Monday, August 31, 2009

German Lisbon Revolt Goes To The Top

Guttenberg: The CSU's rising star

Meanwhile, the SPD is anxiously witnessing the rise of a new conservative star: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the new and youthful federal minister for economic affairs.

At first, Guttenberg's lack of experience seemed to offer a perfect target for SPD attacks on the conservative coalition. Indeed, Guttenberg is just 37 years old, an aristocrat and a member of the very conservative Bavarian CSU party.

However, to the SPD's horror, Guttenberg became the most popular politician in the grand coalition within a few months, even overtaking Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Guttenberg's bold positions on current issues – the financial crisis, the economic stimulus package and support for the Opel automotive group – won him praise for their straightforwardness, even if that led him to clash with other members of the government.

Since then, many political observers have been admiring his self-assuredness.

Far from offering them ammunition, the Guttenberg factor may thus represent a further disruption to the SPD's campaign strategy. Steinmeier had to immediately stop his aggressive political attacks on the young man.

Steinmeier wanted to open his electoral campaign ahead of time, so as to take Merkel's party by surprise. But it was he who had been taken by surprise by recent developments, analysts said.

Furthermore the CSU's new star is the nephew of MEP Stauffenberg.

The German revolt against the Lisbon Treaty goes deep into the political establishement, with Mr Stauffenberg also being the uncle of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Federal Minister for Economics and Technology in the cabinet of Angela Merkel.

A vote in the German parliament is scheduled for 8 September.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

NO Campaign Poster. Ireland Fights Back.

This is Ireland's NO VOTE campaign poster. It is available in this post with a link to a print version,donated by the graphic artist free to the campaign.

This is the email text I received from him along with the cartoon. Let's see it out there - NOW !!!!

I am an artist and Illustrator, I drew this
Illustration to express my feelings about the lisbon treaty.
It seems to me that there will inevitably be a second referendum
forced on the Irish people.Feel free to use the image as you see fit.
Larger more detailed versions available on request.
yours sincerely
David McDermott

Click HERE

Nice one, David. This should be seen in every pub and shop in Ireland. Slainte!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ireland's NO Vote Can Take To The Field With Confidence

Czech and German anti-EU political forces are both continuing to drop grains of sand into the Lisbon machinery. Meanwhile Ireland is being fattened up for its Lisbon YES vote with millions being spent by big business and other parties to con the Irish into throwing away their democratic independence. The NO campaign is also out in strength telling farmers that EU Inheritance Tax proposals ensure the end of private farming in Ireland within a generation.

There is now a Europe-wide war emerging from the shadows, between the programme of bureaucratic totalitarianism - the EU - and the determination of ordinary people to retain their right to make or influence decisions which affect their lives. It's taking place in near silence as media whip up scares to distract those intended for enslavement from doing anything to stop the doors of their imprisonment from banging shut.

The Irish should take heart from the rsistance battles happening in Germany and The Czech Republic.

In the Czech Republic, Prague Monitor reports that Czech Minister for European Affairs Stefan Fuele is concerned about a group of ODS party Senators' intention to file a complaint with the Constitutional Court against amendments to a Czech law connected with the Lisbon Treaty. The 'special mandate' prevents the Czech government from approving transfer of powers to the EU without the parliament's agreement but the Senators say the law's provisions are not sufficient. Fuele has expressed his fear that the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty would be further delayed by the move Open Europe.

In Germany FAZ reports that the Bavarian CSU party is still pushing for stronger parliamentary rights in EU decision making, despite an agreement reached between partners of the governing 'grand coalition' this week. The CSU is especially keen to enforce two specific points: firstly, the CSU is demanding a resolution which would mean that the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is only valid in the framework of judgments made by the German Constitutional Court. Secondly, they are insisting that the Bundestag and Bundesrat should be able to file a complaint to the Constitutional Court, based on a two-thirds majority vote, in cases where they consider the EU to have exceeded its competences.

When Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty the first time, the Irish were the only voice permitted to be heard in the sole referendum across the continent (ignoring the earlier French and Dutch rejections of the contitution). Now there are whispers and manoeuvres breaking out in several countries including Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. The British Conservatives are poised to win power declaring a determination to renegotiate or hold a referendum if Ireland others can hold up Lisbon long enough.

Irishmen and women wanting to be free are no longer fighting a lone battle. Their eyes may not be smiling as yet, but they should certainly take strength and fight Lisbon for the second time in less than a year, with a spring in their step, given all the others who are lining up to halt the Treaty across the continent, if only they can.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cracks Growing In The Brussels Ceiling

The CSU's bold attempt to put Germany's EU relationship on a firm Parliamentary footing has, so far, met with the usual kind of watering down to near meaningless as was expected. The German CSU-led Lisbon rebellion is, for now, prevented from shafting the whole Treaty, but the Lisbon cat is still out of the bag.

Since the Constitutional Court declared its opinion, politicians realise that a few potshots can be usefully taken, and that in shooting terms, the Lisbon Treaty is , as far as Germany is concerned, still very much 'in season'.

