Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 13/11/15

Massenbach-Letter. News – 10. November 2015, 16:03 Zum Tod von Helmut Schmidt – Mehr als ein Jahrhundert-Kanzler.

· When Turkey Suffers, Global Energy Suffers –

· STRATFOR:Time Is Working Against the Islamic State * It’s the end of the EU as we knew it *

· Symposion Katholische Deutsche Bischofskonferenz:Ende der religiösen Pluralität? – Zur Zukunft der Christen im Nahen Osten“

· STRATFOR: In Ukraine, a Telling Election Heralds Change

· New Scientist: The climate fact no one will admit: 2 °C warming is inevitable – STRATFOR: When Turkey Suffers, Global Energy Suffers

· John Kornblum: „Merkel als Teil des Problems“ –„ Europas fehlender Sinn für Strategie“-„Normative Kraft des Faktischen“

· Goldman Sachs beerdigt die BRICs

Und da war doch noch was: et Trömmelche jeht – 11. im 11. Heumarkt Köln“

Massenbach* STRATFOR: Time Is Working Against the Islamic State

Security Weekly* November 5, 2015 | 08:01 GMT

At this time last year, a string of leaderless resistance-style attacks by grassroots jihadists in the West was making people very nervous. And their concern was understandable: In late October 2014, the tempo of attacks by grassroots jihadists in the West reached its highest point in history. The spike in activity largely stemmed from a statement made by Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani a month earlier, urging individuals in Western countries to:

"… single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him."

The wave of violence continued through the end of 2014 and into 2015, as assailants struck Australia and France in December, followed closely by the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January and the Copenhagen attack in February. But since that time, it has become clear that the momentum of the attacks has slowed, and that grassroots jihadists have not been able to keep up a consistent tempo of striking multiple times each month. In other words, the violence taking place in October last year was an anomaly, not the start of an emerging trend. The question is: Why didn’t the movement gain more traction?

The Limited Appeal of Jihadism

At least some of the reduction in violence can be traced to stepped up law enforcement efforts to identify potential attackers and disrupt plots. But it is also becoming increasingly clear that, as Stratfor noted in March, the Islamic State’s appeal has its limits, and after an initial spurt of dramatic growth, the group seems to have reached its pinnacle. Now, the market for its ideology has hit a point of saturation, and its recruiting attempts are becoming less and less successful.

This is not to say that the jihadist ideology, or even the Islamic State’s version of it, will disappear anytime soon. Jihadist insurgencies and terrorist attacks will persist for the foreseeable future, albeit at a slower tempo. However, the factors that led to the Islamic State’s stunning rise in popularity last year — the group’s territorial gains, its successes against authorities, and its propaganda — are starting to wear out. Much of the group’s appeal lay in its portrayal of itself as an agent of apocalyptic Islamic prophecy. The Islamic State wasn’t just talking about the end of times; it was actively working to make it happen.

There are other ways the group’s diminishing appeal is making itself known. In addition to the slowing tempo of grassroots attacks, many reports have surfaced in recent months of the Islamic State arresting and executing its fighters as traitors when they try to leave the group’s territory and return home. The days of the "five-star jihad" that promised lavish lifestyles to new recruits are clearly over, and many of the foreign fighters who traveled to Syria and Iraq have become disenchanted with the Islamic State — especially because many of the people they are fighting and killing are other Muslims.

A recent remark by FBI Director James Comey highlighted this trend when he said that fewer Americans are attempting to travel abroad to join the Islamic State. Of course, some of the decline could be explained by officials‘ efforts to make travel more difficult, but the key thing to note is Comey’s phrasing: He said fewer people are attempting to travel to join the group, not that fewer people have successfully traveled there. There also has not been a corresponding spike in attacks by Islamic State supporters who may have been prevented from traveling, or a spike in arrests of people trying to travel to Islamic State-held territory. Clearly, the group’s appeal has waned among American Muslims since last year, and many of its remaining supporters appear to be losing their zeal to be arrested or killed during an attack in the West.

Exposing the Islamic State’s Vulnerability

Prior to the U.S.-led coalition’s bombing operations over the past year, the Islamic State seemed to be invincible as it gobbled up large portions of Iraq and Syria. The media’s coverage of these conquests only added to the hype as it portrayed the group as far more powerful than it actually was. The Islamic State’s battlefield successes, coupled with the media limelight, played right into the group’s apocalyptic propaganda that the end of times was near, and that it would triumph and conquer the world. To Muslims seeking a transcendent cause, the Islamic State’s message held great appeal.

But since that time, the coalition’s bombing efforts have significantly degraded the Islamic State’s capabilities, even if they have not destroyed the group entirely. As a result, it has stymied the Islamic State’s spread, as has the human geography of the region, and the group has not seen much success beyond Sunni areas. In fact, in many areas, such as northern Syria, coalition air power has played a decisive role in helping forces such as the Kurds push the Islamic State back from key border crossings. While smuggling in and out of Islamic State territory still occurs, the volume of goods and people crossing the border is undoubtedly far less than it was when the Islamic State controlled strategic areas around it.

By halting the group’s advance and destroying its military units, the coalition has also helped curtail the Islamic State’s biggest supply of resources: the homes, farms, business, goods and people that do not belong to the group, as well as the taxes levied on conquered citizens. This type of logistical model is severely undermined once conquerors can no longer acquire more territory to rape and pillage to support the areas already under their control.

And make no mistake, controlling territory requires resources, especially in large cities the size of Mosul. The rulers of such cities must provide services, utilities, food, water and security for the population, all while guarding against any threats from locals who are unhappy with their rule. So while many have noted that the Islamic State is "the richest terrorist group in history," they must also account for the vast economic drain that comes with holding and governing the amount of territory the Islamic State has, on top of the financial toll its war efforts are taking.

The Draw of Apocalyptic Ambitions

The Islamic State’s brutal rape and pillage strategy has not alienated all of its potential recruits. For many in the region controlled by the Islamic State, they have no other choice but to support the group or die, and often few other career opportunities exist. But beyond these captive supporters, there are still many who have volunteered to support the caliphate experiment because of its transcendent purpose and because the idea of approaching the final days is so powerful that it can override any qualms about how the end is to be achieved. If you are fulfilling an apocalyptic prophecy, does it really matter that you murdered, raped and robbed?

The Islamic State’s end goal is powerfully appealing to jihadists around the world, and even beyond to many non-jihadist Muslims. The opportunity to bring about an Islamic prophecy is exciting, and Islamic State leaders truly believe what it is preaching. The group’s barbaric actions prove that its leaders genuinely subscribe to their apocalyptic vision and do not care about possible repercussions. Their doctrine has an especially powerful pull among marginalized individuals who tend to flock to cults, gangs and radical groups, as we can see not only in the young fighters and brides traveling to Syria but also in the grassroots jihadists conducting leaderless resistance-style attacks in the West.

