Top Left Link Buttons
  • English

Germany

Category Archives

Helga Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN’s “World Today” Show; Denounces Decoupling of Germany and Europe From China

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The following interview with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche was included in CGTN’s “World Today” podcast.

The World Today host began a segment: “Decoupling of the EU and Germany from China could cost Germany almost six times as much as Brexit. This is the finding of a scenario analysis conducted by the Info Institute on behalf of the Bavarian Industry Association. The report shows that automotive industry companies producing transportation equipment and manufacturers of machinery and equipment would be hurt the most if the decoupling happens.

So, for this and more on EU-China and Germany-China relations, let’s have Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, a Germany-based political and economic think tank. Thanks for joining us, Ms. Zepp-LaRouche.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Good day.

CGTN: Germany would face costs almost six times as high as Brexit if Germany and the European Union were to shut China out of their economies. What do you make of the projections?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think it’s much worse, because as you have mentioned already, there is right now an effort to push Germany and all of Europe into a decoupling from Russia and China. This, in my view, would mean economic suicide. You already have an almost total decoupling from Russia that has led to an explosion of energy prices. You have hyperinflation going on, which is not due to anything having to do with Ukraine or Russia’s war with Ukraine. It has to do with the quantitative easing and pumping of money for many years. So, you have hyperinflation; you have an energy crisis. And now on top of that, if you also would decouple from China, the most important trading partner for Germany, this would mean economic suicide. I think this is something people should review and really step back away from, because it would lead to complete social chaos in Germany and Europe, with unpredictable consequences.

CGTN: The report said the biggest loser of a trade war with China would be the automotive industry, manufacturers of transport equipment and mechanical engineering which have had strong ties with China over the years. With the domestic argument for decoupling getting louder in Germany and the European Union, do we hear any voices from those industries?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, my personal experience in talking to many of those, is that the individual firms really want to stay in China, but they are being pressured by the banks with their credit policies, the financial sector, and that is all hanging together with Wall Street and the City of London. They have geopolitical motives to push this decoupling. I think if German industry wants to survive, and I really mean survive, because it’s an existential situation which most of them are in, they have to stand up and defend their own interests. They have to fight for the jobs of the people; they have to stand up for German interests and the common good of the people.

I think we are heading into an incredible social crisis in the coming weeks and months. The question is, will Germany economically survive this assault? It’s time for Germany to define its own interests and not be the instrument of NATO.

CGTN: Speaking of that, we heard from Volkswagen’s CEO, who defended [inaud] in China in Xinjiang. What do you make of this, because there are two different opinions nowadays? On the one hand, people say their insistence is only about profit and making money. On the other hand, people believe they see a different Xinjiang in China from the ones mirrored in the Western media. What’s your take?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, we had two members of the Schiller Institute traveling to Xinjiang and visiting many locations. And many diplomats from many countries also have traveled there to investigate the situation. What all of these people report is that China has brought development into one of the previously poorest areas, and given people jobs, bringing prosperity, infrastructure. So, a lot of people who turned from the Uighurs to terrorism before now have a perspective and a future, and have stopped being terrorists. I think to overcome terrorism through development is a much better method than throwing bombs and drones and having civilian casualties you don’t care about, like it happened so many times in Afghanistan or Iraq, where the United States conducted these things. I think people should not listen to this guy Adrian Zenz, who recently came out with a study. He’s a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who has very dubious beliefs, because he thinks that God gave him a mission to destroy China. All of this anti-Xinjiang propaganda is mainly based on this extremely dubious source. People should not fall for it.

CGTN: Given what we have been talking about, if you also ask a lot of experts in Germany, they suggest that companies should find more countries to reduce dependency on China. How do you look at this suggestion? Can China, as the top trading partner of Germany, be replaced at least in the short term?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: In the short term, for sure not, because the idea to diversify and have partnerships with so-called “like-minded democracies,” if you really look at it, it’s only the U.S., the British, the countries of the Five Eyes, Japan, New Zealand. But the overwhelming majority is going with China’s BRI. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, most countries of the Global South want to have development. There is a revival of the spirit of Bandung, which is the Non-Aligned Movement. I think it would be complete suicide for countries like Germany that are very export-dependent to cut off these markets which are the future. The only growth which occurred in the recent period was in Asia, and not in the Atlantic sector. So, Germany should really redefine its own interest.

CGTN: Thank you very much. That’s Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, a Germany-based political and economic think tank.

Here is the link to the interview; this segment is with Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche: ④ Decoupling with China could cost Germany six times as much as Brexit, a study shows at 33:55 min.


“Government Endangers Germany As a Business Location!”

“Government Endangers Germany As a Business Location!”

Aug. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)–Germany’s MDR (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk) TV/Radio station reports that an “incendiary letter to Chancellor Scholz” has been issued in which predominantly eastern German medium-sized companies call for a rethink on the Russia sanctions. They see the economy is at great risk.

