Voices From Europe

Germany's Bid for Great power Status through the EU

Germany’s Bid for Great Power Status through the EU By Horst Teubert, Editor Informationen zur deutschen Aussenpolitik House of Commons, Monday 29th January 2007

INTRODUCTION Freenations was pleased to present our German colleague Horst Teubert from German Foreign Policy in Cologne at a well attended meeting at the House of Commons. We were surprised and delighted to see so many leading politicians from both Labour and Conservative parties present, including a former Europe Minister in the Blair Government and present and past Shadow Ministers. Perhaps we are witnessing a belated concern for the true nature of the “European project”. We hope this will be the first of a number of such meetings where we can present distingished friends and supporters from other European countries to talk about the reality of the European Union today. It is perhaps only when the full consequences of the Euro-State for other nations has been described in Britain that the British political class will awaken to the horrendous historical implications of their actions.

Of particular interest to Britons is the deliberate exploitation of crises “energy, terror and migration” in order to promote the supranational powers necessary to integrate Europe and the strong reliance by German eurofederalists on the BBC to promote their agenda in Britain. No wonder the EU is financing the BBC and no wonder that the German ambassador seems a permanent fixture on the Today programme. Horst Teubert’s speech:

I would like to give a few examples of the typical characteristics of German foreign policy which seem important to me. So I have selected themes which play a special role in the debate over foreign policy: the EU constitution which is much wished-for in Berlin, energy policy, the ever-closer cooperation between Germany and Russia and Germany’s see-saw policy of playing east off against west which promises to make possible a further increase in German power. I also intend to look into a theme which is acquiring great topicality at present: the forthcoming secession of Kosovo which has been systematically promoted by all German governments since the Nineteen Nineties against massive internal opposition in Europe. In conclusion, I will cover a few aspects of internal developments in German society which, I hope, will make clear what motivates my critical analysis of German foreign policy.

January 2007 is a good time to speak about German foreign policy. The German government took over the presidency of the European Union at the beginning of the year and will lead the affairs of the union for the next six months. This provides special opportunities to increase influence in the coming months, which the German elites will not allow to pass them by. Consequently Berlin’s activities will be particularly intensive in the coming months and so especially recognisable. For some time already Berlin has maintained with a portentous undertone that the EU President is “the face and voice” of the union. In these six months, Germany is claimed to have a “special responsibility” for Europe and its place in the world. Last year the Federal Government ascribed such an importance to its EU presidency that one had to ask oneself whether it intended to stand the EU on its head during its period of office. The arrogant language about Germany’s “special responsibility” was so unwelcome to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that he was openly critical after attending a cabinet meeting in preparation for Germany’s assumption of office. Barroso stated that “it was not fair to lay all the burden on Germany’s shoulders” and reminded the government in barely concealed irritation that other states also were involved in the development of the EU.

The German government has made the adoption of the EU constitution in one way or another a central goal of its presidency. The existing proposed constitution corresponds in large part to Berlin’s ideas for the future development of Europe. The tightening of a common foreign policy will make it possible to weaken world-political concepts which deviate from the German strategy, including British ideas which may be permanently excluded in the long term – at any rate whilst the German position in Europe remains as strong and dominant as at present. The planning for continual military rearmament, contained in the proposed constitution, corresponds exactly with the German intention to strengthen its own military power, which is at present regarded as insufficient, with the help of the EU. Arising out of such thinking, political advisors from the milieu of the Bertelsmann Foundation, probably the most influential private German think tank, developed a scenario four years ago for a “Superpower Europe”. (For Bertelsmann links to Nazi propaganda see on this site “Bertelsmann wants EU War Transport Networks”)

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In this strategy paper it is asserted that a precondition for the rise of such a super power is a European constitution, on which basis all necessary political areas could be taken under EU control.

This will at last make it possible to build a European army under the control of a Brussels high command and so under German influence, which has the nuclear potential of France and Great Britain at its disposal. In looking at further prospects, the text reads “Superpower Europe is finally abandoning the idea of a civil power and is providing for itself without restriction the means of conducting the policy of an international superpower”. The paper closes with the remark “the great political and economic power potential of the EU permits comparison with the USA”.

The EU constitution is useful for power strategies which are aimed in this direction. This appears to explain why the German government has been so stiff-necked in its insistence on the proposed constitution which must be reckoned as a failure by democratic measures. When the French people rejected the constitution by a clear majority at the end of May 2005, the then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder demanded “the ratification process in the member states must continue”. Already on the day of the referendum German commentators were suggesting that the referendum should simply be held again – a disrespect for French sovereignty equivalent to the disrespect shown to Irish voters in 2001, which degrades democracy to a competition in manipulation. It was said in Berlin that the French had been insufficiently “enlightened” about the constitution. After the second “No” a few days later in the Netherlands, the experts were rather more careful. The simple repetition of a referendum could only succeed in a one of the smaller states, perhaps the Czech Republic. This was the disparaging opinion of a specialist in the Konrad Adenauer Foundation which is close to the Christian Democrat party. Nobody in Berlin is turning away from the German aim of pushing through the essential content of the constitution in one form or another. The debate around the constitution, which has been rejected in two states and is also acknowledged to face broad opposition here, is reduced to the ideas which will enable the document to be implemented against clear democratic majorities.

Since the double “No”, the concepts which have been discussed for the past two years and are discussed to this day in Berlin, contain numerous plainly threatening gestures. They give an impression of the way Germany reacts when it does not get its own way in the EU. There is a plan – again from the Bertelsmann Foundation – to dismantle the constitution into its component parts and to bring them into force through multi-lateral treaties one at a time without consulting the people. “If the EU passes a treaty to introduce a European Foreign Minister, nobody would think it necessary to hold a referendum on the proposal” said one of the leading German political advisors, untroubled by the fact that this would entail massive consequences for the sovereignty of member states. There was also talk of excluding those countries which did not ratify the constitution as well as of a two-class EU with reduced voting rights in the European Council and Parliament for those which refused. Finally it was proposed to turn the EU almost overnight from an alliance of states into a federal state by holding a Europe-wide referendum on the constitution. In this way Germany’s population could outweigh British resistance in a referendum.

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Britain’s particular reservations over the constitution have been carefully studied by government advisors. Early last year the Foundation for Policy Study (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik), another influential think tank, came to the principal conclusion that British resistance could be overcome with a media campaign.

The BBC was already aligned on the “Euro-friendly” side but problems could arise with the print media. The foundation calculated that roughly 2.75 million editions of the British daily press were euro-friendly as against 8.2 million on the eurosceptic side. Berlin’s threats are formulated with a view to Great Britain and supported with historical analogies. “Only the European Union could provide the framework for lasting peace, freedom, welfare and democracy”. Thus said Chancellor Schroeder in the Summer of 2005. Without further European integration, that means the threat of war, destruction of freedom, poverty and dictatorship. At the same time a Social Democrat MEP warned against “alliances like those of 1914 which were already leading Europe into the super-disaster of the 20th century”. He warned against a new alliance of axis powers ready to unite, perhaps against France but certainly against Britain. (see the article on this site “1914 and 2004 The Steps to War – Ominous Parallels“)

EXTERNAL THREATS AS PROPAGANDA FOR UNIFICATION

“Energy, Terror, Migration”

At the centre of Germany’s EU presidency the leading thought is that a further tightening of the EU, perhaps also the constitution, can be forced through only by taking a diversion through foreign and defence policy. This is in no way a new idea. The attack on Yugoslavia in 1999 was presented in the German press as “a war of European unification”.In spite of previous opposition Germany was able to conduct the war it wanted, as part of the community, as well as achieving a standardised EU foreign policy according to German concepts in an exemplary area – namely that of policy in South Eastern Europe. This method of unification is really old in German terms. It led to the founding of the German Reich in 1871 after Prussia won three “wars of unification”. At a conference of the Bertelsman Foundation held early last year and attended by high ranking delegates, it was said that the EU could only develop further, if external threats were included at the centre of political propaganda. “Energy, Terror and Migration” were suitable themes below the threshold of war to bring the European states under actual or apparent external pressure in order to weld them together. “Energy, Terror, Migration” are the central slogans of Germany’s EU presidency.

ENERGY POLICY

One can observe how this welding together will work by considering energy policy. Germany is presently in a long-term targeted process of clarification concerning all raw materials, which is intended to guarantee the provision of the German economy with all necessary resources in the coming decades. This process was started two years ago with a German “Raw Materials Congress” which will come to firm conclusions this year. Energy resources were excluded because they are dealt with separately in an “Energy Summit” established early last year. Working parties of high ranking executives and a round of conferences have drawn up concepts on which basis the Federal Government will work in cooperation with relevant companies to ensure that Germany is adequately supplied with favourably priced energy.

The supply of oil and natural gas from abroad to Germany is of the highest importance, so the Foreign Office as well as the Economic Ministry is participating in the planning. In the second half of this year a “Common Strategy for Energy Policy” will be completed which will have drastic consequences for German foreign policy.

In this, Germany is using the EU for its national purposes. In circles close to the Bertelsman Foundation it is asserted that “Problems connected with energy supply cannot be solved by acting alone, so a strengthened European integration is necessary in this area. The formulation of a common European energy strategy is the primary task of negotiations”.

EU heads of state and government agreed to this plan in March 2006 – just at the time when Berlin was cranking up preparations for the first “Energy Summit” to high speed. As President of the European Council, the Federal Government is now elaborating an “Energy Action Plan” which will be adopted in March this year. This will establish what parts of future energy supply will be controlled from Brussels and what Berlin will take in hand for itself. This, coming at just the right time, is intended to ensure that German influence will predominate in EU energy strategy.

Above all however, the Common Energy Strategy forms a basis on which a Common Foreign Policy must be realised. For the energy strategy, forced through by German pressure, demands amongst other things, an option for certain supplier countries, requiring common diplomatic approaches. With this, the energy strategy gives increased leverage to Germany to weaken those foreign policy concepts which diverge from the German position. Perhaps Central Asia provides a good example of this. The district around the Caspian Sea with its enormous energy resources belongs to those regions to which the Federal Government devotes special attention. A new EU strategy for Central Asia is under construction during the German presidency. Opposed interests within the EU first came to light in November when the continuation of sanctions against Uzbekistan was on the agenda. The sanctions were imposed after Uzbek security forces massacred demonstrators in May 2005. Berlin, which wants to build contacts with the states of Central Asia as quickly as possible, pressed for relatively weak sanctions from the beginning – and broke even those very soon. In the second half of 2006 German diplomats pressed for a total lifting of sanctions and so came into conflict with a whole row of other EU member states which supported tougher measures against Tashkent. On account of Uzbekistan’s energy resources, the argument concerning the EU energy strategy will show just how far Berlin could succeed in deciding the debate in its favour.

The strategy with the slogans “Energy, Terror, Migration,” which aims to standardise EU foreign policy along German lines, could soon achieve a success here. Russia is even more important for EU energy supply than Central Asia. The EU Commission calculates that by 2030 EU member states will need to import around 70% of their natural gas supplies. Today this figure is just 40%. At present around two fifths of this forty per cent come from Russia, but by 2030 this will be around three fifths of a much greater volume. In the more distant future this could rise to four fifths. You can see that Russia will have really huge significance for EU energy supply.

GERMAN RUSSIAN CO-OPERATION

In Germany it is thought that this will also apply to Great Britain. You know much better than I how things really stand with regard to future supplies of oil and gas for Britain. German policy is informed by the thoughts of their experts who are totally unanimous. A few weeks ago an influential German paper wrote that Great Britain “would be compelled by 2020 to import 90% of its gas requirements. So Russia could become an important partner for London too”.

If everything goes according to the German plan, the energy supply of Great Britain – as of other EU states – will be under full German control in a few years. It is well known that German concerns work in close cooperation with Russian companies, which will control three fifths of European natural gas imports.

The German firm Eon AG is the largest world-wide private energy concern. Eon is now trying to take over the Spanish firm Endesa to strengthen its global dominance in Europe and expand to South America. Through its subsidiary firm Ruhrgas, Eon is a shareholder in the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom with which it has long-term supply contracts. Eon’s chairman is the only Western European with a seat on Gazprom’s board. The German chemical company BASF was the first foreign company to acquire direct access to an important Siberian gas field through its subsidiary Wintershall. BASF is also in partnership with Gazprom in the gas distributor Wingas. German financial firms are also cooperating with Russia. The Dresdner Bank has a long term strategic partnership with Gazprom and has advised the firm on its expansion and, above all, on its business strategy. Deutsche Bank has supported the energy giant with large scale credits. The strength of the German position is easily understood by reference to the development of resource exploitation on Sakhalin. You certainly remember that the Kremlin recently took proceedings against Shell and weakened its position greatly.

But that isn’t everything. Not only do German firms work closely with Russian energy companies which, according to Berlin’s view, will soon be large suppliers to Britain. Moscow wants to make Germany the hub for the distribution of natural gas to the rest of Europe. When President Vladimir Putin visited Dresden in the autumn, he said that this would alter the importance of Germany in the energy economy of Western Europe. This was a polite description for a massive growth of power which had already been announced with the construction of Nord Stream, the so-called Baltic pipeline. Above all in Poland, Nord Stream has caused annoyance and apprehension because the pipeline avoids Polish territory and deprives the government in Warsaw of an influential card in Great Power politics. In Poland old anxieties have grown of a tightening German-Russian grip. It is comparatively unknown that in December 2000 the EU accorded Nord Stream the status of a Transeuropean Energy Network (TEN-E). Nord Stream will have great importance for West European gas supply which is only shared with the German firms BASF and Eon. It was expected that that not only the German firms BASF and Eon would build this vital pipeline but that at least one firm from another European state would participate to dilute the national influence somewhat. But that is not the case.

The Chief Executive of Nord Stream is a German and that former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is chairman of the supervisory board. And Nord Stream is only one example.

Gazprom wants to dominate the European gas markets from Germany outwards through its subsidiary Gazprom Germania. Gazprom Germania is investing up to 3 billion Euros in the next few years, amongst other projects in the British gas terminal at Saltfleetby.

Exclusive German/Russian cooperation, which shuts out other West European firms and makes Germany into the controller of West European gas supplies, is matched by military cooperation between the two countries. In the Autumn, plans for closer cooperation between the German-French arms supplier EADS and the Russian aerospace industry caused a considerable sensation. But this is only the tip of that famous iceberg. Joint Russian/German military exercises have taken place for years. In 2004 the two defence ministers agreed to develop military equipment and armaments in cooperation. In December Russia launched the first German military espionage satellite into space. As worried Polish analysts have established, cooperation in space is closer between Moscow and Berlin than with Washington or Paris.

GERMAN RUSSIAN BREACH OF “2 PLUS 4 TREATY”

The Kremlin has agreed that Russian transport planes can be put at NATO’s disposal on a German air base, namely Leipzig although this is contrary to international law. International lawyers say that troop movements in Leipzig are a violation of the “Two plus Four Treaty” which forbids the stationing of foreign troops in the former territory of East Germany.

This suspected German-Russian breach of the “Two plus Four Treaty”, an international agreement binding on Germany, recalls an earlier phase of military cooperation between Germany and Russia. From the early Nineteen Twenties Berlin and Moscow began a secret cooperation which involved the armaments firms and forces of both sides. For Germany this was a method of circumventing the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles which had been imposed on Germany as the aggressor. On Soviet territory German soldiers could try out the use of poison gas, conduct an armoured warfare training school and carry out air exercises – all activities forbidden by the Versailles Treaty. Historians reckon that without Soviet help German forces could not have been completely ready for war by 1939. Cooperation continued right up to June 22nd 1941, the day when Germany attacked the Soviet Union. In September 1939 both sides concluded a frontier and friendship treaty across their common border in defeated Poland. In the first two years of the war the Kremlin placed the harbour of Murmansk at Germany’s disposal, not only for merchant ships but also for German naval vessels, involved in the fight against Great Britain. An authority on German-Russian relations recently told us in interview that the present intensification of military cooperation between the two countries showed distinct parallels with the Twenties and early Thirties. The distinction between then and now consisted in the fact “that then there was a trace of political will towards disarmament whilst practically nobody shares that view today”.

The see-saw policy between East and West, which was facilitated by German-Russian cooperation in the Twenties and early Thirties, is active today. Just as in those days, it brings Germany a further access of power and influence. This is not only evidenced by small but painful irritations directed against the United States, as can be seen in the current competition for energy.

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It could be seen in the Russian Shtokman Field, known worldwide as one of the greatest reserves of natural gas. Originally Moscow and Washington intended to liquefy the gas and to transport it to the United States by ship. In her first meeting with the Russian President, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel succeeded in causing a major policy shift. As President Putin announced this autumn, the Shtockman field would now be partially diverted into the Baltic pipeline and would go to Germany not to the USA.

GERMAN RUSSIAN CO-OPERATION IN SPACE

Whilst the tussle over the Shtokman Field can be put down as an example of normal competition, this cannot be said of other activities by Berlin. The moves towards European space travel speak a different language. German space experts demand above all, “we must not leave the field to the Americans”. They also insist that a colony must be established on the moon “not under the stars and stripes but under the European flag”. “Whoever has this orbit in his grip has a position of power” – so said a leading expert. A few weeks later, as expected, the first German spy satellite was stationed in space with Russian help. More will soon follow.

A year before, the first satellite of the EU navigation system “Galileo” was sent into orbit. It is some years since a study published by the Federal Government said that this would give Brussels important intelligence capabilities and would basically permit the conduct of wars against the interests of the USA.

GERMANY, RUSSIA AND THE KOSOVO CRISIS

Fierce competition with the United States does not in any way exclude close cooperation in many fields. It is the speciality of German see-saw policy that it does not come down permanently on one side but permits the increase of influence and elbow room with changing partners. The destruction of Yugoslavia provides a good example of German-American cooperation. It now looks as if this will shortly be completed by the secession of Kosovo. Germany’s role as the outrider for the dissolution of Yugoslavia is well known. It is also worth looking at the German role in Kosovo today. Years ago, a German governor for the UN created a new independent legal order in Kosovo and negotiated a free trade treaty between Kosovo and Albania. The present German governor, previously responsible for the economy of Kosovo, sold off the state enterprises in the district to foreign buyers without consulting the rightful owner, the government in Belgrade. The arbitrary exercise of power by German UN administrators corresponds to the living conditions for the population. According to the Minority Rights Group International in London, the situation of minorities in Kosovo is “the worst in all Europe”. A few months ago the organisation reported that nowhere else in Europe is there “such a high risk of ethnic cleansing in the near future and even the risk of genocide”. Minority Rights Group International concluded that Western policy shared responsibility for the threat to Serbs, Sinti and Roma people by the Albanian-speaking majority. “Whilst they permit intimidation to continue, UNMIK and KFOR have impressively demonstrated that they will tolerate the ethnic cleansing and secession of Kosovo”.

Berlin is working closely with Washington to prepare for the secession of Kosovo and, on this account, is holding down considerable opposition inside the EU.

The most recent example of this is the NATO Riga Summit declaration of 29 November 2006, in which the NATO members demanded a solution for the conflict over secession in southern Serbia, “which is acceptable to the population of Kosovo”. The agreement of Belgrade is no longer considered necessary. So Kosovo will become a precedent. The concurrence of the central government is no longer necessary for secession. Immediately a prominent Basque separatist asserted “On the day on which Catalonia and the Basque country raise their hands and say “We are going independent…the Spanish government… will no longer be able to raise its finger and say “Yes, but only with Spain’s consent”. You know as well as I do that Basque and Catalonian separatism also have claims on French territory. Romania and Greece, which both fear secessionist movements, are prepared to fight tooth and nail against the splitting off of Kosovo, desired by both Berlin and Washington. So Germany’s title conferred by the USA of “partner in leadership” begins to sound rather strange, as it leads to the enforcement of German hegemony against resistance by other European states.

Finally I would like to say a few words about internal developments in Germany, in order to make clear what induces me to a critical analysis of Berlin’s foreign policy. Next I would like to mention a special aspect. You will surely have heard that neonazism is becoming stronger in Germany.

An extreme right wing party, the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) is gaining influence– above all in the East. Violent acts by neonazis have made whole regions into “no go areas” for non-Germans and those who disagree with them. . It creates a climate in which the government itself can easily sanction severe internal political measures. Neonazi organisations cannot command majorities and become a strategic threat in the foreseeable future. Their partial successes have demonstrated that the German elites are quite capable of playing both sides of the national card, if the European story is not going down well. In the Nineteen Nineties Wolfgang Schaeuble, the present Minister of the Interior, did it in a strategy paper which has since become famous. In it, he demanded the eastward expansion of the EU and threatened Western powers with the consequences of opposition. If integration did not proceed, “Germany might be called upon or compelled by its own security considerations to take in hand the stabilisation of Eastern Europe alone and in the traditional manner”. Schaeuble’s paper was published on 1 September 1994, the 55th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland. I have mentioned similar threats which were to be heard from the Social Democrat Party in the last eighteen months. Now as before, Germany’s threat to “go it alone” is the whip with which Berlin keeps other states lined up behind its EU policies.

In this world-wide policy of hegemony, assisted by the EU, there lurk grave perils for the German people. There are clear signs that a gathering inward readiness for future Europe-wide and global power struggles is in progress. The German presidency provides a good example of this.

Chancellor Angel Merkel called for the ending of a need for unanimity in all matters before the European Council. Vice Chancellor Muenterfering demanded that the people should show “the same enthusiasm as during the football world championship”.

With background briefings and mass meetings, the German government is trying to nullify opposition to German foreign policy. There will be “a Europe Dialogue with Civil Society” , School Project Days, “A German Citizens’ Conference” – all with the purpose of getting people signed up to Berlin’s plans for Europe. Similar undertakings are familiar from earlier phases of German history. They also served to prepare and accompany German expansion in Europe and the world. We all know what consequences that had twice in the last century – not least for the German people. Whoever wishes to prevent a new repetition must warn of the ever stronger tendencies in Germany towards a policy of hegemony and dominance.

EU Corporatism corrupts Hungary. Dr Magdolna Csath, Budapest

EU Corporatism corrupts Hungary Dr. Magdolna Csath

Dateline 9th July 2005

Few people in the “West” care about the present truth: which is that there has been no real change in Hungary. Mostly the same communist dictators, their friends and business partners have stayed in power. They are the “new rich” and their previous “network” continues to rule the country today. The only change is that instead of serving Moscow, they now serve Brussels.

The former Hungarian prime minister Medgyessy had to step down, among other reasons because it became public that he had been a secret agent before the fall of Communism! But this man twice received the decoration of the French “Legion of Honour”: very probably because of his services to French business interests when privatising Hungarian state properties. Is this what we can call “European values”?

INTRODUCTION This article by a Hungarian academic reveals the kind of “capitalism” and “democracy” we have exported, thanks to the European Union, to Eastern Europe. The EU has of course exported Corporatism not enterprise capitalism. Networks matter, not enterprise. This has allowed former communists to carry on as “capitalists”. Privatisation in the East has meant not competitive Hungarian ownership but foreign ownership and the flow of corporate income abroad. Academics are also flowing abroad (like post war European scientists in 1945 or Africa today as it loses its best to the “rich incompetence” of the British NHS!) Dr Csath finds Hungarian EU corporatism as stifling as Hungarian pre 1989 socialism – no wonder the previous masters flourish in the new system. The corrupting EU budget and the byzantine complexity of its subsidies is debilitating in the rich West – it is catastrophic in the weak East.

Once upon a time, when Hungary was still a “socialist country” we Hungarian professionals had easy access to “Western knowledge”. We were welcome to participate in conferences at reduced rates, provided we had an interesting topic to present. We were offered generous discounts on publications. Often we were invited to be on the editorial board of professional journals, and therefore could receive free copies of the particular journal. I was on the editorial board of three British journals. It was a very good opportunity for me to be involved in the professional life of the West. After the changes in 1990 two of those journals immediately left me out of the editorial board. (1)

Nowadays our professional life is very different. The rise in our salaries has not kept pace with the drastic price increases, which have happened mostly because of corrupt privatisations. Among them worth mentioning that of the energy sector, which was not even really privatised, as it was sold to foreign (German, Austrian and Italian) state-owned companies, which since the very first minute of acquiring those assets, increased prices and lowered the quality of their services. Therefore, salaries for many people in Hungary, including professionals, like doctors and teachers have a lower real value now than before the changes. However we are now considered to be citizens of a “free, democratic, market economy”, so we do not deserve any special “treatment” any longer. So we are free to subscribe to professional journals which cost around £500 a year, which amount roughly equals the average monthly salary of a professor!

So, how will the knowledge-based society in Europe be built? With whom? Obviously we, the majority of “Eastern European professionals” are excluded from becoming active participants and builders of this dream. But are we really not needed? Is Europe so well equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge? If it is, then why is Europe stagnating economically? Why is Europe lagging behind the USA and also some Asian countries in competitiveness, knowledge-creation and innovation?

Europe now has a great opportunity to collect, consolidate, rearrange and utilise all the additional skills and knowledge it has gained by enlargement. The strategic task would be to manage the old and new knowledge and skills efficiently and effectively and build synergies for the benefit of all citizens. Apparently Europe does not know how to do it. Unfortunately however, knowledge not used for a long time will disappear. It is like the muscles in a body: if not properly used they become weaker and weaker. Now, because of the bad financial situation, knowledge in Eastern and Central Europe is deteriorating: it is getting weaker. Is this what Europe really wants?

A good friend of mine with a good University degree who speaks three languages has not been able to find a proper job for quite a while, so he decided to leave Hungary for the USA where he was offered an excellent job. He wanted not only a better salary and quality of life, but also the chance to further develop and utilise his knowledge and skills.

Is it good for Hungary and the EU to lose talented people because of the lack of opportunities? No, I do not think so. But what are the options open to us here at the peripheries? If we only have poorly paid jobs, which are even professionally not demanding, then we can either accept what is offered and stay at the lowest level of the “Maslow hierarchy” (2): ie. try to earn enough to satisfy our “basic needs” and forget about “self-fulfillment”, “creativity”, “new-idea searching” and quality of life: all those things which would make us happier and, probably, also healthier, and the economy more innovative and successful. Or the only other chance we have is: not to give up our ideas, dreams and find better working and human conditions elsewhere.

Honestly, if I were younger I would choose again the second option. I am saying “again”, as once, in the 80s I already had to do so. Then I wanted to develop an MBA programme together with an American colleague for Hungarian managers, to give them an opportunity to learn real management. But I lost my job – I worked then in a management education centre – because of this “too creative idea” of “importing capitalist methods to the socialist Hungary”. Now, today, we are not immediately kicked out of our job if we have good ideas. Our ideas are just simply not needed, or we have no chance to further elaborate on them because of the lack of resources. But what about all those moneys available from the EU funds? – one may ask. They are supposed to offer some alternative opportunities, right? In theory yes, but not in practice. First of all to get inside the circles of those “lucky people” who have access to the European “purse” is very difficult – in Hungary it is now more important to be properly “networked” than to be knowledgeable and have good ideas.

For the sake of those who do not know what I am talking about, let me refer to the Transparency International yearly Reports that publish the fact that Hungary in three consecutive years has been slipping lower and lower down on the corruption list of nations (ie becoming more corrupt). The practice how some circles get access to European money is obviously not exempt from corruption either. But is it serving the interests of development by getting support to those who could use it in the most innovative and efficient ways? Definitely not! But who cares? The EU officials, in my opinion, have no idea about how things really are in Hungary or in the other new member countries! I am not sure either, whether they are interested in it at all! Just think about how the EU operates! They collect a lot of money from the member states including the very poor new ones, and then use it to support a huge bureaucracy. Even if some money gets back to a country, it happens very late, as the EU finances the different projects only after they have been finalised. In the meantime the money is used by the EU. By the way, this practice of financing projects after they have been completed combined with the rule that project initiators can only apply for money if they have enough own money to add, is a sure method of excluding small businesses which lack the necessary resources. In this way the EU makes the rich even richer and the poor poorer (and corporatism stronger and enterprise capitalism which is the basis of democracy, weaker – ed)

On top of it all, a global or transnational company having a low-cost offshore operation in Hungary can also apply for money from the EU, and if it gets it, it will be registered in the EU as “funds allocated to Hungary”, when obviously Hungarians have not received it. And corruption can be found in the process of applying for and receiving EU funds everywhere: it penetrates the entire system.

Two examples of EU/Hungarian corruption can explain the cynicism of Hungarians: A Hungarian EU commissioner was first offered the energy portfolio. At the Parliament hearings though he proved to be so poorly prepared that he had to give up this job. But after this he was not sent home to find a job which would have better fitted his capabilities, but rather he received a second chance: a second offer to be in charge of taxes and customs, and also two weeks to prepare for the task. If this is how leaders are selected into crucial positions in the EU hierarchy, then what type of professionalism and leadership can we expect from the EU?

Or another event: the former Hungarian prime minister Medgyessy had to step down, among other reasons because it became public that he had been a secret agent before the fall of Communism! But this man twice received the decoration of the French “Legion of Honour”: very probably because of his services to French business interests when privatising Hungarian state properties. Is this what we can call “European values”? So before people could have ever built up a positive image of the EU, they had to face the realities of how the EU really operates: on the basis of the cruel rules of the stronger and the more powerful. Therefore it is no wonder why they have become alienated from it before they could appreciate it.

But putting everything together, if in some parts of the EU, knowledge is not being built but rather wasted, corruption is thriving, and social capital is weak, how can Europe at all dream about becoming a stable, knowledge-based, competitive and dynamically developing region? Or will it be satisfied if only one part – the “core countries” – will have a chance to get closer to this vision and the rest stay behind on the periphery? But if this happens, then what will be the relationship of the two “segments”: are they be playing the role of the “colonisers and the colonies”? If we just observe every day events we will have no doubts how to answer this question.

Just a few examples: the 15 countries had a chance to decide whether they wanted to introduce – and if yes, when – the Euro. The 10 new countries are ordered to do it. France and Germany can break the rules of the Maastricht Treaty by running huge state deficits, but Hungary, which is not even the member of the “Euro-zone” is continuously threatened, disciplined and checked for the same thing. Hungarian workers and service businesses do not have the same rights in the EU as those of the original 15 member countries. Are we already a colony? Which means in a knowledge management context, that we are doomed to be only “knowledge-users” and not “knowledge-creators”? Are we to be the “useful idiots” of a new European hegemony?

