the coronavirus, Prime Minister Orbán and his government are using the virus to achieve ideological goals.” (Image: illustration).

I asked for an opportunity to respond but was refused with the reply that “It will not be possible at this time, neither in the online, nor the print edition.” Langowski did also write that she would “gladly” talk to me the next time they cover the topic. How generous!”

“In an article published last week in German daily Der Tagesspiegel entitled “Why nationalism doesn’t help against the pandemic,” Judith Langowski and Jonas Bickelmann claim that instead of organizing an effective defense against the coronavirus, Prime Minister Orbán and his government are using the virus to achieve ideological goals.

I asked for an opportunity to respond but was refused with the reply that “It will not be possible at this time, neither in the online, nor the print edition.” Langowski did also write that she would “gladly” talk to me the next time they cover the topic. How generous!

In their most recent piece, the authors recall that in late March, the Hungarian Parliament passed a piece of legislation, the so-called “Coronavirus Protection Act,” that allowed the government to “issue decrees indefinitely”; and while this law had already been lifted by the end of June, Tagesspiegel notes that it could be reintroduced “very easily.”

But there’s really no need to get into the details; we all know what these critics are trying to say: Instead of saving human lives, PM Orbán’s government allegedly harnessed the pandemic for political gains. This is not just overly biased, but also completely wrong.

Here are the facts:

This past spring, numerous mainstream, liberal news outlets were sounding the alarm over the “erosion of [Hungarian] democracy” (The Independent) and claiming that PM Viktor Orbán would supposedly “rule by decree, alone and unchallenged” (The Guardian).

These fears, however, were proven to be groundless.

Contrary to what these biased sources would have had you believe, the Hungarian government never received “unlimited powers.” The special powers the government did receive could be exercised only to prevent, treat, eradicate and remedy the harmful effects of the coronavirus. Similarly, the extraordinary measures were never intended to last “indefinitely”; they were meant to expire with the threat or be lifted by the National Assembly. And this is exactly what happened at the end of May, when the government proposed to hand back the extraordinary powers it had received under the state of emergency, which had been put into effect solely to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Today, we know that the Coronavirus Protection Act has, in fact, served the country well. It enabled the government to take swift action, closing borders, enacting movement restrictions, and equipping our national healthcare system and healthcare providers with the equipment necessary to treat all those who required care — all of which served to slow down the spread of the disease. Thanks to this legislative package, with 39.04 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants by early June, Hungary ranked among the top performers in Europe in terms of managing the pandemic. As Prime Minister Orbán has recently said on several occasions: In managing the first wave of the epidemic, Hungary scored among the top 20-25 countries globally.

Yes, it may be true that the number of active coronavirus cases and, sadly, the number of deaths have been climbing during the last few weeks in Hungary, but this is not due to any “populist strategy.” In fact, in a national consultation survey that ended on August 31, we collected the views of more than 1.7 million Hungarians. Based on this vast data, the Hungarian government concluded that while the defense against the coronavirus is a top priority for our citizens, we must simultaneously keep the country functioning.

This is why, in the middle of the second wave, we cannot adopt the same, strict restrictions that proved so successful during the first wave of the crisis. But don’t worry, Hungary will be fine. We have a war plan in place for managing the second wave of the crisis and our healthcare system has been properly prepared. We have all the necessary equipment, hospital beds, ventilators and healthcare professionals we need.

In Prime Minister Orbán’s own words: “Together we will succeed in defeating the second wave of the pandemic”.

NATO condemns Novichok attack on Navalny

The North Atlantic Council met on 4 September 2020 to address the assassination attempt on Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny. Germany briefed Allies on the toxicology findings of their specialist laboratory. “There is proof beyond doubt that Mr. Navalny was poisoned using a military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok group,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

«…North Atlantic Council has just met to address the appalling assassination attempt on Alexei NavalnyGermany briefed Allies on the findings of their specialist laboratory. There is proof beyond doubt that Mr. Navalny was poisoned using a military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok group.The use of such a weapon is horrific» Stoltenberg said, addressing press in online conference.
«All Allies today were united in condemning this attack.Any use of chemical weapons shows a total disrespect for human lives, and is an unacceptable breach of international norms and rules. NATO Allies agree that Russia now has serious questions it must answer.

The Russian government must fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on an impartial, international investigation.Those responsible for this attack must be held accountable and brought to justice. We also call on Russia to provide complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the OPCW. Time and again, we have seen opposition leaders and critics of the Russian regime attacked, and their lives threatened. Some have even been killed.
So this is not just an attack on an individual, but on fundamental democratic rights.
And it is a serious breach of international law, which demands an international response.
We wish Mr. Navalny a full and speedy recovery.
Our thoughts are with him and his family.
Allies will continue consultations and consider the implications of this incident.
With that I am ready to take your questions».

AMENDED: Earlier in Berlin Chancellor Angela Merkel made a statement, concerning Alexey Navalny poisoning with Novichok group military chemical agent.

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