“Mr. Scholz, stop and make a policy that we can live with and not sink.” With this urgent appeal, medium-sized companies belonging to the Zentralkonsum eG association call on the German government to “readjust the embargo policy against Russia.” The association is the umbrella organization of the East German consumer cooperatives, whose member companies employ nearly 6,300 people, according to their own figures.

In an interview with MDR, Martin Bergner, spokesman for the association’s board stated: “Stopping all gas deliveries and putting the German economy in front of price increases at which no one can produce at a profit anymore, that won’t work.”  Sufficient gas must be imported to keep the economy running, he said. He added, existing nuclear and coal-fired power plants must also guarantee security of supply.

A bakery chain, Landbäckerei Stendal, reports that they have already been told that they would have to pay four times as much for electricity and six times as much for gas. Added to this would be the increase in the minimum wage from October, and the gas levy, i.e. the additional costs that every consumer would have to pay if, instead of cheap Russian gas, a more expensive one had to be purchased, for example from the U.S.A.

The increased costs have to be added to the products, which in turn fuels inflation, whether in retail, hotels, restaurants, or industry. This is by no means about diminished profits, he says: “We are really in the red,” says Andreas Bosse, the managing director of Landbäckerei Stendal, and expects his family business to lose as much as 300,000 euros already this year.

“It undermines the existence of the companies with damage that cannot be made good,” write the authors of the appeal to Scholz: “The government wants to promote regional products and organic products. But exactly these products are the first thing buyers do without in order to save money,” adds Martin Bergner. He adds that the Chancellor himself once was active at the Central Association of German Consumer Cooperatives. He should therefore know exactly what the situation is like for cooperatively organized businesses. The signatories of the open letter, which charge the government with “being ideologically stuck,” also include prominent restaurants like Berghotel Oberhof and Dorotheenhof Weimar.


Rhine Valley Railway Tunnel Would Be Cheaper Than Previously Believed

Rhine Valley Railway Tunnel Would Be Cheaper Than Previously Believed

Aug. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)–The official feasibility study for building a railway tunnel along the Rhine Valley between Bonn and Wiesbaden, concluded that it would be cheaper to build than it had been believed in the past. The 118 kilometer tunnel dedicated to freight traffic would enable freight trains to avoid the narrow part of the Rhine valley where the infrastructure is in many places over 150 years old and creates unacceptable noise pollution for the communities along the valley. The route is one of the most important and heavily utilized railway routes in Europe and connects the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp with the Italian port of Genoa. The project has been featured in both EIR and the EIR Eurasian landbridge reports. The study, commissioned for the German States of Rhineland Palatinate and Hesse found that the project would cost 6.8 billion euros, rather than the 8 to 10 billion euros of previous estimates.

In an interview in Germany’s SWR TV on August 12 Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) said the report was a “Thumbs up” for the states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, and said: “It’s very gratifying that we have positive news from this feasibility study. Now the question is: How is the benefit-cost ratio to be assessed? And for that we need the traffic forecast for 2040. That’s the next step. But the first signal for the region is: thumbs up!”


German Farmers Will Take to the Streets Again

German Farmers Will Take to the Streets Again

Aug. 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–Farmers in Germany are expected to take to the streets again, protesting against their own government’s and EU’s policies. A big national rally will be staged in Berlin on August 26. Organizers regard it as a “365 day” demonstration, if nothing is done. Among farmers’ key issues, is the one pointing to the lethal mix of green policies, and the EU and government’s inaction against the ongoing fertilizer/diesel price inflation, a main cause for the drop of grain harvest by 60 (!) percent in Germany this Summer. A lot of shelves in the supermarkets right in the middle of Europe will be empty this coming Winter season. 


German Jurist and Author: German Chancellor Must Denounce Ukraine Fascist Hit List

Aug. 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–The widely-read German website NachdenkSeiten posted an article on Aug. 8 by Dr. Wolfgang Bittner, a well-known jurist and author who spoke at a Schiller Institute conference on June 18 (his presentation is here) and who was put on the Ukraine CCD hit list. The article, under the title: “Ukraine’s Blacklist – the Federal Chancellor must act,” notes, that in addition to himself and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the list includes Rolf Mützenlich, the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party caucus in the Bundestag. (It must be noted that Chancellor Olaf Schulz is a member of the SPD.)

 Dr. Bittner writes, from a machine translation: “The political situation is appalling and the persecution of dissenters in connection with the Ukraine war is taking the form of unbridled fascism. It is unacceptable that state terrorism is being carried out here under the eyes of the world public. The persecution of critics and opposition figures by Ukrainian government organizations must be stopped immediately. The federal government is called upon to lodge a protest with the Zelensky government against the discrimination against German nationals… and to stop all aid for Ukraine. The list of the CCD must be deleted immediately.” 