Dr. Magdolna Csath Professor of Economics and International Business Budapest

(1) I was on the “international editorial board” of the “Change Management” and “The Long Range Planning” journals. My explanation for being left out after the changes is simple: it was interesting to have a critical professional person on the board from a country “behind the Iron Curtain”. But after the changes in 1990 Hungary and Hungarians were not interesting any longer. Few people in the “West” care about the present truth: which is that there has been no real change in Hungary. Mostly the same communist dictators, their friends and business partners have stayed in power. They are the “new rich” and their previous “network” continues to rule the country today. The only change is that instead of serving Moscow, now they serve Brussels. Therefore they are “OK” for the “West”.

2. Maslow was an American psychologist, who developed the “hierarchy of needs” model. The model argues that people have to satisfy their basic needs – for food, clothing and shelter – then they can move to the next level, which is the need for community, good human relationships, and when this need has already been satisfied, people will try to move up to the highest need-level, which is self-fulfillment – having creative, challenging jobs.

Irish Prime Minister supports Germany against Poland, Anthony Coughlan, Ireland

IRISH PRIME MINISTER SUPPORTS GERMANY AGAINST POLAND Anthony Coughlan The National Platform Research and Information Group Dublin Ireland

INTRODUCTION

In recent months, in defiance of the lessons of history and in supine obedience to German interests in Europe British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has repeatedly moved against Poland and Spain (two supporters of his Iraq war!). The British Government continues to support Germany in that country’s breaking of the rules of the Euro’s Growth and Stability Pact and has not once objected to Germany’s disgraceful attacks on the Czech Republic as the Nazi-collaborating Sudeten Germans seek to undo the post Second World War settlement. The break up of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and German claims to land in Poland are attempts to also undo the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War.

Anthony Coughlan’s article below (which concludes with a brief description of the eurosceptic cause in Ireland) shows how the Irish Government is also siding with the traditional aggressor in Europe – against Poland. This is a sad recreation of the grotesque collaboration with the Nazis by some of the Irish political class during the Second World War. The President at the time, De Valera, even went to the German Embassy at the end of the war to sign the condolences book on the death of Hitler!

Poland and Ireland have something in common – they are both strongly nationist and Roman Catholic. But as both countries are finding out the European Union does not allow them to fulfill the wishes of the Vatican for a “united Europe” and maintain their democratic nationhood! As Anthony Coughlan points out the Irish Prime Minister is breaking the convention that the Presidency of the EU should remain neutral. Bertie Ahern supports the fascist idea that because Germany has a “large population” and pays most into the EU coffers, such power should therefore buy more power in the form of votes!

Ahern’s dismissal of the voting system which he himself previously regarded as “essential” is a measure of the crawling subservience to German Europe which now characterises the Irish Government.

DUBLIN

Ireland’s Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is openly siding with Germany in pressurising Poland to change its position on its Nice Treaty voting rights, so as to make possible the re-founding of the European Union on the basis of its own State Constitution. He hopes to open the way to this at the EU summit meeting in three weeks time. The Irish Prime Minister is thereby flouting the convention that the holder of the EU Presidency should be neutral and impartial between its Member States on issues that are in dispute between them.

On 9 February Taoiseach Ahern told the German news magazine, Der Spiegel: “Schröder’s position is sensible. The fact is that Germany has a large population, Germany makes a large contribution to the EU – and that must be reflected in voting system.”

On 26 January he said in Davos, Switzerland: “If people just stick totally with Nice and don’t move at all, you can’t do that because it’s not going to be satisfactory to Germany. There’s a fair amount of sympathy for the German position because they are a large country, they are a big part of the paymaster. We need to look very helpfully at the German position. I have to try and get movement from those who need to move and at the same time not try to put it in a way that forces them beyond a position they can explain to their own people and their own parliaments.”

Yet Prime Minister Ahern was the man who pushed through the Nice Treaty in his own country in 2002 by saying that the voting system it proposed was “essential” for EU enlargement, and was the best system for EU law-making in a 25-Member EU! If the EU were a single State for a real European “nation” in which Poland, Ireland and the other EU members were provinces, the population-based voting system demanded by Germany and France for an EU Constitution would be justified, for Germany’s 85 million people would entitled it to greatest influence. (Although many countries, like the USA for instance, make sure that their upper house gives equal weight to all the States, regardless of their populations – ed)

If the EU is NOT to be one State, but a partnership or alliance of constitutionally equal States, then it is right that Poland and Spain should have similar voting weight to Germany – indeed that smaller countries than either of them should have that too. Inside the virtual EU Federal State which the Draft Constitution envisages, Germany can look forward to being joined in due time by Turkey, with its 75 million population, whose admission to the EU Germany champions. At present Germany and France between them have nearly 40% of the population of an enlarged EU. Under the Draft Constitution this would enable these two States to block whatever EU laws they do not want and, with some allies, to push through whatever EU measures they do want. They would effectively dominate the EU.

The population-based system for making EU laws that is proposed in the draft EU Constitution – viz. using a 60% population headcount – would turn the existing river of EU legislation into a flood. It would greatly increase the volume of laws and rules coming from Brussels. This is why the EU Commission and European Parliament desire it, for their power derives from their role in EU law-making.

Ireland’s Prime Minister is working for an agreement to recall the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt an EU Constitution at the EU summit meeting in three weeks time. The Draft Constitution proposes to repeal every jot and tittle of all the EU treaties up to now, from the Rome Treaty (1957) to the Treaty of Nice (2003). It proposes to re-found the EU as a new legal and political entity on the basis of its own Constitution, which will have primacy over national Constitutions and law in all the main areas of public policy.

Is not the proposed repeal of all the EU treaties a good opportunity to re-examine existing EU policies – for example the EU fisheries policy, the Common Agricultural Policy, Euratom, the militarization of the EU, the Brussels Commission’s mania for harmonising everything, the unwillingness to repatriate back to national parliaments a single power that has been taken by the EU Institutions in their 47 years’ existence?

Are people so happy with all the existing EU policies as to agree to make them part of an EU Constitution which they and their children and grandchildren will henceforth willingly obey?

Anthony Coughlan March 2004

PS I am afraid there is no prospect of any of the major Irish political parties opposing the proposed EU Constitution. Nor is there any sign of a new party being formed that could make significant inroads on public opinion with the EU issue.

The two political parties in the Republic of Ireland that are opposed to the EU to some extent are the Greens and Sinn Fein. Between them, thay have 11 members out of the 166 in the Irish Dail(Parliament) and will probably gain several more in the next general election. There are also some EU-critical Independents; so one might say that roughly 18 out of 166 members of the Dail are EU-critical.

In Northern Ireland the two Unionist Parties, led by David Trimble and Ian Pasisley repectively, are of course EU-critical. Sinn Fein does not bother raising EU matters north of the border. The bulk of EU-critical sentiment in the South is not organised or articulated by, or reflected in, the stand of the parties mentioned. There are a number of non-party EU-critical bodies and the bulk of people who are opposed to or sceptical about the EU are of course not organised in any party.

German Ethnic Cleansing - Poland Then and Now Grzegorz Sprync

GERMAN ETHNIC CLEANSING – POLAND THEN AND NOW

ZAMOJSZCZYZNA AND THE GERMAN ASSOCIATION OF EXPELLEES Grzegorz Sprync, Lublin, Poland

ANNIVERSARY OF HIMMLER’S ORDER

In November 2003 the Poles marked the expulsion by Hitler in 1942-1943 of the Poles in Zmojszczyzna. The main aim of these expulsions was to create an area for the settlement of citizens of the Third Reich. The order had come from SS Reichsfurer, Heinrich Himmler in 1941.

General Plan Ost had its origins in 19th century German imperialism, which created the motto :”Drang nach Osten” or Push to the East. The Eastern Plan was designed in two phases. First was the “Small Plan”- it contained projects for the immediate future, as the eastern lands were conquered. The Second phase -“The Great Plan” planed on a 25-30 year horizon. Heinrich Himmler was in charge of preparing those plans. Odillo Globocnik, chief of the SS in the district of Lublin, coordinated direct action.

The choice of Zamojszczyzna was not accidental. The Germans wanted to create along the border of the Reich a “German Defense Wall” which would protect against “damaging” influences from the non colonised East. The Wall, according to German plans had to reach from Zamojszczyzna to Pensylwania, (Romania).

Germanized Zamojszczyzna meant the “Cleansing of alien tribal elements not having any mixture of German blood” had to be carried out and people expelled ( Poles to Siberia, Jews to Madagascar and for the Czechs the destination was the coast of the Arctic Sea). The aim of this process was to wipe out the existing population and the execution of this plan started with the pacification of Zamojszczyzna. The choice of this land as a colony also had an economic rationale. Numerous animal farms were attractive for settlers. In Zamojsczyzna there were also clusters of German settlers, who also played a role in carrying out the new colonization of this area.

General Plan Ost assumed that Germans would displace 80-85% of Poles from the East and from Zamojszczyzna, and on the land they would settle Germans brought from the whole of Europe. The German settlement resulted in the ruin of villages, the removal of children and the old. Polish guerrillas took action against Germans but their forces were too small. The ethnic cleansing ceased only when the German Reich was defeated in 1945. Germans acted according to one scheme: at night or in the early morning groups of army, police or SS surrounded villages and threatened people they would be executed unless they left their homes. Polish inhabitants had to gather in one place (within 15 minutes or an hour).

POLES MURDERED OR TRANSPORTED

Immediately the Germans killed the disabled, the elderly and the sick. They shot those who resisted and those who tried to flee. People herded together outside were kept for up to 12 hours, no matter what the weather. In those conditions deaths naturally occurred especially among the children, the elderly and the sick. The inhabitants were divided into two groups: those to be taken away and those who had to work for the Reich. The latter were few in number. Those taken away were loaded onto trucks and escorted by army squads into a temporary camp in Zamosc. A tragic fate faced children under 14 years, who were brutally taken from their parents and sent by railway transport to near Warsaw.

DROHICZANY

On 18th January, 1943 in a 35 degrees below zero frost there began the expulsion of the people of my grandfather’s village, Drohiczany. German forces together with Ukrainian Nazi militia armed with clubs surrounded the village. They found only three families of old people in bed. The rest of the Polish inhabitants had run away and hidden themselves. My grandfather with my grandmother and their son went to the Chelm area, where such expulsions were not taking place. Germans did not care about the condition of the elderly of Drohicznay – they took them and sent them to a prison camp at Zamosc. One of the families in the village was sent to Auschwitz and never came back. Thirty two German settler families were moved to Drohiczany.

BONDYZ FOREST MASSACRE

One of the worst tragedies happened after the act of ethnic cleansing. On 15th March 1943 Germans and Ukrainian police organized the pursuit of those Poles who had fled and hidden in the village or nearby forests. Those who were seized were brought to the Bondyz forest, near the village of Kolonia Staszic, and shot. After the war, a cross to commemorate this evil event was erected.

In order to avoid persecution by the German occupiers Poles forged Ukrainian and Volksdeutch (ethnic German) documents in order to survive. Hitler did not finish the establishment of an ethnic German district, mainly thanks to the heroic resistance of the Polish ” Home Army” (Armia Krajowa) and the “Peasants Battalions”, who pursued and harassed German troops in retaliatory actions.

FRAU ERIKA STEINBACH – THE NEW GERMAN EXPANSIONISM

Today we are witnessing a new German nationalistic expansionism in Poland by a certain Erika Steinbach the Leader of the German Expellees Association and German Government demands for a Berlin Center of Expellees (we must add of the German Nation!). The idea of Frau Steinbach (whose group was previously regarded as neo Nazi but is now addressed by leading members of the Social Democrat Government in Berlin-ed) has evoked universal criticism in Poland. The Poles naturally consider the idea of creating a Centre of Expellees in Berlin as impermissible and scandalous. It would be a gross distortion of history with my grandfather’s generation appearing not as the victims they were but as occupiers of “German” land.

But as everyone outside Germany knows the situation was somewhat different! Everyone knows that Germany began the war by invading Poland and they must face the consequences of the evils and persecution they brought to millions of Poles. Hitler’s Germans attacked Poland and started massive ethnic cleansing of Poles – for example in Zamojszczyzna – for their racial and imperialist purposes. Germans are morally and in international law responsible for the subsequent events – including the justifiable expulsion after the war of Germans who had colluded with the Nazis. But that expulsion was carried out under the auspices of the Potsdam Agreement. Land in the North and in the West of Poland was acquired as part compensation for the evils and human cost of the war and Polish territorial losses in the East after the second world war – a war started by Germany and from which Germans in general were happy to profit, especially in occupied Poland, Czechoslovakia etc etc etc.

And what was the story of the “expulsion” of today’s leader of German Expellees, Erika Steinbach? Frau Steinbach came into this world in 1943 in Rumia Northen Poland, near Gdansk, as the daughter of a 27-year old German soldier. His father came from deep inside Germany, from Frankfurt on Main. The mother of Erika Steinbach came from Bremen, a town set many hundreds of kilometres West of today’s Polish border. In Rumia near Gdynia little Erika spent only a year and a half of her life. She did not leave a family home, but her family rented a flat. Ludwik Bach, director of the town’s Cultural Centre in Rumia said that nobody expelled Erika Steinbach and her mother – who left of her own free will in order to better her life.

The (Polish) Association of Gdynians Expellees has hundreds of older members. In 1939 the first ethnic cleansing of the Second World War started. Germans were not expelled. The Germans needed free accommodation, houses. To make room for them, 70 thousand Poles were expelled from Gdynia and the immediate area. The Association of Gdynian Expellees claims that the number was about one 100 thousand. The historian, Zofia Szreder, describes how Germans treated the expellees. Point Eight of the announcement of the cleansing operation said: “When abandoning your houses leave all keys in doors”. Can anyone compare the “expulsion” of Frau Erika to expulsion of Poles from Zamojszczyna?

Gzegorz Sprync, February 2004

EU Membership - can Hungary compete?, Dr. Magdolna Csath

EU MEMBERSHIP – CAN HUNGARY COMPETE? DR MAGDOLNA CSATH (Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

January 2004

INTRODUCTION

In a previous article on this site Magdolna Csath described the march of the EU into eastern Europe as a new colonization. In this article Dr. Csath describes a process which has subjugated those countries into an “integrated” German Europe, a Union which is as ruthless in destroying democracy and national sovereignty as was the Soviet Union from which these countries thought they had escaped. But Hungary, like other Eastern countries, have gone from Russian Union to European Union, with barely a democratic sovereign breath in between! They do not have democracy but a fascist subjugation to Brussels and Berlin, with threatening words from Paris if they do not behave! They do not have self-government but have been forced into the alien constitutional straight-jacket prepared by Germany and France.

They do not have enterprise capitalism which provided wealth for the Anglo Saxon economies but that corporatist tyranny which was the hallmark of European fascism of the 1930s and 1940s. Overseas companies have been given massive subsidies (by tax paying Hungarian companies of course) tax holidays and other “incentives” to take over Hungary. As in the poorer parts of the UK as we slid into corporatism these “screw driver” jobs are low value added, owned by foreigners are a net drain on the balance of payments and are easily and frequently lost to the next country offering corporate bribes.

Their public opinion is manipulated by the State and their potentially free press is controlled by the eurofederalists. German newspaper groups have been as active in Hungary as in Yugoslavia, Czech Republic and Poland. As in the rest of Europe Eurosceptics (i.e. sovereigntists and democrats) are excluded from public “debate”. A very small percentage of the population said Yes to the EU and any notion of the standard constitutional “two thirds” majority was as absent in Hungary as it has been elsewhere. This is another worthy and desperate “Voice from Europe”.

Dr. Csath: There are only five months before 10 more countries become full members of the EU. How well prepared are these countries for the challenges of the membership, and how ready is the EU to handle the unexpected problems and potential shocks of enlargement? There are many warning signs of unpreparedness by both sides. In this article -using the example of Hungary – I should like to focus the attention on some of the problem areas, and their consequences for the future.

Hungary is a country of ten million mostly frustrated and pessimistic people, who do not believe any longer in the idea that the transformation which started in 1990 has brought a genuine change in the country. They are equally skeptical about hoping for any positive developments from EU membership. These feelings are fostered by their everyday experiences. There is a general slogan around here which goes like this: the “system change only means that those who were once devoted followers of Karl Marx have changed to become supporters of “liberal capitalism”, but have managed to preserve the “capital” for themselves.

These changes have been imposed on the people, and also the price of change is being paid by them in the form of job losses, high unemployment, lack of opportunities to live a decent life, poverty and growing gap between the new rich and the many poor. And they are also very cynical about the argument that in spite of all the problems at least they have now democracy and Hungary is a functioning market economy. (Neither is in fact the case. They have lost their constitution, are ruled by German Europe and enjoy the imposition of corporatist capitalism – Ed)

The average citizen feels otherwise. We could just remember the well known notion of what the real merits of democracy can be for the unemployed, the homeless and the low-paid? And Hungary has enough of these people thanks to the ways the “transformation” has been managed. But there are other, everyday problems with democracy, too. It is still quite typical in Hungary that those who dare to voice opinions different from those of the “rulers” are silenced, threatened or economically ruined. (Even we in the UK, a country with an 800 year old parliamentary tradition, know that this is the great legacy of EU membership!)

The majority of the media speaks with one voice, which is the voice of the government leaders. No questions may be asked. As a typical example we could mention the EU election last year. Those who opposed or just questioned that Hungary should now become a member of the EU were perfectly excluded from the campaign. They received neither money nor media time to express their doubts. Only the very positive messages of the politicians were communicated very aggressively to the population.

It should have been a warning sign for the EU politicians about the status of democracy in Hungary, but instead they seemed to be quite satisfied about the situation. Actually they warmly congratulated to the leaders and the “people of Hungary” on the very successful and very positive election. Just how successful and positive was it?

Less than 40 percent of the potential voters said “yes”. The others said “no” or simply did not vote. The misled population will be quite surprised experiencing that there are neither blue skies nor gold mines waiting for them in the EU. I wonder how the consequences of the many false and unfair “EU-positive messages” will be handled later, when the unprepared peasants and small and medium-sized businesses go bankrupt by the thousands? So democracy and fairness are still items in great shortage in Hungary. But not so corruption: it is alive and growing.

Hungary is 33rd on the list of the 2002 Report by Transparency International’s measure of openness and lack of corruption, tied with Trinidad & Tobago and Malaysia. And as we all know corruption and democracy do not go hand in hand. Neither is corruption a good vehicle for developing a functioning market economy. By the way: how is market economy really functioning in Hungary? Before the changes in 1990 the Hungarian economy was dominated by a few large “socialist enterprises” subsidize by the government at the expense of the population. Now the economy is dominated by a few huge global companies subsidize by the government at the expense of the population and the Hungarian SMEs. What subsidies am I talking about? I refer to the tax holidays, the cheap, sometimes free land offered to foreign businesses, and also to the wages kept low in order that they can establish a low cost location. I can also mention a very typical subsidy these companies force out of the government: the devaluation of the national currency with the argument that it will help increase the competitiveness of the economy. Of course one need not to be a Nobel-prize winner economist to find out how incorrect and hypocritical this argument is. The undervalued national currency has never made an economy more competitive. As M. Porter wrote in one of his latest reports ( M.E.Porter: Can Japan Compete: New Findings from the Global Competitiveness Report 2002/03. Harvard Business School) : “Devaluation does not make a country more competitive.” It only helps the exporters to make more money without further efforts. In the case of Hungary, about 80% of exports are produced by a few large foreign companies. How can we describe Hungary as a functioning market economy when the big players receive significant amount of subsidies while the rest gets none? This is rather a distorted market situation with unfair conditions for competition.

It is also worth mentioning that the foreign companies have established fully owned and headquarters-dependent subsidiaries in Hungary with mostly low value-added screwdriver operations. These places require diligent, disciplined and well-trained implementers rather than creative, original thinkers. Therefore the majority of those people, who have been spending a longer time in these circumstances will never be able to become an entrepreneur, a new idea creator: in other words an independent person. And more than 50% of the working population works in these screwdriver operations in Hungary! Beyond high unemployment this is one major reason why the knowledge base of the society is rapidly deteriorating. The other determining factor is of course the low level investment into R&D and education. But let us examine a few typical figures from the European Innovation Scoreboard 2003 publication!

The average proportion of the S&E (science and engineering) graduates as a percentage in the 20-29 years age group in the EU is 11.3%. This number is 21.7% for Ireland, 19.6% for France, 13.1% for Lithuania and 3.7% for Hungary. We have to note that the value for Hungary was higher in 2002: it was 4.49%. These numbers can be interpreted from two points of view. Firstly, it looks like the interest of young people in these disciplines is declining. Why? Probably because there are not enough attractive jobs available. We can agree on that supervising people working at assembly lines is not really a very exciting job for these types of specialists. The second possible reason can be the decreasing level of support for these educational areas by the government. Research proves however, that without enough high quality professionals in science and engineering a country can not be among the “first movers”, the innovators. It can not build a dynamic and prosperous economy and society. So instead of being a member of the so called “first economy” countries, it will become a follower, even worse it can slide down to the periphery of economic development.

This assumption can also be supported by another striking number, which is the proportion of population in the age range of 25-64 participating in any type of education or training. This number is 3.3% for Hungary, while it is 18.9% for Finland and 18.4% for Sweden. The EU average is 8.4%. Among the accession countries Hungary and Lithuania produce this very low number. The value of this indicator is 6% for the Czech Republic, 9% for Slovakia and 8.4% for Latvia. Hungary also has a very unfavourable number for the proportion of people having tertiary education between age 25-64. It is only 14.1% compared to 29.6% in Estonia, 19.6% in Latvia, 44% in Lithuania or 25.4% in Ireland. The EU average for this indicator is: 21.5%. Considering the very low value of these three important indicators we can forecast a very poor future for Hungary, unless there will be drastic changes in the government policies very soon!

One of those changes necessary to be implemented is related to money spent on R&D. In accordance with the EU Report Hungary spends only 0.95% of the GDP on R&D. Out of this the proportion spent by business is less than 40%. This is in harmony with the fact mentioned before, that the majority of foreign operations in Hungary is low value-added assembly-line operation. The average number for money spent on R&D in the EU is 1.99% of the GDP, 4.27% in Sweden, 3.49% in Finland with 77.5% and 70% business participation. After analyzing these numbers it is easy to understand why only 8.5% of the workforce is employed in medium-high and high-tech manufacturing in Hungary, compared for example to the 9.28% in Slovenia or to the 11.36% in Germany.

What are than the chances for Hungary not falling back dramatically after accession? How can it contribute to the Lisbon goal to turn the EU into the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010? Or will it rather be a drag along the way to achieving this objective? At the beginning of the transformation in 1990 Lester Thurow, the Nobel prize winner MIT professor enthusiastically declared in one of his writings that Hungary was in the best position to catch up with the developed world if it would only base its development strategy on the knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit of its people, and also if it would efficiently use the strong educational and R&D institutions to develop competitive products and services. This of course would have needed a strong, deliberate development strategy and an attractive, positive and energy-releasing vision for the population.

Instead, as Porter pointed out in his Global Competitiveness Report 2002/03, the Hungarian politicians have chosen a different path: to compete with cheap resources, especially low-waged people, and to attract as much Foreign Direct Investment as possible by offering a very favourable business environment, including many different types of subsidies to them. This policy has gained new impetus with the incoming government in 2002. In the meantime however our innovation indicators are becoming more and more serious obstacles of our economic development.

By now it is also evident how unhealthy the structure of the Hungarian economy is. First of all it is dominated by large foreign firms, while the home-based economy – including the SMEs and the small agricultural businesses – is weak and umcompetitive The country is still a low cost production site of the foreign firms. In Porter’s opinion – what is shared with other specialists, too – with such an economic structure and such economic policies a country can not develop into a knowledge-based society. Instead it will continuously lag behind as a server-follower of other nations. In Hungary many people believe that the EU leaders know very well what is happening in Hungary, but they do not seem to care about it. This strengthens the bad feelings that this ignorance can only indicate one thing: we are only needed in the EU for our remaining resources: our market, geographic location, cheap labour, reasonably clean environment and our land. That was one reason why the turnout was so low at the EU referendum, and also why there is a growing resentment against our EU membership in the society.

It is also annoying what one can read in the 2003 EU Country Report on Hungary. The report states that Hungary is a “functioning market economy” and therefore it should be able “to cope with competitive pressures and market forces in the Union.” As I tried to prove, this is only true for the foreign companies operating in Hungary, but definitely not relevant to the majority of Hungarian businesses. In other words: the “real Hungarian economy” is definitely not prepared for the liberalized circumstances of the membership. Therefore, facing the much stronger, and in the case of the agriculture, the much more heavily supported competitors will push them into a one way street of decline. The professionals also cannot expect fair competition, because of their low salary, which is one fifth to one tenth of that of their counterparts in the EU. Their chances of getting access to new knowledge, like participating in professional conferences or buying professional books will be in proportion to their salaries. It was therefore objectionable when Romano Prodi during his very short visit to Budapest on the 15th of January declared in the media that Hungary “was well prepared for EU membership”.

Further analyzing the economic situation from the start of 2004 there are huge price increases in Hungary. Also many new taxes are being introduced, while – in accordance with the intentions of the government – wages will be kept under the inflation rate. In 2003 in many areas wages were frozen. This means for many people a dramatic decline in their living standards for two consecutive years. Many feel the reason why the people are squeezed is our coming membership with all the payments we have to make into the EU budget. The people also believe that we will be net contributors, because we are not prepared to draw on the EU sources which will open up for Hungary.

VAT has also been dramatically increased from the 1st of January 2004. This will push the inflation rate even higher and further worsen the chances for the Hungarians to become competitive. The biggest sin the government committed against the people was to raise the previously 0% VAT of the non-accredited training and education activities to 25%. This will tremendously increase the costs of further education and training, including language training where Hungarians have a bad record anyway. A further decline can be expected in the number of people trying to upgrade their knowledge not already relevant for the new circumstances. This is extremely dangerous when Hungary -as pointed out earlier- produces very bad results in this field already.

This government decision was a typical sign of short term thinking, lack of vision and strategy. This is the case with the increase of VAT on solar power from 12%-to 25%. This is an act against those people who would like to use alternative energy sources. The environmental record of the present government is very bad according to the ratings produced by the IMD World Competitiveness Report 2003. Considering sustainable development as a government priority Hungary occupies the 27th position out of 29 European countries!

To conclude: there are tremendous uncertainties about what will happen in Hungary after accession. How can social and political problems can be handled? Is the EU prepared to cope with a potential crisis in Hungary or in any other new member state? Why are the EU leaders not more determined to push the Hungarian government to better prepare the country for EU membership including the modernisation of the entire governance system?

It is worth remembering that for Germany even 13 years have not been long enough to close the development gap of the former Eastern Germany, which was the most economically advanced country from the former Eastern bloc! It would also be urgent to demand from the Hungarian government to prepare an active, dynamic, “stretch” strategy, which could swing the country into the right direction by energizing, revitalizing business and population simultaneously. It would be also vital to build trust and repair the social capital badly damaged by the consequences of “system change” since 1990. Unfortunately, right now there are no signs of good intentions by the Hungarian government to act upon these problems and since they are doing the bidding of the new masters in the European Union there is no hope there either.

Dr. Magdolna Csath (Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) Professor of Economics and Management Hungary

The Campaign for National Independence - Malta - The New Colony

MEDIA RELEASE FROM CNI (THE CAMPAIGN FOR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE) MALTA

A CONSTITUTIONAL WAY OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Dateline: 27th June 2003

To many Europeans the best innovation introduced in the Draft Constitution Treaty of the European Union is found in Article I-59: which provides that “any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union”.

The constitutional facility of voluntary withdrawal contradicts Prime Minister Fenech Adami’s declaration that the decision of the majority of the Maltese people to join the EU is “irrevocable”. The decision is reversible by a simple majority which may be obtained as a consequence of a slender swing of a few more than 6000 votes of those casts in favour of the membership agreement negotiated by the Nationalist government. The adverse impact of EU membership on many sectors of the people may bring about this beneficial swing in no time, once it is known that revocation of EU membership by democratic means is constitutionally feasible.

To many Maltese it may sound strange that Article I-10:l of the Draft Constitutional Treaty says that “the Constitution, and law adopted by the Union’s Institutions … shall have primacy over the law of the Member States”. The expression “the law of the Member States” includes the Constitution of the Member States.

It must be the cause of a lot of embarrassment to our Members of Parliament who have taken the oath of loyalty to the Constitution of Malta to accept that a Union law shall override our Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. The more so when Articles 6 of the Constitution of Malta provides that “if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void”.

Many of those who voted in favour of the agreement negotiated with the EU did so on the strength of the Prime Minster’s solemn undertaking that EU membership would not affect the Constitution of Malta. They will now feel betrayed when they will find out that the EU Accession Agreement purports to divest the Constitution of Malta from its supremacy over all other laws to which we are subject, and this, in fragrant breach of the Constitution itself.

When discussing the Four Freedoms which the EU guarantees to all its citizens, a lot of attention was given in connection with the movement of capital, to the acquisition of immovable property in Malta by non-Maltese EU citizens. No attention was afforded to the “Freedom of Residence” which in the Draft Constitutional Treaty is considered to be a Fundamental Human Right. In fact Articles II-45 states that “every citizen of the Union has the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States”.

Although this right to freely reside in Malta does not imply the right to purchase immovable property in Malta, it deserves to be considered by us as a potential cause of trouble. Up to now, foreigners do not enjoy a fundamental right to freely reside in Malta. As a consequence of the EU Accession Treaty and of the Draft Constitutional Treaty, EU citizens from any of the EU member countries will acquire the fundamental right to reside freely in Malta. Were this right to be exercised by a considerable number of non-Maltese EU citizens, as may be anticipated, the effect on the level of house-rents will be harmful, and the shortage of socially affordable rented houses for Maltese citizens will be rendered more acute.

As a result of the wide publicity which has been given to the discussions carried the EU convention which produced the Draft Constitutional Treaty and to the participation of the Prime Minister at its presentation at the EU summit in Greece, many may be under the impression that Malta is included in the list of signatories of the Constitutional Treaty. They will therefore be disappointed to find out that the current text of Article IV-3 of the Draft Constitutional Treaty states that the “Treaty establishing the Constitution shall apply to” the existing 15 EU Member States, and the 10 acceding member States are not mentioned.

However, because of the “Legal continuity” provisions of Article IV-2, which provides that the EU established by the Constitution shall succeed to all the rights and obligations of the EU existing by virtue of previous treaties, the new EU Constitution will apply to the 10 countries, including Malta, who signed the Treaty of Accession on 16 April in Greece.

In fact, Malta, together with the other 9 acceding countries, had according to Articles 5.1 of the 16th April Accession Treaty, undertaken “to accede from the date of accession to all other agreements concluded by the present Member States relating to the functioning of the Union or connected with the activities thereof”.