The powerful appeal of apocalypticism can influence people to do unthinkable things. In the past, we have seen followers of the apocalyptic cult Aum Shinrikyo try to kill millions of people with biological and chemical weapons. Members of the Branch Davidians gave their daughters to David Koresh as brides and fought to the death to keep him from being arrested. Followers of the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide in the hope of getting onboard the UFO hiding behind the Hale-Bopp Comet, and members of apocalyptic Christian cults have sold all their possessions in preparation for the foretold second coming of Jesus Christ that never came.

These historical examples point to the major limitation of groups that embrace apocalypticism: They lose their appeal when their predictions fail to materialize. When the second coming of Jesus did not take place in 1832, 1878, 1914 or 1975; when chemical attacks against the Tokyo subway system did not usher in the end of the world; and when David Koresh did not rise from the dead after three days, the organizations promoting such claims quickly became less attractive and began losing their ability to recruit new members.

This doesn’t mean that the Islamic State’s appeal will disappear overnight. But as the group’s offensive operations are thwarted, as its economic engine stalls, and as the events it waits for do not come to pass, people will become increasingly disenchanted with its ideology. There are still Aum Shinrikyo and Branch Davidian supporters in the world, just as some of those who are invested in the Islamic State’s ideology will continue to support the group until their final breaths. Once a person has sacrificed so much for a cause, it becomes hard to let it go. But as the clock continues to tick and the world continues to spin, time will ultimately undermine the apocalyptic ideology of the Islamic State.



10. November 2015, 16:03 Zum Tod von Helmut Schmidt – Mehr als ein Jahrhundert-Kanzler

Als Politiker gab Helmut Schmidt den Krisenmanager und Weltökonomen. Als Pensionär den Publizisten und Elder Statesman. Seine Popularität stieg nach seiner Abwahl als Kanzler von Jahr zu Jahr.

Von Thorsten Denkler, Berlin

Er hat sich nicht davor gefürchtet. Davor, "endgültig die Adresse zu wechseln", wie er das mal genannt hat. Nun ist Helmut Schmidt tot. Er starb im Alter von 96 Jahren. Er starb als ein Mann, den die Deutschen verehrten. In den vergangenen Jahren mehr als je zuvor.

Bücher hat er geschrieben, nahezu jedes wurde ein Bestseller. Filme wurden über ihn, sein Leben gedreht. Allesamt Quotenhits.

Der Altbundeskanzler starb nach Angaben seines Hamburger Büros am Dienstag im Alter von 96 Jahren. Bis zum Schluss bleib der SPD-Politiker als "Elder Statesman" präsent und geachtet.

Es soll Menschen geben, die kauften Die Zeit, deren Herausgeber er war, allein um im beiliegenden Zeit-Magazin die letzte Seite zu lesen. "Auf eine Zigarette mit Helmut Schmidt" hieß das wöchentliche Kurz-Interview mit Zeit-Chefredakteur Giovanni di Lorenzo. Nach den Terminen musste di Lorenzo sein Büro in der Hamburger Redaktion ausgiebig lüften, weil es Schmidt selten bei nur einer Zigarette beließ.

Was die Menschen an ihm mochten, ist das, was sie an ihm hassten, als er Bundeskanzler war in diesen knapp acht Jahren von 1974 bis 1982. Direkt, schroff, eitel: Das sind Attribute, die mit ihm in Verbindung gebracht werden.

Im Krieg aber sagt Schmidt jedem, wie widerwärtig ihm das NS-Regime ist

Als die SZ-Redakteurin Evelyn Roll Schmidt 2008 anlässlich seines 90. Geburtstages in Hamburg besuchte, stellte sie ihm folgende Frage: Ob angesichts der Weltfinanzkrise die Bildung einer Art Weltregierung möglich sei, die die großen Probleme angehe. Schmidt antwortete: "Das kommt mir ein bisschen optimistisch vor." Roll bedankte sich, dass er statt optimistisch nicht naiv gesagt habe. Schmidt: "Das ist es aber, was ich gedacht habe."

Einem schon greisen Mann wird das verziehen. Einem Kanzler eher nicht.

Es war die "Scheiße des Krieges" die ihn geprägt hat, sagte Schmidt immer wieder. Im Dezember 1918 im Hamburg-Barmbek als Sohn eines Lehrers geboren, ist er bei Ausbruch des Zweiten Weltkrieges 20 Jahre alt. In den Jahren 1941 bis 1942 kämpft er in einer Panzerdivision an der Ostfront, später an der Westfront.

Schmidt, der einen jüdischen Großvater hat, marschiert zwar in den dreißiger Jahren schon mal mit der Marine-Hitlerjugend. Im Krieg aber sagt er jedem, wie widerwärtig ihm das NS-Regime ist. Nur der Einsatz vorgesetzter Generäle bewahrt ihn vor einem Prozess. 1945 gerät Oberleutnant Schmidt für kurze Zeit in britische Kriegsgefangenschaft.

Schmidt hat die Menschen um sich herum bis zum Schluss in zwei Kategorien eingeteilt. In die, die den Krieg erlebt haben. Und jene, die "mit größter Unbefangenheit und Naivität an die politischen Aufgaben rangehen".

Die Kriegsgefangenschaft erst hat ihn politisiert, dort ist er Sozialdemokrat geworden, sagt er später. 1946 tritt er in die SPD ein. Nach dem Krieg legt er eine Blitzkarriere hin, studiert Staatswissenschaften und Volkswirtschaft, wird schnell Verkehrsdezernent in Hamburg. 1953 zieht er in den Deutschen Bundestag ein. Damals schon macht er sich als "Schmidt-Schnauze" einen Namen.

Später geht er zurück in die Heimat. Schmidt will mitregieren in Hamburg, als Innensenator. Die Bewährung kommt 1962: Die große Flut bricht über Hamburg herein. Das Wasser überrascht alle. Schmidt bleibt besonnen, zieht in einem halblegalen Akt die Kommandogewalt im Lagezentrum an sich, das ihm wie ein Hühnerhaufen vorkommt. Er koordiniert die Rettungskräfte, befehligt Bundeswehrsoldaten, fordert Nato-Hubschrauber an.

Nach der Flut ist Schmidt der Macher, der Krisenmanager. Er wird diesen Ruf nicht mehr verlieren.

Schmidt wechselt wieder nach Bonn, wird erst Fraktionsvorsitzender der SPD im Bundestag, dann Verteidigungsminister unter Bundeskanzler Willy Brandt. Er krempelt die Streitkräfte um: Schmidt entstaubt die zwar noch junge aber in überkommenen Traditionen verhaftete Armee, setzt die Prinzipien der inneren Führung und des Bürgers in Uniform durch. Die Bundeswehr-Universität in Hamburg trägt heute den Namen Helmut Schmidts.