People First – Defend the Farmers Against Green Policies and Speculators!

July 11, 2022 (EIRNS)–Alf Schmidt, a sheep producer and farm leader from Thuringia, addressed the Bueso national convention on July 2 in Frankfurt with a hard hitting, extensive insight on the insanity and deliberate destructive agricultural policies, which are perpetrated in Germany by current “Green” leader Cem Özdemir, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, as well as by government leaders in The Netherlands and all over Europe. 

Schmidt started his remarks by asking “Why were there no greenies in East Germany [GDR]?” The answer? “Education was mandatory.”

His presentation title was “Özedemir’s Agricultural Policies – Food as a Weapon.”  With many examples and frightening anecdotes, he showed how agricultural production in Germany is being further and further destroyed and ultimately made completely impossible – by increasingly crazy legal requirements and regulations imposed in the name of animal, environmental and climate protection. 

The speech was a very shocking eye-opener for the audience, and made clear how urgent it is to create international alliances between farmers, entrepreneurs, and all other citizens, for the common good, before vital productive activity in all areas is completely ruined, and the basis for human existence has vanished.

Some examples: As a sheep farmer, Schmidt has recorded around €1.2 million in damage caused by the return of wolves. The demanded reduction in the use of fertilizers, would reduce the quality of the grain so much that it can be used only as fodder, but no longer as bread grain. Large areas of land would be taken away from agricultural production for insect protection and water protection. The stricter regulations for animal transport would be practically impossible to meet. 

In the end, agriculture in Germany would be shut down and Germany would become completely dependent on food imports from abroad. The independent farmers would be ruined, and the land would be bought up by large companies. He said that it was already becoming apparent that food production would decline drastically.

 Finally, he showed a video statement by Sieta van Keimpema, press officer of the Farmers Defense Force and chairwoman of the European Milk Board, who explained for a German audience the reason for the farmers’ protests in the Netherlands: the government had decided on drastic conditions aimed at forcing one third of all farmers to give up their farms.

Alf Schmidt spoke at the international Schiller Institute conference Nov. 14-15, 2021 in the panel on physical economy.


Gerhard Schroeder Reiterates: Talk to Russia, Negotiate Ukraine Resolution

July 11, 2022 (EIRNS)–Despite continued attacks by anti-Russian witch hunters, German ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has kept his personal channel to Russian President Vladimir Putin open. As he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine news daily, he opposes the present government’s reluctance to talk to Russia: “Why are they focusing on the delivery of weapons? I do not believe in a military solution. The war can only be ended by negotiations. The fate of the soldiers and the Ukrainian civil population can only be eased by diplomatic negotiations.”

Schroeder said that he concludes from his meeting with President Putin in Moscow in March, that Russia is interested in a diplomatic solution. “How such a solution may look like, can, however, only be clarified in talks,” Schroeder said, adding that everything should be done by all sides “to prevent another escalation of the conflict.”


Farmers Stand Up Throughout Europe

Farmers Stand Up Throughout Europe

July 8, 2022 (EIRNS)—Many of them inspired by the Dutch insurgency, farmers in other European nations are standing up. The Italian Twitter site Radiogenova is covering Dutch, German, Polish, Italian and Spanish farmer actions. They covered Spanish protests July 1 and they covered Polish protests yesterday: “Polish farmers also rise up in Warsaw: ‘That’s enough! We won’t let ourselves be robbed!’ They accuse the political class of destabilizing production by raising interest rates, which does not stop inflation: ‘We workers cannot pay for the crisis created by the politicians!’”

Several independent regional farmers associations have started protest actions in Italy. On July 6, farmers in Calabria, supported by colleagues from Sardinia and Latium, staged a tractor demonstration in Lamezia Terme (Calabria), under the slogan “Stop the Speculators Who Bring Down Farmers.” A press release by the “Movimento Territorio e Agricoltura” (MTA) explains that the action is against “the politicians” who, “instead of listening to producers’ demands,” are protecting those who want to turn Italian agriculture “into a big trading platform in the hands of financial speculation.” Italian farmers cannot survive under the current production costs, especially gasoline, but also fertilizers, seeds, etc. The statement says the Lamezia Terme demonstration will be followed by similar ones throughout Italy.

On its Facebook page, the MTA blasts established trade unions as well and looks at the mobilization of Dutch farmers. They posted several videos and comments such as “This is a revolution!”


Retired German General: Nuclear Simulations Show the Danger—Negotiate, Before It Is Too Late to Prevent Nuclear War!

July 5, 2022 (EIRNS)–“We may be closer to a Cuban Missile Crisis-type situation than many think possible,” former Bundeswehr Chief of Staff and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Gen. Harald Kujat warned in a June 12 assessment for Preussische Allgemeine Zeitung. “The difference being that the epicenter would not be in the Caribbean, but in Europe. So it is essentially in Europe’s interest to prevent a development of the Ukraine war that would expose us to this danger.”