An unsatisfactory EU Constitution will provide Malta with an added reason to exercise the constitutional right to voluntarily withdraw from the Union when a simple majority of the Maltese people decide to do so.

Annemarie Engel, Denmark

Annemarie Engel, Denmark

Dateline: 25. of November, 2000

The Danish lawyer, Annemarie Engel, b. 1955, has for many years been a practising solicitor with EU legislation as her special subject. She is very active as a lecturer and debater on such subjects as the Danish Constitution and its relation to EU legislation, on asylum and immigration policy, and also on the Danish philosopher Soeren Kierkegaard.

Freenations is pleased to present here an article by and an interview with Annemarie Engel on the subjects of the destruction of the Danish constitution by the European Union and on the threat (especially to small nations like Denmark) from mass immigration into the EU on the back of so called “Human Rights” – which as the Soviet Communist regime clearly demonstrated – are the shortest route to tyranny! There is no democracy without the nation state and in the resistance to tyranny there is no substitute for individual freedom.

The EU Constitution is in conflict with the Danish Constitution. The so called Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, (published on 28. September 2000 the day of the Danish referendum on the euro) which forms an integral part of the coming EU Constitution, is in clear conflict with “Grundloven”, the Danish Constitution.

As my solicitor’s office in Svendborg is professionally concerned with EU legislation, I have devoted myself to a close study of the contents of the charter and its 54 articles. I wished to find out whether they were an expression of any form of new thinking. Was it really imperative to have such a Charter? What purpose was it meant to serve?

A thorough perusal of the charter soon made it clear that I was up against something entirely different from what I had been accustomed to understand by the Danish Constitution Grundlov and the established interpretation of constitutional law. Any general regulation or concrete resolution must be compatible with our Danish Constitution. No legislature can alter the Constitution. I soon realized that the Charter creates serious problems.

The new EU values.

Thus the Charter had a preface and a preamble stating the values that will make up the foundation of the EU. In that it clearly differs from the Danish Grundlov, which is basically apolitical and only lays down the framework within which politics is to work – this is indeed an essential difference which worried me.

The aims of the Charter are liberty, equality and solidarity, which there is nothing wrong with, as such, so long as we are not moving on a constitutional level, but on a general level. The problem is that these three EU values, basic and constitutional, are to be realized by binding us to pursue a particular policy. And as the Charter cannot be altered, we just have to think like the others. We can withdraw, but we cannot in any way alter the charter once it has been adopted. National differences are certainly respected – so long as they go in the same direction.

The tripartite division of power.

Far too much power is conferred on the EU courts of justice as compared with our tripartite division of power under article 3 of Grundloven, where the legislature, the executive and the judiciary constitute a check on one another. Problems are particularly likely to arise as a result of the dynamic interpretation in the EU, where the judges are entrusted with political power to interpret the laws in the way they see as proper updating. That is bound to leave traces in the legal EU usage, which in reality confers sovereign power on the EU’s “Court of Justice”. Danish legal interpretation is not political; that is left to the legislature. Danish judges have an entirely different instrument: Their interpretation is based on the wording and the intention of the law at the moment it was passed. If it is to be altered, it is a matter for the “folketing”, our parliament.

Can the Danish Grundlov be fitted into that system? My answer is NO, it cannot. The Danish Grundlov was created in 1848 and 1849 – 60 years after the outbreak of the French revolution with Liberty, Equality and Fraternity as its declaration of intent. But the creators of the Grundlov dissociated themselves from the Revolution and instead made liberty the essential point. They created a Grundlov or constitution which allowed all later generations to do what they wished.

In a way Danish identity and particularity are laid down directly in article 4 of the Grundlov, which says that the Lutheran Church is the Danish National Church and is as such subsidized by the state. We separate State and Church by keeping them together.

The Church is for religious functions, but the further implication of the provision is that it is an expression of our culture and common Danish view of life. The Danish State is committed to respect that it is a human right for Danes to enjoy the liberty to be the persons they are, which the views and thoughts we have and give expression to them. That is expressed, inter alia, in article 77 of the Grundlov, under which we have freedom of expression, and where it is stated that it is forbidden ever to reintroduce censorship. And in article 71, which ensures the liberty of the individual. We possess a number of constitutional rights and lay exclusive emphasis on freedom with responsibility for the individual and for the community.

We can learn.

We in Denmark have a structure which allows us to change our opinion every four years by electing a new Parliament. We may regret, we may learn, or we may realize that we chose the wrong people. That freedom and that pattern we have always stuck to in Denmark. Now a number of things are to be made binding for the member states, things that cannot be changed unless we leave the EU. Instead of course we can work for freedom under individual responsibility to become a joint European characteristic. We can still do so. Eastern Europe expects us to, for they demand the value of freedom with individual responsibility as an exclusive value. Despite the total absence of debate on the subject I was recently asked by two German foreign envoys, “We did not know that you had any problems with your Grundlov; why haven’t you just said so?”

Can our Grundlov and our system really accept the new EU coat which is being hung on our shoulders? In the whole of our system and our way of thinking the Grundlov is above anything else, for all our laws and government circulars have to be in accordance with it. That also applies to international conventions, that is to say voluntary agreements we have acceded to – as well as EU legislation. And now the EU is going to bind our view of life in a way that is going to mark future generations as well.

Can we in fact presume to put such fetters on people’s minds at a moment when we are all in need of creating peace and security in Europe? And can we in fact attain that goal by binding cultures together and placing nationality on the sacrificial altar?

The danger of the political application of human rights as a fundamental value in a constitution.

It is further a great problem that the charter includes the human rights of the UN and tries to establish them as fundamental EU rights. At worst it will mean that we shall have to abandon democracy and plurality. It may mean that in our eagerness to be good we come to jeopardize our values. And whereas our adoption of the Human Rights of the UN in principle can be cancelled with a delay of a mere six months, the EU purports to bind us forever. It will take the unanimous agreement of 25 EU countries to change it. As yet we could still back out in 2004 and prevent its adoption.

Since the Reformation in 1536 Denmark has maintained the separation of politics from religion. But in recent years we have had a massive immigration of people from countries where the opposite is considered the natural thing. Where religion – Islam – permeates the political life, simply because it is a religion of law, which lists what is right and what is wrong – according to the Koran.

We must have the right to demand of these new arrivals that they respect our basic value: The liberty of the individual, and that their children are not brought up to believe that religion and politics belong together. Therefore instruction in the basics of our society as an absolute necessity, and it must not be defeated by declarations of human rights which have been turned into an ideology and a fundamental law and thus become as dangerous as the Muslim Sharia.

The Charter should not be a religious law with regimentation and supervision with control of people’s opinions. A society where it does not make sense to have an opinion is in my view a stagnant society! The pivot of Protestant Christians’ thinking is human beings, not –isms, ideologies or rituals and a concept of actions where we all have to be and behave in one particular manner. Lutheran Protestants say, “Everybody is free to be the human being he or she actually is. That is Danish constitutional view of life. We should respect Man but not necessarily the creed he professes. As the Bible says, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s!”

The Charter is in conflict with the Constitution and calls for amendment.

If the project of an EU constitution is carried out, the Danish Constitution has to be amended.

The implication of the Charter clearly is that the people must decide whether they wish it to be amended. I am curious to see whether our parliament, “Folketinget”, will allow a referendum on the required amendment. Failure to offer the people the chance to express their view on this matter of vital importance will cause enormous problems for our system of representational government. That cannot be in anybody’s interest. Problems are not solved by being concealed. Light should have been thrown on this long ago. That ought to have happened by the year 2000, which saw the adoption of the charter as regards its contents, in the form of a political declaration. Such a thing also has to respect the constitution of the nation. In my opinion that step was a breach of the Danish Constitution.

We have purely an apolitical structure in our Constitution. To allow the EU to form our thoughts and then find that they pretend there is no longer any such thing as the Danish Folketing is a farce. When Article 54 states that any other way of acting is forbidden, they mean what they say. They want a political union. What worries me most of all is the fact that the politicians do not present these issues to us. Why are we not told what they are?

This is liberty, equality and solidarity, where the equality swallows up the liberty, so that only equality and solidarity are left. Do we want a new Denmark and a new Europe on those terms? I do not think the peoples of Europe do.

EUROPE’S NATIONS AS MULTI-ETHNIC IMMIGRANT STATES

The Nice Treaty mapped out a development which is going to transform the European nation States into immigrant countries of a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural stamp. It is happening without the consent and the peoples and without them realizing it, argues lawyer Annemarie Engel in this interview with Ulrik Høy.

THE DECEPTION OF THE PEOPLE

“The politically correct argumentation for the influx of foreigners into Denmark has changed character. In the Alien Law of 1983 the grounds advanced were humanitarian whereas the tendency today is to adopt employment-based arguments, where the issue is the “benefit” to Danish society from immigrants. That is an important redefinition, for it means that the immigration created by law is continuing and can be extended. The Law of 1983 could be seen as a pointer to the outside world because the alternative majority incorporated the so-called de facto principle offering asylum for other reasons than those applicable to refugees under the UN Convention, and the impact of that pointer was strengthened by last year’s Integration Law. Under this law refugees are entitled to permanent residence in Denmark after having lived here for three years, at the Nice Charter, as an expected constituent part of the Nice Treaty, is going to cement this development”, argues Annemarie Engel, who is a lawyer at Svendborg.

With EU legislation as her special fields and her legal experience in cases involving refugees she has advised political parties in questions concerning refugees and immigrants, and she characterizes herself jokingly as a “holistically minded” lawyer with an interest in Kierkegaard’s philosophy and with a deep concern for finding new ways of conflict solution.

In the Charter are incorporated two decisions concerning so-called Human Rights for third country citizens, though these decisions, in Annemarie Engel’s view, do not belong here, nor have they anything to do with the institutions of the EU. They are articles 18 and 19, which, together with article 54, bind us not to put any future restrictions on the influx of immigrants. “Thus the rights to asylum are made into a human right within the framework of the EU, also including illegal immigrants. In a new directive the EU Parliament proposes that access to family regroupment is to be extended within the EU so as to include grandparents as well. However, we are not subjected to that directive, as a result of our legal exception, which Denmark obtained in Edinburgh in 1993.”

In spite of this exception Annemarie Engel resents the course of events. “A stop to immigration has been in force since 1973. Nevertheless the Government agreed to the contents of the Charter on 14 October, backed by a majority of the political parties, which thus prefer to disregard the people’s legal exception instead of maintaining it with regard to the Charter as well. Nor have the local authorities been asked, though they were forced by the Government last year to accept the responsibility for future integration. In time they will be saddled with full economic and cultural responsibility.

In Annemarie Engels’s view our government is pursuing its own political course “by the backdoor”, and this kind of politics – without any referendum on such an essential issue as an entirely new charter – may be fatal to the future of our country, and it may damage the advantages Denmark has so far achieved in the EU. Approval of articles 18 and 19 of the Charter further excludes us from a possible later decision to abolish our legal opt out. However, seeing that adoption of the Charter requires unanimity among the fifteen heads of government, Denmark still has a chance of exercising her influence. “As it is we possess the possibility of exercising the greatest Danish influence ever on the development of the EU, in a way that is positive for all parties concerned, seeing that the East European countries are not in favour of the Charter either”.

MALADJUSTED DANES.

What is going to happen if the government endorses the charter? “The Danes are going to be “maladjusted” if their national specificity is trampled under foot and the dialogue is ignored”, says Annemarie Engel, “for Charter means Constitution, and the introduction into the framework of the EU of the Charter is planned as a three-stage rocket: First as political endorsement, next as legally binding incorporation in the Treaty, and eventually as part of the future Constitution of the EU. When the intent is clear, the content is essential, as it cannot be expected that even a comma will be changed. At most there may be an extension of the so-called Fundamental Rights, so far listed to the amount of fifty, of political, social and economic character. The Danish constitution, “Grundloven”, is apolitical and contains 88 clauses, of which 12 are constitutional liberties.

What are the facts concerning the relation of the Nice Charter to the “Grundloven”, the Danish Constitution? “In reality the text of the Nice Charter empties the Grundloven of both sense and contents. It erodes our democracy and the diversity of opinion such as we in our country desire it in the many-sidedness and the comprehensiveness of parties and the media. In future there will be only one set of opinions, those which are politically correct. Historically, the new values are based on the French revolutionary values from 1789, and they have already been under consideration by the Danes – and in fact rejected by the Constitution (Grundloven) of 1849! As the Nice Charter differs from our Grundloven on essential points, it is simply in conflict with the contents of Grundloven! The Charter has as a necessary prerequisite a change of our Grundloven, seeing that even political declarations have to be in conformity with the wording and the spirit of it. So we have a problem now.”

What about existing law? “The Government is wrong in asserting that the Nice Charter reflects existing law. No EU legal practice exists concerning articles 18 and 19, and for good reasons, seeing that the clauses are new within the framework of the EU, and besides, it anticipates the common asylum policy, which is not to be adopted until 2005. The Government has to respect that future regulations issued in pursuance of those articles are not going to be binding for Denmark as a consequence of our legal exception. But we have realized the intention and our Government: In spite of that fact it accepts the Nice Charter and approves the two articles, thereby accepting to bind the people and the political parties!”

Annemarie Engel mentions a further example, the new addition to Human Rights, signed by Niels Helveg Petersen, the Danish foreign minister, on November 4th in Rome. “The Radical Foreign Minister has strongly recommended the ratification of the new addition. However, there will not be time for that before the adoption of the Nice Charter, only in a couple of years at the earliest. Article 21 in the Nice Charter about the adoption of a general as well as a specific prohibition against any kind of discrimination is therefore not a reflection of existing law. On the contrary, this article can be seen as an intensification of the demands against Denmark, seeing that article 21 of the Charter is in direct conflict with § 4 of our Grundloven and the privileged position of the Established Church as the foundation of Danish identity and culture. Or, to put it differently: We have a constitutional right to discriminate against other cultures in favour of the national Danish identity!” And the background to the Charter? “The current explanation is the inter-dependence of the development and the globalization, etc, which is declared to be fated, whereas in actual fact it is steered by the political majority in the present EU countries. In future, for EU citizens, Human Rights will consist in adapting their cultures, conform and be obedient to the Nation States, which are told by both the EU and the European Council what it means to be a respectable country and a decent person. In my view, the conception on which the Charter is based contains a good deal of potential poison to our conception of democracy as representative government. That is probably seen most clearly in article 12 of the Charter, which emphasizes that the political parties commit themselves to express the EU citizens’ political will. And in article 22, under which the cultural, religious and linguistic diversity must be respected. In other words, the set of rules in the Charter is to be part and parcel of the daily lives of EU citizens and parties. In short: a controlled ideological equality policy. That, too, is new, and no reflection of existing law.”

DENMARK AS AN IMMIGRATION COUNTRY

For the benefit of whom is this policy desired? “For the benefit of those in power”, answers Annemarie Engel, “for they want the Nation States to change character and be transformed into immigration countries. The politicians in power believe in the multi-ethnic and the multi-cultural societies, they believe in the present form of immigration as a long-term investment to ensure further welfare distribution, and they allow experimentation with the present form of immigration under a superior uniform EU culture”.

She hopes, though, that the politicians will comprehend the problem while it is still time. “The politicians are there for their people’s sake and not for the potential aliens who seek asylum here and claim a legal right to housing, equipment to establish themselves, etc. The politicians at Christiansborg (the seat of the Danish parliament) and in the EU should either limit the access of immigrants or ask the respective populations of the EU countries how they view the extended right to asylum and family re-groupment in relation to international conventions? That is the question, for these conventions have a different legal character, as the expression is, they are voluntary commitments and can be renounced, unlike the Charter. There you have a further example that the Charter is not a reflection of existing law. Nor are the legal effects of adopting the contents. It will no longer be a human right for the population of Denmark or any of the respective EU countries to denounce any part of the international conventions. The EU has laid down the law for ever and ever”.

The nasty effects are obvious. “Control is introduced to ensure observation of the Charter. It will now be an explicit part of the adopted EU values of the Amsterdam Treaty of 1998, article 6, and can in future be made an object of surveillance. A majority among EU countries will be empowered to agree to suspend a member country which in their view has violated EU values just one single time. And parties which are found to have offended against these values can have their EU subsidies suspended. That may be of a special importance to the new articles 18 and 19, which are going to be incorporated within the EU framework. And it will be in conflict with our legal exception. The Government must have overlooked this aspect, too, in their hurry and in their political zeal to reach results at the summit conference in a fortnight. EU populations have one thing in common: They are ignored in questions relating to immigration and its form. Everybody – citizens of the EU as well as those who have already immigrated from third countries – is expected to adapt and make room for more from less developed countries, without any restriction, and that does not seem promising for the future EU, which is being launched as the Project of Peace.”

Interviewer Ulrik Høy, Weekendavisen, Berlingske, Denmark, the 25. of November, 2000

Edward Spalton and Eddie Privitera - Malta

MALTA BRIEFING A personal estimate of Malta’s situation with regard to EU Membership and Her relationship with Great Britain in November 2000 By Edward Spalton ©2000 UPDATED April By Eddie Privitera ©2002

With grateful thanks to friends in Malta’s Campaign for National Independence (CNi), especially to the indefatigable Eddie Privitera, who showed us round his beloved islands and opened our eyes as well as many doors.

A brief note on Malta’s Modern Political History. As even a casual visitor can see from the prominent Labour and Nationalist clubs in most towns and villages, political life in Malta is intense and highly polarised. Turnouts in general elections approach 98%. Party politics in the modern sense started in the 1920s, when three parties developed – Nationalist, Labour and the Constitutional Party, which was deeply pro-British. The Labour Party and Trades Union movement grew out of the work force in the Royal Navy dockyards. The Constitutional and Labour Parties then tended to act with some degree of co-operation. The Nationalist Party was deeply clericalist, supporting and supported by the immensely powerful RC Church. Some of its members were attracted to Italian fascism and a number were exiled to Uganda during the war on this account. As the independence movement gathered strength after the war, the Constitutional Party faded out, mostly going to Labour. The Strickland family, which owned the Times of Malta, drifted into support of the Nationalists because of a personal feud with Dom Mintoff. The Nationalist Party is regarded as the party of business. I would liken this to the way in which many Irish businessmen gravitated to De Valera’s Fianna Fail Party. There was not much in between. In the early Fifties, the Labour Party supported a policy of political union with the UK, subject to the benefits of the Welfare State being equally extended to Malta over a period of ten years. When this guarantee was not forthcoming, Dom Mintoff opted for total independence. The Nationalists had opposed union with the UK because of the RC Church’s unwillingness to become part of a kingdom, seen as overwhelmingly, heretically protestant. Independence under the Crown was a stormy affair, arrived at in 1964 under a referendum and constitution devised by the Nationalists, which gave entrenched privilege and position to the RC Church (again parallel to De Valera’s 1937 constitution of Eire). The period of the Sixties was marred by extreme inter-party strife which included violence, bombings and assassinations. The RC church placed the Labour Party under an interdict. For many years it was a mortal sin, even to read a Labour Party newspaper. The Church refused all its rites, including Christian burial, to known Labour Party members. This has left much bitterness. The stormy Dom Mintoff proclaimed a republic in 1974 and secured the departure of British forces in 1979. His foreign policy was one of neutrality and non-alignment. At various times he appeared to be getting rather close to the Communist powers (Red China built extensive dockyard facilities) and to the regime of Colonel Gadaffi in neighbouring Libya. He is not now highly regarded among the Labour Party, because he defied the party whip and brought down the last Labour government. The Present Situation. The present Nationalist (PN) administration, under long-serving leader and Prime Minister Dr. Fenech Adami has a majority of 35 to 30 in Parliament and is pushing ahead with all possible speed in its application for EU membership. The only independently conducted opinion poll showed a majority of 38% to 32% against EU membership with the rest undecided. (October 2000) If the English language press is taken as a guide, Dr. Fenech Adami is regarded as “a safe pair of hands”, having brought stability after the turbulent Mintoff years of “tax and spend”. This impression does not match the facts. The national debt has increased enormously under the Nationalists, who have also given guarantees to parasatatal companies. The government is bedevilled by financial deficits through they are struggling to reduce them to comply with EU requirements for joining the Euro. This will be a continuing source of conflict with the powerful General Workers’ Union. The present Labour Party leader, Dr. Alfred Sant, is a moderniser, somewhat to the right of the previous leader and former Labour Prime Minister, Dr. Mifsud Bonnici. Dr. Sant is reputed to have succeeded in appealing to smaller businesses, as well as to Labour’s traditional constituency. The General Workers’ Union (GWU) is a massive organisation with a claimed membership of 48,000 out of a total population of 380,000. It is heavily entrenched in the large public and semi-state sector, created under Labour administrations.

Dr. Mifsud Bonnici is a former Labour Prime Minister and is the Chairman of the Campaign for National Independence (CNi). He was originally from a Nationalist family and, during his early career, involved in a Catholic movement for social welfare. He crossed the Rubicon to the Labour Party on this issue and is highly respected as a man of principle. As well as chairing CNi, he is legal adviser to the General Workers’ Union.

In spite of the highly polarised political situation, CNi under his leadership has attracted a number of businessmen from the Nationalist camp. They tend to express their public support for continued independence through a recently established business association rather than directly through CNi. The Nationalist press treats CNi as a Labour front organisation. With few exceptions, Malta’s industries and agriculture are small in scale and will not stand up to the gale of EU competition, if present restrictions and import duties are removed. Businesses involved in the substantial importing sector, on the other hand, tend to favour EU membership. Farmers make up about 2% of the population and are said to be deeply Nationalist and under clerical influence. Their small-scale industry will face a holocaust under EU competition but they appear to accept the assurances that the government is giving them about the coming wonders of EU grants and subsidies. However, I have since been told that my remarks on a radio programme in November 2000, have caused some awakening.

The deep, political polarisation extends to the broadcast media. The parties have their own radio and TV stations. The public broadcasting service is supposedly under some duty of impartiality but is seen as a Nationalist/pro-EU organisation, rather like the BBC in Britain but more so.

Cultural Climate Most British people feel instantly at home in Malta. The pillar-boxes are red. They drive on the left and a high proportion of people speak English. Restaurants advertise “succulent Sunday roasts” (lamb with mint sauce too!) catering as much for Maltese people as for tourists. Poppy sellers abound before Remembrance Sunday, which is dignified by a service and parade in the presence of the President of the Republic. Whilst its memory is fading, Malta is proud of its wartime record. Even people who took part in agitation for independence look back on their years in the British services with some affection. However, the Maltese language is now the first language of the state and most Maltese now meet British people only as tourists. There is a section of society, which speaks English as its first language and thereby excludes itself from full participation in political life. Because of the orientation of the English language press, they tend to be instinctively Nationalist and to look down on the “uneducated” who speak only or mainly Maltese. Upon its official adoption, many adults had some difficult in learning written Maltese. Official, written and learned languages had previously been either English or Italian. The EU propaganda offensive appears to have been very successful in the University and higher education sectors. Students seem to have bought the proposition that the EU gives them enhanced study and work opportunities. The EU is regarded as modern and progressive. This message is massively supported in the English language press, as are all aspects of EU “integration”. The University staff is said to be effectively a Nationalist closed shop with patronage used accordingly. Labour Party supporters see the opening of the University to non-Maltese as a threat to their system of student stipends, which could not be afforded for all comers under EU “equal access” policies.

Edward Spalton

UPDATE April 2002 by Eddie Privitera The Malta EU Information Centre has started its campaign of pro-EU propaganda all over Malta and Gozo – in schools, in government departments, in local council offices etc. It is organising regular public lectures by EU officials, such as Gunther Verheugen and others. (Verheugen threatened the Czechs that if they voted for a particular party they would not become members of the European Union!). The Maltese government has now increased its funding from LM 300,000 to LM 900,000 (about œ Stg 1,500,000)* this year alone. This has made it possible for daily EU TV spots on the State TV and also on private TV stations such as Smash TV and Max TV, as well as radio clips on all radio stations and full page adverts in all newspapers. All this is having some effect as recent public opinion surveys tend to show a shift towards the “Yes” side. The Labour Party has not yet really started its campaign in a big way due, no doubt, to not having the funds to rival those available to MIC. One consideration to be kept in mind is that, in the surveys held, a very high percentage – around 40% -either did not respond or else said they were still undecided. * With Malta’s population of only 380,000, this equates to a £229,000,000 advertising campaign in Britain at the same amount per head of population. The figure does not include EU spending through the European Movement, the EU representative’s office or any EU support activities through embassies of EU countries. An interesting development has been the local council elections that have been held these last three years. Two years ago the National Party won by about 3% advantage over Labour. Last year Labour won by just 1%. On 9th March 2002 Labour got 52.24% while the PN got 44.8%.

Still the turnout for the council elections was only 73% when at General Elections we have a 96% turnout. So one cannot be too sure of how the general election vote will go.

The Broadcasting Authority has now added another IMBALANCED programme on the State TV (PBS) to add to MIC’s programmes. It has invited the PN, MLP, CNI, “Yes” Campaign and AD (The Green Party which is also in favour of membership) and a representative of the Constituted Bodies (typical Government-appointed corporatist bodies, who are almost all in favour of membership) to take part in weekly, one hour programmes on “Europe – the future”. Labour has refused to take part because it holds that this new programme was not going to balance the already existing programmes of MIC – instead it was going to create another imbalanced programme.

In fact, both Labour and CNI have gone to court, asking to be given the same airtime as MIC to air opposing views. The case still has to be heard and decided. Probably the cases will end up before the European Court of Human Rights. (Not the EU Court but that of the Council of Europe)

The first programme was held last Thursday (21 March). So Dr Mifsud Bonnici found himself facing three speakers who were all pro-EU! He did a very good job but the imbalance can affect come people. CNI has now also taken this latest case to court. Because of the inequality of funding, the Labour Party (MLP) has said that it will not be bound by a “Yes” vote in the Referendum if it should come to power in a General Election.

Knud P Pedersen - Denmark

The Euro and the Nervous Danish Establishment

By Knud P Pedersen © 2000

Thank you very much for your welcome. When the title for my contribution today was suggested, I laughed a bit, because it certainly describes exactly what the position is in Denmark. There is certainly panic in the “Yes” camp – more than ever before, though they have been in panic often. There is a record of uncertainty and panic and the overwhelming fear of another ‘No’ vote from the people.

Resistance is growing. When the date of the Euro-referendum was announced some 10 days ago (beginning of March 2000), and the date is to be September 28th this year (2000), an opinion poll was published showing a considerable positive majority. Two days later the position changed and there was a majority against. That second poll has contributed to the panic.

The very procedure and timing of the announcement of the date of the referendum was discussed for a long time, and disputed in many ways.

Now to understand all this I will give you two short historical summaries. One on the previous Danish referendums on European Affairs, and deeper down, of course, there is the historical experience of the Scandinavian countries over and against the area of Europe where the pax romana is seen as a positive thing.

The new referendum is the sixth in this series.

On each occasion there has been a considerable amount of cheating. The cheating has always been detected by the people – that they are cheating us. You can perhaps cheat some people all the time, you can cheat all the people some of the time but you can’t cheat all of the people all of the time.

That is the situation that we are approaching now, I believe.

The cheating actually began immediately after the publication of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. In the preamble the aim of the whole affair is declared to be the union between the peoples of Europe, that union being incessantly tightened or made more binding. This scared the majority of Danes. We do not and did not ever want a United States of Europe. It is going on and on with still more integration and it will inevitably end in a superstate.

So in the next Danish translation the Foreign Office in Denmark had altered the translation of “union”, it was no longer “union” in Danish but “sammeslutne” which is something looser; “association” or something of that kind. The same thing was done in Norway and of course people protested. At that time the organisation of the Scandinavian resistance began.

I remember we got hold of the original version of the Treaty of Rome in a small study circle and when we reached page 40 (or whatever) the 10 or so participants, students and academics and politicians, all looked at each other and said, “This doesn’t work at all, it’s too centralist. It’s no good for us”.

Shortly afterwards Denmark began negotiating for membership and that is the next example of cheating.

The Government said “Well, we have got to ask what the conditions for membership of the EEC are, the Common Market as they called it. We have got to have a good debate, of course we are not applying for membership, but we have got to refer to the paragraph in the Treaty of Rome which is about application for membership.”

And I said “Good heavens, tomorrow morning they will say that we have applied!” And that is exactly what happened. The morning paper said, “Now Denmark has applied for membership” and from that it was clear that they were going to cheat us.

For 15 years we had built up, slowly, energetically, over thousands of meetings and printing and distributing thousands of pamphlets, letters to the Editor etc., a resistance.

Referendum 1

When we reached the first referendum in the late summer or early autumn of 1972, there was actually a majority against membership.

We had been able to document, by getting the original documents, communiqués etc from Brussels and Strasbourg that it was meant to be a political union. That the Common Market, like the European Coal and Steel Union, the Eurasia Treaty and other arrangements were just motors preparing the way for a political union.

Our Prime Minister, he was a Social Democrat at the time, Jens Otto Kaub, knew that it was very inconvenient that there would be a summit just before the Norwegian and Danish referendums. There might be a communiqué from that summit that would confirm that the whole thing was definitely about a political union, and not some kind of free trade area.

In the first edition of his Diary which has been printed, he admitted that he convinced colleagues in the EEC – the other Prime Ministers that such a declaration would be dangerous because it might scare the Danes who did not want a political union. He writes: ‘When they understood my position, they said that they agreed to postpone that summit and the consequent declaration until after the Norwegian and Danish referendums.’

Also, his wife happened to dine with one of the top British Industrialists in Denmark before the referendum. She told him that her husband was so afraid that the result will be “No”, and there were actually three opinion polls which confirmed that was the likely outcome.

Some British businessman understood the ‘hint’ and organised a collection of money so that millions, some three quarter million Danish Krone were invested in the ‘Black September’ (as we call it) “Yes” Campaign.

There were whole page advertisements in the newspapers telling us that we would go bankrupt if we stayed outside the EEC, but if we came in employment would be secured almost forever, agriculture and especially the small farms would be protected. (Laughter)

At that time we had 200,000 farmers. Today we have 30,000!

Regarding industry in the northernmost county of Denmark. There would be more jobs because naturally Norwegian and Swedish industries would move in to get inside the European paradise. Danish households would be more secure, you could afford more privately, you could afford to travel to the Mediterranean etc. …All that kind of stuff.

The Director of our National Bank sent a telegram, from New York I think, saying that he was very afraid for the Danish economy, he wouldn’t be able to take the responsibility for the Danish National Bank if the referendum result was “No”.

The Danish Exchange was closed, – no more dealing with currency or investments until after the ‘Yes’ was secured.

