The question, then, is ‘why has Germany appointed him as the High Representative in Bosnia?”
Germany’s policy towards Bosnia, exercised mostly through the institutions of the European Union, has continuously been based on the concept of the country’s ethnic partition. In stark contrast, the European Union has since the notorious Lisbon Conference of February 1992 steadfastly taken the position that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be partitioned along ethnic lines. The increasing aggressiveness of Serbia and Croatia can only be interpreted as a consequence of the EU’s intention to finish off Bosnia for good. Schmidt obviously perceives these individuals as his ideological brethren. Remarkably, this same idea has never stopped being a cornerstone for the foreign policy establishment in both Berlin and Brussels. Germany was not the first to propose the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The phrases that we occasionally hear from the EU about the inviolability of state boundaries in the Balkans is just rhetoric adapted to the demands by the United States to keep these boundaries intact. Clear evidence of this recently emerged after the public release of the so-called Jansa non-paper, which envisages a final partition and dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina along ethnic lines. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Germany and its neo-imperial quest in Bosnia

By Zlatko Hadzidedic
Founder and director of the Sarajevo-based Center for Nationalism Studies

The unique cosmopolitan history of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo can be seen in the skyline of its old city center; a hodgepodge of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architecture that includes dozens of minarets as well as bell towers from both Serbian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. As mentioned earlier in this article, Britain’s Lord Carrington was the first to float the idea of breaking Bosnia up along ethnic lines, For its part, successive German governments have never shown a will to distance themselves from this plan. This is nothing new. This is most likely the byproduct of powerful neo-conservative circles within the European institutions, including Schmidt’s Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), rather than from Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose own party is a minor player in Eastern Europe’s wave of anti-establishment center-right politics. Both during and after the war, the UK and France led initiatives to impose ethnic partition on the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All of the crimes that ethnic Serbs and Croats committed during the war in the early 1990s have always had a certain degree of implicit approval from leading European countries. Facebook

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When rumors first began to swirl in January about the possible appointment of Christian Schmidt as Europe’s High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I published a text under the headline ‘Has Germany lost its NATO compass?’. As a member of political circles that promote ethnoreligious partition as the only solution for multiethnic countries, Schmidt’s appointment is a testament to the fact that Germany has decided to act as Europe’s chief promoter of this policy
Serbia and Croatia, with their own extremist nationalist policies, can only act as proxies of the EU, as they will ultimately be charged with carrying out the physical implemenation of Bosnia’s destruction as a state. The European Union has also stuck with a partition policy for Bosnia. With Schmidt’s now being handed the portfolio of Brussels’ man in Bosnia, the process of permanently breaking up the country has moved into a new, and far more critical, phase
It is high time for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to abandon any illusions about the true intentions of the European Union and reject its newest Trojan Horse. In the story, I announced that Schmidt was appointed to help Dragan Covic, the leader of Croatia’s conservative HDZ party, to disrupt the constitutional structure of Bosnia and create the preconditions for the Serb and Croat dominated territories of Bosnia to secede, which would ultimately spark the final dissolution of the country. At that conference, Lord Carrington and Jose Cutileiro, the official representatives of the then-European Community, which later became the European Union, drew up new territorial borders based on the ethnoreligious partitioning of Bosnia after countless genocidal and ethnic cleansing crimes had already been committed. These borders, as we know them today, have so far only remained viable and stable due to the Americans’ staunch effort to preserve them. Schmidt has said that he “proudly wears and shares” the award, which has over the years been given to several Croatians that were convicted of war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. He’s been recognized by The Croatian government has even decorated him with the Order of Ante Starcevic, a medal that is granted to Croats and foreigners for their contributions to the development of the Croatian state. When one takes into consideration that more than 100,000 people had been killed and at least 1,000,000 were expelled during the war, the end result was that the situation on the ground was roughly identical to the boundaries on their maps. I can hardly add anything new to this discussion other than to say that Schmidt’s recent statements at the recent German Atlantic Conference fully confirmed my claims that his role in Bosnia is to act as Covic’s ally in the latter’s attempts to shred the Bosnian Constitution. Germany has now taken up their role. Schmidt is a person with a heavy burden as someone who has continuously promoted Croatia’s national interests. Neither Germany nor the European Union has ever distanced themselves from a policy that they promoted for Bosnia nearly 30 years ago, despite the grave consequences that followed.

