Massenbach-Letter.NEWS 20 Jan 2017

Massenbach-Letter. News   

    • WSJ: Here’s May’s Brexit Blueprint * Lays Out Brexit Plan, Signals Single Market Exit * IPG: Alles neu ohne May

 

  • Valdai: Revolt of theMasses

 

 

  • Washington Times: What Is Best for America – Russia as a Friend or a Foe?
  • FAZ: Eveline Metzen „Für Trump ist Deutschland sehr wichtig“

 

    • STRATFOR: What Latin America and Africa Have in Common

 

  • George Friedman (GPF): NATO and the United States                                                                               
  • Wolffsohn: Vier Präsidenten – zweierlei Maß

 

 

 

  • Das Trump-Kabinett – Militärs, Manager und Millionäre

 

 

    Massenbach*   WSJ: Here’s May’s Brexit Blueprint

Updated January 17 2017 12:57 pm GMT

 

Theresa May has pledged to hold a parliamentary vote on a final deal on Brexit before both houses of parliament in a key speech on Tuesday.

 

In her most wide-ranging speech on Brexit since becoming prime minister six months ago, May also confirmed that Britain will likely leave the single market and instead seek a free trade agreement with the European Union.

 

Speaking in Lancaster House in London, she said that Britain favours a bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the EU, and the “freest possible” trade in goods and services.

 

She said that might include current aspects of the single market remaining, including selling financial services across borders.

The opposition Labour Party said in a tweet that May’s speech “signals a clear break of a Tory manifesto pledge” on remaining in the single market.

 

Here are some of the key points from May’s speech:

  • The UK will likely leave the single market
  • Brexit must mean the control of the number of immigrants coming into the UK
  • The UK does not want to be bound by all the rules of the current customs union, but it want a customs agreement to ensure tariff-free trade with the bloc
  • The UK will seek a phased process of implementation following the end of the Article 50 process
  • The UK would be willing to walk away from a deal if the EU offers a punitive deal to discourage other members from leaving
  • The final Brexit deal will be put before both houses of Parliament
  • The UK should remain united and more outward looking
  • The UK doesn’t want any harm to come to the EU. The UK will continue to be reliable partners, both in trading and security
  • The referendum was a vote to restore parliamentary democracy

 

On whether the UK will be a member of the EU customs union, May said that the UK does not want to be bound by all the rules, but does want a customs agreement with the EU to ensure tariff free trade with the continent.

 

She said it is not yet clear whether that could lead to the UK becoming an associate member of the customs union, or whether a new customs agreement might have to be agreed upon.

 

“We do not seek membership of the single market, instead we seek the greatest possible access to it.” Theresa May

“What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.” Theresa May

 

May said that it was is no-one’s interest for there to be a “cliff edge for business” at the end of the two-year Article 50 process, saying that she would push for a phased process of implementation.

 

May opened the speech by saying that the EU referendum was a vote for change, and that the public voted “with their eyes open,” accepting there would be difficulties ahead.

 

May also said she wants the UK to emerge “stronger, fairer, more united and more outward looking than ever before.”

She said the Brexit vote was not a rejection of shared European values, or an attempt to harm the EU.

 

“We are leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe. And that is why we see a new and equal partnership.” Theresa May

 

On immigration – a key concern for the City – May said the UK will ensure it can control immigration from Europe, while remaining open to international talent. But May said she takes controlling the number of immigrants from Europe as the key message from the Brexit vote and the referendum campaign.

The Prime Minister added she will provide business with as much certainty as possible, and said that EU law will remain in place until the British parliaments choose to change them.

 

“I want this United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward looking than ever before. I want us to be a secure, prosperous tolerant country, a magnet for international talent. ”Theresa May

 

“Britain is an open and tolerate country, we will always want immigration, especially high skilled immigration.” Theresa May

 

May also focused on domestic policy, and said she will use this moment of change to make reforms at home, including investing in infrastructure.

Touching on Scottish nationalist threats of a second independence referendum, May said she will put the Union at the heart of future policy.

May said the result of the referendum was not a vote to retreat inward away from the world.

 

Britain “has always looked beyond Europe to the wider world.”

“June the 23rd was not the moment Britain chose to step back from the world, it was the moment we chose to build a truly global Britain.” Theresa May

 

Addressing the continent directly, May said that she does not want the EU to unravel – “it remains overwhelmingly and compellingly in the UK’s interests for the EU to succeed,” she said.