Now the result was, of course, some 63% voted “Yes” and some 37% voted “No”, a two third majority in favour. The very next day Jens Otto Kraub appeared on TV and said with a smile that he had done what he had hoped to do therefore by noon he resigned! People could not understand why he was not going to stay on to enjoy the fruits of his victory. The explanation was that three weeks later when his replacement was sent to Paris to sign the Communiqué saying that in 10 years it was intended to establish a Political Union on the basis of the European Steel and Coal Union etc.

This of course caused anger! Although we had been beaten we became very angry, and anger at a defeat is a good motivation for continuing to fight. Like Dunkirk.

So, the resistance grew. Unfortunately for the “Yes” side, an oil crisis combined with a much less profitable membership (of the EEC) than expected, which led to farmers borrowing money not only on the basis of the real subsidies that they got, but also on their expectations, which were much higher.

All this meant that within a couple of years there was a crisis in agriculture. It became obvious, you could see that they had no money for maintenance of their buildings and the result was that small farms were bought by the larger, richer farmers. Unemployment grew and anger in the population grew. Within a few years there was a Danish majority against remaining in what was to become the European Union.

Referendum 2

The next crossroads were in 1986 when we had to vote about the Single European Act. It was called the Christmas Box or Present, because the vote was scheduled just after Christmas. And then we had a parliament that didn’t really agree that we should sign up.

According to the Danish Constitution there should be a 5/6ths majority to give away sovereignty. And by the way, the Constitution also stipulates that sovereignty can only be given to an organisation for international co-operation, not to a Superstate. That became important later.

Well we had to have a referendum and the Danish Prime Minister at the time was conservative, Paul Scholar, and he made radio and, I believe, a TV speech in which, believe it or not, he said, “If you vote ‘Yes’ again this time it means that the idea of a European Union will be as dead as a doornail.”

That, of course was nonsense. That sentence has been rebroadcast time and again in variety shows and cartoons etc. “If you say ‘Yes’ the Union will be dead.” It meant, of course, exactly the opposite – a few more steps in the direction of a political Union.

Referendum 3

In 1992 there was yet another referendum on 2nd June, this time on the Maastricht Treaty. Fearing a “No”, the text was altered a bit, and there was a bit less integration than originally had been the idea, but nevertheless we voted No! We had had enough of the lies and deceit and enough of the unstoppable train towards a Federal Europe. Shortly after there was a French referendum which very nearly resulted in a “No” also, they had to call in some Pacific Island’s votes to secure the last minute “Yes”.

Referendum 4

That “‘No” shocked the Danish “Yes” side. Being in Europe had become a religion and being outside it was heresy. And so a compromise was concocted called the four opt-outs, a conference in Edinburgh was part of the procedure, and then it was suggested that we should have yet another referendum on these opt-outs.

q ‘Would you agree to Denmark staying outside the military dimension?’ q ‘Would you agree to Denmark staying outside the common police and judicial arrangements?’ q ‘Would you agree to Denmark staying outside the Single Currency?’ q ‘Would you agree to Denmark staying outside the Common Citizenship?’

Many people said well, “Yes” we would prefer less than Maastricht to which we voted “No”. Actually it was a vote about Maastricht – when the ‘Yes’ result was achieved on the 18th May 1993 the politicians immediately signed the Maastricht Treaty.

British experts, Leoline Price QC and Martin Howe QC with whom I have discussed this vote both here and in Denmark, have said, “Well these opt-outs are not worth very much actually”. We of course, time and again, documented the process in pamphlets, articles and books.

It was a “Yes”, a narrow “Yes” but still a yes to the Treaty of Maastricht, The opt-outs were not put into the Treaty, but later they were put into the Amsterdam Treaty. The “Yes” vote caused unrest in Copenhagen, even violent riots. Some young people, calling themselves ‘the Autonomous’ sealed off an area of Copenhagen and intended to defend it and declared it a ‘European Union Free Area of Denmark’.

My wife and I happened to be quite nearby, at a restaurant mourning the result of the vote. When we came out we saw things burning in the street, we saw they young people and got into a taxi thinking that this might be a difficult situation, and a few moments later the Police opened fire with live ammunition. Fortunately, they didn’t kill anybody, but they wounded a lot of youngsters and others. Fortunately, my wife and I had left two or three minutes before.

The fight went on.

Referendum 5

On 28th May 1998 we voted on the Amsterdam Treaty. Again, the politicians said that if you voted “Yes” there would not be any more integration for a long long time, there may even be less union if you vote “Yes”. I don’t know how many believed them but it was an even more narrow vote in favour.

There are now indications that this tactic is not going to work in the future, and the “Yes” voters are showing definite signs that they are not going to continue voting yes. The very Minister, a Social Democrat, who negotiated our entry into the EEC in 1972, recently stated that he would not vote for the abolition of the Krone for the Euro. That wouldn’t be right for the Danish Economy he thought. And the son of the Danish Foreign Minister who was in charge of our Foreign negotiations in 1972 wrote an article a few days ago saying, “This time I have got to vote ‘No’. …… .. his father was ……..”

24% of the Conservative Party in Denmark is now against and 23% of Social Democrats are against too. Within both parties they have formed opposition groups and they intend to go out fighting against the Euro.

Almost every week, sometimes more than one a day, we see opinion polls from various bureau’s and astonishingly different results are elicited.

But the answers very much depend on what you ask and how you ask it:

If you ask, “Are you are in favour of Danish/European co-operation?” people think, “Well yes, European co-operation, why not, co-operation but not integration”. And so they say “Yes”, and there is a majority in favour.

If the question is ‘Would you like the Krone to be abolished in favour of the Euro? it is much more likely to be “No”.

As a matter of fact we had, on the very same day, two very different results which proved that the outcome depended on the way the questions were put.

Now recently the Austrian affair, in an unexpected way has influenced opinion in Denmark, and in other countries I know. There are very few Nazis in Denmark, a couple of hundred perhaps, young people of the extreme right who wear the swastika etc. But many people are saying that although we don’t sympathise with Jorg Haider and the so-called Freedom Party, the EU should not interfere because what will be next?

Shall we take the risk that one day they will interfere and impose sanctions on Denmark because there is a large movement wanting to get out of the EU? And also will they send in Europol or the European Army someday in the future?

There was a Swedish film some years ago about the European Army invading Sweden in order to keep it in the EU.

It is not likely to happen in my lifetime but my grandchildren might have that experience. People thought things like that and said them.

Our Prime Minister said, “Well when we send out the communiqué banning Austria and imposing sanctions, it wasn’t really the EU, it was just 14 Prime Ministers that met informally.” Then the critics said, well at least you should have asked our Parliament or our government according to the Danish Constitution, you can’t make decisions on foreign policy without at least reporting to Parliament. He said “We didn’t have time for – it was a very informal meeting – and we hadn’t been warned beforehand of the agenda.”

A few days later it was revealed that there was a fax sent out by the Portuguese Chairmanship suggesting sanctions against Austria because of the Freedom party taking part in the Government, and our Prime Minister said, “Well, I didn’t see that fax.” Some newspaper got a copy of the fax and it showed signatures of some six or seven influential civil servants in various ministries, so his whole administration had seen it. Is it likely that they had not shown it to him?

Later it was revealed that the whole thing stemmed from the European Union’s Helsinki Conference some months earlier.

Now this and other affairs – which is another story and would take an hour to tell – has produced a situation where our Prime Minister is one of the least credible people in Denmark. The Gallop organisation has asked people to name the most credible and the least credible of 45 Danish politicians. They placed our Prime Minister at number 40 of the 45.

When he became Prime Minister he was at the top. There have been other instances where he said one thing one day and the opposite a fortnight later. That is a part of the cause of the panic of course.

I’ll just say that behind all this political panic, which means that the “No” side has a chance of winning, there is a set of historical experiences in Scandinavia that may not be in the consciousness of everybody all the time, but deep in the subconscious we know that peace in Scandinavia was created from below. The people did not want to fight any longer. You know, for 400 or 500 years the Scandinavian people had Balkan like civil wars between Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, mostly in Denmark, and with the Hansa League and other German interference. But there was a long series of actions from the grassroots where women’s groups, Trade Unions and other groups decided that they had no interest in the wars and wanted to stop.

In the same connection we got another type of nationalism, we call it patriotism to distinguish it and it allows you to have your identity, self-rule in order to avoid xenophobia. If you have the keys to your own door – your own constitution, your own soil, your own language there is no need for xenophobia. You will than accept that in East Timor, or Tibet, or Austria, wherever, you accept that they deserve their own freedom to do as they wish.

The Campaign for National Independence - Malta

MEDIA RELEASE FROM CNI (THE CAMPAIGN FOR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE) MALTA

A CONSTITUTIONAL WAY OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Dateline: 27th June 2003

To many Europeans the best innovation introduced in the Draft Constitution Treaty of the European Union is found in Article I-59: which provides that “any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union”.

The constitutional facility of voluntary withdrawal contradicts Prime Minister Fenech Adami’s declaration that the decision of the majority of the Maltese people to join the EU is “irrevocable”. The decision is reversible by a simple majority which may be obtained as a consequence of a slender swing of a few more than 6000 votes of those casts in favour of the membership agreement negotiated by the Nationalist government. The adverse impact of EU membership on many sectors of the people may bring about this beneficial swing in no time, once it is known that revocation of EU membership by democratic means is constitutionally feasible.

To many Maltese it may sound strange that Article I-10:l of the Draft Constitutional Treaty says that “the Constitution, and law adopted by the Union’s Institutions … shall have primacy over the law of the Member States”. The expression “the law of the Member States” includes the Constitution of the Member States.

It must be the cause of a lot of embarrassment to our Members of Parliament who have taken the oath of loyalty to the Constitution of Malta to accept that a Union law shall override our Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. The more so when Articles 6 of the Constitution of Malta provides that “if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void”.

Many of those who voted in favour of the agreement negotiated with the EU did so on the strength of the Prime Minster’s solemn undertaking that EU membership would not affect the Constitution of Malta. They will now feel betrayed when they will find out that the EU Accession Agreement purports to divest the Constitution of Malta from its supremacy over all other laws to which we are subject, and this, in fragrant breach of the Constitution itself.

When discussing the Four Freedoms which the EU guarantees to all its citizens, a lot of attention was given in connection with the movement of capital, to the acquisition of immovable property in Malta by non-Maltese EU citizens. No attention was afforded to the “Freedom of Residence” which in the Draft Constitutional Treaty is considered to be a Fundamental Human Right. In fact Articles II-45 states that “every citizen of the Union has the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States”.

Although this right to freely reside in Malta does not imply the right to purchase immovable property in Malta, it deserves to be considered by us as a potential cause of trouble. Up to now, foreigners do not enjoy a fundamental right to freely reside in Malta. As a consequence of the EU Accession Treaty and of the Draft Constitutional Treaty, EU citizens from any of the EU member countries will acquire the fundamental right to reside freely in Malta. Were this right to be exercised by a considerable number of non-Maltese EU citizens, as may be anticipated, the effect on the level of house-rents will be harmful, and the shortage of socially affordable rented houses for Maltese citizens will be rendered more acute.

As a result of the wide publicity which has been given to the discussions carried the EU convention which produced the Draft Constitutional Treaty and to the participation of the Prime Minister at its presentation at the EU summit in Greece, many may be under the impression that Malta is included in the list of signatories of the Constitutional Treaty. They will therefore be disappointed to find out that the current text of Article IV-3 of the Draft Constitutional Treaty states that the “Treaty establishing the Constitution shall apply to” the existing 15 EU Member States, and the 10 acceding member States are not mentioned.

However, because of the “Legal continuity” provisions of Article IV-2, which provides that the EU established by the Constitution shall succeed to all the rights and obligations of the EU existing by virtue of previous treaties, the new EU Constitution will apply to the 10 countries, including Malta, who signed the Treaty of Accession on 16 April in Greece.

In fact, Malta, together with the other 9 acceding countries, had according to Articles 5.1 of the 16th April Accession Treaty, undertaken “to accede from the date of accession to all other agreements concluded by the present Member States relating to the functioning of the Union or connected with the activities thereof”.

An unsatisfactory EU Constitution will provide Malta with an added reason to exercise the constitutional right to voluntarily withdraw from the Union when a simple majority of the Maltese people decide to do so.

Srbolijub Zivanovic - Yugoslavia

THE SERBIAN RESISTANCE TO FASCISM

By Prof Dr Srbolijub Zivanovic MD DSc © 1998

Following is the text of a lecture given by Professor Dr. Zivanovic MD DSc at the Conference held at St Catherine’s College, Oxford on 31st October 1998.

The closely argued, scientific and horrifying facts presented were supported by quotes from War Crimes Tribunals and a Video of the notorious extermination camp at Jasenovac. The total involvement of the Franciscan Order caused considerable discomfort to members of a generally stunned audience.

The full impact of the loss of British Sovereignty in a sphere not generally considered as pivotal, was painfully apparent, and the recent role played by Britain caused concern, especially to those who remember the Serbs as allies in the battle against the evils of Fascism.

The Campaign for United Kingdom Conservatism was founded by Rodney Atkinson in 1994 to unite Conservatives who opposed the policies of the then Tory Government not just on Europe and the destruction of the UK’s democratic self governance, but on all the pillars of Conservatism which had so fatally undermined the individual, family, community, nation, rule of law and personal capital.

It became the task of the Campaign to identify the failures of Conservative Party policies, recommend different policies and propagate them to a wide audience throughout the country, not just to the journalistic and political classes in London.

UK Conservatism has attracted growing support, has sold over 150,000 leaflets; holds numerous discussion meetings around the country and two conferences a year at Oxford, which attract international attention and support. Speakers have included Ian Duncan-Smith MP, Bernard Connolly, Rupert Allason, Jan Myrdal, Norris McWhirter CBE, Bill Jamieson, Enoch Powell, Dr Martin Holmes, Bill Cash MP, Peter Hitchins, Dr Erik Goethe, Professor Srboljub Zivanovic, Patricia Morgan, Dr Dennis O’Keefe, Sir Richard Body MP, Professor Patrick Minford, Martin Howe QC, Mischa Gavrilovic and many others.

Professor Zivanovic

Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is an honour to be able to speak to such a select and prominent audience. But it is not going to be a pleasure for either me or for you, because I am going to tell you something about the worst imaginable terrors that happened in Croatia during the Second World War.

Early in 1941 the Croatian Nazi State and Croatian Catholic Church leaders, supported by the Pope of the time and the Vatican, formed a huge concentration camp at Jasenovac, Gradina, Stara Gradiska and other places surrounding Jasenovac.

The camp was formed for the extermination of orthodox Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and all the others who dared to be against Croatian Nazi or Ustasha Government. More than 730,000 Serbs, between 30,000 and 40,000 Jews – we don’t know the exact number – and nearly all Gypsies were exterminated at that slaughter camp. We don’t know how many Gypsies were killed, nobody bothered to keep a record of that, but we know that only 405 Gypsies out of 20,000 to 40,000 survived and were found in Croatia in 1945. In Bosnia and Herzegovina there were only 422 Gypsies still alive in 1945. Bosnia and Herzegovina were part of the Croatian puppet state, a protectorate of Germany and Italy.

You do not know much about Jasenovac because the communist government of Marshall Tito did not wish to even allow talk of Croatian atrocities, because it would endanger the policy of unity and brotherhood. So many Serbs were slaughtered and killed just because they were Serbs belonging to the eastern orthodox church, that Tito was afraid that Serbs would try to seek revenge. There could be a civil war and Croats would be killed. Tito was a true Croat and he was not interested in the suffering of Serbs.

But Tito had to do something about the Jasenovac camp because pressure from veteran’s organisations and the population in general was great. So it was decided to erect a huge monument on the Jasenovac site in 1965. But the Monument was erected without any inscription referring to the Croatian genocide against Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. In 1964 on the insistence of veteran associations, a group of forensic anthropologists was appointed to make a preliminary investigation at Jasenovac on the left bank of the Sava River and at Gradina on the right bank, that is on the Bosnia side. The Group was given 5 working days on each site to open pits in some of the mass graves to see what could be found in the pits. To estimate the number of victims in mass graves and their ethnic origin, sex, age and so on.

Most of the well established professors and prominent research workers in Yugoslavia declined to take part in this investigation because the Communist Party, Tito Government and everybody in power were against investigating the site. There were only three young assistant lecturers who were prepared, being young, to take part in the investigation of the site. Two of them were from Slovenia, Lubljana. Dr. Anton Pogacnik and Mrs Vida Brodar. The third one was from Novi Sad University, Dr. Srboljub Zivanovic, that is me.

Before we started our investigation of the site we had the opportunity to get all relevant information and advice from the Professor of Forensic Science at the University of Zagreb and later of Novi Sad, Professor Ante Premeru. He was a Croat. Professor Premeru was captured by Nazis in 1941 and sent to Jasenovac, because he was against Nazis. As an inmate he saw all the atrocities. As a Professor of Forensic Science he recorded in his mind everything that he could see. The other inmate of scientific prominence was Professor Zora Radujkov who was captured in Zagreb in 1944 and sent first to Stara Gradiska (that was a part of Jasenovac for women and children) and then to Jasenovac camp. She witnessed the killing of numerous women and children.

We also interviewed a number of victims who managed to survive these atrocities. Before I go on with the description of our work and the results of our investigation, I must tell you something about the reasons for the Croatian genocide of the Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. Victims of other nationalities were not so numerous.

Ladies and Gentlemen, time is short, and so I am going to show you a video of the Jasenovac camp with English subtitles, this will give you a visual impression while I continue to talk.

Immediately after the formation of the so-called independent state of Croatia in 1941, Croats began carrying out unheard of crimes against the Serbian Orthodox population, Jews and Gypsy population. The attempt to create an ethnically pure Croat Catholic area called for a demonic project of genocide of unbelievable scope in view of the then national structure of 3,069,000 or 50.78% Croats, 1,874,000 orthodox Serbs or 30.56% and 717,000 or 11.86% Moslem. When I say in Croatia I mean in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina together.

So how did all this start? From time immemorial, and evidently since the 8th Century, there was a permanent fight by the Roman Catholic Bishops to get hold of the Balkan peninsular. I have no time to speak of the events of past centuries but will concentrate only on this century.

The Roman Catholic Church was a consistent supporter of the Holy Roman Catholic Austria Hungarian Empire, and fought against the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia with a Serbian orthodox King as the Head of State. The Catholic Church started to educate Croats to hate orthodox Serbs, and to fight for the destruction of Yugoslavia and the extermination of Orthodox Serbs. In all Catholic monasteries since before the end of the last century, groups of Priests preparing Croats for terrorist activities have been identified. When the second world war erupted the Croatian Catholic Nation was well prepared for genocide against Serbs and all the others who were not Roman Catholics.

The Catholic Order of Franciscans was the main grass-roots group of Priests who led the Croatian people to commit genocide. They were the most prominent killers, slaughterers, Commanding Officers of Jasenovac and other extermination camps. I must give you some examples of the Franciscan murderers and monasteries that were training the killers.

For instance Cantic Monastery was headquarter of Slavko Kvaternik, founder of the Croatian Nazi State. At Christmas 1940 a decision was made there to join Hitler and Mussolini in the fight against Britain and her allies. The guardian of these monasteries, Herman Castimir and Friar Benko formed the first concentration camp for the extermination for Serbs, Gypsies and Jews.

According to the Croatian Press, ‘Croatian People Paper’ number 110 page 13 dated 4th June 1941, the Franciscan monastery at Siroki Brijeg became the main training camp for Croatian terrorists and slaughterers who were preparing for the genocide against the Serbs under the leadership of the Franciscan Priest Dr Radoje Glavas, Cannon Ivan Mikulin was the main organiser of the extermination of Serbs in Ogulin according to ‘New Croatia’ number 128 dated 1st June 1943 page 6. There are thousands of such examples.

The Archbishop of Croatia during the second world war, Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, who was beatified by the present Pope John Paul II this month, supported his clergy in the genocide of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, and even blessed the Croatian slaughterers who came to show him their hands covered with the blood of Serbian children whom they had slaughtered.

That speaks volumes for the present Catholic Church! With a Pope such as John Paul II, it seems that this Church has the Saints that it deserves!

Let us come back to Jasenovac. The first Commanding Officer at the extermination camp at Jasenovac was Franciscan. Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic from Catholic Monastery Petricevac near Banjaluka, was the first organiser of the slaughter of Serbs in the villages around Banuluka. On February 7th 1942 he led Croatian Ustashes to Motika village. He personally grabbed the child of Djuro Glamocin and slashed his neck saying ‘Ustasha, this is the way in which I baptise these bastards in the name of God. You should just follow my example. Let this thing be on my soul, but I am going to give you my forgiveness and the forgiveness of the Church for your acts.’

More than 1500 women and children were killed in that village on that day. When he became the Commanding Officer at Jasenovac he used to kill a number of children himself every day. Father Zvonko Brekalo, Father Zvonko Lipovac, Father Culina and hundreds of other Catholic Priests did the same.

At the Second World War Criminal Tribunal in Zagreb recorded hearing no. 2006, Commanding Officer of Jasenovac, Father Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic admitted that he himself killed approximately 100 victims every day. That he knew of the mass extermination of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. That he received verbal instruction from Max Luburic, who’s sister was the wife of Dinko Sakic, now on trial in Zagreb. She was the Commanding Officer of women’s camp at Stara Gradiska, which was an extension of Jasenovac.

Father Filipovic described to the court how the victims were led to Gradina and forced to go down into excavated pits. Each was hit by mallet blow at the back of the head, which broke the skull. Some victims were shot and some slaughtered with knives. Young women and girls were raped and then killed. Just before the end of the war cadavers were excavated and burned to clear the traces of mass killings. That was his testimony to the Court.

During the Communist rule in Yugoslavia in early ’43, The Churchill Government was asked by the Vatican State to protect Croats who had committed genocide against the Serbs and was offered in return, the co-operation of the Catholic Church in Italy during the Allied landings. Tito offered to protect the Croats. The British Government accepted the offer and started to support the Communists in Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia was given to the Soviet Union as a reward for the fight on the eastern front. Serbs were left in the hands of their enemies. Tito ordered that all traces of Jasenovac be removed in the name of brotherhood and unity. Even the families of the slaughtered Serbs had to keep quiet.

Croats also committed the crime of genocide of the Jews. More 30,000 Jewish men women and children were killed in Jasenovac in the most inhumane way. The Croatian Minister of the Interior, Dr Andrija Arttukovic, who was the master of this project, informed the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann on February 23rd 1942, that Croatia had radically resolved the Jewish Question.

The same happened to the Gypsies, but Croats did not bother to keep an account of the slaughter of Gypsies whom they treated as sub-human. Croats slaughtered and brutally killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children only because they belonged to a specific religion or nation.

Let me give an extract from the Court transcript of the trial of the war criminal, Dr. Andrija Artukovic. ‘Those arrested had their ears or noses severed, their eyes gouged out, were killed with knives or clubs, their skin sliced into strips, their bodies placed on nails. Female genital organs were used as ashtrays, the breasts were cut off women. They were thrown into furnaces or killed with poisonous injections.’ That is what he said in Court!

The most brutal form of Croatian crime was the mass murder of children. Croatian War Criminal Father Dr. Viktor Gutic publicly stated ‘All the Serb vermin of 15 years of age and over, we will kill. While the children will be placed in Catholic Monasteries and we will make good Catholics of them.’

Father Dionisije Juricev, in his clerical robes, openly proclaimed ‘No one except Catholics will be allowed to live in Croatia, and those who refuse to be converted will be dealt with, (by which he meant sent to Jasenovac). It is no sin today even to kill a small child who hinders Croatian moment.’

What has happened during the last eight years in Yugoslavia? The Vatican and it’s allies in the United States and Germany decided to destroy Yugoslavia. The American so-called “retired” Officers with the help of NATO organised the partition of Yugoslavia into unnatural States which cannot survive without external interference.

Serbs have been expelled from their country of Krajina, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and American troops bombarded the Serbian Army with nuclear weapons. More than 1,000,000 Serbs managed to escape to Serbia. Croats continue to commit genocide against Serbs. Croats moved into Serbian houses and so do not want any refugee to return. Serbian Orthodox Churches were burned down, Bishops and Priests expelled and the Vatican policy goes on.

The British Government failed to pursue their own Foreign Policy and gave in to the Americans and Germans. You can see it even today when Tony Blair and his puppet, Cook, blindly repeat Clinton’s lies about Kosovo. Even our retired, old and senile Lady Margaret Thatcher, whom I used to admire very much some time ago, recently went to the Croatian Capital to proclaim that the Serbs were guilty of everything – and for that she received an Order from the new pro-Nazi Croatian State, which committed another genocide against Serbs recently.

The prospect is that Great Britain will have to follow commandments from Bonn, Berlin and Washington in future. Unfortunately Great Britain has lost it’s independent foreign policy.

The friend of Mrs Thatcher, the Croatian President Dr. Franjo Tudjman proclaimed that he is very lucky that his wife is neither Serb or a Jew. He also said in his book, ‘Wastelands of Historical Reality’ published in 1989 ‘that Genocide is historically justified.’ So Margaret Thatcher agrees with that, because she agrees with him. He is trying to minimise the number of victims in Jasenovac, the Croatian Government is still continuing the Catholic policy of the solution of the schismatic orthodox problem in the Holy Croatian Catholic State to this day.

Dr. Mile Budak described this policy in the following way: ‘One third of Serbs are to be killed, one third expelled and one third converted to Catholicism’. What the Ustasha could not complete during the second world war was completed during the recent dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Genocide against Serbs was completed in Croatia and Bosnia with a NATO force bombardments, killing of civilians, children, old and sick. The British Air Force participated in this genocide under the orders of American Generals.

The genocide against Jews was completed by February 23rd 1942 when Croatian Minister and war criminal Dr. Andrija Artukovic, who managed to survive till old age in the USA, informed Adolf Eichmann that Croatia had radically resolved the Jewish Question.

Franjo Tudjman the present Head of Croatia, a few days ago, informed the present Pope that Croatia had also resolved the Serbian Orthodox problem, with the help of the European Union and NATO.

The Orthodox Church lost three Bishops during the Second World War, they were severely tortured, nails were hammered into their feet and finger and toe nails were pulled out, and so on… The rest managed to escape to Serbia. 220 Clergymen were murdered. In present Croatia Serbian Clergymen were deported together with the Bishops, and not allowed to come back.

The present fight in Kosovo is just another war against Serbs. It is well known that the majority of Serbian monasteries and historical places are in Kosovo. Mudja Hadin and Croatian mercenaries are fighting against Serbs in Kosovo as members of the so called ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’. Serbs are being expelled from the heart of their traditional homeland by the American Arch-liar, Clinton, and CNN and the propaganda machine are against Serbs.

The British Labour Government is giving Clinton it’s wholehearted support. Catholic magnum crimen is going on against Serbs with full force. The Serbs are blamed for defending their own country. If Kosovo is lost to the Serbs, no nation in the European Union or the USA will ever be safe.

Those who support terrorists will have to pay with their own lives.

The Veteran’s Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina established a team of forensic anthropologists by their letter no. 102 signed by it’s President Dusan Misiraca on 15th September 1964. And the Veteran’s Association of Croatia established the same team of anthropologists by it’s letter no. 0101744 signed by it’s President Jaksa Singer on the 19th September 1964. The members of the investigating team were Mrs. Vida Brodar, Research Fellow of the Institute of Anthropology of the University of Lubljana, Slovenia. Mr Anton Pogacnik, assistant lecturer in Anthropology at the Institute of Anthropology of the University of Lubljana, Slovenia and Dr. Srboljb Zivanovic, Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, London and assistant lecturer at the University of Novi Sad, Autonohous Province of Vdjvodina.

The aims and duties of the team were to excavate a number of delineated pits on some of the mass graves in the fields of Jasenovac and Gradina concentration camps to get an idea of the contents of the mass graves. To inspect human remains from the pits and to establish sex, age, racial affinities and cause of death. To estimate the number of victims. The report of the Anthropologists was published in ‘Catena Mundi, (vol. 1 page 789 and on) for Gradina site and (page 778 onwards) for Jasenovac site’ in 1992, because it was hidden in the archives until that time.

The internationally accepted methods and instruments described by Rudolph Martin (Lehrbuch der Anthropologie, Gustav Fisher, Jena, 1928) were used during the investigation.

In preliminary research a further report and instructions by the Professor of Forensic Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the University of Novi Sad, Professor Ante Premeru, himself a victim and inmate of the concentration camp at Jasenovac from ’41 to ’45, who managed to survive. He personally witnessed atrocities and criminal activities, mass executions, torture, slaughter deprivation of food and water and so on, and was forced to personally dig out cadavers from mass graves to burn them so that the number of victims would not be able to be established after the war. He was a member of the State Commission for establishing War Crimes.

We also had a report on trial drilling to establish the location of mass graves by the Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University of Lubljana, Slovenia, Professor Alojz Sercelj. The drilling was done on the Gradina side only.

We had a verbal report from Professor Zora Radujkov University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Medicine, who was captured in Zagreb on 18th April 1944 and sent to Jasenovac where as an inmate she worked as a medical practitioner. She witnessed criminal activities and atrocities, mass murders of children imprisoned at Jasenovac and suffering of innocent people during the time that Nada Sakic was Commander of the Camp. She managed to survive and is still living in Novi Sad.

We had the verbal report of Nedelko Kukic who managed to escape from Jasenovac three times and was three times recaptured, but is still alive. He witnessed mass executions during which victims were either killed by mallet or their throats were slashed by a knife.

The verbal report of Dragan Cukalec confirmed that he had witnessed the same sort of activity, he managed to survive too.

What happened to the material evidence? The remains of cadavers were reburied at the site after the anthropological investigation. All objects found in the pits were also reburied after examination and recording, with the following exceptions. A number of skulls with injuries that were the cause of death were kept for the Jasenovac museum. A number of objects found in the pits were given to Jasenovac museum to be exhibited. Gold coins, crosses, Star of David jewellery, wedding rings, gold tooth crowns, and all other valuables were weighted and given to various associations. The remains of a number of brains found in the skulls were sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Lubluna, for further tests.

Excavations on the Gradina site were begun on the 22nd June 1964 and were completed on 27th June 1964. Excavations on the Jasenovac site began on 22nd September 1964 and were completed on 27th September 1964.

The results of the Anthropological Investigation was published in ‘Catena Mundi, vol. 1’ in 1992. After examining pits sized 6m by 2m and 3m by 4m, selected at random in the mass graves, it was found that the average number of skeletons was 27 per 2sq m – that is the size of a normal, single grave.

