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NATO answer to Turkey’s request for article 4 cosultation

BreakingNews @en/Europe di

The North Atlantic Council, which includes the ambassadors of all 28 NATO Allies, will meet on Tuesday 28 July, following a request by Turkey to hold consultations under article 4 of NATO’s founding Washington Treaty.
Under article 4 of the Treaty, any Ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened.

Turkey requested the meeting in view of the seriousness of the situation after the heinous terrorist attacks in recent days, and also to inform Allies of the measures it is taking. NATO Allies follow developments very closely and stand in solidarity with Turkey.

Iran, stop sanctions: geopolitical and economic effects

The Un resolution officially stops Teheran trade sanctions. “It’s the only chance to stop the nuclear program” the Us government said. While it’s an important commercial solution for Europe and Italy.

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Thanks to the UN resolution on 20th July, the Security Council has approved the end of sanctions against Iran. Go ahead, then, to the pact between the 5 + 1 and Teheran found in Vienna last 14th July. The document will come into effect no earlier than 90 days.

A historical agreement for the West in geopolitical and economic point of views. Geopolitical for the United States, as noted on July 23 by the US Secretary of State Kerry: “We could certainly expect Iran fall – he told the Congress -. But it was the best possible option. I hope that the Congress (addressing to the Republican Party, ed) approve because this is the only chance to stop the nuclear program and avoid the risk of a military clash,”he concluded.

But in addition to policy issues in the Arab world, solutions are also commercial. Executive Vice President and General Manager of Saras (Italian oil refining company) Dario Scaffardi, in a summit on business and finance, as well as underlining the benefits that the decline in oil prices has already resulted in the international market, has reported that, following the end of the embargo, his group has been contacted by Iran, got back to be the protagonist of the international market of crude oil. The return to oil production from Teheran “will carry a million barrels of crude oil per day on the market once the sanctions removed. With the possibility of adding 0.5-1 million barrels quickly enough, “said the manager of Moratti family factory.

On the Italian front, also, next 4th and 5th August, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gentiloni Economic the Minister of Economical Development Federica Guidi will travel to Iran together with representatives of Italian largest industrial groups. The goal is getting back to a significant foreign trade with Teheran. In fact, before the revolution of 1979, Europe was the first import and export partner of the former Persia. In the early 1990s, this primacy went to Russia, which, in addition to geopolitical relations of friendship, made meaningful investment on oil and gas.
Giacomo Pratali

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Greece, Spannaus: “Why does the EU insist on a policy that doesn’t work?”

Europe/Miscellaneous di

Greece’s debt crisis is one of the hottest geopolitical issues at the moment. Germany imposed a rescue package last week. The United States played a role of political deterrence towards the EU, to avoid the possibility that Athens could go into Moscow’s sphere of influence. To talk about these issues, European Affairs interviewed Andrew Spannaus, journalist and Director of Transatlantico.info.

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With Tsipras’s full-scale surrender, has Greece essentially become a protectorate of Brussels, or better, of Berlin?

“Europe wasted a great opportunity. After talking about the need to shift from austerity to growth, in essence nothing has changed. The European establishment – led by Germany, but don’t let the others off the hook – doubled down, using every weapon possible rather than admit to the failure of its economic policy over the last twenty years.
This is a defeat not only for Greece, but for Europe itself, which has shown 1. that it is unwilling to recognize its own mistakes, and refuses to question the fanatical adherence to budget parameters; and 2. that in this form Europe is not compatible with democracy.
The biggest question is: who’s giving the orders in Brussels and Berlin? Why does the EU insist on a policy that doesn’t work? It’s one thing to have to clean up problems and inefficiencies from the past, but the decision to make the situation worse through a policy of budget cuts and new taxes shows that something else is afoot. Europe has abandoned the best parts of its own history and now answers to other interests.”

 

“Despite the mistakes made in the past five months, I am proud that I have defended our people.” This is what Tsipras said to the Greek Parliament, at the time of the vote on the measures imposed by Europe. In your view, Did Syriza betray its electoral mandate and the result of the referendum?