Schmidt hält es nicht lange auf der Bonner Hardthöhe. Zwei Jahre amtiert er als Finanzminister, dann fällt ihm – unerwartet – die Kanzlerschaft zu. Willy Brandt tritt wegen der Spionage-Affäre um seinen engen Mitarbeiter Günter Guillaume zurück. Schmidt bedrängt Brandt noch, wegen so etwas dürfe ein Kanzler nicht hinschmeißen. Brandt hört nicht auf Schmidt. Am 16. Mai 1974 wird Schmidt zu seinem Nachfolger gewählt. Brandt bleibt SPD-Chef, was Schmidt das Regieren nicht erleichterte.

Wieder sind es Krisenzeiten, politisch und wirtschaftlich. Der Ölpreisschock, wachsende Verschuldung und Arbeitslosigkeit, schließlich der Terrorismus der Roten Armee Fraktion (RAF), der im Herbst 1977 seinen blutigen Höhepunkt findet. Die Entführungen der Lufthansa-Maschine Landshut und des Arbeitgeberpräsidenten Hanns Martin Schleyer werden die härteste Probe für Schmidt in seinem politischen Leben.

Er lässt die GSG 9, eine Spezialeinheit der Bundespolizei, nach Mogadischu reisen. Sie kann die Geiseln endlich befreien. Schmidt ist in den Augen der meisten Deutschen ein Held. Eine Zuordnung, mit der Schmidt nie etwas anfangen konnte. Dafür war er zu sehr Soldat.

Als Kanzler fehlen Schmidt das Charisma und die Wärme eines Willy Brandt

Ein Tag nach der Befreiung der Landshut wird Schleyer tot im elsässischen Mülhausen im Kofferraum eines Autos aufgefunden. Schmidt hat sich auf Erpressungsversuche der Entführer nicht eingelassen. Im Bundestag übernimmt Schmidt die politische Verantwortung. Er sieht sich "in Schuld verstrickt". Gleichwohl: Der Staat lässt sich nicht erpressen. Das war seine unerschütterliche Haltung.

Wirklich beliebt ist Schmidt als Kanzler nicht. Die Menschen haben ihn respektiert. Aber ansonsten ist er ihnen zu kalt, zu wenig herzlich. Ihm fehlen das Charisma und die Wärme eines Willy Brandt. Die schwierige wirtschaftliche Lage tut ihr Übriges. Die Arbeitslosenzahl verdreifacht sich in seiner Amtszeit, 1976 rutscht das Land in eine Rezession. 1982 wieder. Auch eine Folge der Ölkrise und der desolaten Weltwirtschaft.

Zwei Wahlen gewinnt Schmidt mit der sozial-liberalen Koalition. Am Ende aber scheitert er an seinem mangelnden Reformwillen. Er weiß, dass die Zeit der hohen Wachstumsraten vorbei, dass der deutsche Wohlfahrtsstaat zu teuer ist. Die Deutschen aber hätten eben ein höheres Sicherheitsbedürfnis als andere, ist seine Begründung. Schmidt nimmt lieber Schulden auf, als das Land zu reformieren. Die FDP will eine andere Politik. In der eigenen Partei sieht er sich wachsender Kritik ausgesetzt, weil er sich vehement für den Nato-Doppelbeschluss ausspricht. Ende 1982 zerbricht die Koalition. Die FDP läuft zur Union über und macht Helmut Kohl zum Kanzler.

Ein Jahr später schlägt Schmidt ein neues Kapitel auf, wird Mitherausgeber der Zeit. 1987 verlässt er den Bundestag.

Schmidt hatte seine Grundsätze. Darauf war immer Verlass, bis in den Tod. Zu schätzen gelernt haben das die Deutschen erst, als Schmidt längst nicht mehr in der Verantwortung war. Da war plötzlich ein großes Vertrauen in diesen Staatsmann. Ein Vertrauen, das womöglich auch ein Hinweis ist auf den Zustand und die Krisenfestigkeit der aktuellen politischen Klasse.

Schmidt bleibt politisch präsent. Der Regierung Kohl wirft er mal Dilettantismus vor, mal spricht er ihr jede Moral ab. Dem SPD-Kanzlerkandidaten Oskar Lafontaine prophezeit er 1990, dass er die Wahl verlieren werde.

Selbst noch im Juni 2015 mischt er sich in die aktuelle Griechenland-Politik ein. Zum einen lobt er Kanzlerin Merkel, die "mit der deutschen Führungsrolle in dieser Krise sehr vorsichtig umgegangen" sei. Zum anderen fordert er ein europäisches Investitionsprogramm in zweistelliger Milliardenhöhe und zugleich einen Schuldenschnitt für Griechenland. "Es ist psychologisch undenkbar, einen europäischen Marshallplan ins Leben zu rufen und gleichzeitig alle diese fantastischen Schulden Griechenlands nicht anzutasten, die allein auf dem Papier stehen und die nie zurückgezahlt werden können."

Im Nachhinein entpuppen sich viele seiner Entscheidungen als visionär

Schmidt wird der Satz zugeordnet, Menschen mit Visionen sollten zum Arzt gehen. Und doch haben sich viele seiner Entscheidungen im Nachhinein als geradezu visionär entpuppt: Der von ihm forcierte und hoch umstrittene Nato-Doppelbeschluss, die Aufrüstung mit Pershing-II-Raketen, hat letztlich 1987 zu weitreichenden Abrüstungsabkommen geführt. Die Einführung des von Schmidt und dem ihm in enger Freundschaft verbundenen französischen Präsidenten Valéry Giscard d’Estaing entworfenen Europäischen Währungssystems hat erst die Grundlage geliefert für die spätere Einführung des Euro.

Schmidts Popularität steigt nach seiner Abwahl als Bundeskanzler von Jahr zu Jahr. Wohl auch, weil er mehr und mehr Privates von sich preisgibt. Offen sprechen er und seine Frau Loki über ihre Ehe. Seit 68 Jahren sind sie verheiratet, als Loki im Oktober 2010 stirbt. Tausende kommen zur Trauerfeier in den Hamburger Michel.

Der langjährige Zeit-Mitherausgeber Theo Sommer war sich sicher, Loki und Helmut Schmidt würden miteinander sterben. Schmidt widersprach dem nicht. Das sei nicht der Plan, aber "das wird wohl so kommen. Einer wird nach dem anderen sterben, ohne großen zeitlichen Abstand."

Fünf Jahre hat er seine Frau überlebt. Aber gemessen an 68 Ehejahren hat Schmidt recht behalten, wie so oft in seinem Leben. Seine Adresse in Hamburg-Langenhorn wird erhalten bleiben. Die bescheidene Doppelhaushälfte soll nach dem Willen der Eigentümer den Schmidt’schen Nachlass beherbergen. Das Haus wird ein kleines Museum werden zu Ehren des fünften Kanzlers der Bundesrepublik.

Ein würdiger Plan für einen Großen dieses Landes.



Mädchen Bildung ermöglichen
Von Michelle Obama

WASHINGTON – (AD) – Nachfolgend veröffentlichen wir einen Namensartikel von First Lady Michelle Obama, der am 2. November 2015 zunächst auf der Internetseite erschien.