200 such mass graves were identified at that time. The method of extermination at the two sites were slightly different, at Gradina victims were brought directly from their homes and slaughtered with knives or by breaking their skulls with mallets at the edge of the mass grave, and then thrown into it along with all their possessions. These included jewellery, gold coins, money, babies dummies, shoes, milk bottles, pots and pans, invalid’s crutches and so on.

They were predominantly the village population from Bosnia as could be seen from the remains of clothing and their possessions which were typical of Serbian Orthodox origin as could be seen from crosses and jewellery. At Jasenovac victims had been robbed of their possessions and only the remains of shoes, some clothing and some spoons could be found. Some had been killed by bullets but most had been slaughtered like those in Gradina. The average number of skeletons in the mass graves that we saw was estimated to be approximately 800. It as impossible to estimate how many bodies had been taken out of the mass graves and cremated mainly from the second half of 1943 to the end of the war when Dinko Sakic was Commanding Officer at the camp and tried to cover up the atrocities and crimes.

It was also impossible to estimate how many had been killed and thrown into the Sava River. I personally observed, for many weeks, cadavers from Jasenovac floating in their hundreds down the Danube River, every day. These cadavers were brought to the Danube by the River Sava. At that time I was living with my family on the banks of the Danube, as a nine year old, in the city of Smederevo.

The full report of our findings was never written, because the excavations that had begun were supposed to have continued when the weather was better in the spring of 1965. The two reports in the form of the diary of excavations were submitted to the veteran organisations of Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia. The State authorities prevented the publication of these reports or any other information on the work of the team. All was kept a secret until the break up of the former Yugoslavia when it was very difficult to trace the reports and publish them.

The Yugoslav authorities had not been happy with the excavations at the Croatian extermination camp for Serbs, Jews and Gypsies at Jasenovac and surrounding places, because there was a fear of civil unrest if the results became known.

Croats killed more than 730,000 Serbs, between 30,000 and 40,000 Jews and nearly all the Gypsies living in Croatia.

My interview given to the Press in 1964 was not allowed to be published, and I was told by the authorities to keep quiet and stop talking about our work at Jasenovac/Gradina. Knowing that I would have great problems I emigrated from Yugoslavia and went to Africa and eventually came to England in 1968. I became a naturalised British citizen in 1974.

All the time the team of anthropologists was under pressure to keep the number of victims as low as possible. But it was impossible under any calculations to reduce the number of victims killed by the Croats below 700,000. The team of anthropologists suggested that excavations should be done systematically over all the ground, which is approximately 12.5 km long and 4.5 km wide, to establish the correct and full picture of the suffering of victims and extermination of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies under the so-called independent Croatian State under German occupation of Yugoslavia.

Such excavations could be organised even now, because skeletal remains and all the other objects are still buried just two or three feet below the surface of the ground. In present day Croatia, the President Franjo Tudjman who claims to be an historian, wants to minimise the number of people killed in Jasenovac, (he says there were between 20,000 and 30,000) and the number of other Croatian intellectuals try to do the same thing. However none of them have gone to Jasenovac and Gradina and tried to count the victims, which is the only way to see whether our team was correct or not.

If an international forensic team were to undertake the work, I am sure that they would find the same things that we found in 1965.

Thank you.

Horst Teubert - Germany

The German experience – origin and future of the Euro

By Horst Teubert

Dateline:13th February 2003

When at the end of the year 2001 in Germany the first Euro coins were issued, it seemed as if the Emperor Charles V was, in a manner of speaking, alive again. You may not know the Emperor Charles V. He was the father of Philip II of Spain who sent his Great Armada to conquer England in the time of your first Queen Elizabeth in 1588. Your history calls this great fleet the Spanish Armada but it would be as accurate to call it the European Armada, because Philip ruled over so much of Europe. If it had succeeded, your religious, political and economic life would have been dictated from the European mainland for more than 400 years and we probably would not be holding this meeting! The Empire of Charles V is widely seen as a predecessor of the European Union.

What has Charles V to do with the Euro? When the first Euro coins were handed out, German newspapers published maps on which you could see the “zone of influence” of the Euro, a zone which is much bigger than the 12 western European countries that introduced the new currency. The “zone of influence” of the Euro reaches from the Caribbean Sea to the Indian Ocean and to the Pacific Ocean. You pay with the Euro not only in the French Departments in South America and in the Indian Ocean, but also in Kosovo and in Montenegro. Bound to the Euro are the currencies in French Polynesia and New Caledonia, besides the currencies of 16 countries in Western and Central Africa. Politicians in the candidate states of the EU in Eastern Europe have already started planning the introduction of the Euro You can say of the Euro what could be said of the Emperor Charles V: He controlled an “empire on which the sun never sets”.

The German government is proud of this. The EU has turned into “a first-class global finance power with the Euro”, declares the German Foreign Office on its website. And it declares further: “For the first time the finance markets possess a credible alternative to the dollar.” This is especially important for German policy: Finally they can compete with the USA. With the Euro Germany has got a currency that makes this possible. German bankers are even hoping the Euro could beat the dollar. The Chief Economist of the “Deutsche Bank” declares: “In the not too distant future, in short, the Euro will be to the dollar what Airbus has become to Boeing.” The European Airbus outstripped US-Boeing in the meantime.

The Euro is to compete with the dollar in the whole world, and for that purpose German bankers offer the strangest suggestions. You know, on the continent we have one-Euro-coins but no one-Euro-notes Recently a German banker declared publicly that the one-dollar-note was world famous; so the EU should introduce a one-Euro-note because a coin could never become as famous as a note. Of course this is a very strange idea, but it shows how eager Germans are to compete with the US.

Yet the Euro isn’t a currency which can be influenced by all Euro-countries to the same extent: Germany is the country with the strongest influence on the new currency. When the first Euro-coins were introduced German newspapers declared: “The Euro speaks German.” It speaks German, not French and not at all English. The currency policies of the “European Central Bank” which is situated in the German town of Frankfurt am Main has been established according to German concepts and is formed by them. The statutes of the “European Central Bank”, the “convergence criteria” and the “stability pact” correspond to concepts developed by the German Ministry of Finance. The German Minister of Finance succeeded in getting them accepted against concepts suggested by other countries.

Of course Germany, the strongest power of the EU, has enough influence to shape the political general conditions for the Euro in accordance with its national interests. You can recognize this very easily by the “stability criteria”. To make the Euro become a stable currency an upper limit for new indebtedness of states was fixed at three percent. The first state that threatened to exceed this limit after the introduction of the Euro was Portugal, which was warned officially by the EU. The second state that threatened to exceed the limit of three percent was Germany – and Germany was not warned by the EU. As long as Germany itself exceeds the limit there won’t be any consequences. When Germany again fulfills the stability criteria, other states, which do not, will get into serious trouble.

You may now suspect that Germany advocated the introduction of the Euro for pursuing its own hegemonial concepts. That’s an insidious idea but it seems to be true. With the Euro Germany has a currency which is valid in a large economic area; Germany played a decisive role in determining the political rules for this currency; Germany is playing a decisive role in keeping these rules.

Anyone who is familiar with German history will not be particularly surprised at this assessment. Since the beginning of its expansionist policy , Germany disguised its striving to become a super power with the ambition of uniting the European continent. Propagandists of the German Kaiserreich had already developed similar plans when the First World War was prepared. They declared that Germany would put Europe “in order” in a new and “natural” manner if the continent was ready to grant Berlin’s wishes.

Germany continued the old propaganda of uniting Europe after the Nazis came to power in 1933 as well. When the German army occupied neighbouring countries, Germany offered to the oppressed nations a system of economic exploitation that was named “Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft” (European Economic Community). Various details of this project of dominance resemble the post-war-plans of the European Economic Community. You can learn many interesting details in a document that was translated into English by Mr. Spalton and published under the title “Nazi Plans for European Union”. The original document was published under the title “Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft” (European Economic Community) in the year 1942 and was an attempt to sketch the “economic face of new Europe”. The publication contains a revealing introduction written by the then president of the “Herein Berliner Industrieller” (Club of Berlin’s Industrialists), Heinrich Hunke, who continued his career after 1945.

When economic experts and bankers contemplated the European Economic Community at the beginning of the 1940s, they discussed the future of the different European currencies as well. On this occasion plans were created which recommended the introduction of a common European currency – under the condition that it was dominated by Germany. It was a question of standardizing the European monetary area and achieving trade advantages for the German economy. Additionally, the European currency was expected to compete against the pound and especially against the dollar.

The unification of Europe and the introduction of a common European currency can not just be traced back to plans that were developed by anti-nazi-resistance until 1945. Experts of Nazi Germany developed their own concepts that even – as a historian declared recently – anticipated the Euro To give you a more precise idea of this I will quote some sentences of a document that was written in 1944 by a member of “IG Farben”. The German economic expert wrote:

“Whether Europe can hold its own with the super powers USA, Russia and Greater East Asia and become equal to them depends on whether it can find its way from national divisions and the endless struggle of its nations for dominance to achieve real European cooperation. (…) We all here in Europe are small in comparison with the three super powers if we are divided, and we will become powerless and weak-willed against them if we remain separated. It is fruitless to imagine that we were able to hold our own as Latvia or Sweden, as Hungary or Greece, as Spain or Italy and – in my opinion – even as France or Germany. Let us realize: We continental Europeans have only the choice between co-operation or subordination, to get along together and to unite in a healthy unity or to become subjects ourselves to a foreign rule from overseas.” The German economic expert then demands the building up of a “European Economic Alliance” and promises to the occupied countries independence in that alliance: “If the creation of the European large-area economy the Führer repeatedly proclaimed that aims of our policies shall be carried out in the form of an economic alliance, our intention is not to infringe on the territories of the occupied countries and of the little nations with regard to their national independence.” The draft ends with suggestions about a “Bank of Europe” and about the introduction of a common European currency, the “Europagulden” or European Guilder.

This example gives us a deeper insight into the role of the propagandists discussing the unification of Europe and also into the introduction of a common European currency. For a long time the origins of European unification and the European currency in the bureaucracies of Nazi Germany were put under a taboo, and to a certain degree they are still. But recently historians started to reconstruct the past history of the European Union and the Euro in the particular debates of the Nazis, and they have been discovering very interesting connections.

This little excursion into German history reveals that the introduction of a common European currency agrees – under appropriate circumstances – with the German striving to become a super power. Of course nobody’s trumpeting this forth. The slogans used in Germany to campaign for the Euro are completely different. The Euro is a practical thing. Germans can go on holiday in France, Spain, Italy or Greece without having to change money. Only rebellious states like Great Britain are to blame for my having to change my German euros into pounds when traveling to Derby… The Euro contributes to international understanding, according to the arguments of the propagandists. It raises consciousness in all Euro-countries that Europe belongs together and should not quarrel. With that the Euro is said to support peace in Europe.

Here I may introduce a short excursion and show how German politics disturbs peace in Europe most effectively – with its politics of ethnic groups (“Volksgruppen”) and with its plans of regionalisation. These are two different concepts that are very important in understanding German policies.

The “Volksgruppenpolitik” – a policy which claims to preserve and to empower ethnic minorities – is an old German specialty. German ideology is based on the political view that an homogenous population with a common origin, common roots and common language forms a “Volk”. Living together in such an imagined community is considered as the uniquely adequate form of living together. This approach differs totally from the concept of living together in a nation state. A good example is the former Yugoslavia. The standpoint of the German government is that people in Kosovo who speak Albanian are another “Volk” from the people who speak Serbian. Germany concludes that “Kosovo-Albanians” must receive special rights to demarcate themselves from the Serbs. Germany demanded similar things for Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. You know very well the outcome of this German policy in former Yugoslavia: The former nation state broke into four parts and probably will break again into Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. Existing concepts in Germany advocate the ideology of “Volk” that all European countries consist of many peoples and will break apart, even Great Britain and France. Only one country will not break for it consists of one “Volk” only: Germany.

Another German concept is the concept of “regionalisation”. It plans that parts of nation states – so-called “regions” – get more rights of their own. This strengthens the regions but, as a logical consequence, weakens the nation states. EU-policies are – as Germany wanted – supporting the regions: They are getting money and support from Brussels. The crucial outcome of the concept of regionalisation is that the supported regions align themselves more and more with Brussels and tend to lose their ties to the nation states. By these means the EU gains increasing influence on the regions. Who wonders that the strongest EU-power – Germany – profits from these developments! Recently some French complained that Alsace can’t be controlled completely by Paris any more and they cite a growing German influence. Germany influenced Alsace after occupying it in 1870 and 1940; both times Alsace was made part of the German “Reich”.

As you may recognize, German policies imply very dangerous aspects that are not supporting peace in Europe at all. Therefore it’s somewhat misleading to claim that the Euro upholds peace; for the Euro is supporting German hegemony over Europe.

In spite of all this propaganda, the Euro isn’t very popular in Germany. The reason for this is that many Germans were proud of the D-Mark, a currency which is associated with German economic growth after the Second World War, and therefore symbolizes a great success. Now many Germans are disappointed that this symbol of success was taken away. Furthermore many companies used the introduction of the Euro at the beginning of the year 2002 to increase prices. Official statistics say there hasn’t been a significant increase of prices but many Germans have a different perception.

Nevertheless, because Germany has a very strong position inside EU the Germans actually need not reckon with an economic crisis in Germany because of the new currency. I think the actual economic crisis in Germany – we have 4,6 millions of unemployed at the moment, the highest number for many years, and the number is increasing – I think the actual economic crisis is mainly due to political decisions made by the German government and not due to the Euro With the Euro came rules for the finance policy of the European countries; these rules are a danger for many European nation states, especially the smaller ones, because they lost the freedom to make a finance policy corresponding to their needs. It’s another thing for Germany. Germany has the power to break the rules which came with the Euro, and in fact it does so. So the Euro may be blamed for unemployment in Portugal or Greece, but hardly for German unemployment.

Beyond this background, the strong German economy has created the prerequisites to expand totally in the countries that introduce the Euro Already now the German economy controls every day greater parts of Europe. An example is the German energy company RWE, one of the biggest German energy companies. The enterprise bought – among other things – the gas monopoly in the Czech Republic, possesses about 50 percent of the gas market in Hungary and bought recently 85 percent of the polish energy company Stoleczny Zaklad Energetyczny. Buying the British gas producer Highland Energy RWE invaded into the British energy market, taking over Innogy Holding RWE bought the leading company of power supply in Great Britain.

RWE is not the only German holding buying parts of the British energy market. Eon – in the meantime the biggest private energy holding of the western world – bought Powergen and TXU-England last year and now possesses a leading position as power and gas supplier. Eon wants to strengthen its position, now with Midlands Electricity which is to be bought by Eon-subsidiary Powergen.

Economic influence of course causes political influence. You can recognize that very clearly if media holdings are sold. There are complaints in Eastern Europe against the German media holding WAZ (“Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung”); it is said that the holding now possesses a monopoly of public opinion. At present Bodo Hombach, a German social democrat, is a leading manager of WAZ. Previously Hombach had been Minister of the German Chancellor and then EU-coordinator on the Balkans. WAZ now possesses direct or indirect control over 23 newspapers, 38 magazines and 10 advertising papers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Yugoslavia. In Bulgaria the holding publishes the daily newspaper with the highest circulation, the greatest political weekly newspaper, the women’s magazine with the highest circulation and the only evening newspaper and controls – measured by circulation – 80 percent of Bulgarian daily press. Most media in the Czech Republic are also owned by German holdings; last year the Czech government complained that its view of the Benes decrees is hardly printed in national media which print a view that is similar to the German view.

Citizens of the affected countries certainly will not profit by the fact that German companies get an easier access to their markets after introducing the Euro, since – if companies are bought by German groups, control over the companies shifts to Germany and can’t be influenced by the local population. What people want doesn’t count at all. An example: There were massive protests in Poland last year when the German RWE bought the Polish energy company Stoleczny Zaklad Energetyczny; conflicts in parliament dragged on for a whole day and a night. One member of parliament who was protesting against the sale to the German company was finally removed from the parliament forcibly at five o’clock in the morning by guards.

This can happen if someone is defends his country’s interest against German influence. Already now Germany is the greatest power inside EU, and it does all it can to enlarge its power more and more. It is trying to weaken the sovereignty of other nation states, to weaken their resistance and strengthen the German position. The Euro is one of the means that support the German policies, besides other means such as German ethnic group policies or the German concept of regionalisation. That all could end in a Europe dominated by Germany – a vision Germany aimed at twice within the last century. I can’t do anything but warn you against German hegemony over Europe.

— Redaktion Informationen zur Deutschen Außenpolitik Fax: 01212-5-257-08-537 e-mail: [email protected] Internet: http://www.german-foreign-policy.com

Professor Magdolna Csath - Hungary

EU Imperial expansion – the example of Hungary

PREFACE by Rodney Atkinson

We are pleased to be able to publish this paper from Hungary by Dr Magdolna Csath of the University of Budapest. In the paper she describes the same processes which are at work in the destruction of the other nations of Eastern Europe, so recently freed from Soviet Communism. They now find that the European Union is daily destroying the very institutions of democracy, free enterprise, national sovereignty and parliamentary rights for which they struggled over 40 years to regain. Indeed it is precisely the “former communist” apparatchiks and politicians who find that Brussels acts in very much the same manner as Moscow did.

We see the same corporatism which now dominates the existing member countries of the EU, the same contempt for parliamentary democracy, the same bullying tactics and bribery, the same manipulation of public opinion by the State apparatus, and the same control of much of the press by euro-corporatism.

In addition the privatisation programmes in these underdeveloped countries have handed over at knock-down prices to foreign multi-national corporations those Hungarian property and business assets which could have been the basis of home grown enterprise. Farmers are being decimated while West European farmers continue to be grossly subsidised. The existing EU members have open access to Hungary while Hungarian farmers and businesses are denied equal free access to the rich markets of West Europe. The Hungarian Government must pay its full budget contribution from day one but it only receives 25% of the farming subsidies available to West European farmers through the EU.

If there was ever a programme for imperial take-over it is in these entry agreements forced on the new members by the European Union.

December 8, 2002.

Hungary and the European Union

by Professor Magdolna Csath,

Univerwsity of Budapest, Hungary

1. INTRODUCTION.

The EU enlargement to the East, from a historical point of view, can be considered a neo-colonialization attempt. This can be proved by the unequal conditions offered to the candidate countries – compared to existing members. Also the previously signed association agreements with these countries were based on relations of unequal partners, as the developed Western partners have gained more by liberalizing the markets of the associate countries, and capitalizing on the privatization opportunities, but offering very little in exchange.

9 out of the 15 countries in the EU today are former colonizing powers, which have accumulated their wealth partly from their colonies. The association agreements offered new wealth-creation opportunities, and so would full enlargement, if the conditions remained so unfair.

2. HUNGARY IN TRANSITION.

Hungary is the most globalized and liberalized country of the region. Hungary offers the best and most profitable investment opportunities to foreign investors, including tax holidays, subsidies and other types of support. Therefore Hungary has attracted the most Direct Investment per capita in the region. Also foreign control over the economy is the highest: it is about 70-75 per cent not – yet – including agriculture. The World Bank and the IMF are still strongly influencing economic policies, pushing it towards even more privatization, liberalization, export and growth orientation and budget restraint. Foreign owned corporations’ share of exports is already about 80%. The Hungarian owned sector is economically weak and uncompetitive, because it is overtaxed and undersupported, while foreign businesses enjoy generous tax holidays, loose regulations and control, and other favourable conditions. Therefore the Hungarian companies, especially the SME-s face a real danger of bankruptcy if Hungary joins the EU. The Hungarian situation is well characterized by P.Gowan in the European Integration in the 21st century. (Sage, 2002)

“Hungary has been the paradigm of an economy which has been ‘globalized/Europeanized’: most of its industrial system has gone into foreign ownership. This has resulted in some high-tech export sectors, but a balance sheet of foreign-owned sectors which takes account of indirect as well as direct imports and which also takes account of repatriated profits seems to suggest that the ‘globalization’ of the Hungarian economy is overall value-subtracting from a national point of view. It is also generating a dual economy. In Hungary wage levels are strikingly low at 10-15 per cent of those in Austria.”

Because of the high share of foreign ownership Hungary has no control over what is produced on her land, and what types of jobs are offered to her people. It is all decided far away, in the headquarters of the global companies operating in Hungary. Therefore there is little opportunity for the locals to influence the future, to be proactive, and to build an independent, strong country. Hungarian society as a whole also suffers: we can experience a disintegration process, lack of trust and weakening social capital. There is „only one” strong vision the politicians communicate to the people: our future is the EU, there can be no other alternative, the EU will solve all our problems, because we will get a lot of money from the EU, so „don’t worry, be happy”! This is of course a dangerous lie! But there is little chance to inform the people about this, as the media is firmly involved in the „advertizing campaign”, and therefore it does not allow different opinions to be voiced. The government spends huge amounts of money – of course the tax-payers’ money- to lie to the people when selling the enlargement process as the happiest thing thant can happen to them.

3. HUNGARY IS ALREADY A COLONY.

From the above mentioned facts one can conclude that Hungary has already been colonalized. Hungary is also an American military basis, and as Z.Brzezinsky described it in his book “The Grand Chessboard. Basic Books 1997), a „protectorate”. The EU handles Hungary on that basis. Some examples for this:

4. Unequal conditions are offered.

– the movement of labour will be restricted from Hungary to the EU, but not from the EU to Hungary. “protecting the home labor market”!

– European environmental regulations will not be imposed for some time. (protecting the interests of those foreign investors who are using technologies which can not comply with the European standards).

– Hungarian businesses will be restricted in several ways in doing business in the EU thus protecting the interests of the EU’s small and medium sized companies.

– Only 25% of the direct support given to farmers in the present EU are offered to the farmers of the candidate countries, which will guarantee the disappearance of the majority of the small and medium size farms in the latter countries AND OPEN UP MORE EXPORTS FOR THE RICH EU MEMBERS’ FARMERS. This will cause unemployment and poverty, and therefore tremendous societal and political problems. This process is not against the interests of the EU, because it serves the interests of the EU farmers, who -because of the CAP system – have problems with overproduction. The disappearance of the competitors will help create new markets, and also cheap land for creating huge farms for producing basic products and for conducting gene-manipulating experiments which are not welcomed by the population of the EU. (Note that nations which are in the EU have sacrificed their right to decide on GM crops. The European Union will decide. Ed) This is of course short-sightedness and very dangerous, too. Growing poverty may trigger social unrest, which will cause troubles not only for the local politicians, but also for the EU ones. Hopefully the EU is not that cynical, that it will trust local leaders, – who are now almost everywhere in the region, the former communist leaders – to oppress the unrest with those methods these people are familiar with !

B. The Hungarian politicians are EU postmen.

The Hungarian politicians do not stand up for the interests of the country and its people. They only deliver the letters with instructions from the EU and open them for Hungarian politics with explanations and orders for implementation. They serve again as before, but this time the „lords” are situated in Brussels, and not in Moscow. This is why they do not inform the general public about their negotiations with honesty, and at the same time silence and even threaten their opponents. This is why the Hungarian peasants’ party has been destroyed several times, so today there is no legitimate power in the Parliament to represent the interests of the country-side.

4. HUNGARY IS NOT A WELL FUNCTIONING MARKET ECONOMY.

The Hungarian economy is mostly controlled by foreign global companies. The structure of the economy in terms of size and ownership-structure is less healthy than it has ever been, as it is very centralized and concentrated in the hands of a few large foreign businesses. The few large companies dominate the market from a monopolistic or oligopolistic position. They need not care about their customers, they raise their prices at will, and take the profit out of the country. (see Gowan’s comments above). The foreign companies enjoy special conditions not offered to the domestic ones. On the other hand local businesses are over-controlled, over-regulated and overtaxed. The Hungarian government fought successfully for the interests of the foreign companies in Brussels, therefore even after Hungary’s entry into the EU the government can continue – in spite of the EU competition rules – offering subsidies to foreign companies. Interestingly enough, the EU bureaucrats were willing to soften their position on that issue, but not at all on anything concerning the support of the Hungarian farmers! And the Hungarian government also did not fight so vehemently for the more favorable conditions to be offered to the farmers in Hungary.

5. HUNGARY IS NOT A FULLY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY.

Today it is dangerous to criticize the EU enlargement in Hungary. Those who dare to do so are called nationalistic, anti-European, right-wing etc., and they are silenced and threatened. It is not unknown for them to lose their jobs, or opportunities to get proper work. The global companies invade all aspects of life, intervening in the economic, cultural and also political life of the country. They call on the president of the National Bank to step down, if he does not serve their interests. The media is not objective, nor informative, as it is strongly influenced by the globalization and corporatist forces. The people are more and more afraid of voicing their critical opinion, because they feel as if „big brother is watching them”. Decisions are made about the future in closed circles and old networks, excluding of course the people who are affected by those decisions. Empowerment in society is weak, civil organizations are poor, and therefore dependent on those forces willing to finance them.

6. HUNGARY WILL NOT GAIN FROM EU MEMBERSHIP.

Taking into consideration all the problems mentioned it would be better for Hungary not to join the EU under these conditions. If it goes ahead anyway, there will be serious social and political upheavals, which cannot be easily solved. Also there is prospect of farming and what remains of Hungarian businesses to be acquired by foreign corporations. For most of the Hungarians only low level and poorly paid assembly type jobs will be available, as the key decisions will not be taken in Hungary. So the country may become totally dependent: the playing field of foreign forces. With those conditions accepted by the Hungarian politicians, only large businesses, the politicians and their advisers will be the winners, the rest, including farmers, SME-s, professionals and pensioners will be the losers.

Even if some segments of society receive some EU funds, it will not solve the problems. People want jobs, opportunities and equal treatment and not „life-saving” aid. Hungary also has to pay a high membership fee from the first minute of membership. It will be calculated based on the country’s GDP. However the GDP is not an appropriate indicator for this in the case of Hungary. The reason is that most of the GDP in Hungary is produced by foreign – controlled businesses, which can freely take their profit out of the country. Because of this, if the budget contribution is based on GDP, we will be paying also on the basis of those large amounts of foreign, repatriated profits from which the Hungarian economy and the Hungarian people do not benefit from at all. Our prices will increase because of applying the new EU rules, but the wages will not follow, as the foreign companies will continue to pay lower wages in order to achieve competitive advantage. They will be able to pursue this strategy, since our population will not enjoy „the free movement of people” into other EU countries which other EU members enjoy.

7. HUNGARIAN SOCIAL INDICATORS ARE VERY BAD:

The only indicator which is good enough for Hungary is GDP. Our quality of life indicator, and the Human development index are very bad. The life expectancy for men is the worst in the region, 22% of men will not survive until age 60. The mortality rate is high and the birth rate is declining. Therefore the population growth is negative. We are becoming a „suicide society”. Our problems can not be solved by joining the EU. As a matter of fact they may be even be exacerbated by EU entry. What we would need is a self-strengthening economic, educational, cultural and development strategy based on our own skills, capabilities, knowledge and entrepreneurhip combined with a fair value system, a cohesive society and strong social capital. We should also better co-operate with neighbouring countries, as – despite our historical conflicts, which were very often triggered by outside forces -, we are „natural allies” for each other. Also there are markets elsewhere not only in the EU. Why should we be proud of selling mostly to the EU? This is the poor strategy of „putting all our eggs in one basket”. Diversification of markets and trade relations is always a safer strategy.

8. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.

The EU is moving towards a model of more centralization and less democracy. It is also striving to become a military superpower. This is the basis from which it handles the enlargement process, which can be considered to be a neo-colonialisation project. For this reason it is not the best development alternative for the candidate countries, which would rather need independent, and self-strenthening strategies. But the direction of the EU is not good for the smaller member countries either. They may also become the losers of this „megaproject”, which dangerously mirrors the former communist ideologies. Therefore it is no surprise, that the former communists are the keenest new servants and supporters of this emerging system.

Citizens of the EU and those of the candidate countries have to be aware of these dangers, and have to ally to fight the new elites together : for democracy, sovereignty, independence and human dignity.

Haakon Flemmen - Norway

NORWAY’S RESISTANCE TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

by Haakon Flemmen, “Nei til EU” Movement, Norway ©2000

Thank you very much. To start with, I would like to thank you for the invitation. It’s a pleasure to be invited to a briefing, because the countries in the northwestern part of Europe have many things in common. Not least we have peoples who are EU-critical in all our countries. Britain has a long history of not following the EU’s plans in all sorts of ways – well, perhaps that hasn’t been the case recently. Norway, and the people of Norway, have decided to say no to EU membership. If the Swedes had a referendum today, they would also say no to membership. Iceland is also outside the EU, and as you know, the Danes have once again said no to one of Brussels’ supranational projects, the euro. The broad opposition found in our countries, and the fact that we are not among the EU-core countries, I think represents a hope that it is possible to establish perhaps a different kind of cooperation in Europe, which is not based on the dream of a federal Europe, but on the fight for democracy, and instead of the EU project, we should join in a fight for such a cooperation.

My approach to the EU question is of course Norwegian. I’ll try to share with you some of our experiences of recent years, and I’ll focus on Norway’s relationship with the EU, the type of EU criticism and EU critics we have in Norway, on the situation for the international EU critical movements, and then I must, of course, touch upon the Danish ‘no’ to the euro.

In Norway we have had several national debates about the EU and EU membership. We had two referendums, one in 1972 and one in 94, both resulting in a ‘no.’ And through the years we’ve tried different alternatives, different other models, to access the inner market of the EU. The first one was the free trade agreement, after an intense debate in the year of 1972, we had a referendum about regional or associate membership of the EEC, as it was called at the time, and the result was a 53.6 % majority voting ‘no.’ The people had made their decision, and the politicians thought they would work out an alternative for Norway, and this led to negotiations between Norway and the EEC, and from 1974 Norway had a free trade agreement with the EEC. This agreement implied that there would be no customs or quotas for most industrial products, with some exceptions – that is, some agricultural products and processed products from our fishing industry. But this agreement was sufficient, and trade between the EEC and Norway flourished in the years that followed.

But Norway was to get a different agreement with the EU, I’m afraid. After an initiative from the six EFTA countries in 1990, negotiations were initiated between EFTA countries and the EU, resulting in the EEA, the European Economic Area. The aim of these negotiations was to allow the free flow of capital goods, services and labor between the EFTA countries and the EU, in other words integrating the EEA and EFTA countries in the inner markets. And from 1993 Norway signed the agreement, and joined in 1994. I could mention that, at the time, most Norwegians didn’t want the EEA, but the government didn’t really care. They tend not to care about things like that.