“Over the past few months the Greek government alternated between a hardline position and a softer one. The goal was always to influence the negotiations and obtain some concessions. At a certain point it looked like Tsipras had decided to get serious: first with the opening towards Russia, and then the referendum. In the end though, he gave in to the blackmail and demonstrated that he wasn’t willing to risk the consequences of a full break-up.
The Greek people clearly rejected austerity; the problem is that in theory they wanted to remain in Europe as well. So while Tsipras certainly deserves some criticism, the fact remains that the two goals were incompatible: Europe = austerity, so there was no solution.
It’s not over yet. If the plan that Greece has accepted is actually implemented then the situation will get even worse; things could flair up again soon. Moreover, the political debate has changed: it’s impossible now to hide the contradictions and weaknesses of the current economic policy. Sooner or later there will be political leaders, and maybe entire countries, who will refuse to continue in this direction.”

 

The International Monetary Fund has said that Greece’s debt is unsustainable. Will the EU plan go forward anyway?

“The plan will go forward, but it won’t work. The first “rescue” packages for Greece – in which public money was used to save the private banks, in particular those in Germany and France – were supposed to create the conditions for economic recovery. The same was said for Italy. In reality the result was a drop in GDP, at catastrophic levels in Greece (-30%).
The notion that this type of debt can be repaid through spending cuts is simply absurd. The solution is to restructure and cancel part of the debt, and above all to implement a policy of investment to spur growth. This means ignoring certain dogmas, for example by increasing productive public spending. The part of the debt which is real, and not just due to speculative maneuvers, can be repaid only if the economy is actually growing; the current policy prohibits this, and thus can only fail.”

 

How big a role did the United States play in facilitating the negotiations between the EU and Greece? Was there, and is there, a real possibility that Athens could get closer to Moscow?

“A myth exists in Europe, about how the United States is against the Euro and afraid of the European Union. However, even if we were to grant the premise that the U.S. sees Europe only as a competitor, there is nothing to be afraid of as long as the current economic policy remains in place.
In the name of political union the strength and cohesion of the nations of Europe is being destroyed. The foundation of the EU was quite different, but starting in the 1990s a shift was made to the so-called “free market” policy that allowed large financial interests to dominate the economy. This is good for a few, not for the many.
Secondly, this myth has been debunked by the American position in this crisis: the U.S. didn’t want to see Europe break up, precisely due to the risk of a geopolitical shock. Tsipras showed that he understood the stakes when in St. Petersburg he said that a “new economic world is being formed,” while “the center of gravity of economic development is shifting.”
The West decided to close ranks, to avoid giving an opening to our “enemy” Putin. However the reality is that Europe’s policy of continuous austerity risks making the alternative of the BRICS even more attractive: numerous countries are already breaking away from the Western financial institutions precisely in order to avoid being controlled by a system dominated by large financial interests.”
Giacomo Pratali

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Eu, migrants: deal to 32,000 of the arrivals

Europe di

Backwars step about migrants’ redistribution. Yesterday, Eu’s 28 member decided to reshuffle about 32,000 people instead 40,000 (arrived in Italy and Greece in 2015), like set last 26 June by the European Commission. To these, over 20,000 refugees, Syrians and Eritreans, will be received.

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The tough negotiation between 25 and 26 June looks very far. The position taken by the President of the EU Council Tusk opposed to the President of Commission Juncker a month ago were probably a dramatise. As well as the quotas, proclaimed at the time as “compulsory”, are nothing more than “voluntary”.

Therefore about 20,000 migrants miss. Meanwhile, in October, about 32 thousand people arrived in Italy and Greece will be relocated to other countries. In addition to the announced “no” from Austria and Hungary, surprised the “yes” of Ireland to receive 600 people. To the top, however, there are Germany with about 10,000, France with almost 7000, with Netherlands about 2000.

On the refugees’ redistribution, numbers are different. As well as Italy, Germany and France, the UK, Austria and Spain, in addition to the presence of non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway, have specially decided to accept Syrians and Eritreans.

In addition to the loewst agreement, the 28 countries have not delivered yet on the quotas for 2016. The Italian Minister of the Interior Alfano believe that this deal is “good for Italy”. But this speech clashes Prime Minister Renzi’s words a months ago to Eu Council assembly: “If you do not agree on the distribution of 40,000 migrants, are not worthy to call Europe. If you want the voluntary, Keep it”. What has changed in the meantime?
Giacomo Pratali

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Iran nuclear deal: pros and cons

After 16 days of negotiations, yesterday the US, EU, Russia, Great Britain and China, and Iran reached historical deal on the nuclear program in Vienna. A pact that works for reduction of he production of uranium in Teheran for the next 10 years. And, at the same time, it stops sanctions and trade sanctions.