The German system demands consensus, but whereas in the past, consensus was easily achieved to promote the EU's crushing effects of German democracy, now the crunching of German independence by the EU bureaucratic jackboot, is met with open declarations of disapproval from all sides of the political spectrum. Apart, that is from the central coalitions who depend on the EU for their continued hold on power. Merkel without the EU would be politically naked, and can anyone imagine what a terrible sight that would be?

From Open Europe -

The German media reports that Germany's ruling political parties, the CDU/CSU and the SPD, have reached an agreement on how to strengthen the parliament's rights in the EU decision-making process.

The last remaining issues were resolved during yesterday's negotiations. The Bavarian CSU faction pushed through their demand that the scope of the new law includes EU trade policy, particularly World Trade Organisation agreements. Furthermore local government will receive increased rights to protect their interests vis-à-vis Brussels.

As reported yesterday (see here) however, the Bavarian CSU faction was not able to enforce its main demands, such as binding Bundestag guidelines for the government when negotiating at the EU level, ,or a requirement for referendums before future EU enlargements.

PICTURED - Seehofer (CSU) finding anti-Lisbon policies sell well in Bavaria, while CDU Merkel brings him to heel, all smiles, to keep their 'conservative' coalition together, leaving EU opposition to the left wing.

In the end the CSU gave in to a softer position, under which the German government must hear the parliament's opinion but is not bound by it. However if the government cannot enforce crucial requests from the Bundestag, they will have to provide detailed justification. The parliamentary head of the CDU, Norbert Röttgen, pointed out that it is important that Germany is not bound by binding statements of the Bundestag and retains a degree of flexibility in order for Germany to "continue being the engine of European integration".

The agreement of the governing coalition on the new law is backed by the Greens and the Liberals and enjoys an overwhelming majority, except for the left wing party Die Linke which is strongly opposed to the deal. The bill will have to pass a first reading in the Bundestag on 26 August and a second reading on 8 September. The Bundesrat (upper house) is set to approve the deal on 18 September, before passing it for final approval to the Constitutional Court.

German media reports on the CSU/CDU split over Lisbon in English HERE.

Die Linke, who claim that the agreement does "not even nearly" match the requirements set out by the Constitutional Court, yesterday repeatedly threatened to make a constitutional complaint.

Anti-EU noise is clearly gaining in popularity in Germany. While in the Czech Republic next door, it was always good politics to hurl a few rocks at the EU's growing bureaucratic power.

From Open Europe

Meanwhile, Czech daily Ceskenoviny reports that a group of Senators from the ODS party will file a complaint against the Lisbon Treaty with the Constitutional Court only after lodging a complaint against the law on a EU-related 'special mandate'. The special mandate prevents the Czech government from approving transfer of powers to the EU without the parliament's agreement. Senator Jiri Oberfalzer said that the law needs to change so that Constitutional Judges can control whether individual steps taken by EU bodies are in accordance with the Czech Constitution.

A year ago anti-Lisbon politicians in all countries could be portrayed as sad solitary and deluded miscreants in need of character correction. But now there is a growing cacophony of voices all competing to be the siren of a new democracy, and to bring an end to the centralisation of power across a continent.

Can you hear them all now with their hands up begging to be chosen - Teacher, teacher! Me Me Me, Pleeeeeease.

This opposition can be sidetracked for now, but in Germany, it seems hard to imagine the EU ever being beyond criticism again, and meeting with general approval. The first blow has been struck. The system has held this time, but each rock that impacts on the citadel brings the moment of collapse a step closer.

Could it be that the fall of the Berlin Wall is, in time, to be followed by the collapse of the Brussels Ceiling, and Germany to live for the first time as one of the world's leading and most vibrant democracies? Germany does not want to slide into totalitarianism a second or third time. Democracy and freedom are the only options she has not yet tried. Her people can awake from a hundred year slumber, and reach at last for the civilised heights that Germans are well capable of.

The pressures are building, and the cracks in the ceiling appearing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

EU Battles In Germany Intensify

News is trickling out from inside Germany, that is as reported in the German media, but not internationally, that one hell of a tussle for power is in process, with pro-EU lawyers trying to neutralise the decision of the German Constitutional Court, while less EU-favourable politicians try to consolidate the decision and ensure that Germany is set free from the effects of the Lisbon Treaty.

From Open Europe -

According to news magazine Spiegel, CSU head Horst Seehofer wants to ensure that "the German government has to issue a statement that the Treaty of Lisbon is valid within the interpretation of the Federal Constitutional Court." He underlines that this is "a crucial point within the negotiations" for the CSU. This demand is heavily opposed by the CDU and SPD.

The German news agency DPP regards that if Seehofer's demand should be successful, the German government would also have to issue such a statement to its EU partners. The judges of the Constitutional Court could then possibly stop the German government in case it does not comply with their rules.