In the national debate about the EEA, one important question remains unanswered, and that is the question ‘Do we need it at all?’ Why do we need the EEA? Our exports with the EU would not have been harmed if we had not joined the EEA, because we already had the free trade agreement, as I mentioned. And the EEA leads to EU directives being integrated into Norwegian law, and that’s a drawback that we would avoid, if we had stuck to the free trade agreement only. But even though the EEA limits our freedom in some ways, it is still a lot better than EU membership. We can still make our own policies when it comes to monetary and economic policies, foreign policy, trade with the world outside the EU, welfare policy, and so forth. And I find it very important that Norway has its own voice in the international community. We don’t have to follow the EU, which member countries like you in the United kingdom have to do in international negotiations and in the UN. And not to mention that we have something that no regular member of the EU has. We can veto. We can actually say ‘no’ to any rule from the EU. That’s a very, very important option, but thanks to an EU friendly majority in parliament, we haven’t used it so far.

But were the Europhile parties in our parliament satisfied with the EEA? Were they satisfied with market access and having at least some democratic foundation for Norway’s position in Europe? Well, of course they were not. Because they have a genuine interest in the EU project and the ideas behind it. For them, it’s not a question of what is good for the Norwegian economy or what is in the interests of the Norwegian people. Being swallowed by some centralized superpower is of no concern to them, as long as they can mingle with the political elite in Brussels. So they decided to have another referendum on EU membership, and that was set up to be held in the autumn of 1994. Two campaigns, both for and against membership were launched, and the result was that 52.2% of the people voted ‘no,’ on the 28th of November 1994. We won despite the fact that the ‘yes’ side had the media on their side, they had enormous amounts of money available, and they had the entire government apparatus at their disposal. During the debate prior to the referendum, those supporters of the Union – the political elite, the media and big business, predicted the complete and utter devastation of the Norwegian economy, if we dared not join the Union. They told us that our exports would be hit, that capital would move abroad and investments would decrease, that the interest rates would most certainly rise, our currency, the krone, would collapse, and employment in industry would decrease dramatically. An economic Armageddon would actually await us, if we said ‘no.’ But guess what – the result was actually quite the opposite. Just after the “No” referendum, the Norwegian economy boomed, for some reason. Our exports were increasing, investments were rising, foreign capital bought our enterprises, the interest rate held the day after the referendum, our currency became stronger, and the employment in industry increased. The prophecies of the ‘yes’ side turned out to be pure propaganda.

So, why did the Norwegians say ‘no’ to the EU? It’s of course impossible for me, within reasonable time limits, to give you all the reasons, but I’ll try to give you some highlights. One reason is that Norway’s economy differs widely from that of continental Europe. Germany, for instance, has quite different interests than Norway. We export primary products like oil and fish, while Germany, for instance, imports these products, and then has different interests, and this is an important reason why the EMU, the Economic and Monetary Union, is not a good idea for Norway. An even more important reason is perhaps Norwegian history. Norway is a small country without a history of a great and rich nobility, and without great wealth, not at least until the last 30 years, but, even though people in Norway were not rich, many were farmers and fishermen, who were their own masters. They had their own lands, and from the middle of the last century, we had large people’s movements, fighting for different issues – one for instance for the new Norwegian language (NyNorsk), farmers, workers, and not least, Democratic Christians, just to mention some. And these movements were based on democratic principles, and they had quite an important impact on Norwegian policy and society. These are some of the reasons why Norwegians have become used to having an influence on the government and being able to control their own lives to some extent. And this, I believe, contributed to the ‘no’ in 1994. Because the EU debate is, of course about whether it is possible to control the government and to influence your own, everyday life. But there is another very important reason why the ‘no’ side won, and that is, the way we were organized. Instead of numerous parties, organizations and groups, having their own small complaints, we all joined and organized in a national and local organization. We had coordinated activities in this broader organization, and it is called ‘No to the EU;’ and that’s the organization I’m representing here today. Later on, I’ll say something about how we’re organized, but let me first say some words about the two sides in the debate.

Three parties in Norway support EU membership. That is, the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, and the right-wing Progress party. Another strong supporter of the ‘yes’ campaign is the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry. Dominated by the big enterprises, this organization supplied our opponents with considerable amounts of money during the campaign. In general, the large companies are in favor of membership, while they think of how they can expand in Europe, and so on, while smaller companies are more afraid of competition when European multinational companies enter our market. Geographically, the vote showed a ‘yes’ majority in and close to the capital Oslo, while in the districts, in the west and the north, people were massively against. Polls also showed high percentages of ‘no’ voters among women, young people, older people, and trade union members.

The political parties opposing the EU are the Center party, the Christian Democrats, the Socialists, the Liberals and the left-wing Socialists. There is also a strong opposition within the Labour party. In addition to these political parties, farmer’s and fishermen’s organizations, the environmentalists, and most political youth organizations, also opposed membership.

So let me just say a few words about my organization, the ‘No to the EU.’ ‘No to the EU’ was founded in 1988 as an information group, but we were established as a proper organization two years later. It is the main – in fact the only cross-part organization opposing membership in Norway, and it organized the opposition during the campaign, before the referendum in 1994. ‘No to the EU’ defines itself as a broad political coalition with one single goal, and that is to keep Norway outside the EU. The organization nevertheless found it useful to establish a political platform on the questions of democracy, environmental protection and international solidarity. The main objects of gathering in this broad coalition with all these different organizations, is to avoid the subordination to Brussels that membership would lead to but to allow all these organizations to disagree on other political issues.

So, from August 1990, we were an organization reaching from the national to the local level. We had local branches at the municipal level, in each of our counties we had a local organization, and we had a national organization with a Congress, a national board, an executive board, and a national secretariat. At the time of the referendum in November 1994 we had 145,000 members – that is equivalent to 5% of the total electorate – and we had more than 500 local branches. Today, 6 years after the referendum, we still have about 26,000 members, and we believe that this number will increase in the years to come.

So, what about the situation today? Is the struggle over? Have the politicians fighting for Norwegian membership given up? Can we relax now and just lean back? Well, I’m afraid not. EU membership is an important goal for these forces, but they have learned one important thing – that if they are to achieve that goal, they have to stay away from referendums. So, they have changed the strategy to avoid that.

In recent years, they tried to make Norway an EU member without a referendum – without a democratic debate – by integrating us step-by-step into the EU. EU directives are being integrated into Norwegian law, the EEA has been expanded; we are now a part of the Schengen system, as you might know, and one day the politicians of these parties, they wish to say to the public, ‘But look – we are practically a member of the union already – let’s just get it over with and join formally.’ And in recent months it has even become clear that the ‘yes’ side is planning a new referendum in the future. We do not know exactly when the new referendum will come. The reason is, of course, that the majority in parliament, which is in favor of membership will decide. So they probably hope to surprise us. Well, the Norwegian people have said ‘no’ twice in two referendums. What makes the ‘yes’ side believe that they can win this time?

Well, I think the new, important debate is concerning how the EU is changing. If we can convince the public that the EU is changing in the wrong direction, into something even worse than in 1994, it’s obvious that the ‘no’ side, from the last referendum, the last debate, will strengthen, and we will thereby win. Therefore, it is crucial for the supporters of the union to convince the public that the EU is turning into something better – that we, on the ‘no’ side in 1994 were wrong, and it didn’t turn out the way we had said. And that’s why they have changed their rhetoric. They now speak of democracy. They speak of protection of the environment and of international solidarity, which traditionally had been the key issues of the ‘no’ side.

The changes in the EU system give the European Parliament more power, and thereby the people in Europe more power. They say, “look at it, it’s becoming more democratic;” and the EU has started a new fight for the environment through the Amsterdam Treaty. “And just look at Eastern Europe,” they say. “Look at that – that’s history’s grandest efforts for peace and solidarity in Europe and in the world.” This is the way they describe it; this is the way they describe developments in the EU. While if you look at the reality – how the mechanisms in the EU are really being changed – it’s quite the opposite. It’s obvious that this is all nonsense. But they are dependent on giving this impression among the public. Because the EU has, in fact, gone through enormous changes in recent years. The Amsterdam Treaty was an important step, so was the decision to establish the EU Army of 60,000 soldiers. Another huge step is about to be taken this year, at the intergovernmental conference. Qualified majority voting is becoming the main procedure of decision-making in the EU this year, and the EU Council will have less votes for small countries, giving countries of the size of Norway less votes in the system. And the EU is also becoming flexible, so that no one can stop a core of EU countries going further with integration and pulling the others with them. That’s how the EU is really changing.

Today the EU has a common market. It has a common police force, the Europol. It has a common foreign policy. Soon, it will have a common army. And it already has (supposedly) strictly controlled common borders around the EU. The EU is being shaped into a state, with a federal structure, and these steps are going towards a sort of United States of Europe, even though Tony Blair just calls it a superpower, I’ve noticed.

One of the cornerstones in this development, is of course Economic and Monetary Union and the euro, the single currency, which transfers power over monetary and economic policies, from the national states, to the centralized EU system. And this dismantling of the national states causes serious problems, not least regarding democracy. And, as you know, this is what the people in Denmark voted ‘no’ to recently. The Danes voted no because they feel the consequences of such a political union that the EMU leads to, and they fear the consequences of tax and welfare policies being controlled from Brussels, and they refuse to be forced to vote in favor of the oligarchy in Brussels. A Danish ‘yes’ vote was an obvious part of the strategy of European Social Democratic leaders. Their plan was to launch a referendum in Sweden, following a ‘yes’ in Denmark. Of course, if they had a ‘yes’ in Sweden, they could follow up with a referendum in the UK, also resulting in a ‘yes.’ And in that way, they wanted to build a foundation for getting support, providing support for the reforms of the EU system and for the enlargement process.

The Norwegian foreign minister had, of course, hoped that the Danish people would say ‘yes,’ so that it could increase the support of membership in Norway, and make it possible for the ‘yes’ side in our country to win a new referendum. Earlier this year, he said in a newspaper interview that the Danes and the Swedes, if they voted ‘yes’ to the EMU, the situation for Norway would be dramatic. But now, he suddenly thinks – and this is a quote – “the consequences for Norway will not be very far-reaching.” So, the moment the Danish people said ‘no,’ then it wasn’t all that important after all. If the result had been yes, he wouldn’t have just described it as dramatic, he would have started a huge campaign for Norwegian membership. Because he knows very well that what our neighbours decide has a great influence on public opinion in Norway, of course. And even though the ‘yes’ side tried to ignore it in this way, the Danish vote has had a considerable impact on public opinion. After months with polls showing quite a close race between the ‘yes’ side and the ‘no’ side in Norway, polls recently showed that 46% percent of the electorate do not want to join the EU, while 33% are in favor of membership. The Danish ‘no’ not only strengthens the opposition against Norwegian EU membership, but it has also destroyed the whole project of linking the Norwegian currency, the Krone, to the euro, which the ‘yes’ side has tried to do for years. But even though the Danish vote had a positive influence on Norway, I think the most important effect is that it will strengthen the international movement against the euro and against the EU.

Opposition is growing all over Europe, as we know, not least in the central and eastern European applicant countries. The number of international conferences and networks criticizing the EU is growing, and the work in the anti-Maastricht alliance Team, and the New Theoretic Network, are signs of this trend. We are also building a stronger Nordic network. For this international movement, the Danish know, is a great encouragement. Because it’s not enough to win the struggle in Denmark, or to win the struggle in Norway, or in any of our respective countries, because the EU is having an increasingly negative impact on society all over Europe, inside and outside the Union. Therefore, it is very important that we who are critical or opposed to the EU and the euro, that we build international alliances and that we cooperate, share valuable information and experiences. Because, it is possible for us to go home – I can go home to Norway, and we can go home to our respective countries – and say ‘Look – we are not alone.’ All over this part of the world there are people fighting for a different Europe. We are not alone – they can’t call this a Norwegian thing, or a British question. And all over this part of the world, we should work together and show Europeans that we might disagree on a lot of political issues but we must stand together in the fight for democracy itself

Thank you very much for your attention.

Pierre Hilliard - France

THE FRENCH AWAKEN TO THE DANGER OF GERMAN EUROPE WITHOUT FIRING A SHOT….

AN INVESTIGATION BY PIERRE HILLARD

Pierre Hillard is the author of “Minorites et Regionalismes en Europe” a French version of the work done in the UK by Rodney Atkinson and Edward Spalton on the old German notion of regionalism as the best method of destroying the nation states. Note that Alsace, French before 1870 and after 1918, has long been a bone of contention between Germany and France.

“Without firing a shot France lost Alsace on 1st January 2003. So what happened? A new Treaty of Frankfurt? An annexation in the tradition of the heyday of imperial conquest? Nothing of the sort. Since the 1st January the regional government of Alsace has been free to deal directly with Brussels, courtesy of a supranational arrangement allowing direct local control of structural funds and eliminating the requirement for endorsement from Paris.

We need to take in the full extent of what is at stake. This small earthquake will slowly but surely spread until it shakes the foundations of our nation state. Structural funds are like a huge outpouring of manna from heaven, channelled through the coffers of the EU. Directly authorised by Brussels the funds apply to agriculture, regional planning, roads, airports etc.

This secession is the result of an agreement signed between one A.Zeller and Prime Minister Raffarin. It is reassuring that Raffarin has given away these powers “as an experiment” (his own words). It suggests that Alsace could at any moment return to the nation if Paris so wished. In reality he is granting to Alsace a freedom which will in effect be irreversible. The other French regions will follow.

Has anybody reported this? Who has understood its implications? And who is there to oppose the process which has been set in train?”

Erik Goethe - Sweden

THE SWEDISH ‘MEIN KAMPF’ CASE

Dr ERIK GOETHE ©1998

Erik Goethe is a lawyer who prepared the defence of book-publisher Kalle Haegglund of Stockholm who recently tried to publish Mein Kampf.

Erik Goethe

My contribution to this conference deals with some extraordinary events concerning one of the important political documents of this century.

Some parts of my contribution will perhaps invite questions from the audience for further clarification. That goes for the legal parts as well as some other parts, because the events in this matter are such that it sometimes will be difficult to believe what happened. One could perhaps say that this infamous book has regained a lot of it’s importance through a back-door.

I am speaking of Adolf Hitler’s notorious guide to the Nazi state project – Mein Kampf – and the banning of the book in Sweden.

Since World War II this book belongs to the political standard literature in all countries concerned with pursuing democratic traditions. The Hutchinson/Pimlico Publishing House in London prints it every other year. But today in Sweden it cannot be published. And, as the American intellectual Noam Chomsky asked when he heard what had happened in Stockholm:

“Should we remain ignorant of what even our worst enemies say and think?”

The German domestic attitude to this book is relatively well known. I could see it referred to, recently, in this year’s first issue of Index on Censorship, in an article by Mr. Paul Oppenheimer. He stated that “You cannot legally purchase new copies of Mein Kampf in Germany or publish it” and that the reason is “the embarrassment of how Germany would appear to the outside world”.

The last sentence is in fact almost a quotation from a minister of the Bavarian Finance Ministry, Mr. Franz Alscher, who said this was the very reason for the banning: “that the German reputation abroad would be highly damaged through a publication”. In short, German authorities do not want this book printed at home or abroad for fear of current events being compared with those of the Third Reich.

To the rest of us in the outside world it signifies that Germany cannot deal with its ominous past. For the thing is that in preventing the printing of this book, allegedly for anti-Nazi reasons, the Germans apply the method of book-banning which precisely characterised the disastrous developments in earlier German domestic and foreign policy. And the sad thing about it is that the Allied Powers taught their willing pupil to do this, again, during the occupation of Germany after the war.

Of course, what the Germans do at home is not directly any business of ours. But for us in the outside world it is only rational to keep in touch with developments. Particularly so, since the EU under it’s dominant state, Germany, is constantly extending it’s legislative and judicial powers.

And of course it is quite different when the Germans ban books in other countries. And that is exactly what they have done. In Poland, and earlier in Holland with success, in Italy they failed; they tried in vain in England and in Denmark in the 1960s; and in January 1995 they tried for a while in Israel, but gave up after 8 months. And in fact they tried and sometimes managed to succeed in this same exercise in the 1930s. (As the British Ambassador in Germany, Sir Horace Rumbold noted in 1939 “Hitler would be glad to suppress every copy of Mein Kampf extant today. Germany’s neighbours have reason to be vigilant” Ed.)

I shall give you the time-table for Sweden, because the details are extraordinary: It started in the autumn of 1992, when book-publisher Kalle Haegglund in Stockholm published Hitler’s notorious work Mein Kampf, with a foreword by Mr. Stig Jonasson.

On 23 March 1993 the German Embassy through a telefax to Mr. Haegglund expressed irritation at the publication, and claimed that Bavaria owned the copyright of the book.

On 26 March 1993 Mr. Haegglund’s legal adviser – that is myself – sent a letter to the German ambassador, formally asking for the presentation of a power of attorney from the deceased Mr. Hitler – or from his family – concerning the copyright of Mein Kampf. But I got no answer.

On 22 April 1993 Counsellor Klaus Wilde of the German Embassy half- forced his way into Mr. Haegglund’s combined office and apartment to make Mr. Haegglund accountable for the publishing. I said half-forced – because at the same time Mr. Haegglund was curious to know what Mr. Wilde was going to say.

Mr. Haegglund reported the following in a letter to one of his authors, the well-known Swedish writer and intellectual* Jan Myrdal:

“JM!

At your request I will describe the very strange visit I had from the German Embassy. The visit is also pertinent to the publication of your book Det nya Stor-Tyskland (The New Greater Germany, published by Haegglund that year, 1992).

The only thing he (Mr. Wilde) said was that he wanted to ask some questions. I had a heavy cold and had been confined to my bed. I indicated that the visit was unwelcome by apologising for this, wearing only my dressing-gown, and hoped that the visitor understood that he had intruded.

He introduced himself as Embassy Counsellor Wilde from the German Embassy. He asked if we could speak in English. He sat down in his overclothes on the chair right across from me. He refused to take off his blue overcoat.

He first asked whether my business was located in different places. Then asked what I published. I gave Denis Diderot’s ‘Jacob the Fatalist’ as an example. He didn’t respond to the name, but looked nonplussed.

I added “The French Age of Enlightenment”, still no response. After I mentioned that “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe appreciated Diderot”, he responded with a “yes, yes”.

He then started talking about my publication of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. He asked my why I had published it. My answer was that it was important to read Mein Kampf. He answered that “there were differences of opinion about that”. I said that I for my part “was a child of the 1800th Century Age of Enlightenment”. He went on by saying that the book could not be published without consent from the state government authorities in Bavaria.

I replied that German authorities might ban the book in Germany, but that we have the right to publish it in Sweden. He repeated that there were differences of opinion as to whether the book was banned from publication in Germany.

I said that I wanted a reply to the letter that my legal advisor Erik Goethe had sent to the German Ambassador regarding the possible intellectual property rights of the German state. Wilde promised ‘more material from Bavaria’.

Then he made his farewells and left. The visit lasted at the most 20 minutes.

Regards Kalle Haegglund”

  • Jan Myrdal is the son of the two Nobel Prize winners Alva and Gunnar Myrdal, then leading social democrats. Jan Myrdal in his letter described the visit to his home by German diplomats who tried to convince his parents of the merits of living in “the big European house”; Jan Myrdal quotes his father’s reply that he preferred living in his own house “even if it has a leaking roof”.

On 28 April 1993 Jan Myrdal sent a letter of protest to the German Embassy for it’s obvious interference in Swedish domestic matters and pointed out the behaviour of the German Embassy as being unparalleled since the Second World War. * A copy was sent to the Swedish Foreign Minister.

At the time the Swedish Press paid little attention to these exciting events. The year after was different.

In May 1994 – about one year later – Bavaria sent a formal report against Mr. Haegglund to the Stockholm Prosecutor. Bavaria claimed to be the owner of the copyright to Mein Kampf. The Germans referred sweepingly to half an inch of German legal documents from the post war years.

Only five working days later Mr. Haegglund is summoned to the police for interrogation – in his capacity of being a suspect of criminal copyright infringement.

Half a year after that – in December 1994 – (about 2 days before the Swedish parliament acceded to the European Union) the prosecutor made up his mind and prosecuted Mr. Haegglund for infringement of Bavaria’s copyright. This prosecution and the provisional confiscation of the remaining copies of the book took Swedish public opinion by surprise. There was a host of protests on behalf of the freedom of the press – from the writers’ and the Book-publishers’ organisations – and through articles and editorials in the press.

Apparently this made the German ambassador Mr. Hoffman lose his head. He did something that his predecessor the Prince of Wied would never have done 58 years ago: He telephoned the editorial board of Sweden’s biggest evening paper, expressing his discontent over an article by Jan Myrdal!

In this article Jan Myrdal among other things pointed out that by reading Mein Kampf one can find an historical explanation why, under the leadership of Mr. Genscher and Mr. Kinkel, Germany smashed Yugoslavia and through their security service smuggled weapons into Yugoslavia for that purpose. Such statements in the press may annoy a German ambassador, but of course he has no right to interfere with them.

In Sweden there are very few citizens who would accept the banning of a book for political reasons. Even less would they accept this from a foreign power.

Of course, what happened was, from the purely formal point of view, not banning a book for the sake of it’s content, but for copyright reasons, even if few people believed that to be the real reason. Was there a connection with the accession to the EU? I think there was, politically. But copyright is not Community Law, so each country applies it’s own national laws in this field. It is hard to find anyone at all in Sweden, irrespective of political or social position, who would be prepared publicly to defend Bavaria’s action.

But the court proceedings had to deal with the formalities, mainly with copyright law. The Stockholm City Court and later the Regional Court of Appeal both accepted Bavaria’s claim. The grounds given by the courts were extremely vague.

Bavaria claimed to have confiscated the copyright of Adolf Hitler and of all other Nazi leaders along with their other assets and fortunes. (By the way, not only Goering gathered huge fortunes. Hitler was extremely rich, too, collecting one Pfennig for each stamp with his picture on it.) This confiscation allegedly happened on the basis of the Allied legislation in occupied Germany in the post-war years. So, if there is some genuine confusion in this legal matter, the Allied treatment of Germany after the war has a part in it. There was a death penalty for spreading the books and papers of the Nazi publishing house Eher Verlag during the first years after the war. In the circumstances that is understandable, but perhaps neither very logical nor constructive.

Should, however, the German interpretation of these post-war copyright confiscation be generally accepted, then the German authorities would have been given the right by the Allied Powers to own and administer the copyright to not only Hitler’s Mein Kampf, but to all his literary works – and the artistic ones, if anyone wants to know. And not only that, but the right to control the copyright protected works of all Nazi leaders, exclusively and all over the world. Germany would have been given the right to control the Third Reichs history. 

Now, you know that Germany in fact does not do that. I am talking about what right Germany claims to have: the right to ban any of those texts or films or pictures. The material being to a great extent in non-German libraries, of course, this has some practical difficulties.

The German Embassy Councillor Wilde was asked by Swedish news media why Germany does not make criminal reports against publishing in other countries. His reply was very interesting: that Germany would not do that when they thought they would not have any success. The thing is: If Germany had effectively acquired Hitler’s copyright, then this would be accepted by courts just as easily in England or the United States as it would in Sweden, since we all have the same copyright system, based on international agreements.

The banning of Mein Kampf was legally accepted by two courts in Sweden. It has now been in force for three-and-a-half years. But on 15 December 1997 the Supreme Court of Sweden decided that it would try the case. I have no prognosis to give you. I fear the worst, considering what happened in the lower courts, but not for legal reasons. Legally, I think Mr. Haegglund’s case holds water. This kind of thing was never tried before, but I intend to give you some of the good legal reasons here, valid and important in all countries.

The effect in other nations of confiscatory measures against intellectual property in general is found in case law of many countries. But copyright was never dealt with, as it seems.

Naturally, since this case is extremely odd: The Bavarian Ministry of Finance claims to have confiscated Hitler’s copyright world-wide for exclusive German use.

Only once was this absurd idea tried in court, in Italy in 1971, but only in a lower court. It ended in complete disaster for Bavaria. The City Court of Bologna ruled, and I am happy to quote the essence of it:

“The confiscation measure through which ‘the entire property left by Adolf Hitler’ is transferred to the Free State of Bavaria is limited exclusively to the material property situated there. So, it is not possible to extend the same measure to the copyright and the disposition right of the book Mein Kampf by the deceased German dictator.”

The grounds given by the Swedish lower court, to end up with the opposite result, is based on it’s mysterious understanding of the international Berne Convention on Copyright. The court first said that it saw no reason to doubt that a transition of copyright had occurred in Germany and that Hitler’s copyright was forfeited because of criminal acts. Then the court simply said “… a transition of copyright in the home land of the protected work entails that the new copyright-owner enjoys the same protection against infringements as the original copyright-owner…. “.

But the court ignored that this case involves a transition of copyright by means of a foreign confiscatory public decision. Then the Convention cannot be used directly, as if it were some sort of Community Law when it is not.

If the Bavarian confiscation were to have effect in Sweden, this must be founded on Swedish rules of law. There are such rules of general property law and of international private law. Let us see what they say.

A court normally accepts a confiscation of property that is legally located on the territory of the confiscating state – at the time of the confiscation – but not otherwise. This principle is applied by Sweden, by the other Nordic countries, by Germany, by the UK and by many other countries.

This principle is reflected in Schedule 6 of the British Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, an English QC told me.

Through that schedule the Children’s Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street in London is entitled to royalties for the play “Peter Pan” – forever (copyright does not last for ever, only for the protection period); but English lawyers would hardly claim that this applies to any other territory. Great Britain cannot legally enforce it abroad. This is normal in the intercourse between states. Each state must be allowed to decide for itself.

Concerning most kinds of property it is defined in international private law where the property is located. This is not always natural, you see, as in the case of an aeroplane or a ship – or in the case of copyright.

According to these definitions, intellectual property like patents and trade marks legally ought to be “located” in the country where they enjoy legal protection. Swedish law does not allow foreign confiscation of trade marks to have effect in Sweden, for example.

The question of whether this position is applicable to copyright is not answered by express rules in legislation or by any Swedish court – or, as it seems, by any other court. But objective legal reasons as well as systematic ones and case law of foreign countries all speak in the direction that this should be the case. These answers have been given by (or by legal theory) in a number of countries within the Berne Union.

According to this unanimous view the confiscating country is given no right to the protection enjoyed by copyright in other countries.

But the court in this case did not apply that view. It did not even seem to recognise or understand the international private law problem of the national location of copyright.

The Court may hold that principles of international private law are not valid for copyright, it may have insufficient competence (I think not), or it may consider these principles invalid for works by Adolf Hitler. The court has nevertheless in fact applied the international private law position that a Swedish copyright is located in a German federal state – in Bavaria. It just does not say it aloud.

The lower court gives great room and attention to the question of public policy. This attention is in fact so great that one suspects that the court does not really believe in it’s own other views.

Public policy is a concept of international private law, used in order to neutralise a result, which is considered apparently incompatible with the fundamental principles of the law in the country where the court is situated. The court can in such a situation abstain from giving effect to a foreign rule.

In this connection the court implies a limited recognition of foreign confiscation that enable foreign states to forfeit copyright to works that contain “views displeasing to the foreign state”, “on the ground of political crimes”.

These arguments are diffuse, and of course alarming. It is difficult to see even that judgements concerning “political crimes” should have any relevance at all in connection with copyright and international private law.

The rest of the views of the court are more general political speculations about Sweden’s acceptance of the de-nazification policy in Germany. This has no relevance in law and cannot reasonably belong to an argument about public order, or even in court. What ought to be said about the de-nazification policy, if anything at all, is that the Swedish public order for the last 200 years has rejected the idea that any kind of policy at all should be pursued by the state by means of prohibiting books.

The questions that obviously should have been treated in the frame-work of public policy are avoided, namely:

  • how the German confiscation should be seen in the light of the fact that confiscation of copyright is not allowed in Swedish law
  • how one should look at the fact that the interest of Germany to escape displeasing attention for it’s modern history should have carried little weight compared to the interest of Swedish citizens to be allowed to inform themselves of this history.

Scholars of 20th century history in different countries agree on the importance of Mein Kampf as a document of contemporary history. Of course, the owner of a copyright decides whether he admits the copying of the work. It is also normal for him to do so.

As a foreign public subject referring to a confiscation, Bavaria would be a copyright-owner of little normality. This aspect becomes even stronger concerning Mein Kampf, where Bavaria to the best of it’s ability obstructs the distribution of the work to students of politics among the broad public of ordinary citizens. Parallel to this, Bavaria’s action did not hit one other edition in 1992, the same year as Haegglund’s edition, made for internal ideological edification in the – so far still marginal – neo-Nazi movement. This gives the Bavarian action in Sweden an obvious character of political manipulation.

Why do they do this? Why do they take action against the publishing of Mein Kampf for a perfectly above-board study of history? (By critics of Nazi Germany – Ed)

Through this case I have come to the conclusion that they do it because there is too much in Mein Kampf that is much too revealing for the current European project. One must not forget that the plans of the Third Reich for the New Europe – Neuropa – were well under way, and were in fact postponed by Hitler for the regrettable reason that he had still not won the war.

Obviously, Mein Kampf and Hitler’s Second Book which was never published in his life-time, and a lot of other writings by other Nazi leaders, are of great interest for judging the background of today’s European politics. Several of these writings and European plans clearly foreshadow the European Union of today and tomorrow.

Three years after the confiscation in this case of Haegglund’s edition, one can discern the desired effect of the Bavarian action: to withhold the main ideological document of the most ominous period of German contemporary history from critical scrutiny by the public.

This creates a “Fahrenheit 451” atmosphere in Sweden. People still disagree strongly with the confiscation. But there is no longer any public debate about it.

So it was most encouraging to read a short but lively statement in January 1998 in the Swedish press, written by Professor Johannes Andenaes. He is recently retired member of the Supreme Court of Norway, on which he served from 1946. He is also the well-known prominent leader of the exemplary judicial settlement with the Norwegian national traitors and Nazi collaborators – the “quislings” – after the German occupation.

Professor Andenaes writes that he would not accept that a confiscation is used to obscure an important part of contemporary history and he believes that the result of the trial in the Supreme Court of Sweden will be met by interest also outside Sweden.

I hope you will recognise the importance of his words. Indeed, whatever the Supreme Court’s judgement will be, it will go down in history.

In Germany and France and elsewhere it is claimed that the banning of Mein Kampf and of other extreme right-wing publications – and of political views, and of ever so false statements concerning modern history, and of political parties – that all these measures by the state, mostly originating from the EU, are parts of a valiant anti-racist struggle. That is hard to believe.