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Although this is the formal end to decades of conflict with the West, especially during the Presidency of George W. Bush, the Israel’s contrary reaction and the contemporart and inconsistent alliance between Washington and Sunni’s countries, like Saudi Arabia, could be a warning for the International Community.

Inspired by the cartel the previous April 3, the agreement includes four key points. The cut of 98% of the stocks of enriched uranium. The use of centrifuges reduced to two-thirds. The possibility, not automatic,of Alea inspections on Iran’s nuclear facilities, after approval of the court arbitrary composed by the same countries that have signed the agreement. The gradual reduction of the arms embargo within the next five years. The UN resolution is expected next week, when it meets the Security Council.

The heart of the matter between the US and Iran is mainly the use of enriched uranium for civilian and not military. But also there’s the will to create a diplomat axiswith the biggest Shiite state in the Middle East, able to support the Assad regime in Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon and decisive in the reconquest of the north-western territories in Iraq, now under the Caliphate.

Additionally, beyond this agreement, there’s the oil question. Iran is the fourth largest producer in the world and, with the end of the embargo, will increase its production. The effect could be the oil drum’s fall in price on the International Markets. Moreover, until the seventies, Europe was the first foreign market for Teheran.

US President Obama said: “No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East. America negotiated from a position of strength and principle and stopped the spread of nuclear weapons. The comprehensive, long-term deal, demonstrated that American diplomacy can bring meaningful change”. And warned Congress he would veto any legislation that prevented its successful implementation.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani talks about “historic deal which opened a new chapter in Iran’s relations with the world”. Eu High Representative Mogherini thinks that the deal is ‘a sign of hope for the entire world’. While is a “sigh of relief for the entire world” in Russian President Putin’s opinion.
The chorus, however, was not unanimous at all the International Community. Predictably, Israel’s response was not long in coming: “The agreement is a historical mistake. “The world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday. The leading international powers have bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism. “In the coming decade, the deal will reward Iran, the terrorist regime in Tehran, with hundreds of billions of dollars. This cash bonanza will fuel Iran’s terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing”. Whereas an official of the government of Saudi Arabia denounced the possibility that Iran could “devastate the Middle East”.

The contradictions within the deal, as the contemporary US alliance with Saudi coalition in Yemen against Houtii (Shiite’s faction supported by Tehran), could bring a long-term strategy. The chance given by the United States and its allies to Iran is directed to the Iranian civil society. The opening to the outside could bring the Shiites and the Sunnis to talks again. This could be an effective weapon against the expansionism of the Islamic State.

Not only abroad. Much of the criticism have come from the United States’s press. Bret Stephen (Wall Street Journal) said that “the agreement will be disastrous” and “unlikely Iran’s foreign policy will change”. Indeed, the deal could backfire on Washington.

 

Giacomo Pratali

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Immigration: 150,000 arrivals in 2015

Europe di

Italy has received 7,000 migrants more than 2014. Greece 76,000. Despite Frontex operation, number of deaths in the Mediterranean has risen to 1,900. The Iom report helps us to understand this crisis.

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More than 700 immigrants landed on the Sicily shores weekend are just the latest wake-up call to a crisis for Italy and Greece. The figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of the Interior, certify a tragic exodus which will grow in the coming months.

The arrival in Europe of 150,000 migrants is a substantial number, but cannot be described as “an invasion,” considering that Europe is home to over 500 million people, according to Soda. “Lebanon, a country of 4 million people, is hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees and Turkey is hosting about 2 million”, Oim report said.

According to the survey, migrants arrived in Europe by sea in 2015 are more than 150,000: 74,000 and in Italy (around 7000 more than a year) and almost 76000 in Greece (six times more than 2014). “Over 1,900 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean so far this year, over twice the number during the same period in 2014. But the number of fatalities has started to decrease since May. This is probably due to the large presence of European Union (EU) / Frontex ships in international waters. The enhancement of the EU’s Operation Triton has enabled maritime forces to save more migrants lives in the Channel of Sicily. For Italy, the main countries of origin during the first half of 2015 were: Eritrea (18,676), Nigeria (7,897), Somalia (6,334), Syria (4,271), Gambia (3,593), and Sudan (3,589). These nationalities were also among the top 10 at this time last year. ”, Oim underlined.

Beyond Italy, the dinamic routes explaine the exponential growth of the immigration, especially Syrians and Iraqis, in Greece Islands: “One major difference has been a significant drop in the number of Syrian nationals arriving in Italy. (There were about 12,000 during the same period in 2014.) Syrians are now primarily using the Eastern Mediterranean route through Turkey and Greece. An estimated 22,582 Syrian nationals reached Greece between January and May 2015”.