Meanwhile, TAZ reports that 30 lawyers, mainly judges and law professors are demanding that the parliament obliges the Constitutional Court in the future to pass on proceedings related to EU law first to the European Court Justice (ECJ). They fear that the Constitutional Court is heading for a judiciary conflict with the ECJ, whose consequences would be fatal.

One can only imagine the strains that this is putting on the CDU/CSU alliance as it prepares its joint election platform, in which Merkel, head of the CDU, is German Europhile Number one, and Seehofer, head of the much smaller CSU (but nonetheless essential to holding a Parliamentary majority), (both in picture above - June 29th 2009)) is German Eurosceptic number one.

You can be certain that no one will be watching the outcome of this battle more closely than David Cameron, and the others in the Conservative leadership such as Hague, who are under intense electoral pressure to sound more eurosceptic. If Seehofer succeeds in neutralising Lisbon in Germany, that will open the floodgates. That's why not a soul in Britain will ever hear of any of this. But even in total news silence, the criticasl events which could yet derail the EU are taking place.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Von Stauffenberg To Prevent EU Totalitarianism

The German Parliament is being manoevred sweetly to sidestep the CSU's position on the decision of the German Constitutional court and the proposed veto over Government negotiations with the EU by the German Parliament is to be avoided.

Stepping into the debate is a man whose name is already strongly asssociated with fighting for freedom from totalitarian power in Germany. Open Europe reports as follows -

Die Welt reports that the former MEP Franz Ludwig Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (CSU) has said that he may launch a new complaint against the Lisbon Treaty, "We see each other in Karlsruhe again" if the parliament and Bundesrat (upper chamber) do not sufficiently transpose the requirements of the Court's Lisbon judgment."

Is this history repeating itself? The attempt to overwhelm the populations of Europe with totalitarian power is the same as it was in 1944, except this time the fight is being waged without bombs and bullets. At least it is so far.

Read his words -

I see the way to [the Constitutional Court] as a last resort,” the Count said, “and had hoped that we could compel a re-think through an ordinary democratic manner, through argument, debate, and public pressure. This has totally failed..... This Europe is no longer compatible with the basic structures of a democratic legal state.”

See report by Andrew Kusack HERE.

If Dad was still around, he'd no doubt have a few suggestions as to what will be needed to stop the lemming-like German people from suffering another totalitarian experience.

Can Von Stauffenberg rally the troops again? Let's hope that this time they are successful.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

German Fancy Dress Party To Explode Lisbon

'No real progress' made at German parliamentary debate on Lisbon Treaty

Handelsblatt reports that there was no progress at yesterday's German Bundestag meeting on the legislation required to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. The different factions only agreed on a guideline of procedure, but failed to agree concrete proposals. The CSU has argued that a stronger say for the German parliament over EU decision-making should not only be embedded in new legislation but also in the German Constitution. The SPD is strongly opposed to such a measure. SPD parliamentary spokesperson on EU matters, Axel Schäfer, said that a constitutional amendment "is out of the question", whereas the CDU has signaled a willingness to discuss the issue.

Furthermore, the CSU demands that parliament's statements on EU questions should be binding on the German government with the exception of matters relating to foreign and security policy. This stands in strong opposition to the CDU, SPD, FDP, and Greens. Another conflicting issue is the CSU demand for referendums on questions related to the future integration of the EU.

The article notes that these differences seriously threaten the timetable set out for passing the legislation on the Lisbon Treaty and therefore ratification of the Treaty before the referendum in Ireland. The first reading in the parliament is expected on 26 August.

Quoted from Open Europe 4th August 2009

PICTURE - Edmund Stoiber the CSU's better known internationally former leader.

Who are the CSU ?

From Wikipedia.

CSU – Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern (help·info)) is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), operates in the other 15 states of Germany. The difference between the CDU and the CSU is mainly that the CSU is more conservative in domestic and social issues but more progressive in fiscal issues. On the federal level, it forms a common faction in the Bundestag, the federal parliament, with the CDU. This makes up the CDU/CSU faction, which is frequently referred to as die Unionsfraktion (the Union faction). The CDU/CSU faction currently governs in a grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) faction on the federal level. In the state of Bavaria, the CSU governs in a coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP). The CSU was founded as a continuation of the Weimar-era Catholic Bavarian People's Party.

More about the CDU/CSU alliance......

The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU; Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany.
Along with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the CDU forms the CDU/CSU grouping in the Bundestag.
The leader of the party, Angela Merkel, is also the incumbent Chancellor of Germany. In the European Parliament, the CDU is a member of the European People's Party (EPP)
- again from Wikipedia.

See BBC describe the role of the CSU and introduce its new leader Horst Seehofer (PICTURED), who took over from Erwin Huber, who succeeded the more famous Edmund Stoiber in 2007 HERE

BELOW - Former leader Erwin Huber.

These CSU lot enjoy fancy dress parties. Brussels must seem awfully dull to them ! No wonder they object to Lisbon so strongly. Truth be told that it will be from the ranks of the CSU that the will to fight Lisbon within Germany will emerge. There is nowhere else.