Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

running time 01:27:40, valedictory @ 00:20:00

anglosphere press translations
AP syndicate, Germany's Merkel at farewell ceremony: Don't tolerate hate
"Merkel was honored with a traditional military musical performance and march in front of almost all the country's political elite -- save for the far-right Alternative for Germany, who weren't invited."
RFI, After 16 years of rule, Angela Merkel says goodbye with Nina Hagen song
"playing an eclectic mix of music of her own choosing that has intrigued the nation" brace by a "search for subtext and hidden messages" (Guardian, 29 Nov; France24, 3 Dec)
Sputnik, Party Like It's 1939: German Chancellor's Send-Off Compared to Nazi Rally
Godwin anthology

* "The Post-Heroic Legacy of Angela Merkel",  Bloomberg. 9 June 2021

by Cat on Sat Dec 4th, 2021 at 08:32:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@ 1:10:54
Q: ... Are you going to miss Angela Merkel?
There are definitely qualitities that she has, I will miss, perhaps her successor will have some of those qualities as well, but her modesty, her restraint, her enormous personal integrity. I think sometimes people in Germany take it for granted, but the sense that she is absolutely incorruptible and that the blandishments of power and material success really don't matter to her. That's not the case with all leaders even leaders in democratic countries. And those are things that I think that I will definitely miss. I think her steadiness in a crisis, her pragmatism, her ability to do plain talking when it's needed. You remember at the beginning of the pandemic when she gave some of her speeches to German citizens, she told them things as basic as how to wash their hands well, and I think she is often appreciated more abroad than at home for some of those qualities. As you may remember, she received an academic distinction in the U.S. this past summer for her communication, her crisis communication. There's one other quality, and maybe I'll just relate my own little personal encounter, with [unintelligible] at the very start of her political career [...] and I mentioned a very famous book, Europeans are from Venus, Americans are from Mars, and she asked for a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down that title. ... She wrote it down by herself.
Q: Melissa Crain, where do you see Angela Merkel this time next year?
CRAIN: I can tell you where I don't see her. I don't see her going through a revolving door like the one that her predecessor walked through to become Gazprom lobbyist. I do think that she will use her voice and her authority and her great esteem to try to convey messages where they count. We know that she was very close to Barack Obama. I don't see her writing million-euro memoirs, but I definitely do see her trying to do what he occasionally does which is to weigh in on important matters.
by Cat on Sat Dec 4th, 2021 at 09:58:49 PM EST
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Angela Merkel to pen political memoir
On Friday her longtime aide Beate Baumann announced that together, she and Merkel will be working on her political memoirs. Merkel "does not want to retell her entire life," Baumann told Der Spiegel magazine. "She wants to explain her key political decisions in her own words, and look back on her life's journey."

German Chancellor Reportedly Mulls Pulling Support for Nord Stream 2 in Case of Russia-Ukraine War, according FT

by Cat on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 12:04:57 AM EST
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Germany's Greens approve three-party coalition deal
The new center-left government will be headed by the Social Democrat (SPD), the Greens and the neoliberal FDP.
archived After Merkel: German Elections 2021
by Cat on Mon Dec 6th, 2021 at 06:46:06 PM EST
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Germany's foreign minister under pressure over Nord Stream 2 sanctions, butters up Poland
The energy link is not only supported by former chancellor Gerhard Schröder [!], now chair of Nord Stream's board of directors, but also the centre-left party's branch in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the local population hopes to draw economic advantages once gas starts running underneath the Baltic Sea.

Scholz [!] indicated that he would not leave it to his Green coalition partners to dictate his government's language around Nord Stream 2.

New German Foreign Minister Fires Russia a Warning Over Ukraine, according to BLOOMBERG
"Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty are not negotiable," Baerbock said Thursday after talks with her French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris, urging European Union and NATO partners to work to avoid military escalation
Baerbock makes inaugural visit to Poland
by Cat on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 at 12:19:47 AM EST
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OpEd | US Unveils Legal Trigger for War With Russia
If passed, the GUARD law (Guaranteeing Ukraine's Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense) will increase lethal military aid to the US-backed Kiev regime by $450 million for the forthcoming year. That is on top of the $300m already allocated for the Ukrainian armed forces in the new US military budget for 2022.

The rhetoric used in the text of the [draft] bill is unhinged...

by Cat on Sat Dec 18th, 2021 at 12:48:55 AM EST
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'Feminist' foreign policy -- what does that mean?
Annalena Baerbock is Germany's first female foreign minister. According to the new government's coalition agreement, she wants to pursue a "feminist foreign policy." But opinions differ as to what that actually means.
"Feminism tries to smash structures that rely on violence," [Kristina Lunz, founder of the von der Leyen "Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy"] told DW. She cites the fight against terrorism as one example: 90% of terrorists operating worldwide are men. She believes the reason for this is that society promotes aggressive behavior in boys, while raising girls to be more passive. These "patriarchal structures," she thinks, contribute to most terrorists being men.
The concern is that the chancellery will continue to take care of the "big players" like the United States, China, France, the EU and Russia, while leaving smaller fish to the Foreign Ministry.