Aktuell gehen weltweit 62 Millionen Mädchen nicht zur Schule. Sie erhalten keinerlei Schulbildung – lernen weder Lesen und Schreiben noch Rechnen – und damit keine der grundlegenden Fähigkeiten, die sie benötigen, um für sich selbst und ihre Familien sorgen und einen umfassenden Beitrag zur Gesellschaft leisten zu können (continued)


Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* It’s the end of the EU as we knew it

Remember R.E.M.? The cult rock band’s song ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it’ would make the perfect soundtrack to Europe’s current crisis. It is indeed the end of Europe as knew it. Except no sane observer could join in R.E.M.’s chorus “and I feel fine”.

Nothing is fine in Europe these days. Since Angela Merkel singlehandedly opened Germany’s borders to refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and any other nomads, the continent has been plunged into chaos. First and foremost, Merkel’s irresponsible decision has created an existential challenge to her own country. But it also threatens to wreck the European Union — or at least turn it into an entirely different organisation.

This week, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is visiting Berlin. Apart from catching up with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble, the main purpose of his trip is to deliver the message that Britain might vote to leave the EU if it does not receive protections from an ‘ever closer union’ with Europe.

Within the British Conservative party, Osborne may count as a pro-European. Reportedly, he even tried to talk the Prime Minister out of the plan to hold an ‘in or out’ referendum on Britain’s EU membership. But even Osborne now sounds increasingly harsh and hostile on the EU, for very good reasons.

The migration crisis, which Merkel triggered, exemplifies the dangers of an ever closer union better than any other development of the past decades. From the relatively safe distance of their islands, the British can watch with horror how the rest of Europe, most notably Germany, has to deal with an unending stream of migrants. The moat around Britain, and their country’s absence from the Schengen Zone, delivers a very real protection from uncontrolled migration (with the exception of the channel tunnel).

At the grassroots level of Osborne’s Conservative Party, it is obvious what conclusions are drawn from the crisis. In an online opinion poll on the party’s ConservativeHome website, nearly three quarters of Tory supporters voted in favour of a ‘Brexit’, a British departure from the European Union.

There are good economic reasons both for Britain staying in and departing from the European Union. However, the Brexit debate is no longer about economic policy. The longer the refugee crisis drags on, the more Britain’s referendum on EU membership will be about the question whether it wants to be part of a union that cannot even properly defend its borders anymore. And frankly, why would it?

Just as Britain is edging closer to an exit from the EU because of Merkel’s refugee crisis, another country may be moving closer towards joining the EU. That other country is Turkey.

Last weekend, President Erdoğan won an absolute majority for his AKP party in Turkey’s parliamentary elections. The way he managed to secure this electoral success may not comply with Western expectations of democratic processes. Erdoğan’s constant assaults on press freedom should rule his country out of being a serious candidate for EU membership (unless the EU does not even pretend any more to be a value-led community).

Yet fortunately for Erdoğan’s Turkey, none of this matters because the refugee crisis has turned Turkey into a key player. If Merkel wants to have any hope of stemming the tide of refugees, she needs to ensure that they stay in Turkish refugee camps. To ensure that, she has already signalled her willingness to pay Turkey for keeping Syrian migrants. She also changed her tune on her opposition to Turkey becoming part of the EU.

Before too long, we can expect Turkey to use the leverage presented to it by the refugee crisis to extort more concessions from Merkel. And how ironic would that be: to see liberal Britain depart from the EU while authoritarian Turkey joins – and both of them essentially because of the same reason.

Merkel’s political stupidity has exposed her to blackmail from Turkey – and from Greece. Again, it is completely ironic how the balance of power has shifted in Europe. Only half a year ago, it was the Greek government that was humiliated in Europe and had to give in to Germany’s demands. The refugee crisis has changed that too.

As one of the countries with external EU borders, Greece plays a crucial role, not unlike Turkey. The Greeks may now use their geographic position as a bargaining tool against Merkel.

Writing in the German broadsheet Die Welt, Georgios Chatzimarkakis presented a novel idea: to use the refugee crisis to blackmail Germany into debt forgiveness for Greece.

Chatzimarkakis is perfectly qualified to make such proposals. He is a former member of the European Parliament, elected on the ticket of the German Free Democrats. He was an honorary ambassador for Greece. Not so honourably, he had previously lost his PhD because of detected cases of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis.

And now Chatzimarkakis, who really has not much reputation to lose, seriously suggests that Greek government should seize the moment and demand debt forgiveness for its cooperation on the refugee crisis. The craziest thing is this: the Greek government would be foolish not to use Merkel’s weakness to its own advantage.

What this shows is how much Merkel’s policies have reduced Germany’s standing. Not so long ago, Germany was seen as strong and Merkel as one of the most powerful politicians in the world. Today, the British are preparing their departure from the EU, Turkey cannot believe its luck to be dictating its demands to Berlin, and even Greece may feel encouraged to stand up to Germany.

We are witnessing a fundamental shift of power within the EU. This shift of power has weakened Merkel’s Germany and it will eventually lead to an EU that is very different from the EU that we knew.

It is indeed the end of the EU as we knew it. Britain out, Turkey in and Greece debt free: who would have thought what seismic shifts the refugee crisis could trigger in the EU’s power play?

And as for the appropriate R.E.M. soundtrack to the EU’s future, it could be anything between ‘Walk unafraid and ‘Losing my religion.

Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich is the executive director of The New Zealand Initiative.


John Kornblum: „Merkel als Teil des Problems“

Es vergeht kaum mehr ein Tag, ohne dass ein amerikanischer, britischer oder sonst ein nichtdeutscher Freund wissen möchte, was in Deutschland los ist und

besonders ob Angela Merkels Abgang nun bald bevorsteht oder nicht.

Die das wissen wollen, fallen alle meistens in dieselbe Kategorie wie der exzellente "Financial Times"-Kolumnist Philip Stephens, der kürzlich meinte,

Europa sei ohne Merkel ziemlich verloren, und sie stellen die Fragen unter dem Eindruck des typischen Pessimismus deutscher Medien. Ich schließe mich dann

gewöhnlich Stephens‘ Meinung an, unter der Maßgabe, dass nicht nur Europa, sondern die Welt Merkel braucht.

Danach allerdings kommt der schwierige Teil.

Die Anrufer möchten wissen, wie es nun weitergeht. Bleibt Deutschland das führende Land bei der Suche nach Lösungen für die große Migrationswelle

2015, oder obsiegen Populisten, wie sie in vielen anderen europäischen Ländern schon präsent sind?

Merkel als Teil des Problems

Ich verweise dann gern auf die große Unterstützung in der Bevölkerung für die Flüchtlinge und auf die Anstrengungen zur Unterbringung und sogar zur Integration der Neuankömmlinge.

Trotz der Klagen kommunaler Verantwortlicher hat Deutschland die Werte und die Mittel für seine Rolle.

So weit, so gut, aber Europas Hauptproblem wird dadurch nicht gelöst.