How great is the danger? Kujat points to reports that Russia had simulated attacks using Iskander missiles (which can be armed with both conventional and nuclear warheads) from its Kaliningrad exclave. The practice launch was reported to have been a simulated launch at a military target in response to a nuclear attack.

“The message from the Russian Defense Ministry is apparently intended as another warning that the use of nuclear weapons is a realistic option for the Russian government,” he writes.

He warns that “the carefully safeguarded strategic stability between the two great powers [U.S. and Russia] does not mean that the risk of a nuclear war limited to Europe is eliminated. On the contrary: If the Russian leadership is of the opinion that the use of short-range nuclear missiles will not trigger a nuclear counterattack by the United States, the risk of a nuclear first use for Russia would be calculable. … [T]he former presidential adviser to Yeltsin and Putin, Sergey Karaganov, recently stated: ‘I also know from the history of American nuclear strategy that the United States will probably not defend Europe with nuclear weapons.'”

The potential for the threat is that the Ukraine conflict is not a Ukraine-Russian dispute, but a NATO-Russia conflict. Kujat warns that Western politicians are increasingly emphasizing that the arms deliveries are intended “not only for the defense of Ukraine, but also for Ukrainian victory over Russia.” He quotes U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin from late April saying that the United States “wants to see Russia weakened to the point where it can no longer do the things it did when it invaded Ukraine.”

“This is a significant change in the focus of U.S. strategy in the Ukraine war,” Kujat writes. “The center of gravity is no longer to support Ukraine in its defensive struggle, but to weaken Russia as a geopolitical rival.”

“However, the course of the war so far shows that there will be no military victor in this conflict. The rational consequence, therefore, is not to prolong the war by setting strategic goals further, but to end it through a negotiated peace. The appeal to seek a negotiated peace is also not a call for Ukraine to surrender. It is not even directed at Ukraine.

The main military players in this war are the United States and Russia. “There have been no negotiations between the two great powers since the war began. War has taken the place of diplomacy. It is the task of politics and an imperative of reason to end the suffering of Ukrainians and the destruction of the country and to prevent the war from slipping into a European catastrophe,” Kujat concludes. The full article is here (in German) and here in English machine translation.


Germany: New Appeal for Ceasefire in Ukraine Published in Die Zeit

Germany: New Appeal for Ceasefire in Ukraine Published in Die Zeit

June 30, 2022 (EIRNS)–A list of 21 prominent Germans and two international signers (Richard Falk and Jeffrey Sachs) published in today’s Die Zeit a new appeal to Western governments for an all-out and immediate effort to achieve a quick, negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict. Among the German signers is Gen. (ret.) Erich Vad, former military advisor to Angela Merkel. An immediate reaction from Andrej Melnik, Ukrainian Ambassador to Berlin followed.

The signers call for a “diplomatic full-scale offensive” as the only way to get out of “the present dead-end,” referring to military experts, who consider victory for Ukraine—with a return of all occupied territories including Donetsk, Lugansk, and Crimea—unrealistic. They question continuing weapons deliveries and demand, “An immediate cease-fire,” the title of their call. “Continuing the war to achieve full victory of Ukraine over Russia leads to thousands of further victims of war, who die for a goal that does not seem realistic.”

In an immediate reaction to this, Ukrainian Ambassador and attack-dog in Berlin, Andrej Melnik, had a fit on twitter: “Not again, what a bunch of pseudo-intellectual losers you all Varwicks, Vads, Kluges, Prechts, Yogeshwars, Zehs & Co. [names of some signers] should finally go to hell with your defeatist ‘advise’. Bye.” Andrij Melnyk zu Augstein, Precht und Co.: Schert Euch zum Teufel! [Go to hell!]

The letter was signed by Jakob Augstein (publicist), Richard A. Falk (professor of international law), Svenja Flaßpöhler (philosopher), Thomas Glauben (professor of agricultural economics), Josef Haslinger (writer), Elisa Hoven (professor of criminal law), Alexander Kluge (filmmaker and author), Christoph Menke (professor of philosophy), Wolfgang Merkel (professor of political science), Julian Nida-Rümelin (philosopher), Robert Pfaller (philosopher), Richard D. Precht (philosopher), Jeffrey Sachs (professor of economics), Michael von der Schulenburg (former UN diplomat), Edgar Selge (actor), Ilija Trojanow (writer), Erich Vad (retired Gen, former military advisor to Angela Merkel), Johannes Varwick (professor of international politics), Harald Welzer (social psychologist), Ranga Yogeshwar (science journalist), and Juli Zeh (writer).


Page 1 of 212