Because at the same time the strongly anti-national direction of the European project creates what the EU claims to be fighting against. In the situation that is opening up in Europe today, where extreme right-wing political parties have established themselves at an already high level in general elections, it is very important not to leave this field open. The claims by the EU institutions that they allegedly are fighting against racism and for human rights deserve attention, but little credit.

Defence of national political independence, the development of a national consciousness and culture that includes all immigrants, the defence of freedom of speech and of the press, including all kinds of political views, and a free and open debate. These are important tasks – particularly important for two political forces, considering the composition of their electorate: Conservatism and the Labour movement. If these forces do not take these matters seriously, the quasi-fascist political forces will take over for their own purposes, as they are now doing in other countries.

End…

RESULTS OF SUCCESS IN THE SUPREME COURT OF SWEDEN; THE SWEDISH COPYRIGHT TO MEIN KAMPF IS NOT CONTROLLED BY BAVARIA

I am most pleased to be able to report that the criminal charges against book publisher Kalle Haegglund, Stockholm, for publishing Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf came to a successful end on 21st December 1998 as the Supreme Court of Sweden ruled that Bavaria has no copyright or publishing rights to Mein Kampf in Sweden. According to the Supreme Court, Mr Haegglund by publishing Mein Kampf infringed on the presumed copyright of an unidentified ‘someone else’ other than Bavaria, it was expressly clear that Germany was legally completely ‘knocked out’ and cannot make it’s extremely peculiar claim in Sweden any more. Practically all other countries can draw on this legal case and easily reject German legal claims against the publishing of Mein Kampf whenever Germany makes attempts to that effect, abroad.

As a result of this judgement Haegglund will now be republishing their commentated edition of Mein Kampf which the previous court judgement had stopped.

Erik Goethe January 1999

(The only fly in the ointment of this affair is the recent take-over by the German firm Bertelsmann of the prime publisher of Mein Kampf, the British firm Hutchinson (imprint Pimlico). This effectively gives German control of the publication of Mein Kampf in the whole Anglo Saxon world – a dangerous and all too typical step by the German corporatist class and its political masters. A similar process of German take-over of significant media operations is a source of concern in Eastern Europe in general and Poland in particular. – Ed)

Mischa Gavrilovic- Yugoslavia

KOSOVO AND THE DISMEMBERMENT OF YUGOSLAVIA

By Mischa Gavrilovic © 1999

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen.

As has already been pointed out, I did address you almost exactly a year ago on a similar topic – then we called it ‘Germany in the Balkans’.

During this presentation I shall remind you from time to time of some of the things that I stated then. It is quite interesting to see some of the developments that have taken place. But today Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are very much the continuous focus for all the world’s media, and of course they are very much NATO’s focus.

NATO is the largest military organisation in the world, financed by 850 million of the richest taxpayers, and it has taken on a small nation in the Balkans, approximately 10 million in size, in order to carry out it’s activities, based as I understand it, on trying to prevent some kind of humanitarian catastrophe. Though that is not what they actually stated before the conflict – by ‘conflict’ I mean this latest bombing that they actually started. (NATO stated the purpose was to ‘pursued’ Serbia to sign the Rambouillet Agreement – which is illegal under the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties – Ed.)

I think that what is happening in Kosovo and what has happened in the Balkans has huge implications for developments elsewhere in eastern Europe, elsewhere in Central Europe, elsewhere in the Middle east and the Mediterranean. That is one of the reasons why the Balkans has been chosen as a focus for a projection of power.

Relating to the actual bombing, and the various targeting that has taken place, there is one event that I think that needs to be pointed out particularly. It is something that has never occurred during my lifetime and it’s absolutely key that we remind ourselves of it. Eight days ago on Friday morning, I should tell you that I was actually in Belgrade at the time, the TV Centre of Belgrade was deliberately targeted by NATO missiles. Something like twenty media workers have been killed right in the middle of a European capital.

The Radio Television Serbia centre, a bit like a very much smaller version of Broadcasting house in London, is actually also a European Union Broadcasting Centre. Note! Many of the journalists who have been reporting from Yugoslavia actually go there in order to file their reports. What is more horrifying than the actual bombing itself, and of course, the inevitable killing of the media workers, is the explanation that almost instantly followed. Clearly it had been prepared. Here the British government, Tony Blair and Clare Short had a simple explanation: ‘They are propagating propaganda therefore they were a legitimate target. The issue is closed.’

Once you do that what you are effectively saying is that if you have a different viewpoint from us, then we have the right to kill you – it is fantastically simple (applause).

That is of course the basis on which the media campaign is being conducted, in other words those who are conducting it don’t want you to know the other side, don’t want you to know the truth or any other alternative view. Just to give you an idea of some of the items that they may have found offensive – even today you can still get pretty well twenty four hour coverage of some of the events from the Serbian side from satellite TV. There is a satellite that sits above the equator – I think it’s the Cypriot satellite, but you can get coverage of what is actually happening.

Of course you do see the effects of NATO bombing, they are the effects of all bombing, you know bombs have been created for a particular purpose, they have a particular design, they are all there to kill, to maim, to murder, to destroy, whether they are NATO bombs, Serbian bombs, German bombs, British bombs, you know bombs do behave according to their design, and what Serbian Television shows is the effect of such bombing.

I have seen some of it. In the case of the targeting of the refugee convoy, you might remember, this happened to be an ethnic Albanian refugee convoy and 75 people were killed. There was also the train which was targeted, meanwhile 55 bodies or parts of bodies have been recovered, many of them literally fried, you know to charcoal. These things have been shown on Serb TV – they have not been shown on the western media. It is in fact a real education to see what is being transmitted via Serbian TV and to see the one or two percent that is subsequently shown on the western media, all the rest is edited out.

All this is freely available, you can view it. It is of course something very frightening – in the way that anyone can conduct a campaign if you have only your own approved information, that comes out of MOD briefings or NATO briefings out of Brussels. Then what actually happens does not matter, what you are saying is essentially ‘we come from an industrially developed part of the world, we have superior technology, we have the right to do whatever we like to do’.

Pretty much, by the way, what some 58 years ago another power, at that time the foremost power in Europe, Nazi Germany, did – trampled over much of Europe. But it did it, of course, in rather different conditions. It did have to use, as we now identify the key words, ground troops. It did have to expose it’s own population to bombings. We are now entering an era where you can safely pick off targets and bomb people essentially to rubble. Such terminology has been used, I’ve read carefully an interview with NATO’s General Klaus Nauman in the Washington Post where he freely says, ‘maybe we have made the wrong calculations, that by bombing somebody into rubble, somebody would actually surrender, and obviously they are not doing it therefore we will simply have to continue doing what we are doing’.

You can make up your own mind on that, but I am simply telling you that there is obviously a huge wall going up, at least on one half of the story.

I shall at least in part tell you some of the other side of the story, and I’ll remind you of some of the things, which I said when I spoke to you a year ago. At that time NATO was not visibly present, and certainly not by it’s aerial bombardments, but there was fighting caused by a group of people known as the KLA – the Kosovo Liberation Army, which we can now freely call NATO’s ground troops, I mean they are not even bothering to conceal that. But at that time the fighting was going on and in April of last year, I think it was early April when I spoke, there were under 100 deaths that had resulted from the fighting at that stage.

I remind you that there is in terms of Kosovo, which is an unruly region similar, incidentally, in size and population to Northern Ireland, a usual way of evaluating the ‘repression’, if you like, and the killing, by looking at the police records. This is what the record was at this time last year and this is what I told you: ‘the number of killings in incidents by terrorist and counter-terrorist operations was less than 10 per annum’. This was over the previous 10 years. To give you an idea compared to Northern Ireland, if you take the time since the troubles 1969, you can easily look it up on the website, it is in fact over 100 per annum on average in Ulster. Still a very very low level conflict in world terms by the way. Pretty every American Senator visiting Northern Ireland gets embarrassed when the actual killing figures from any North American city are pointed out to them and it turns out to be several times greater than Ulster, and in peacetime.

So however bad Kosovo was, you know, without NATO, it was a hell of a site better than it has been with NATO and with international presence. The introduction of the KLA alone and the fighting which resulted from that resulted in approximately 2,000 deaths prior to NATO actually intervening in it’s bombing campaign.

No one can identify the actual number of deaths since, I should think it’s probably well over 2,000. I follow carefully the state information that comes out of Serbia. It’s quite interesting; they are playing down that information. They are too afraid to let the population know what the actual losses that have been sustained in terms of civilian life have been. A good example was the bombing of the TV centre, where it was instantly apparent that at least two people had died. You know, from a close up camera you could see that two people were dead and there were more hanging from the balconies, but the state media subsequently spoke only of casualties and 18 people injured. They essentially wanted the population to go back to work, not to discontinue working, and to pretend that such things have not happened.

The official figures therefore stand at present at about 500 deaths, but I should think that there are many times more. The destruction, of course, is considerable, bridges have been destroyed, schools have been destroyed, hospitals, of course military installations as well, but 90% of the targets hit have been civilian targets. (By June 1999 Yugoslav civilian deaths were recorded at 1,800 to 2,000. NATO claimed 5,000 Yugoslav armed forces dead – probably an exaggeration – Ed.)

How did we get into this situation? What is going to be the end play and what has been the importance of the region? I’ll go back therefore and look at some of the historical basis for all this.

When I spoke to you a year ago I defined the Balkans as one of the weakest areas in Europe. I defined weakness in the sense as being an area, which over the last 2,000 years had actually never spawned an empire, or a mini empire, one that was ever capable of expanding outside the Balkans.

You are going to look in vein for some imperial capital in the Balkans from which areas outside the Balkans were ever administered. But you are going to find numerous other capitals like Vienna and Istanbul from which the Balkans themselves have been administered. And you are going to find numerous such, let’s call them imperial capitals, in Europe on the Iberian peninsular alone in Spain we have Madrid, and in Portugal Lisbon which administered substantial empires, so this whole idea that we have some kind of aggressive power in the Balkans that somehow is threatening Europe is one of the biggest nonsense that I have ever heard. What is most frightening is that such nonsense can actually be believed and used as a basis for important decision making policy. I mean this is the biggest concern really.

Secondly the Balkans have been very much a powder keg at various times that did lead to the first world war after all, but the powder keg was only a powder keg when other big powers were present.

At present it is very much a powder keg because we have the United States presence, we have Britain having a key role in leading the NATO activity, certainly in propaganda terms, we have Germany again present, we have the Russians not militarily present but of course they have to take into account what is happening there. So it is a very serious situation, people have been speaking of a third world war starting, because inevitably people have to react to a change in any power structures that may result from the events currently taking place in the Balkans.

Let me say something, though, about the concern about humanitarian and other issues in the Balkans. It is very very unusual that the most concern for the Balkans is shown by a country, or a state that is actually located on another continent – the United States of America, and the next most concerned is an island offshore from the continent of Europe, the United Kingdom. The NATO ‘story’ sells reasonably well in the United States, by the way, where most people don’t actually know where the Balkans are. It’s more difficult to sell it here, much more difficult, which is why there is such a huge media propaganda campaign against you and against the populations involved. If you look at the initial opinion polls they were about 80% against any kind of intervention and any bombing, but now this saturation media coverage (plus Government commissioned polls!) seems almost to be reversing that.

The story, however, even with media saturation won’t sell in Italy, a Nato country immediately opposite the Balkans, which usually takes the largest number of refugees, especially from Kosovo and Albania. They have done that in previous situations and have experience to draw on. There are huge demonstrations against NATO involvement and essentially the population does not want Italian territory to be used for what is in effect the first aggression in Europe since Adolf Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939.

If we move from Italy to another NATO country, – Greece. Greece is actually on the Balkans and also usually takes a substantial number of refugees; there is an Albanian community close to 1 million there already. In Greece 95% of the population are totally against the bombing – they call NATO and it’s present exercise by it’s proper name – they call NATO a fascist organisation. You may want to question me on that terminology, but that is the position. (No one questioned this description – Ed.)

Having somebody from ‘outside’ projecting power in the Balkans for purposes that we need to understand is the issue.

Before we address that however, back to the Balkans as an historical area. I said an area of historical weakness, an area which had been permeated by other powers who then, effectively by clashing with each other, have provoked a world war, provoked a regional crisis and other crises which caused a lot of problems for themselves as well as for the local people.

A few things about Kosovo, simply because they are hardly ever stated and before it goes entirely off the screens and off the media, this is an opportunity to say a few things that we may not be allowed to say in due course, if ‘they’ kill people who think otherwise.

In the Balkans, by the way, this weak area of Europe, there was a medieval empire between the 11th and the 14th centuries which centred very much on Kosovo, which pretty much covered the Balkans – it’s extent was almost all the Balkans. That state was called Serbia. Kosovo is the heartland of medieval Serbia.

It’s capital was near to Kosovo, in the area of Metoijhe. Near to Kosovo and Kosovo itself is covered in Serbian history and art. To give you an idea it’s full name was Kosovo and Metoijhe, I’ll take the second word, ‘Metoijhe’ means ‘monastery land’. Various landscapes in Europe are identified by castles, you know, feudal lordships and so on, either had to build castles or fortresses in order to defend their realm, and in fact areas like Bastille in Spain get their name from the nature of their landscape.

But given the social development that had been reached in Serbia was associated with the Byzantine empire, where the rulers actually were not building castles because everyone had to build a monastery. So the land was actually covered with monasteries, there are some 1300 recorded, 300 of them are still around today, most of them date from the period that I have just covered.

So to deny Serbian presence in Kosovo is one of the most perverse thing that I can think about. The monasteries bear testament, the very word Kosovo is a Serbian word, the word ‘Kos’ is the name of a bird, a blackbird, and you will have heard the word Kosovo….. – the field of the blackbird – where probably the biggest historic battle in the Balkans took place when the Ottoman Turks actually defeated the Kingdom of Serbia in 1389. They essentially occupied the region and later co-occupied it with Austria, Austria-Hungary from the north (which is why Albanians are Muslim).

For much of the time the region was therefore partitioned between those two powers. What I am simply mentioning is that Kosovo and Metoijhe are part of the Serbian heartland. The area is very important to the people there, understandably. Kosovo, Pristina and the ‘field of the blackbird’ is to Serbia as Kent, Canterbury and the Battle of Hastings is to England, and it should be so.

Kosovo came back to the Kingdom of Serbia, following the Balkan wars in the early part of this century, when the Ottoman Empire was defeated by four Christian nations, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. The Ottomans had to retreat out of the Balkan peninsular altogether. It was partially saved by the big powers including the British empire at the time. It was then also that the state of Albania was created. Albania was created essentially at the behest of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they didn’t want Serbia to have access to the sea and the Austro-Hungarians were worried about the Russians, indirectly via Serbia (you know we are talking of a Christian Orthodox state here) having some access to the Mediterranean. Anyway that is the reason for the formation of Albania, and as you know Kosovo itself has a considerable Albanian population.

That population at the time of Kosovo becoming part of Serbia again in the early part of this century, was about 50-50, in fact there was a slight Serbian majority in the early stages, but the population numbers changed partially due to a higher birth rate in the Moslem Albanian population, but primarily because during the second world war, during the German and mostly the Italian occupation of the region Kosovo became part of a greater Albanian state, and it was during that period that a very large number of Serbs were simply exiled from the region.

Subsequently when Yugoslavia was re-formed in 1945 Kosovo became an autonomous province, subsequently in 1974 it got a very special autonomous status which made it an almost completely Albanian area, at that stage the population numbers would have been about 60-30, and we must not forget the many non-Serb non-Albanian in the region, by the way. And the Albanian pressure on the rest of the population, especially the Serbs caused yet further immigrations to take place, so that by the mid-1980s to early 1990s approximately 15 to 20% of the population that was left was non Albanian. This is why people speak of the 90 to 10% ratio of the population being Albanian, I think it would be more correct to speak of 20 – 80%.

I am just putting this to you as a background – in some kind of historical context, so now coming back to what is happening. That false historical perception is being used as a reason for the military intervention.

One of the key accusations that have been thrown at the state of Yugoslavia and at the Serbs was that it was mistreating it’s Albanian population. There are various ways in which you can look at this question of mistreatment, but I would suggest that there is one, above all others, which is instructive. That is: has the minority, because the Albanians are a minority in Yugoslavia and Serbia, managed to physically preserve itself in the area?

I should think that there should be no doubt that a population that actually increases in numbers has more than managed to preserve itself. In Kosovo more newspapers are published than in Albania proper – and that was before NATO’s present bombing. An yet with the sort of obscene media coverage that we have had, the situation in peoples perceptions has been turned entirely around. You know you get the impression that there is no opportunity for the Albanian minority within Serbia to use its own language, and I should tell you that there are some 10,000 people of ethnic Albanian origin that live in the Belgrade area alone. I’d like to know how many non-Albanians there are in Tirana!

At present within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia there are 26 ethnic minorities, there is a problem with only one of them and that is the ethnic Albanians, the only reason for that is that they want independence and they want it through violent means. There is only one way that any country can respond, this country should know that better than any other bearing Ulster in mind, but those in the Basque country in Spain, in Corsica and in numerous other places in the world will know that you don’t really have many options in dealing with such an issue.

However I have told you what the degree of repression, at least in terms of the number of deaths, has been minimal. That is something that we should not forget because it is continuing to be used to justify the present intervention.

Personally I don’t think that there is anything that justifies the US presence in the region. The idea that the US should be concerned about an Albanian minority in Kosovo candidly boggles the mind. Even if you think of the third Reich, even Adolf Hitler did show at a certain level an understandable concern about the Zudeten Germans – at least they spoke the same language and were just across the border, but the idea that the United States is concerned about the Kosovo Albanians is something that I simply cannot ‘buy’. That has been used, from my point of view, as an excuse for a projection of power for purposes of creating another NATO protectorate in the area, we already have one in Bosnia, another one already exists in Albania by the way, Albania has virtually no sovereignty over it’s own territory, and Kosovo is next.

If it is defeated, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will become yet another NATO protectorate run by the expansionist ‘German Europe’. That is something of which we have to be aware.

From the Yugoslav and Serbian side, you have to ask yourself why they did not sign up to this wonderful Rambouillet agreement which has been so magnanimously offered to them? If that is such a solution is that not preferable to being bombed to rubble? Are people so stupid that a huge majority would not accept the agreement? I read a very interesting article by a French writer and philosopher, who is presently in Belgrade, who describes the mood there. He said ‘there are 8 million Serbs, if only one of them remained alive he would not sign the Rambouillet agreement.’ Why? Well because the Rambouillet agreement effectively says, if you sign it you commit national suicide, you agree to an occupation of your country, of Kosovo and the rest of the Serbia (read the annex) and not only are you supposed to agree to that occupation, you are suppose to participate in the occupation make all available resources available to the occupiers.

And if you look as such bodies as the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, you are, in the process, to co-operate with them so at the same time you proclaim yourself to be criminals for having resisted this. That is what the agreement proposes, of course if you so not sign up you are going to be bombed.

I read, in my view, a good response from a Serbian gentleman to that, he said, “if they have to cut us up then we prefer it not to be vivisection”. They have to kill us first – then they can cut us any way that they want! That is the position that we have reached, I believe now on the 37th day of NATO bombing, they have bombed continuously, they have bombed around the clock, they haven’t just bombed Kosovo area, where incidentally they have created the largest refugee crisis that the area has ever known. We are supposed to believe, by the way that the Yugoslavs prepared their ethnic cleansing operation and then full synchronised it with the 23rd May of 1999 in order to expel the Albanian population. Not all of them have been expelled anyway, you’ll find that the figures have been substantially exaggerated. You are still speaking of about 75% of the population being in Kosovo. This is quite unlike the Krajina Serb population where they made up a majority in Croatia who were expelled pretty well 100% within a period of about 10 days. That also involved a Nato operation, it was carried out by US trained and equipped Croatian armed forces and subsequently US trained and equipped Bosnian Moslem forces and it involved NATO bombing of the Republika Serpska. The total numbers of refugees then created, something like half a million, are still refugees four years later. Hardly any of them have been able to return to their homes.

That is the position that seldom gets mentioned, but obviously the concern for refugees in one case and the total ignoring them in the other tells it’s own story. If you have somebody directly participating in a war you don’t expect them to be objective. The point, which I continuously make to the media who interview me, is to stop pretending that they can be judges, that they can be neutral or that they can be independent. If you are part of a military operation against a country then you cannot be independent and you cannot be neutral.

That’s all that I have time to say on this issue. You can ask some questions that I will try to answer, perhaps you would like to know why NATO is doing all this?

Thank you for your attention.

Miroslav Polreich - Czech Republic

THE EUROPEAN UNION & GERMAN INFLUENCE IN EASTERN EUROPE

by Dr. Miroslav Polreich © 2000 Former Czech Ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna

Introduced by Rodney Atkinson

Our next presentation, although principally on questions of Czechoslovakia and the European Union in general, has an extremely interesting connection with the Yugoslav crisis, in the person of our speaker himself, Dr. Miroslav Polreich. Dr. Polreich has a doctorate of law from Charles University in Prague. He was in the Czechoslovak diplomatic service; he was a member of the Czechoslovak mission to the United Nations; he was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 1990-1992, was Czech Ambassador to the OSCE. Among his recent articles in foreign affairs and diplomacy journals are titles such as Security in Central and Eastern Europe, NATO Expansion and Causes of the New Assertiveness in German Foreign Policy. But the connection with what we’ve just been discussing in relation to Yugoslavia is that Dr. Polreich was involved in the early 1990s as an intermediary, trying to negotiate a settlement between Serbia and the then Kosovo Albanian leader Dr. Rugova (who has just won the recent local elections in Kosovo). So, to say that we are fortunate to have Dr. Polreich replace the indisposed Professor Dolocek, who was originally going to come – to say that we are fortunate is a great understatement. We are very privileged to have him here in Oxford, and I will now leave you to listen to his presentation on the European Union and German influence in Eastern Europe. Dr. Polreich.

Dr Polreich

Thank you very much. I am glad to be here in this nice, historical city, especially among people with an economic and intellectual awareness, and people who are so active democratically. Well you know, I have studied American foreign policy all of my life, but if there is one thing I do not understand, it is American foreign policy, because it’s unpredictable. Being a Czech, and my grandfather was German – my name is Polreich, which indicates my German origins – and being from Europe, and I would say, not only from Eastern Europe, I have to follow German policy. I am not a good student of German policy, but I understand it very well. Well, being from Czechoslovakia, and from the Czech Republic now, I give you a very short glimpse of the country. You know, Czechoslovakia was considered as a more Western type country, because we had democracy between the wars. You know, Pilsudzki Poland, Horthy Hungary, not to mention Germany, were the fascist regimes, all surrounding Czechoslovakia. Then came Munich [the notorious Munich agreement between Britain, France, Italy and Germany, in 1938, when the Sudeten territories were given to Germany]. So historically we were always content to belong to the West.

As you know the country has now split – into Slovakia and the Czech Republic – 5 million Slovaks and 10 million Czechs. In Slovakia there are 600,000 Hungarians in the southern part, and about 400,000 gypsies, which you should know about (many have sought asylum in the UK – ed). The split was very peacEful. It was not necessary to do it, because if there had been a referendum, everybody says that 70 percent of Slovaks would say “We want to stay in Czechoslovakia,” and 70 of Czechs would say “We want to stay in Czechoslovakia.” So why did they split? It’s because of the power of the media, and much of which even at that time – I’m speaking about late 1992 – was already in the hands of Germans. In my country there is only one leading paper which could be described as independent. All the others are controlled by German interests, either by ownership, which is about 90%, or by the power of advertisement. Remember that newspapers live by advertisements and massive areas of our economy are controlled by foreign corporations. So, there were some articles saying that we should split otherwise there might be war – newspaper sales thrive on sensationalism! But at that time, the Czech Prime Minister Klaus, and the Slovak leadership negotiated in many meetings and they decided the country should divide. There was no crisis – Slovaks wanted to be free, have their own president, ok, they have it, and Czechs said, after all, well, Slovakia is a poor part of our country, we will be better off, anyway, so let them go, and be free. We cooperated, there’s no problem, we are friendly.

I know Yugoslavia – we know that Serbs and Croats, they don’t like each other, and so on. But human beings as such don’t hate each other by nature, but nationality can be very easily misused by politicians. Let’s say 20% of Croats and Serbs married each other. They didn’t even think about what they were – that my wife or grandfather is Croat or Serb. They didn’t care. But then they started to care, because it served a purpose. Those communist leaders, lets say moderate communist leaders, because Yugoslavia was different from other eastern, Russian-controlled countries. So, they exploited national differences to incite hatred. You know my diplomatic career stopped when I was at the Security Council protesting the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and one interesting point is that Yugoslavia was afraid that the Russians would continue and attack Yugoslavia as well. So, besides the federal army, they created local, national army units. And those units have been used recently to fight the federal army but those units had been established in order to resist the Russians in ’68.

Well, then after the Russian invasion I was not able to travel, I was not able to do my job, I was unemployable because I was considered to be a traitor – my children understand what it means to be children of a traitor. But Czechoslovakia is now under a transition, economic transition, which means privatization. We Czechs – we don’t have any money. So, privatization means that somebody else has to come from abroad to buy almost everything the State used to own. Well, our richest and closest neighbor is naturally Germany. So, our companies are owned by Germany, our media are owned by Germany, which almost seems to be the norm – but it is not what we thought a sovereign nation was going to be. Well, I will finish with the case of the Czech Republic.

There is today a new ideology. Our President Havel, who embraces this new ideology, has said “Well, we don’t have to speak about nationhood, about nations, or sovereignty. That’s the idea of the last century. Now we are in the modern world. We have the right of the individual, the right of the people as such. That has nothing to do with nationality.” Now we in the Czech Republic have a social democratic government, which unlike communism should allow differences. But somehow, because social democrats are also in power in Germany and of course they all embrace internationalism, they said “Well, we have to follow the German line, this is the right way. Be close to the Germans. Well, no nation is important, no sovereignty is important, after all, we have to give up sovereignty partly to NATO, partly to the European Union. So what?”

But there was one thing new that was introduced, in all Eastern European countries – regionalism – which means the unimportance of the nation states. Prague or Warsaw are not important. I mentioned Warsaw, because now, for the Germans Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic – none are of importance. For them, there is one big problem – that’s Poland. That’s 42 million people. So it is through the ideology of regionalism, I think you will see it soon, that’s the way we’ll see the final division of Poland. I think it’s the fifth division in history, because Warsaw power is not important. It is different regions, which are important – and that means that Polish nationhood has to be much easier to control. This is the situation as I see it in Eastern Europe. Already we see that those regions within nations want to have direct representation at the EU with less connection with their respective capitals. There were very important changes in 1990. Well, practically it started in 1985, when Gorbachev came to power – the changes started in Moscow. If there had been no changes in Moscow, you could have had no changes in Eastern Europe. We tried, as Czechs in 1968. You know the result – occupation. But, then the Russians started to change. We can argue why, but anyway, there was perestroika, glasnost, and new thinking.

But what happened when the bi-polar world – communist East and capitalist West -disappeared? There was time for cooperation and trust in the whole Europe, in the whole world. You know, disarmament. The Soviet Union had more than 5 million men under arms. Now they have a little bit more than 1 million. And Americans closed their bases abroad, at home, so this was a huge disarmament, the greatest in history. Just consider the veto at the United Nations – in the Security Council. It was used for decades by both sides, mostly by the Russians but then in the 1990s – no veto. For several years, there was absolutely no veto in the Security Council. Everything was done by consensus. Americans used the veto in some minor matters but generally there was a situation of cooperation. There was a deal in the 1993 signing, in Oslo, of the treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. You know – both guys got the Nobel prize for that. But it reflects the atmosphere of the beginning of the ’90s. There was a war in the Gulf, agreed by the United Nations, of a kind which had not been possible before- an action against a sovereign state. And there was so-called “preventative diplomacy.” And, there was a transformation of NATO on the table, which means, especially from an American point of view, universal security. If you are not secure, I can’t be secure. That’s why Americans supported at the time the partnership for peace, which meant every European nation, including Russia participating with consultation, some military training, or working together. So, this was the European scene, at the beginning of the ’90s. I was signing for it. At that time I was working in Vienna, in my post in the OSCE. But, what happened then?

The Germans came, with the theory of a security vacuum. In a bi-polar world, there had been two sides. Now they had disappeared, so which way would everything go? And in our press, it was published every day, that we were not secure. We were looking for a new enemy. Surprisingly, looking eastward again. “Russia is unpredictable. What are you going to do? 30 million Russians will move through Europe, because they live poorly and will want to move where there is wealth” and so on. If you opposed these theories, which I did, they tried to make fun of you, and you know there are more Slovaks in America as immigrants, than Russians. There are some Ukrainians in Canada. Only at Harvard does every other name end in ‘ov.’ But, in general there were no mass movements of Russians. So, there was just this German theory.

Then, another question, a major question – NATO was to expand eastwards. So, President Havel and President Walenza at the time, were for it. Madeleine Albright, who speaks Czech as well as I do, because she was born in Prague, and educated there and later in Belgrade too – they all started to support the expansion of NATO, which was a German idea although Americans were strongly against it. And I will give you the proof. This is from an American study, I think from Brown University, that’s from Rhode Island, when they were evaluating NATO enlargement The study concluded that “President Havel, of the Czech Republic has even charged that the United States is again betraying the countries of east central Europe, much as Czechoslovakia was betrayed at Munich in ’38, and at Yalta in ’45.” So, Americans were traitors because they didn’t want enlargement. But then Polish nationalists, and some others pressed the American government to change their position. So NATO was enlarged. Then there is the much more important question – the case of Yugoslavia.

Well, if there were to be changes in the Balkans, or Yugoslavia should split, it had to be done peacefully by negotiations. Well, we negotiated over and over again. Americans surprisingly – let’s remember those days – were supporting a unified Yugoslavia, in any case. You don’t split the country, even if you fight. That meant the Serbs were not very willing to negotiate, because they had the support of their powerful ally, Milosevic’s ally, the United States. At that time Yugoslavia had a president who was an American citizen and had just returned to his native Yugoslavia. Russia was not involved. So then came the Germans recognizing those two countries – Croatia and Slovenia. As in the 1930s the Vatican followed, and President Havel was the third. You know the relationship between the Czechs and Yugoslavs is a special relationship. Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 by President Masaryk. President Masaryk had been travelling in the United States, fighting for the foundation of his country, but with a Serb passport in his pocket! Of course, he was also an Austro-Hungarian citizen at that time since Austria-Hungary was the imperial power up to 1918. We always had a very close relationship with Yugoslavia.