Resuming on the Italian istance, Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, confirmed that immigration is an European issue: “Italy is affected by mixed migration flows, which require different operational responses. The country is experiencing the arrival of not only a significant number of asylum-seekers, but also a large proportion of job-seeking migrants. Irrespective of nationality, both types must be individually screened to determine their status. The boats transporting men, women, and children attempting to reach Europe also often carry vulnerable people, such as victims of trafficking and violence, unaccompanied children, and pregnant women”, he ended.
Giacomo Pratali

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EUROPOL supported spanish police against cyber criminal

Breaking News Tv/Defence/Europe di

Europol has supported Spanish police* in an operation codenamed Walker, to take down a serious cybercriminal group during a coordinated action in Barcelona. With on-the-spot support from Europol, the action in Spain on 6 July resulted in the arrest of nine suspects, the dismantling of a sophisticated illegal call centre, six house searches and the seizure of numerous pieces of evidence; over 100 mobiles phones and stolen SIM cards, more than EUR 10 000 in cash, credit cards, computer equipment and other devices were taken away for further forensic examination.

The aim of this investigation was to target the cybercriminals and their accomplices who were involved in large scale telecommunication fraud as well as channelling and cashing-out the proceeds of their crimes. The criminals made fraudulent phone calls to premium service numbers set up and managed by other members of the criminal group based outside the EU. Each cybercriminal had their specialty and the group was involved in receiving mobile phones stolen from tourists in Spain, then harvesting and misusing the foreign mobile numbers (until they were blocked by the telecom operators in their countries), before then sending the money earned abroad.

Law enforcement analysed thousands of financial transactions to reconstruct the money flows and destinations across several jurisdictions. The criminal group relied on a network of accomplices who operated the destination bank accounts.

This was a very active criminal group and the damage caused by them is estimated to be at least EUR 2 million, affecting victims in various countries.

This international revenue share fraud (IRSF) is an insidious form of organised criminal activity that generates significant profits for the criminal groups and undermines the legal economy. The global estimated illegal income from this type of crime is more than EUR 45 million. Cooperation between law enforcement authorities, Europol and the telecommunication companies was crucial for the success of this operation, which represents a milestone in this specific area of digital crime.

Italian activist Wounded in Kurdistan

Alessandro De Ponti, Italian activist , wounded by border police while trying to cross from Turkey to Syria was party to Treviglio with the idea of ​​supporting the resistance of the Kurdish Peshmerga as cooperating.

Our sources on site, near the Kurdish government,  deny there was no link with the young, and says that “no one knows him, has done everything from himself like a man who does not know who is in the middle of war”

It is not clear then what were the real intentions of the young ‘Italian activist who was detained by Kurdish authorities in Erbil that are proceeding to investigate this matter.

The case emphasizes the importance of greater attention to the verification of the foreign assets of the various voluntary and that are certified for operation in hazardous areas and in some way they can guarantee the safety of its operators certificandosi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with specific training courses.

Immigration: 2,900 people rescued

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About 2900 people saved in 21 procedures in Mediterranean Sea. These are the numbers of missions organized by the Italian Coast Guard and Minister of Transport.
To intervene, as part of the Triton, assisted by the European Union, CP906 ship courses and two class 300 patrol boats of the Coast Guard, and a Spanish military ship. Also engaged in rescue ship Euro Italian Navy, a unit of the Guardia di Finanza, an English Irish militaries, and the Moas ship Phoenix, now indispensable for the Italian authorities in many rescues conducted since April.

Premier Valls: “France faces more attacks”

BreakingNews @en/Europe di

Yassin Salhi, the guilty of attack on a factory near Lyon, was arrested. He had been already investigated in the past about his alleged links with Islamist militants.

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“We have no doubt that the attack was to blow up the building. It bears the hallmarks of a terrorist attack”. This French President Hollande said the day after factory attack near Lyon, where the owner was beheaded. “We have to learn to live with terrorism”, Prime Minister Valls instead denounced.

Meanwhile, terrorist action’s guilty, the Moroccan Yassin Salhi, was arrested and confessed to killing his boss, Hervè Cornara. Even the man’s wife was banged-up. The other attacker, probably of Syrian nationality, has not already found.

Salhi has moved on Paris special terrorism. French police just knew him because he was close to a Salif movement in 2006.
Giacomo Pratali

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Giacomo Pratali
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