The committee’s extensive findings clearly showed that the Greek public sector was the lowest spender among its then 27 European Union counterparts (apart from defense-related expenditures). CADTM reports that from 2005 to 2014, the richest 1% of Lebanon’s population captured 23% of income and 40% of the total personal assets, while the poorest 50% had to share half of the income of the top 1%. The second reason is corruption through existing financial channels. Beirut governor said at least 200 people were killed in the explosion on 04 August and dozens are still missing. In the case of Lebanon, currently facing a financial and economic crisis ranked by the World Bank as possibly among the top three most severe global crises episodes since the mid-19th-century, one of the key lessons from the Greek experience is the importance of understanding the cause. It must also be stated that the burden of the debt restructuring is highly regressive, hurting smaller depositors, the bulk of the labor force, and smaller businesses. This is because Greek banks had accumulated private debt (in the form of loans) to the tune of about €100 billion. The people of a country whose debt was fully or partially illegal and illegitimate may choose to repudiate such debt or hold accountable those persons and institutions responsible. Hence, Lebanon needs an independent committee on the truth of its debt. In order to fully understand Lebanon’s debt crisis, it is not sufficient to simply examine the remedial measures suggested by the International Monetary Fund. This further supports the popular myth that people in the south of Europe are lazy, take long siestas, aspire to be civil servants, and that their governments are corrupt. EPA-EFE//ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU
Public debt in Lebanon
At the time of the default in March 2020, Lebanon’s public debt had reached over $90 billion, equivalent to around 170% of its gross domestic product, with close to 37% of the debt in foreign currency. According to reports, anti-government protests continued in Lebanon despite the resignation of three ministers and several members of the parliament, as protesters are demanding the resignation of the government and all those responsible for the port explosion be held accountable. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Lebanon’s public debt default

By Ilias Bantekas
Professor of International Law and Arbitration, College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. First, Lebanon’s commercial banks are allowed to speculate (with hard currency remitted by the overseas diaspora) on sovereign debt instruments denominated in Lebanese pounds at interest rates much higher than those granted by the Lebanese Central Bank. According to the Committee on the Abolition of Debt (CADTM), two key reasons are put forward. So, why did it shoot through the roof the following year? If anyone looks solely at Lebanon’s default and its restructuring process, one misses the true picture, and the entitlement of the Lebanese people, which is an integral part of fiscal self-determination. It now had a newly discovered debt of €100 billion, no access to financial markets, and the prospect of high-interest borrowing rates. No person of sound mind would mortgage their house simply because a bank told the owner he had incurred a debt of which he was unaware. Even so, these facts were buried under the popular narrative and the committee was discredited even in Greece. As a result of this incredible nationalization, which is irrational both financially as well as politically, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio skyrocketed and its creditworthiness declined to the depths of the Aegean Sea. This is the very least the Lebanese people can demand. People have the right to be free from all kinds of illegal, illegitimate, and odious debt, even if incurred under the banner of the state. At the time, Greek banks had largely been acquired by French and German banks and hence the private (and now unsustainable) debt of Greek banks was about to become a Franco-German problem. EPA-EFE/NABIL MOUNZER

EPA-EFE//NABIL MOUNZER

The Greek experience shows the cause is as important as the remedy

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The nature and causes of sovereign debt differ from one country to another. Instead of this happening, the then-Greek prime minister was ‘convinced’ to nationalize Greek banks and thus transform a purely private debt into a public one. A look at the Greek experience
At the time of Greece’s sovereign debt crisis, the popular narrative was that successive Greek governments had augmented the public sector and had exceeded their finances. The origins of a country’s debt are far more important because it tells us how the debt was accumulated and by whom. The truth about how and why Lebanon reached the current debt crisis, including its suspension of a $1.2 billion Eurobond payment in March 2020, must precede any step toward recovery and restructuring under current solvency conditions. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks were forced into poverty as a result of the country’s 2015 economic crisis, which saw the country’s debt-to-GDP skyrocket and its creditworthiness crater. It further confirms that key policy decisions have to do with the broader structure of powers in the country. In fact, until the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio was one of the lowest in Europe and certainly sustainable. These high rates on government bonds and bank deposits severely restrict investments of capital in the productive economy. This is an obligation on the state. Since such a committee is not forthcoming, I can only speculate as to the origins of the Lebanese public debt. Unsurprisingly, Lebanon imports 80% of its food. The owner would first inquire about this debt and if he found that it was wrongly or unjustly incurred, he would refuse to pay it. Even so, an independent parliamentary committee set up in 2015 disproved this narrative. No restructuring process should commence before the truth about the debt takes place. By so doing, it was now the Greek taxpayer that was saddled with the debt and the ensuing austerity this entailed, while Greek banks were restructured (effectively re-financed) and France and Germany were relieved. epa08595570 Protesters wave a Lebanese flag during protests near the parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, 10 August 2020. Yet, the popular or engineered narrative of debt usually conceals its true origin or cause.