So any action against Yugoslavia was very unpopular in the Czech republic. At first the European Union had been against recognition of Croatia and Slovenia. Then there were the negotiations on the Maastricht Treaty just on the way, so the Germans agreed to among other things an opt out for the British from the Single European Currency if the other members states approved the break up of Yugoslavia – which you did – so did the European Union. Then, in the American case, it was a little bit more complicated. The whole media was practically on the Croat side, or against Serbs, to be more exact. (Large sums of money had been transferred to New York and London to finance pro-Croat propaganda -ed) On the occasion of opening the Museum for the Holocaust in Washington, President Havel spoke. That was his first statement on the Yugoslav crisis, and the first place where he said “bomb.” By chance, I was in Washington a week after, and just watching the television, there was an interview by President Clinton, and the question was, ‘President Havel said here we should bomb Yugoslavia. What do you say to this?’ And you know what Clinton said? I will quote – I remember it, because I was shocked. “Well, the situation is much more complicated, because we don’t have only Bosnia-Herzegovina, we have Nagorno-Karabach, and Northern Ireland,” which is not very smart, I would say even it’s pretty stupid, but he said that, which means that was the real position of the Americans at that time, not to take sides. Well, and what happened after that? A bomb exploded in that market in Sarajevo, many people were killed. There was a bomb in that queue for bread and many people were killed. Everything was caused by Serbs. Well, after some time, documentation said something different, but that was later and in the meantime the whole media had been turned against the Serbs. So, American society and their government felt they had to switch their position.

Well, I would like to speak about Kosovo a little bit. We have heard a very interesting speech from Mark Littman QC, with considerable documentation, so I will be brief. I was on the first mission in 1992 in Pristina, in Kosovo. It was a mission organized by the OSCE, which was more or less a military mission. Chief of the mission was Canadian Ambassador David Peel, and we had negotiations between the Serbs and the Kosovo Albanian leader Dr. Rugova for many days and nights, and we had everything at our disposal. At that time Serbs, or Yugoslavs showed us everything we wanted to see, where we wanted to stop by helicopter. Those military men mostly from NATO countries could take pictures and everything, but we were asked by Rugova that we (Ambassador Peel and I) should stay there, immediately, on the spot, and secretly negotiate between him and the Serb side.

The Serbs were prepared to talk anywhere with anybody. If the other side wanted secrecy, ok. Rugova had this condition. So I asked my authorities at that time. (Minister Dienstbier was out of the ministry, and I was intending to go with him. You know, he is now the Commissioner for the United Nations on the Balkan Human Rights issue.) So I asked the authorities, and they told me ‘We consulted the Germans, there was no intention of having any kind of deal over Kosovo.’ So then I stopped my diplomatic activities and instead devoted myself to research. But my evaluation was, that when the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was over there would be war in Kosovo. So I approached the authorities in Prague, offering them my mandate from Rugova, to go and negotiate. It was in ’95, ’96, ’97. They refused. They said to me, well, it’s up to Havel. But I said that no-one would know so there was no risk. If we didn’t succeed, nobody would know. If we succeeded, we would save many lives. They told me, it’s up to Havel to decide himself. So, there were no negotiations. I insisted, I threatened, now it’s out, despite the press trying to censor the truth. So this was, I think, the main responsibility of our government. Which means that we were not able to help at the time whenKosovo was out of the media headlines and both sides were amenable to an agreement and the war could have been prevented.

But I started to speak about the German position. I mentioned several reasons why German foreign policy started to differ from Western countries, from Americans, from the European Union. Somehow, they are in power in Europe – economically, financially, in the media, the press and propaganda, absolutely, number one, no comparison. That means they practically took over the situation, and using the pretext of splitting Yugoslavia the way they arranged, the war in Kosovo, where Americans practically did the job for the Germans, they now enjoy effective military power not only in eastern Europe. I think the situation of NATO is not important now. Why? I think the presence of America in Europe is not important now. They have some other spots in the world to control.

So what happened in Europe? Even when Milosevic was in power, there was no problem with Vojvodina, where there is a large Hungarian minority inside Yugoslavia. No problem with Sandzak, Muslim problems. But until recently we could read every day how Serbs were killing them, raping women. Now, immediately, when the war in Kosovo was finished, nothing happened. We have no problem in southern Slovakia, where those Hungarians are living in an absolute majority over Czechs, and this is the part of the country which never belonged to Slovaks, not even to Slavs, and Hungarians lay claim to it. No problem. Hungarian Slovaks are even in the government. Everything went smoothly, which means the Germans took over Europe as such. Germans took responsibility for their new territory, and Germans want to keep it calm. You noticed that the first aid to the Serbs (after the fall of Milosevic) or to Yugoslavia now, came from the German side. And I believe, that even Germans will try to find a good relationship with Yugoslavia, to help them, and in the near future, they have to make a major, new agreement with Russia, not to divide power but (let’s call it a better name) to divide responsibility.

I don’t understand very much about French policy. I never concentrate on that. I don’t know much about Great Britain’s policy. I know this is a special country, thanks to its close relationship with the United States, which is a little different. But our part of Europe, like it or not, is Germany’s responsibility now. So if we are speaking about unifying Europe under the nice blue flag, well Europe is united already (although I don’t like the flag). I have to admit that. Whether I like it or not is not very important, it is a fact.

So, and this is where I would like to end, before me now is the question how much Germans will be responsible, how we can influence that responsibility taken by Germany, and if we, as the Czechs, or as the Slovaks, or even as the Poles, could survive, as a cultural entity in the European scene. This is my problem. I would say, I studied America, I don’t understand America. I lived there. And I respect Americans as such. I respect them in many ways. But they are quite naïve. You know, Genscher (the former German Foreign Minister) wrote in his memoirs about Bosnia-Herzegovina, about Yugoslavia. And you know what he said – and he is right. By the end of the war in Yugoslavia we Germans have repaired the deeds or the consequences of the first World War. What happened after the First World War which the Germans have now “repaired? – the foundation of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the end of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Today we have Otto von Habsburg seeing in the European Union a new Charlemagne empire and the Germans have moved in to Eastern and Southern Europe.

But who helped them to do that? Unfortunately it was the Americans. And I would say that Clinton, before he leaves office, should go to Arlington cemetery in Virginia, kneel down, and say, ‘Boys, what you died for in the first and second world wars, I gave up to the Germans for nothing.’

Thank you.

Dennis O'Keefe - United Kingdom

THE PERSECUTION OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN GERMANY

By Dr. Dennis O’Keefe ©1997

INTRODUCTION

Dr Dennis O’Keefe was a member of an investigative committee, drawn from various religious traditions including Catholic, atheist and Protestant. In this document, extracts of which are included in this paper, the ‘First Report of the Committee to investigate discrimination against religious and Ethnic Minorities in Germany’, Dr O’Keefe and others uncover aspects of religious and social intolerance which are reminiscent of the 1930s.

Dr Dennis O’Keefe

In general one detects in modern Germany the rather standard bureaucratic elitism and managerialism which typifies most of Europe and to which the British case is a marked exception.

This is characteristic of German politics as a whole and religious policy is only a special case of this. According to Andrew Gimson of The Spectator (22nd November 1997) an unprecedented and revealing flood of books converge in the view that the Bonn Republic is played out. According to Gimson Germany has long been run by a liberal elite which does not know what democratic politics is all about and does not know that it does not know.

In the case of it’s religious attitudes Germany shares the mainland European hostility to eccentric religions or perhaps we should more properly say to those seen as eccentric religions.

The difference in fact concerns not whether the religion is seen as odd, but on what follows from this. I think most people in Britain or America probably see the Unification Church and the Church of Scientology as eccentric, indeed many people will perhaps see them as downright odd; but we are inclined to tolerate them – that is the big difference.

I formed the impression that the question of the treatment of religious minorities is one of politics more than religion. Like Britain, Germany is not a very religiously observant society. The big difference between Germany and say Britain or America is that Germany is run by an establishment. (So much so that the state enforces a Church Tax on everyone – unless they agree to sacrifice Christian burial! Ed.)

All societies are, of course, more or less run by an establishment, and the question how much more or less is an important one. The crucial thing is the extent to which there is a dialogue between the establishment and the populace. And dialogue is largely meaningless if the establishment simply takes it’s validation from majoritarian sources. In lots of ways the democratic problem is the treatment accorded those who do not accept the general consensus, in this case the general religious apathy.

I have to say that the motivation for the harassment of such diverse groups as Scientologists, Charismatic Christians and Christian Faith-Healers was not at all apparent to me. Ask me why the British and Americans are more tolerant than the Germans and I have to say that I do not know.

Within the various political structures of the German state there are specialist anti-sect commissioners. The overall campaign is spearheaded by a Bundestag Commission of Inquiry (the Enquete Commission) which it seems targets some 600 sects. These include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and Scientologists.

The only two officially supported churches in Germany, the Catholic and the Lutheran between them support 140 clergy who specialise as anti-sect experts.

Being an expert on the ‘secten’ can bring career rewards similar to what you can collect in America for being an expert on Affirmative Action or in Britain for being an expert in Equal Opportunities. You can make your career hounding minority faiths. It has nothing to do with religious conviction – Germany is not a religiously devout society – but a lot to do with a kind of conventional tolerance.

As we are lead to understand it, the establishment in Germany in it’s religious dimensions consist of the two big parties and the two big churches and their base is majoritarian apathy.

It seems that many Germans either do not care if eccentric minority religious movements get a hard time or positively approve of the fact if they do.

So church and State interpenetrate and collude in the ill-treatment of minority religions. The policy is both Federal and at State level. Schleswig-Holstein actually passed a law reversing the safeguards provided by data protection to members of certain sects. Germany is not a despotism or a police state of course, so there are rights of appeal, sometimes vigorously pursued. Hearings get stretched out though, so that it is difficult to know what is happening in the overall picture.

What is strange is that a concerted campaign is possible at all. People have lost their jobs and livelihoods and had their good names ruined. There have been orchestrated media campaigns to discredit the so-called sects in question.

Finally there is good reason to think that the German intolerance is the model for what would happen in a unified or Federal Europe. This month the European parliament has been debating a motion urging interference with and regulation of cults and sects.

(Germany has adopted the English phrase ‘outed’, used usually in connection with the identification of homosexuals, to describe the identification of sect members, but in addition they are excluded from society, i.e. they lose their jobs, their children are excluded from school etc. Ed)

Jan Myrdal - Sweden

THE NEW EU SUPERSTATE – FROM A SWEDISH PERSPECTIVE

By Jan Myrdal © 1998

Mr Myrdal, who flew in from Sweden that morning, was introduced by Rodney Atkinson who referred to the fact that, uniquely, both his parents were Nobel prize winners. Mr Myrdal, a republican, social democrat and Swede has very decided views on the emergence of the European Union and his address gave a perspective from a ‘small’ country in which national sovereignty is cherished.

Jan Myrdal

Ladies and Gentlemen I’m going to talk mainly on three subjects – the first is on the role of the Nation – the tradition – the different traditions. Sweden and England are not the same, we are different but we have things in common. We are also, both of us, very different from Germany. Then I’ll talk about the supra-national state and about the background of this German development.

For many people in Sweden The European Union is just about small nasty details – for instance, you know we love strawberries in Sweden and we have good strawberries, but if you look at the map you will see that Sweden is a long country running from north to south – our strawberries get better the further north you go. They also get smaller, they get small and very tasty because of the midnight sun – but these are illegal according to the EU standard because they are not big enough. So to be legal we have to eat large strawberries, Dutch or something, which don’t taste nice.

These issues seem funny or strange, but there are others that are a bit more dangerous. In Sweden they managed to get the Parliament (the Members of Parliament didn’t know what they were doing!) to pass a law which made all databases illegal. Bild – the chairman of the Swedish Conservative Party found out that his newsletter was illegal! So there is a big hullabaloo in Sweden just now – they have to change the law again. The funny thing is that they simply applied an EU directive, made it into Swedish Law and found out it was quite against our whole tradition.

That is rather serious, maybe you are going to discuss things more clearly before your Parliament makes these things into law – in Sweden there was no discussion, they just accepted it – unfortunately.

What is more serious though is that Sweden, as you might know, now and then is dragged into the European Court of Human Rights, and is found guilty of this or that transgression. Now this is very interesting because I think you know that Sweden is not a country where we torture people and even if there are campaigns on this or that (and I could talk at length on various campaigns) Sweden is not a country that transgresses against what we normally call human rights.

But, we have a different history compared to others, a different state structure, a different legal system. I would like to talk to you about these for a moment, because if you go to present day Sweden you will find that many things are decided against an historical framework that goes back a long way. Let me take a couple of examples so that you can understand what is so different from others – continental and maybe from yours.

We had the great fortune of winning the peasant wars of the 13th to 15th centuries. In continental Europe they did not win, you could say that the Swiss were in the same fortunate position and this of course changed the course of our history for very simple reasons. There was no serfdom, there were, of course, petty (poor) peasants – but the peasantry became an estate of the Realm, the 4th Estate, and had an influence that changed Swedish society. For instance during the long years when the Swedish and Danish Crowns fought over what is now south Sweden the peasants on both sides made what was called ‘peasant peace’. They also signed ‘Peasant Peace Accords’ they were not taking part in this war – they left the struggle, that was not the usual thing in the rest of Europe, east or west. Even though they were very poor they had a certain freedom and a certain self-respect.

Other things that are considered national go far deeper than that, most Swedes are not conscious of being Swedish. You are born that way, you act that way, you live inside this framework and it’s all very simple. There is no such thing as ‘clans’ in Sweden, you know, structures usually a man appearing and then going down generation after generation, because normally our family structure is agnatic and cognatic, it is bi-lateral. We are balanced between the maternal and paternal. This has large effects. There are no clan struggles, no vendetta can exist in such a society – I’m not saying it’s ideal, I mean there are other problems – it also means in principle you find that any two Swedes are related, ‘in the family’ with this kind of structure it means that everybody becomes inter-related, they intermarry from all over Sweden and are related.

I was speaking at a big ‘family’ gathering just a couple of weeks ago – not in the English sense – my extended family on my maternal grandmother’s grandfathers side. As I looked out at them, I noted that some are different colours, and that did not matter, because they all belong in this family structure. Why am I saying this – because we don’t have anything approaching the German idea of ‘blood’. According to the still valid German citizenship law you must be of German blood, which means that you might be from Kazakstan where your forebears lived during the time of Catherine the Great and you are still a German, where as you might be third generation born in Germany descendant from someone from Turkey or somewhere and you are still not German. This idea is totally foreign to us. (and of course to Britain – ed.)

Historical circumstances are important, you all know about English history and how it has shaped present day England. So take an example, speaking about the Germans, why are Germans disliked in Sweden? I mean they are, now and then you can read about it. Austrians are not, Swiss are not, Germans are more disliked in Sweden than they were in Denmark. The reason is buried in history it was Albrecht of Mecklenburg, who unfortunately became King of Sweden in 1364 and reigned until 1389. He did something which left it’s mark on Sweden. He brought along German ‘robber-barons’; they reigned by violence – the most horrible experience that the Swedish peasantry ever had. This also explains why in 1720, when Friedrich of Hessen Kassel married into the Swedish Royal House and became heir to the throne, the Swedish Peasant estate declared on 29th Feb 1720 that they would not accept him unless he promised not to bring in ‘German Masters’. You see I am not talking about prejudices against other nations – but something that goes very deep – a prejudice against Masters from other places.

Being a nation is very important to us as you can see from these examples. Your examples are different; your national profile is different but all very valid. Some people from the government are trying to combat the Swedish resistance to this integration (of Europe) by saying that the very idea of a nation is reactionary – fascist or something – they have gone so far as to declare the Swedish flag reactionary. But in Sweden, we are a rural people with small cottages all over the country, you will see the Swedish flag flying everywhere. They can be communists, social democrats, liberals or conservatives they have the Swedish flag, it’s very natural. If you say from the extremely neo-liberal point of view that this is ugly you get a very strange conflict in the country. Some headmasters, also liberal in this sense, in the south of Sweden, said that the pupils were not allowed to sing the national anthem. You might say that the national anthem is old fashioned but most Swedes strongly favour it – or at least they feel strongly in favour when they are forbidden to sing it because they are told it is chauvinistic.

Anything that will hurt us is extremely dangerous. In the 1930’s when I was a child, my parents were in the Social Democratic Party and I met the leaders. There was a big discussion about taking back the Swedish flag from the Nazi groups who had tried to monopolise the flag. So from the ’30s onward on the 1st of May parade it was always the Swedish flag and then the red Party flag. If you go to Norway you will see this even more clearly – the national flag is the flag of for people, and the people in Sweden, not like the Germans … you know the German extreme right ‘occupy’ words like people, popular movement, for instance a word like ‘volklig’ you can’t translate into German because that would be ‘volklisch’ which sounds Hitlerite. I want to underline this because there is a difference here, because this (flag) was not taken over by the Germans.

If I were to go to dinner with the King – I mean I go to dinner with other heads of state so of course I also go to dinner with my own king – even if I am, in principle in favour of a republic, I could go dressed in Uniform if I were an officer – I am not an officer, I could go in high dress if I was an academic – I am not an academic in that sense, and so I go in the national dress of my village which is quite acceptable. If I were to do that in Germany I would be branded as a fascist but in Sweden it is accepted, it is part of the ‘roots’.

Sweden has a foreign policy that we have to be careful about. It is different from yours, it must be because your political situation is different, Ever since the 15th Century or even earlier – the 13th, we have been living in a situation where we have had a great power the east, in the south and in the west – the power in the west could change, it has changed during recent times, it was Holland, or England or the United States, on the Continent it could be Germany it could be France, on the east it was and is Russia. The object of every Swedish government was to try to save this rather small country in this situation.

For some time during the 17th and 18th centuries we played a large part in European politics. We were paid by Richelieu – we were pawns of Richelieu in his struggle against the German Empire. We didn’t win much of it.. Fortunately for us after the horrible defeat during the Napoleonic Wars with Russia when the eastern part (remember Sweden and Norway did not exist, it was one unit with three languages) that was taken away. But we had the great fortune to have the cynical old revolutionary turned monarch, Gustave XIV as Monarch. He had tattooed ‘Death to the Kings’ on his arm, and changed the policy totally. He made friends with Russia and took Sweden out of European politics. In 1833/34 when you and Russia were close to war he made a declaration of neutrality which I think is still valid for us. Since then Sweden has not been heroic – not in any way heroic, leaning here or there according to the pressures.

We never entered the different wars and this was with tremendous support of the people. I don’t have to go through 19th century history. I can just point out that we never declared ourselves neutral, we never had a neutrality like the Belgium before 1914 or the Austrian, or (currently) the Swiss or the Vatican. We were without alliances in order to be able to lean this way or that as required.

During the first world war the Germans thought that Sweden would go along (with them) because we had been leaning towards Germany after the Franco-German war. To a certain extent we did, but not quite (absolutely) – parts of the upper circle were pro-German, many of us were against. And then at the battle of the Marne in 1914 the Swedish truly saw that German victory was not self evident, and we changed to a more neutral stance.

The same thing more or less happened during the second world war. Here I must say some words because many of you would say that Sweden was weak. Yes we were weak but how and why? Well like any government, Swedish or any other government of German occupied countries, willingly going to war is of course wrong. A small country does not willingly go to war. We were saved in the Russo-Finish War in the winter of 1939/1940. The Swedish papers gave the impression that we were going to enter the war – we were not! Even the King was afraid – he preferred to wait for peace. Some of the Generals wanted to make a coup d’ etat – but they had orders, when they were told not to make a coup d’ etat they didn’t make a coup d’ etat. They obeyed orders, they were very good Generals.

The Prime Minister, a very good Social Democrat, I knew him, he used to ride around on a horse, he saw to it that we kept (our neutrality). Then came, of course, the occupation of Norway and Denmark, why was Sweden not occupied? You probably know that at that time Russia and Germany had a Land Treaty and Molotov had said he didn’t want any states in the Baltic Sea so we managed to keep out.

You could say that in June 1940 it looked as if Hitler was going to win. Many of you will have, in your hearts, seen this possibility. Then came the Battle of Britain etc. and you proved that you would not make peace, good, but even so up to winter 1941 of course the Swedish Government and leading circles in Sweden discussed how Sweden was going to survive in Europe if Hitler were victorious. If they had not discussed this, internally mind you, they would have been mad.

But from the moment of the first turning of the war really, in 1941, when the Blitzkrieg in Russia halted, they could see that it was not self-evident that Hitler would win and they could slowly change their policies. I am saying this very clearly because to tell you that the survival of a small country is not as Americans think, morally high. It’s just a question of survival. To survive as best that you can. (The same can be said of a large country that is weak or politically bankrupt – ed.)

Unfortunately this policy from Charles XIV on has not continued. The present Government has, for reasons that I think are very weak, given up. I mean the Germans called us at the end of the War ‘egotistical swine in smoking jackets’.

Now on the one hand we are united with Germany and on the other hand we have forgotten that Russia is very very weak now but it has been very very weak many times during these last 700 years, and Russia will always reappear. Under which government neither you or I nor anybody in Russia knows. But Russia inside a couple of decades will be a major power again and if Germany, Greater Germany, has bases on the Baltic sea and can keep Russia in then we will have war just as we did in the 13th Century, just as in the 18th Century, it’s quite natural.

The foreign policy of Sweden should be to try to tell the Baltic states – ‘you should keep your independence but you should not be used as pawns in this game’.

The European Union is driving a policy around the Baltic as destructive as the one Germany is driving in the Balkans, in the former Yugoslavia. The Germans don’t seem to see these long range difficulties, and the Americans often do not see them either. As Mao said of the Americans it is ‘the difference of a country having a history of 200 years to one with a history of 2,000 years’.

In Sweden we don’t have 2,000 years but we have 1,000 years and I think that is enough to make one careful.

Over now to the next question. What is happening in Europe now is the development of a supra-national entity. And you see I can go back to the Soviet Union. I was there in 1965 travelling in Soviet Central Asia and I wrote a book about it, which means that I was immediately branded a CIA agent and all my books disappeared from all the eastern countries, because what I point out was that you had this racification but the fake national anthem. The only policy could have been false but oppressive but at least it explained that there was a Turkmen nation, an Uzbek nation, etc. etc. Now they had begun speaking of something strange called the Soviet National anthem, the Soviet nation.

That was an expression of the fact that you have got a nomenclature on top. What was this nomenclature? It spoke Russian as a lingua franca mainly, but the members of it could be Turkmen’s, Estonians, Georgians, mainly Russians but also others. Now decision were made by this nomenclature in Moscow.

Travelling in the Soviet Union I talked to the peasantry and they point out that too much water had been taken away from this canyon, so there was no water left for irrigation. I wrote about that too – the reason was, they told me, that all the decisions were taken centrally in Moscow. Not even on a republic level much less on a regional level where they could know what happened to the water. We all know what happened because of these decisions because of the horrible catastrophe. That is that their supra-national centralised decisions are inherently dangerous. But they are not only dangerous in the economic sense.

This supra-national European Identity that we are now getting with these top-level Eurocrats, and I don’t need to name them, you all know them. They are organising themselves tremendous private profits! You know the nomenclature and the Eurocrates both rise above the normal law. Even the Euro-parliamentarians have just voted themselves pay that is higher than the Swedish Prime Minister, and taxes less than anybody, that is 10%! And they have voted themselves travel allowances that they don’t have to account for. This seems to me very nomenclature and very much against what we all are used to in normal democracies.

There are two dangers here – one is centralisation, you take away decision making whether about databases or strawberries, from the ground, and make them central and the second is that you put this thick layer on top of everything. Of course they are useless, you know when you get a soup that is cooling off you get this fat layer on top that you can just take away – they are not useful. But underneath things are happening. What was happening in the Soviet Union at that time was the growth not only of a political opposition but the transforming of the political opposition into a chauvinistic rage.

You see that people beginning to slit each other’s throats, you see the same thing in Yugoslavia, and in the long run I, of course, see the same thing happening in Europe. A fake Union. I am not talking about co-operation, I mean co-operation is something else, but this fake unity is making for a Yugoslav situation throughout Europe.

This brings me to the third stage of my speech. I am 71, I remember the war very well, I came back to Sweden with my parents from the United States in 1940. We went to the north of Iceland to Petsamo, we were running with war material for Finland at that time. But I remember a different aspect of the war than you. I remember the real Nazis. You of course, did not see the real Nazis in Great Britain at that time, you didn’t meet them. You could listen to Lord Haw Haw on the radio, but I met them, I saw them, both the Germans and through my parents I got to know the people who were leading the different organisations. And you know the dangerous and horrible thing about the Nazis was that they were not the Nazis that you see in Hollywood films. Those Nazis existed, I mean Auschwitz existed, all this existed, we know it. We also knew it at that time. And there were some fringe groups, The Swedish National Socialist Party going around with boots and shouting but they were uninteresting.

The real Nazis were quite quite different. If you look at their propaganda, you can take the Illustrierte Zeitung, their Christmas editions during the war – we got beautiful papers about European culture and about culture, extremely beautiful – I still have them because there were good articles about Romanesque sculpture which interests me. But you should also, if you go to a library on the continent, you might even have it here, you should demand to see ‘Signal’.

Signal was a German propaganda magazine specially to be spread abroad, printed all over Europe in different editions, and you should read that. I mean there was war reporting, but mainly the ideological line of it. Take for instance the ‘European Unity’ number 11 1944. Europe – this or that. Either the Europe that was to be founded by Germany and it’s allies or the others. And that is an issue where they say how you win over the horrible leaders of this Europe split into small nation states. Now during the war the new Europe is appearing, the united Europe that is growing out of the common European roots. And even more – I can take a book that I have in my library, which I got at that time – ‘For what are the workers of Europe fighting?’ – that talked about how in this new Europe, Finland, Germany, Romania, Belgium and Italy and other countries of United Europe, from their struggle a new civilisation was being born.

‘Both in the Bolshevik and American system the individual has no value, the individual means nothing in their mass systems, and here is the old cultured Europe co-operating to build a world where life is worth living even for those who do the manual labour.’

I am quoting here ‘The human rights or the human dignity we demand back they say in an old workers song – the workers, in Germany and in large parts of other European countries, have got their human dignity back, that is why they fight as they do, they don’t want to lose this human dignity.’ I am quoting this because you must see that Nazis did not sound the way that they do in American films. This is the way they talked. You could say that they did not win. I mean they did not win the Swedish so called grey Social Democratic workers with this, but anyway it was propaganda. But the propaganda was not just on that level..

Take another example, I was looking through my collection of ‘Dags Posten’, Dags Posten was the pro-Nazi culture daily on a higher level, you know, for the educated. Friday 5th March 1943 had a spread on page 5 ‘municipal self-government is strong in Germany’, an interesting lecture in the Swedish German Society by Reichsleiter Feiler, and Reichsleiter Feiler was an Oberburgemeister in Munich and he was speaking of the German municipal system. And he was looking back that the self regulated municipalities are the cornerstone etc etc……and the citizens can influence it, you know the whole thing sounded very beautiful. You know, of course, another truth about Germany at that time, but this is also correct, this is the way they organised it – the only thing is that there were no elections. On the one hand these municipal bodies needed no sanction from above and to their service they had advisory bodies, so-called ‘Ratsherren’ to guarantee popular municipal things and after this was a supper and dance – see this is subsidiarity. I mean that the whole subsidiarity in concept. Of course you let them handle their affairs with certain advice. This is what they were talking about.

Honestly I have advised my friends in the Swedish Anti-EU Movement to really study what they were saying at that time. Not those who wrote in Der Sturmer, they existed but they were not of great importance. But to study exactly what the ruling Nazis were saying in their writings. Even Quisling, if you go to him – 17th May 1943 when he was talking about the necessity of a European Federation to develop this unity that the world has forced on us – it should develop further to a regular and free union of European nations with a Germanic bloc as the middle – a great continental league that maybe at a later stage can also take in the different peoples of Russia.

And this is the deeper meaning. They should be European countries, self determining European countries. And what did Dags Postern say at the National European League in Sweden in 1942? They were the pro-German Nazi Party, not a Nazi Party (I say this again) with whips and things like that but cultivated pro-German Party. Developing the idea that a necessary Swedish and Nordic goal is the work to have political, economic and cultural unity between the states of Europe founded on egality between the nations.

You see this is the rhetoric of that time and it is the same rhetoric as we hear today. I am not saying that in order to paint the swastika on Europe today but to show that there is a certain continuity and to look at this continuity.

You can of course go back to how Germany was founded. Unfortunately Germany (and Sweden played a part in this) was not allowed to develop as a national state as France, as Sweden or even as Russia was. We smashed it. We took part in the Richelieu policy of smashing it. So you got this delayed national development. In the 1848 revolution there was a possibility of a sort of normal democratic development. Instead we got the Bismarckian development and the Bismarckian steamroller going over the small German states rolling them into unity. A Wilhelminian unity. It was also very strong due to the heavy industry etc. But you must remember that there is a difference between the national states – French, your national state and the German. There was an unresolved conflict built into this Germany which also lead them to these extremely strange ideas of irredenta – all the German speakers of German blood the world over to be collected into this which we don’t have with the Swedish speakers and which we shouldn’t have.

And this was a driving force, you know, before the first world war the Balkan the Drang nach Osten and the many other conflicts leading up to the first world war. I would not accept that Germany was solely responsible for the first world war, that should be up for discussion. But this was the driving force. In Wilhelmine Germany, by the way, they had great freedoms, rather large liberties for many people. But out of this something was growing, and two things happened during the war in Germany. One was that German industry was organised, you must remember that the way the Soviet Union organised their industry under Lenin – that was the lesson of German industrial planning from the first world war.

Fortunately for us they were not able, during the Hitlerite period, to use their own plans, you had more war production than they had but that was another thing. The second thing that happened was a book by Fredreich Naumann called ‘Mittel Europa’. He was the one who formulated the clear idea of a united Europe with Germany as the centre. He was no Nazi, he was what we call Christian Socialist, an ideologist, and he said it is a mechanical thing – we should break the economic chains keeping us apart and come together.

Germany ought to be leading it and the German language should be the common lingua franca, but we Germans must in many ways change our policies. The German must learn to handle the nationality questions better. He criticised the policy in Alsace Lorraine and Northern Schleswig and he was for subsidiarity – you must leave cultural freedom.

But of course Germany lost the first world war, but these ideas were Naumann’s blueprint, I wonder if the book was ever published in England? I don’t think so – it was published in Sweden and Finland, maybe you can find it somewhere, you should read it.

That continued between the wars, before Hitler in the same way as the German rearmament began, illegally, during the Weimar period. They also continued these plans. It continued during the Hitler period, not that Hitler had a real plan for Germany. Hitler was in many ways a strange politician, he didn’t have very many plans, but the long term German plans for Europe have persisted to this day and are evident in the European Union.

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