Tuesday, May 16, 2017

French President Macron Ready To 'Work Together With Germany On A Common Roadmap For The EU And The Eurozone'

Changing EU treaty ‘not taboo’ for France anymore – Macron after meeting Merkel

The European Union’s need for deep reforms is so dire that even the idea of changing the EU treaty is “not taboo,” new French President Emmanuel Macron said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday. 
During Macron’s first foreign visit since his inauguration Sunday, he told Merkel that he was “happy” to work together with Germany “on a common roadmap for the European Union and the eurozone.”

The French leader said that “deep reforms” are required for the EU that “need common work” from Paris and Berlin. 

“In the past, the subject of treaty change was a French taboo. It will no longer be the case,” Macron said, as cited by Reuters. 

Merkel supported the French leader, saying that change in treaties could be possible if they “strengthen the eurozone,” but stressed that such amendments were not expected in the short term.

“First, we need to work on what we want to change, and then if it turns out it needs a treaty change, then we’re prepared to do that,”she said. 

The EU operates in accordance with two key deals: the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (1957) and the Treaty on European Union (1992), as well as various additional accords. Amending the EU treaties requires agreement and ratification from all the bloc’s member states.

Some of the key EU principles, such as the freedom of movement, have been contested by a number of member states in connection with immigration control. The UK had notably pushed for more restrictions on its borders while London’s calls for amending the EU treaties have been rebuffed, contributing to the outcome of the Brexit vote. With that in mind, commenting on the Macron-Merkel meeting, a Guardian article has even called their statements on reforms “a painful blow to British politicians and diplomats.”

The German Chancellor called Macron’s visit a sign of deep friendship between the two main drivers of European integration and the bloc’s leading economies. 

“We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France,” Merkel said, as cited by AP. 

“Europe will only do well if there is a strong France, and I am committed to that,” she said, adding that she hoped for a“new dynamism” in relations between the two nations.
Macron also pointed out that there were “several areas” in which Paris and Berlin could start cooperating immediately, including on a “common asylum policy, posted workers and bilateral trade.”

“All these will have an impact on our citizens. We need more pragmatism, less bureaucracy and a Europe that protects our citizens,” he said.

Macron, at 39 the youngest-ever French president, also dismissed speculation by German media that he backed turning national debts of euro zone countries into a joint euro zone debt.

“I have never defended [the idea of] Eurobonds or the mutualization of existing debt in the euro zone,” Macron said. 

The statement was a clear nod to Germany, which has been vigorously opposing the idea of taking responsibility for the debts of weaker, crisis-hit EU member states. 

“What I know is that we have investments to make [in Europe], and so we have to work on investment mechanisms for the future,” the French leader added.

Macron previously met Merkel in Berlin in March while still a candidate and called for a “new Franco-German deal” that would see “much more structured cooperation” on the countries’ investment, EU border security and defense.

In strategic terms, France will also be the only EU member on the UN Security Council and the bloc’s only country with nuclear weapons after the UK leaves the union in 2019.

Many experts warn an act of nuclear terrorism is not a question of if, but when.

Until the recent protracted nuclear crisis with North Korea, relatively less attention has been paid to the increasing possibility of nuclear war between nations. India and Pakistan are widely regarded as the most likely candidates for a nuclear conflict between states.

Although North Korea, Russia, and China have all made nuclear threats against the United States recently, in the case of North Koreaand Russia repeatedly, most analysts dismiss these as mere “bluster” and “nuclear sabre rattling” not to be taken seriously. One day, perhaps soon, this may well prove to be a fatal mistake for millions.

In the West, generations of leaders and citizens have been educated that use of nuclear weapons is "unthinkable" and the ultimate horror. Not so in Russia, China, and North Korea where their nuclear capabilities are publicly paraded, missile launches and exercises are televised as a show of strength, an important part of national pride.

Whereas the U.S. nuclear deterrent is kept low-profile, almost invisible, and its utility and legitimacy much debated, Russia and China run TV documentaries describing how they would win a nuclear war with the United States.

The "international taboo" on nuclear warfare is one-sided and far more likely to have a psychologically paralyzing effect on the U.S. and its allies than on Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran.

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack would be perfect for implementing Russia's strategy of "de-escalation," where a conflict with the U.S. and its allies would be won by limited nuclear use. It's their version of "shock and awe" to cow the U.S. into submission. The same kind of attack is viewed as an acceptable option by China and North Korea as well.

An EMP attack would be the most militarily effective use of one or a few nuclear weapons, while also being the most acceptable nuclear option in world opinion, the option most likely to be construed in the U.S. and internationally as "restrained" and a "warning shot."

Because EMP destroys electronics instead of blasting cities, even some analysts in Germany and Japan, among the most anti-nuclear nations, regard EMP attacks as an acceptable use for nuclear weapons. High-altitude EMP attack entails detonating a nuclear weapon at 30-400 kilometers altitude—above the atmosphere, in outer space, so high that no nuclear effects, not even the sound of the explosion, would be experienced on the ground, except EMP.

Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox’s Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks.

Rich was killed last year in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. According to local police, the incident was likely a botched robbery. However, Rich’s death has been the subject of other speculations given the timing of his death coincided with a WikiLeaks dump of Democratic National Committee emails.

Wheeler explained to Marraco the obstacles he has faced in dealing with both the local police and the FBI during his investigation and argued that Rich’s computer may offer some more details.

“(Neither) the police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” Wheeler said. “They haven’t been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or at the FBI. I have been told both.”

Wheeler went on to claim that he had a source within the police department who said the computer could link Rich to WikiLeaks. But he noted that a source within the police department told him of a “highly unusual” instruction for police to “stand down” on that murder investigation.
“Actually, I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case, and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that’s highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that’s going to come out tomorrow.”
Marraco went on to add that Wheeler’s reference to the information coming out Tuesday would be broadcast on the Fox News Channel.

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