Denn so gut sie auch ist – Merkel ist auch ein Teil dieses Problems. Denn die Nationen der Europäischen Union stehen an einem historischen Scheideweg.

Die richtigen Entscheidungen zu treffen ist viel schwieriger als damals beim Fall der Berliner Mauer.

Zudem ist die Flüchtlingskrise nur eine von vielen Krisen, mit denen sich Europa konfrontiert sieht.

Und die meisten Bürger des Kontinents sind darauf sehr schlecht vorbereitet.

Verwüstungen der Welt

Nirgendwo war nach 1990 das Gefühl vom "Ende der Geschichte" so stark wie in Europa selbst.

Just zu dem Zeitpunkt, als neue Mächte wie China und Indien aufstiegen und die destruktive Kraft der Digitalisierung alte Institutionen erfasste,

entschieden sich die Europäer für eine verstärkte Zentralisierung der Europäischen Union. "Vertiefung und Ausweitung" wurde der Slogan, der die

Zukunft umreißen sollte.

Doch weil die Verwüstungen des Wandels eine Illusion nach der anderen zerstörten, verloren die Bürger Europas ihr Vertrauen in diese Vision.

Weil die Welt immer weniger zu führen und strukturieren ist, fingen die Europäer an, die Schuld bei anderen zu suchen:

beim Big Business, bei Google, der Instabilität der Dritten Welt und natürlich, wie immer, den Vereinigten Staaten.

Nur wie Deutschland auf diese Krisen reagierte, hat das Europa, so wie wir es jetzt kennen, gerettet. Immer wieder – bei Euro, Russland, Energie und

nun Migration – haben Angela Merkel und ihre Regierung Führung gezeigt, als es darum ging, europäische Strukturen und Regeln zu stützen.

Austerität meinte nicht nur Sparen, sondern sie sollte die Glaubwürdigkeit der EZB schützen.

Europas fehlender Sinn für Strategie

Deutschlands Entscheidung, Russland im Falle der Ukraine moderat, aber bestimmt zu begegnen, verärgerte viele, aber es war der einzige Weg, einen

minimalen Konsens in Europa aufrechtzuerhalten.

Und nun auch im Falle der Flüchtlinge: Hätte Deutschland sich nicht entschieden, mit humanitärem Gestus das Thema anzugehen, die Reaktionen in

Europa wären noch chaotischer ausgefallen, als sie dann schon waren.

Unglücklicherweise löst sich mit all dem keines der Probleme.

Die europäische Politik hat sich darauf beschränkt, Kompromisse zu finden, die nicht von langer Dauer sind.

Aber die Welt nimmt sie nun in Beschlag. Die Flüchtlinge gehen nicht mehr weg. Und auch nicht die globalen Märkte,

die Europa weiter unter Druck setzen. Und schon gar nicht die Russen verschwinden als Problem.

Normative Kraft des Faktischen

Der größte Fehler allerdings war das Versagen Europas und Deutschlands, was die Aufrechterhaltung einer strategischen Allianz mit den USA anbelangt.

Wie frustrierend auch das amerikanische Verhalten sein mag, die USA jedenfalls definieren einen neuen Typus globaler Rolle und geben dabei Europa eine

unbedeutendere Rolle.

Die Gründe für diese Entwicklung haben nichts mit dem Verteidigungshaushalt oder militärischen Interventionen zu tun.

Tiefere Ursache ist die wachsende Schwierigkeit, Europa in irgendetwas zu bekommen, was einem strategischen Dialog auch nur ähnlich sähe.

Wenn Deutschland nahezu jede Diskussion eines Problems damit beginnt, dass es betont, nicht Teil der Lösung sein zu können, dann verschwindet der Sinn

von Gemeinsamkeit schnell.

Natürlich hat eine gut organisierte Gesellschaft wie die deutsche sofort eine Lösung fürs Dilemma: "Die normative Kraft des Faktischen".

Schwer in andere Sprachen zu übersetzen, aber der Sinn ist klar.

Am Ende gewinnt immer die Logik, die von der Realität geboren wurde.

Dieses Gesetz besiegelte das Schicksal der Sowjetunion. Es wird auch Europa dahin führen, wohin es gehen muss.

Wir sind mit Ihnen, Angela. Machen Sie weiter so!…standardteaser&r=76457636067369&lid=463069&pm_ln=373715

****************************************************************************************************************** Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* STRATFOR: In Ukraine, a Telling Election Heralds Change

November 6, 2015 | 06:32 GMT


Ukraine is likely to undergo a significant political shake-up after the ruling coalition’s main parties performed poorly in recent local elections. This overhaul likely will include a Cabinet reshuffle, the replacement of several key ministers, and a public campaign to crack down on corruption and, more specifically, on powerful oligarchs. The Western-oriented government led by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will probably remain intact in the near term, but increasing pressures and growing political instability in Kiev will have important implications domestically and for Ukraine’s relationships with Russia and the West.


Mayoral and city council seats were contested throughout most of Ukraine in elections on Oct. 25. Although official results will not be available until after Nov. 15, when some cities and regions hold runoff elections, the initial vote made it clear that Ukraine is still a deeply a divided country. Regions in western and central Ukraine favor pro-Western parties, while eastern and southern regions show more support for the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc party. Notably, the major parties in Ukraine’s ruling coalition did not perform particularly well. The Poroshenko Bloc lost ground to other Western-oriented parties such as Samopomych, and the People’s Front party founded by Yatsenyuk in 2014 fared so badly in polls before the vote that it refrained from even participating in elections.

Poroshenko’s and Yatsenyuk’s parties dominated the most recent parliamentary elections, which were held in October 2014. But since then, Yatsenyuk’s popularity has eroded; recent polls show he has less than 5 percent of his own party’s support. He lost much of his base when he championed painful austerity measures to get financing from Western institutions and prop up the ailing economy amid the conflict in Ukraine. Moreover, much of the population sees high-level corruption as pervasive and views the government as ineffective in areas such as judicial and legal reform. And as Yatsenyuk’s popularity has fallen, so has support for Poroshenko’s party. Today Poroshenko’s and Yatsenyuk’s parties collectively hold only 225 seats in the 450-seat parliament.

Recognizing that public support for the Ukrainian government is declining, Yatsenyuk pledged to enact a major political overhaul, including a reshuffling of the Cabinet, after the elections. The prime minister said he may replace ministers in such areas as energy, health care and education in as little as two weeks. At the same time, Poroshenko has launched a public anti-corruption campaign that included the arrest of Gennady Korban, an influential businessman linked to Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoiski, on bribery charges. According to Poroshenko, the arrest was just the beginning of a broader crackdown on corruption. The president has promised a renewed emphasis on tackling graft in the country.