[MEP Viola von Cramon] criticized former Foreign Minister Heiko Maas for allowing himself to be, as she put it, "demoted" in this way. She hopes that Annalena Baerbock will bring more strength to the Foreign Ministry, and not just hand everything over to the chancellery.
Both von Cramon and Masalle agree that Germany's new foreign minister has already adopted a much harder stance towards Russia and China, and appears to be committed to the idea of a [inclusive trrst] foreign policy agenda.

It's a void.
by Cat on Fri Dec 24th, 2021 at 04:15:53 AM EST
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You mean Deutsche Welle is a void, right?
You're not actually dissing the whole idea of a feminist foreign policy?
I'm not saying that Baerbock will acheive anything in that direction, but we can judge her later.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 24th, 2021 at 04:44:00 PM EST
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Feminism smashes structures that rely on violence, eh? Even when you're talking about politicians?
by asdf on Fri Dec 24th, 2021 at 05:47:48 PM EST
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Today the POTUS signed the 61st edition (2022) of the National Defense [sic] Authorization Act. This summary although dated 16 December appears to capture the state of play at the "moment" before the conference committee gets emend it. Notwithstanding the ESCALATING price of freedom at Guantanamo Bay, in eastern Europe, and o'er Indo-Pacific seas of concern, Allies will be delighted to learn, eventually, that the USA is fully committed to wardrobe equality on the battle fields of EUCOM, AFRICOM, INDOPACOM, CENTCOM, NORTHCOM, and SOUTHCOM
Requires the Department of Defense to conduct oversight of the military services in their uniform selections to ensure there is no gender bias in uniform design or selection, and requires payments if like uniform items cost more for one gender or another.
gratuitous gestures toward "justice reform" within the MCA of 2006, and  12 weeks parental leave as well as a Basic Needs Allowance for service members.
by Cat on Mon Dec 27th, 2021 at 07:57:22 PM EST
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POLITICO.eu.com | EU slaps sanctions on Russian mercenary group Wagner
Wagner first attracted international attention in 2014 when it supported pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
A press release by the Council of the EU said that "the Wagner Group has recruited, trained and sent private military operatives to conflict zones around the world to fuel violence, loot natural resources and intimidate civilians in violation of international law, including international human rights law."

The eight individuals are "are involved in serious human rights abuses, including torture and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings, or in destabilising activities in some of the countries [Syria, Sudan, Mozambique, CAR] they operate in," the release said.

by Cat on Mon Dec 13th, 2021 at 08:07:17 PM EST
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U.S. LNG Cargoes Flock To Europe Amid Record-High Gas Prices
Ten LNG tankers from the U.S. have already declared Europe as their destination while another 20 cargoes appear to be crossing the Atlantic en route to Europe, the shipping data showed. At least another ten LNG cargoes have been diverted from Asia to Europe as European LNG prices are now much higher than the prices in Asia, industry sources told Reuters earlier this week.

In recent days, natural gas prices in Northwest Europe have jumped to over $57 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up by nearly one-third from last week. Prices in Europe are now around $24/MMBtu higher than the benchmark LNG price in Asia, per Bloomberg estimates.
According to data from German operator Gascade, cited by Reuters, flows of natural gas from Russia on the Yamal-Europe pipeline via Belarus to Poland and Germany have been falling since the start of the weekend, stopped completely on Tuesday, and then reversed direction from Germany east to Poland.

archived US LNG as Foreign Policy Instrument, spot market, the course Germany has set
by Cat on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 05:34:19 PM EST
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Germany's new Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht faces difficult tasks: Stay frosty.
"Lambrecht does not have any previous expertise in or contact with the military and defense policy sector," said Ulrike Franke, a defense expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "This may not be ideal, it is, however, also not unusual and was also the case for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and [previous CDU Defense Minister] Ursula von der Leyen. One does not necessarily need such a background to be a good minister."
Some conflict seems pre-programmed. Reporters were quick to dig up quotes from 2014 when Lambrecht, considered at the left-wing end of the SPD's political spectrum, expressed her opposition to the German military acquiring armed drones. That issue has festered among the Social Democrats for years, with many rank-and-file members bitter about the party's acquiescence to Merkel's plans to procure them in the last coalition. The issue appears now to have been settled in the new coalition contract: the Scholz government has decided to buy armed drones as long as they are only used to protect German soldiers.
by Cat on Tue Dec 14th, 2021 at 01:07:50 AM EST
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