The European Union’s response to the AUKUS agreement was to postpone a planned EU-US technology meeting and to suspend negotiations on a new trade deal with Australia. “We don’t want a Cold War or a division of the world into power blocs.” Instead, he announced, “a new era of tireless diplomacy”. WIKIPEDIA

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In the nearly nine months since he took office, it has become apparent that the US and European Union will not immediately experience a transatlantic honeymoon under President Joe Biden. Following the November 2020 elections in the US, European politicians were ecstatic that the isolationist and populist presidency of Donald Trump had come to an end. Following the sub deal announcement, European politicians were reduced to discussing how to show solidarity with France. French President Emmanuel Macron will have to focus on his re-election bid next year at a time when public support for his presidency is lukewarm, at best. Anger in Europe about the close policy cooperation between the US, UK, and Australia remains palpable, but the initial plan that Britain would quickly conclude its own trade agreements with the Americans, Chinese and other countries after Brexit seems to be losing some steam. After the debacle of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, there were fears that Beijing’s rulers would test the United States’ loyalty to its allies in the Pacific region by attacking Taiwan, which the Chinese Communist Party claims as a region of the People’s Republic. Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs chief, made clear that the trilateral agreement was not just a Franco-Australian issue, but one that concerned the entire EU. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>With the AUKUS pact, the US has opted to snub some of its European partners

By Otmar Lahodynsky
Ex-President of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and former European Editor of the Profil news magazine in Austria

The Australian Navy's soon-to-be obsolete Collins Class diesel submarine. Macron has at times flirted with emulating the pan-European/anti-Anglophone positions of his political hero, Charles de Gaulle. The deal that was struck with the United Kingdom and Australia is a major step towards building an anti-China alliance that, for now, excludes the US’ European allies, many of whom have outrightly refused or implicitly implied that they will not take a hard stance on the Chinese Communist Party’s geopolitical ambitions. On September 21, Biden received the leaders of Japan, India, and Australia to discuss initiatives for a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” – a clear message to China. The US continues to side with its allies. Once the American-British-Australian deal was announced to the world, Macron again spoke out in favor of an EU military that would be separate from NATO. France, home to the EU’s largest – and only nuclear-armed – military, is not in a position to take the cancellation of the submarine supply contract with Australia lightly. The British government now wants to reopen the Brexit agreement and no longer wants to accept controls on goods at the border with Northern Ireland, which is to remain in the EU’s internal market. The nuclear submarine deal between Washington and Canberra is one component of this newly enhanced partnership. If a transatlantic deal between London and the three countries listed above comes to pass, the EU will have to fundamentally redefine its approach towards the UK. Moving forward, the transatlantic relationship, which experienced so many lows during the Trump administration, appears to be on course for a less-than-rosy relationship with the Biden White House. After a recent meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Biden, a new bilateral free trade agreement seems to have receded for the time being, while at the same time the British media has started to report that London is now seeking to join the USMCA trade agreement that includes North America’s three largest economies – the US, Canada, and Mexico. Biden’s current foreign policy positions may have consequences for NATO. The hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan was carried out with little coordination with NATO and the surprise nuclear submarine deal between the US, UK, and Australia – which was carried out under the auspices of a trilateral security pact between the three nations, has infuriated several European nations, most notably France, which had signed a multi-billion dollar contract to supply far less powerful diesel-electric French submarines to the Royal Australian Navy. For the time being, it appears that things will not be repaired as quickly as many in Europe had hoped it would be. True to President Theodore Roosevelt’s motto “speak softly and carry a big stick”, Biden wants to push for a military build-up that is aimed at countering Xi Jinping’s China as he and the American foreign policy establishment view Beijing as their chief rival in the world. What they utterly failed to see, however, were the first signs that Biden was also planning to go it alone. For the EU, its insignificance on the world stage has once again become clear. Instead of carrying out years-long military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which failed to produce the hoped-for democratization of both countries, Biden hoped to put more of an emphasis on diplomacy and to mend fences with key allies after four years of Trump’s chauvinistic bullying when he addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time as president on September 21. Under the AUKUS security pact, Australia will receive much-needed nuclear technology to enhance its submarine fleet. Biden has shown that the United States still stands with its partners, while at the same time, the White House is eager to project a position of strength via Biden’s Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with Australia, India, and Japan. Macron’s renewed interest in Gaullist foreign and security policies is not unsurprising as France under de Gaulle and through to the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, withdrew from NATO’s integrated command to pursue a more accommodating partnership with Moscow and to develop an independent national security umbrella that was not connected to the Americans.