Although these measures are meant to revitalize support for the government, they put the ruling coalition at some risk. Oligarchs remain extremely influential in Ukrainian politics. Figures like Kolomoiski not only hold major stakes in the country’s banking and energy sector but also wield influence through volunteer battalions operating in eastern Ukraine. Pushing too hard against the oligarchs comes at a price; oligarchs Dmitri Firtash and Rinat Akhmetov withdrew their support from former President Viktor Yanukovich before his ouster in 2014. Poroshenko, himself one of Ukraine’s richest men, will have to proceed cautiously in targeting the more powerful oligarchs as part of his anti-corruption campaign.

Yatsenyuk’s position as prime minister is likely safe for now. Poroshenko has no other party he can work with to maintain a majority in parliament, and Yatsenyuk, as the force behind financial reform in Ukraine, has substantial support from the West. Yatsenyuk also plays a key role in Ukraine’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to receive the next tranche of its bailout before the end of the year. However, next year could prove more problematic for the prime minister. Members of his party may take the opportunity to join other Western-oriented parties — something that could lead to early elections or usher in a new prime minister in 2016.

The growing precariousness of the ruling coalition’s position is also likely to have important consequences for Ukraine’s relationship with Russia. The conflict in eastern Ukraine has calmed significantly since a temporary cease-fire was established at the beginning of September, and both Ukrainian and separatist forces have begun withdrawing heavy weaponry from the line of contact in accordance with the Minsk agreement. However, following an uptick in fighting in recent days, Ukraine’s Security Council secretary has said that the country will suspend the armament withdrawal if the Russian-backed rebels continue their provocations and use of heavier weapons such as mortars.

Meanwhile, the government is considering delaying controversial constitutional reforms that would grant greater autonomy to the Donbas regions — a key demand by Russia and the separatists. If Kiev does delay the reforms until after the end of the year as it struggles to implement its domestic agenda, tensions with the separatists and Moscow may escalate.*********************************************************************************************************************************

United States Government Accountability Office – Report to Congressional Requesters

“SOUTHEAST ASIA – Trends in U.S. and Chinese Economic Engagement in Indonesia and Vietnam”

Why GAO Did This Study?

The United States and China have each sought to increase their economic engagement in Southeast Asia. U.S. agencies have identified Indonesia and Vietnam as important emerging U.S. partners that contribute to regional stability and prosperity. Indonesia has the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of purchasing power, and Vietnam is one of the most dynamic economies in East Asia. Both the United States and China have established comprehensive partnerships with each country that are designed to enhance their bilateral cooperation in key areas.

GAO was asked to examine the United States’ and China’s economic engagement in Southeast Asia. GAO issued a report on 10 Southeast Asian countries in August 2015. In this report, GAO presents case studies for two of these countries, Indonesia and Vietnam, providing greater detail about the United States’ and China’s trade and investment, competition, and actions to further economic engagement in the two countries. GAO analyzed publicly available economic data and documentation from 10 U.S. agencies and the Chinese government. The data that GAO reports have varying time periods because of the data sets’ limited availability and differing contexts. GAO interviewed U.S., Indonesian, and Vietnamese officials and private sector representatives.

This is the public version of a sensitive but unclassified report that is being issued concurrently. GAO is not making any recommendations in this report.


New Scientist: The climate fact no one will admit: 2 °C warming is inevitable*

It is time to start preparing for a world more than 2 °C warmer than now. The UN’s own analysis of what countries are offering to do to limit greenhouse gas emissions shows they fall far short of what’s required. In fact, they suggest the world will have emitted enough carbon dioxide to warm the planet 2 °C by around 2036.

These offers, formally known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, will be the basis of the global treaty on climate change to be finalised in Paris in December. It was always clear that this treaty would not go nearly far enough to limit warming to 2 °C by 2100, but now the numbers are in.

Ahead of the meeting, 119 INDCs have been submitted, representing 147 countries and 88 per cent of current emissions. The UN has now released a synthesis report analysing what impact they will have. It concludes that even if countries stick to them, annual global emissions will hit 43 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) by 2030 – and will still be rising.

It has been calculated that to have a 66 per cent chance of limiting warming to 2 °C, cumulative emissions from 2011 must be limited to 1000 GtCO2. The UN report, however, says we’ll have burned through 75 per cent of this carbon budget by 2030. That means we could only emit another 250 GtCO2 after 2030 – which means we’ll bust the budget in around 2036 assuming emissions stay above 40 GtCO2 per year. “I think it is clear that the INDCs will fall well short of what is required for any reasonable probability of avoiding 2 °C,” says Alice Bows-Larkin of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester, UK. And what happens after 2030 is crucial, too, she says. “We can’t assume that emissions will immediately decline.”

At a meeting in London on 28 October, New Scientist asked the chief UN climate negotiator, Christiana Figueres, if it was now time for the world to accept that limiting warming to 2 °C is unrealistic and to start preparing for even greater warming. Figueres vehemently rejected this idea.

“Would you want that for your children,” she responded. “This is about the quality of life on this planet.” The Paris treaty would “build a pathway” to 2 °C, she said, by paving the way for further cuts.

This claim is repeated in the official UN press release accompanying the latest report, which says the INDCs “keep the door open to” the 2 °C limit. But the grim numbers in the report tell a very different story.

So why do some reports still claim that 2 °C is achievable? The answer is that they almost always assume that the world will resort to geoengineering and somehow suck vast quantities of CO2 out of the atmosphere, so-called “negative emissions”. But many scientists are extremely sceptical about the idea that this can be done on the stupendous scale required.

Even if it is now too late to limit warming to 2 °C, we may at least be able to keep it well under 4 °C by 2100. Independent analyses of the INDCs suggest they could put the world on track to limit warming to between 2.7 and 3.5 °C by 2100, depending on what assumptions are made about emissions after 2030.

The 2.7 °C figure does not depend on negative emissions, says Bill Hare, head of the Climate Analytics group that came up with the figure.


Middle East

Analysis – October 14, 2015 – A Preview

*When Turkey Suffers, Global Energy Suffers*


By John Roberts

The killing of at least 95 people Oct. 10 in Turkey’s worst-ever terrorist attack lays bare just how fragile this apparently solid bastion of international energy security interests really is. The attack on participants gathering at Ankara Railway Station for a peace demonstration — whether the work of Islamist militants, as the government has suggested, or agents of the "deep state," as some opposition leaders fear — demonstrates the ruthless nature of the civil strife currently engulfing Turkey.

It also serves as a stern warning for the rest of the world that within a few weeks it may well have to radically change its perception of Turkey’s suitability as a key strategic partner in major oil and natural gas pipeline projects backed by the United States and Europe, as well as those being developed by Russia.


The stability of Turkey itself has come into question. The country is entering its most crucial general election in decades against a background of renewed civil strife and increasing concern that the democratic process could be hijacked, prompting a new form of civil war.

It’s a problem made yet more complex by Turkey’s geography. To the south, Syria and Iraq are aflame with multi-sided conflicts. To the north and east, an arc of crisis and uncertainty extends from Moldova and Ukraine through Russia and the Caucasus to Iran.

From Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Iraq, massive volumes of oil and natural gas pass through pipelines that transit or terminate in Turkey. Extremist groups in or near Turkey already routinely threaten some of these pipelines. Notably, Islamic State forces have attacked the trunk line carrying oil from the Iraqi oil center of Kirkuk to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, and the separatist Kurdistan Workers‘ Party — deemed terrorists by most of the international community — has in eastern Turkey attacked the lines that bring Azerbaijani and Iranian natural gas to Turkey.

If the Ankara bombing is any indication, the situation could be about to get a whole lot worse. Internal stability has been undermined throughout the country, threatening not only existing lines but also giant projects currently under development. This includes the $10 billion Trans Anatolian Pipeline, which is intended to carry some 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey and Europe — and which the European Union views as an important element in its strategy to reduce its dependence on natural gas supplies from Russia.

Yet while European, and possibly global, energy security stands to be profoundly affected by what is happening in Turkey, it is crucial to stress that energy issues are scarcely playing any role in Turkey’s current drama — or tragedy.

Free, Fair, Credible Elections

A general election has been called for Nov. 1, but already there is concern over whether it will meet any reasonable standards of a free and fair election. The issue is very simple: Just how far will President Recep Tayyip Erdogan go to ensure he can implement his dream of replacing Turkey’s existing parliamentary government with a full-scale executive presidency?

The United States is already sufficiently concerned by the government’s crackdown on opposition media to stress that it wants to see "free, fair, credible elections" — a phrase used by State Department spokesman John Kirby when asked Oct. 8 whether he believed the elections would be transparent in light of a major crackdown on opposition activity. Kirby specifically said, "We’re concerned by the increasing number of investigations into media outlets for criticism of the government and for accusations of allegedly disseminating terrorist propaganda. We’re also concerned by the aggressive use of judicial inquiries to curb free speech."

In international terms, the stakes could not be higher. On Syria, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, also speaking Oct. 8, said in the wake of two Russian warplane incursions into Turkish airspace that he was prepared to send forces to defend Turkey from the consequences of Russian military intervention on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. At the same time, the European Commission is calling for an acceleration of the tortuous negotiating process for Turkey’s eventual membership in the European Union.

Turkey’s allies appear to have been treating these issues — the Turkish elections, the Syria crisis, the negotiations with the European Union and, indeed, Turkey’s role in global energy security — as essentially separate issues. The Ankara explosion should help to remind them — and the companies such as Azerbaijan’s Socar and the United Kingdom’s BP that are developing the $45 billion set of upstream development and pipeline projects known as the Southern Gas Corridor, which are crucially dependent on Turkish transit — that the underlying issue for Turkey’s friends, allies and investors is the very stability of the country.

The government has suggested that the Ankara killings were carried out by suicide bombers who may have been from the Islamic State, another militant Islamist group or from the outlawed PKK. In July, a two-year-old cease-fire between the government and the PKK came to an end in the wake of the killing of two policemen in southeastern Turkey and the government decision to launch massive airstrikes against PKK bases in Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq. Since then, according to air force chief Gen. Abidin Unal, Turkey has been at war with the PKK, attacking it in both northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey. "Today the Turkish Air Forces are actually waging a war," Gen. Unal said Oct. 6. "More than just a medium scale war, it is fighting on two fronts."

But who is the enemy? A variety of civic groups called the rally in Ankara to protest Turkey’s lurch back into civil war after two years of cease-fire and many more of long and difficult negotiations between the government and the PKK (in which imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan played a leading role) aimed at trying to work out how best to resolve the identity issues of Turkey’s Kurds, who comprise between one-fifth and one-quarter of the country’s population of 78 million. Yet the victims were mainly supporters of the Peoples‘ Democratic Party (HDP), the largely Kurdish political party that wants a cease-fire and the resumption of talks on a settlement of the Kurdish question. And when the PKK announced a cease-fire two hours after the bombings, the government’s response was to launch a fresh wave of air attacks.

The danger for Turkey is that the government is trying to break the political stalemate resulting from the last general election, held June 7, by finding a way to prevent the HDP from once again crossing the 10 percent threshold across the country required for it to enter parliament. In June, the HDP secured 13.1 percent of the vote, a critical development that prevented Turkey’s ruling, and increasingly Islamic, Justice and Development Party from winning an overall majority in the Grand National Assembly.

With Turkey now in turmoil and in open war in parts of the country, whether there can be "free, fair, credible elections" in Kurdish areas of southeastern Turkey is very much an open question. The HDP will almost certainly need voting to take place in the region, and for the votes to be counted accurately, to once again cross the 10 percent threshold required to enter parliament, let alone to gain the 13 percent that current opinion polls suggest is still its level of national support. But should continued warfare effectively disenfranchise HDP supporters, Turkey’s voting system would ensure that the result — whether free, fair, credible or otherwise — would be a one-party AKP government able to secure some kind of quasi-legal backing for the presidential system of government sought by Erdogan.

Concern in Europe and Russia

Disenfranchising the Kurds goes to the heart of the energy issue. It would certainly intensify the existing war, which in July and August included PKK bombings on the lines bringing natural gas from Iran and Azerbaijan and on the pipeline carrying oil from northern Iraq to Ceyhan. But with millions of Kurds now living in Turkey’s major cities, notably Istanbul and Ankara, effective disenfranchisement also risks stirring up civil commotion within Turkey’s cities, generating unrest on a scale unseen since the incipient civil war that prompted Turkey’s last military coup, in September 1980.

In such circumstances, Turkey’s position as an investment destination — whether for oil, natural gas, power or almost anything else — would deteriorate rapidly. In particular, the potential combination of widespread civil unrest and persistent bomb attacks would pose grave problems for the viability of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline, the key Turkish project in the Southern Gas Corridor, weakening Europe’s ability to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas supplies.

Yet it is not just European energy security that’s at issue. Russia, too, has reasons to be nervous about what’s happening in Turkey. Turkey’s reliance on a caretaker government since the June elections is one reason Moscow and Ankara were not able to conclude a formal agreement that would enable Russia to start actual construction this year of its planned Turkish Stream pipeline under the Black Sea. Now Russia has said not only that it will halve the planned size of Turkish Stream from 63 bcm per year to 31.5 bcm per year but also that it has decided against a previously planned 3 bcm-per-year expansion of the existing 16 bcm-per-year Blue Stream pipeline under the Black Sea.

As for Russia’s recent actions in Syria, Erdogan has already warned that Russian incursions into Turkish airspace could cost Moscow its massive natural gas export and nuclear construction contracts. Speaking Oct. 8, Erdogan said, "We are Russia’s number one natural gas consumer. Losing Turkey would be a serious loss for Russia. If necessary, Turkey can get its natural gas from many different places." And although Russia’s Rosatom has already spent some $3 billion on developing the $22 billion project to construct Turkey’s first nuclear power plant at Akkuyu, Erdogan was still prepared to say, "These are matters for Russia to think about. If the Russians don’t build Akkuyu, another will come and build it."

At the very least, such comments do not inspire continued confidence in the state of Russian-Turkish energy relations. But were Turkey to reduce, let alone terminate, its reliance on Russian natural gas imports, which account for close to 60 percent of the 50 bcm that Turkey is expected to import this year, it would have to import far more natural gas from Azerbaijan, Iran and, eventually, northern Iraq than it does today.

And for that to happen, Turkey will have to be stable. Much more stable than it is on the eve of its most critical election in a generation.




*Ende der religiösen Pluralität? – Zur Zukunft der Christen im Nahen Osten*

„Die aktuelle Diskussion über die Flüchtlinge, die nach Europa und vor allem nach Deutschland drängen, lenkt den Blick auf die Lage der Christen im Nahen und Mittleren Osten. Der wachsende religiöse Extremismus bedroht dort die christlichen und andere Minderheiten, die in der Vergangenheit mit der muslimischen Mehrheit weitgehend friedlich zusammengelebt haben. Jetzt aber scheint für viele die Flucht der einzige Weg zu sein, ihr eigenes und das Leben ihrer Familien zu retten. Wir befinden uns in einer Situation historischen Ausmaßes, die zum Ende des orientalischen Christentums führen könnte.

Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz will mit einem Symposium am 30. November 2015 in Berlin die Frage untersuchen, ob das Zeitalter der religiösen Pluralität in den Ländern des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens zu Ende geht oder die Christen in der Region noch eine Zukunft haben. Diese Thematik soll mit Experten aus dem In- und Ausland in vier Arbeitskreisen unter verschiedenen Aspekten erörtert werden. Den Abschluss der Fachtagung bildet eine öffentliche Podiumsdiskussion, an der der Maronitische Patriarch Béchara Pierre Kardinal Raï, der Vorsitzende der CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion Volker Kauder und ich teilnehmen werden.“

Erzbischof Dr. Ludwig Schick, Bamberg



moderated by Srecko Velimirovic .

Goldman Sachs beerdigt die BRICs

· Goldman Sachs beerdigt die BRICs

· Schwellenländer als Paket-Investments sind out

· Ende einer Investmentidee: Schwellenland ist halt nicht gleich Schwellenland

BRIC – Brasilien, Russland, Indien, China – stand einst für Schwellenländer-Investments als Goldgrube. Nun löst der Erfinder Goldman Sachs seinen BRIC-Fonds auf.

14 Jahre ist es her, seit Jim O’Neill, Chefökonom von Goldman Sachs das Kürzel BRIC in die Welt brachte. BRIC – das stand für Brasilien, Russland, Indien und China und damit die größten Märkte der Schwellenländer. Der Erfolg war gewaltig, der Investmentboom groß.

Nun, 14 Jahre später, hat Goldman Sachs seinen eigenen BRIC-Fonds mit einem anderen Schwellenländerfonds fusioniert und die Idee damit beerdigt. Man erwarte in der nahen Zukunft keine bedeutendes Wachstum des Vermögens, so die Begründung gegenüber der amerikanischen Börsenaufsicht. Das verwaltete Vermögen des Fonds auf Dollar-Basis ist seit 2010 um 88 Prozent gesunken und damit noch deutlicher als der Anteilswert, der knapp 30 Prozent unter dem einstigen Wert liegt.

Die Aktienmärkte der vier Länder haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren unterschiedlich entwickelt, vermögen aber allesamt nicht so recht zu überzeugen. Brasiliens Bovespa hat seit Ende 2010 36 Prozent abgegeben, der russische RTS-Index 60 Prozent. Der indische Sensex bewegte sich zwischen 2008 und 2013 per saldo kaum und konnte sich erst mit der Wahl des neuen Ministerpräsidenten Modi 2014 wieder erholen. In diesem Jahr steht aber auch schon mit der Enttäuschung und den steigenden religiösen Spannungen wieder ein Minus von 15 Prozent zum Buche.

Und China? Nur dank der politisch induzierten Aktienblase zwischen den Sommern 2014 und 2015 liegt der Markt im Plus. Bis dahin hatte er in fünf Jahren mehr als 40 Prozent verloren. Die Entwicklung seit dem vergangenen Sommer aber hat das Vertrauen nicht erhöht. Hongkongs Hang-Seng-Index liegt unter dem Niveau des Jahres 2011.

Das Ende des Investmentkonzepts BRIC beruht in erster Linie auf den veränderten Anschauungen gegenüber China, das von jeher der Motor auch der BRIC-Entwicklung war. Mit den veränderten politischen Gegebenheiten um Russland, dem deutlich gefallenen Ölpreis und der wirtschaftlichen Sanktionen das Land ist der zweite Stein aus der BRIC-Wall gebröckelt. Indien und Brasilien waren nie die großen Motoren des Konzepts. Brasilien befindet sich zudem mit der schlimmsten Rezession der vergangenen 25 Jahre und der höchsten Inflation seit 13 Jahren in einer handfesten Krise.

Insgesamt haben Anleger nach Daten von Bloomberg seit 2010 15 Milliarden Dollar aus BRIC-Fonds abgezogen. Das war mehr als die gesamten Zuflüsse seit dem Jahr 2005. Generell haben die Anleger ihre Schwellenländer-Engagements umgeschichtet. Während aus Schwellenländerfonds zuletzt sechs Milliarden Dollar abflossen, strömten gleichzeitig sieben Milliarden in auf einzelne Staaten ausgerichtete Schwellenländer-Indexfonds.

Josh Brown, vom Vermögensverwalter Ritholtz sieht hier einen Lernprozess: Unter den Schwellenländern gebe es viel stärkere Unterschiede als zwischen Industrieländern. Er wettet darauf, dass die BRIC-Idee vollständig untergehen wird.;7;pcp;newsletter;pcc;newsletter.redaktionell.Finanzen-Analysen&utm_source=FAZnewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter_FAZ_Finanzen-Analysen


Vucic: EU recognizes Serbia’s enormous progress

Davenport: Serbia has made significant progress on EU path

EC: Chapters to be opened at 2015 IGC

France supports opening of Chapters 32 and 35

Serbian soldiers take part in military exercise in Germany.

HOHENFELS – Combined military exercises, in which members of the Serbian Army (VS) also take part, are underway at the U.S. Hohenfels training center.

The exercise dubbed Combined Resolve V features 99 members of the VS’s 2nd Brigade, 21st Infantry Battalion, a Tanjug reporter covering the training said.

The exercise is organized by the U.S. European Command, and members of VS will be taught tactics in armed conflicts and how to cooperate on the ground with military units from different countries. Combined Resolve V features more than 4,600 participants from 16 countries, 10 of which NATO allies, while the others are members of the Partnership for Peace program.

AMAN: Government should find solution

Kosovo not admitted to UNESCO



see our letter on:

*Herausgegeben von Udo von Massenbach, Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster, Joerg Barandat*



è Finally:

10-15 U.S. Government Accountability Office – Trends in U.S. and Chinese Economic Engagement in Indonesia and Vietnam.pdf