 

But she did say that Britain would be willing to walk away from a deal if the EU offers a punitive deal to discourage other members from leaving.

She said if the two sides can’t reach an agreement then Britain would be free to change the basis of its economic model, including tax cuts.

May said if the EU adopts a punitive approach, “that would be an act of calamitous self harm for the countries of Europe…Britain would not, and indeed we could not accept such an approach.”

 

“No deal is better than a bad deal for Britain.” Theresa May

 

https://city.wsj.com/stories/029f4933-b639-43d3-ad9e-5797f1c88e6d.html

 

 

Alles neu ohne May

Weshalb ein harter Brexit gut für die EU ist.

Von Gerhard Stahl | 16.01.2017

 

Die britische Regierung hat eine Industriepolitik angekündigt, die die Schaffung britische Arbeitsplätze in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Gleichzeitig wird ein Ende der Freizügigkeit für Europäer gefordert und die Beschränkung des Zugangs von ausländischen Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmern vorbereitet. Die von der vorigen Regierung geplante Haushaltskonsolidierung wird verschoben. Außerdem beabsichtigt London, internationalen Partnern in zukünftigen britischen Handels- und Investitionsabkommen günstigere Bedingungen als in EU-Abkommen anzubieten. Internationalen Firmen wie Nissan werden bereits staatliche Unterstützungen zugesagt, um Investitionen nach Großbritannien zu locken.

Das britische Austrittsvotum – und die amerikanische Präsidentschaftswahl – sind Warnzeichen für die Europäischen Union. Denn auch in der EU lehnen die Verlierer der Globalisierung die gegenwärtige am internationalen Wettbewerb und offenen Märkten orientierte Politik ab. Das hat nicht zuletzt das Brexit-Votum gezeigt, in dem insbesondere die Arbeitnehmerschaft für einen Austritt gestimmt hat. Tatsächlich gibt es immer mehr Bürgerinnen und Bürger, die auch von der europäischen Politik einen Schutz vor den negativen Auswirkungen der Globalisierung fordern. Die zunehmende Ungleichheit in der Gesellschaft ist nicht nur ein angelsächsisches Problem. Die Sicherung des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalts ist deshalb auch eine europäische Herausforderung.

Die EU muss sich nach Jahren einer neoklassisch dominierten Politik wieder an ihr Gründungsversprechen einer sozialen Marktwirtschaft erinnern.

Die Europäische Union muss sich nach Jahren einer neoklassisch dominierten Politik, die entscheidend von Großbritannien beeinflusst wurde, wieder an ihr Gründungsversprechen einer sozialen Marktwirtschaft erinnern. Eine Kurskorrektur ist notwendig. Es ist eine Ironie der Geschichte, dass die zunehmende Ausrichtung der EU auf Freihandel, Angebots- und Wettbewerbspolitik ohne soziale Abfederung, genau in dem Herkunftsland dieser Politik von den Wählern abgelehnt wurde. Der Glaube an die Selbstregulierung der Märkte muss durch ein verantwortliches Zusammenspiel zwischen öffentlichen und privaten Akteuren ersetzt werden.

 

Die Europäische Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion hat nicht nur die Verbesserung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit durch Öffnung nationaler Märke zum Ziel, sondern auch die Förderung des wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Zusammenhalts. Hinter dem Stichwort Zusammenhalt steht ein Schutzversprechen (das durch die Europäischen Strukturfonds aufgegriffen wurde): nämlich die Verlierer des Wettbewerbs zu unterstützen. Eine gemeinsame Währung – allerdings ohne Großbritannien – wurde geschaffen, um die Europäer durch den Euro vor Währungsspekulationen zu schützen und ein Gegengewicht zum Dollar als dominierende internationale Reservewährung zu bilden. …….

http://www.ipg-journal.de/rubriken/europaeische-integration/artikel/alles-neu-ohne-may-1787/

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From our Russian News Desk.

 

Revolt of the Masses

 

Message from the ChairmanAndrey Bystritskiy

Perhaps we could be wrong, but it seems that we have witnessed very radical changes in the world, which impact is difficult to imagine. It is possible, of course, that we exaggerate the importance of Brexit, US elections, or events in the Middle East. But somehow it seems that a new world order is looming, which in some ways is scary.

The outgoing 2016 has shown that we observed some kind of a revolt of the masses. And this revolt takes place in large regions of the earth’s territory. In some countries, for example, in the Middle East, it took the form of civil war with weapons in hands, while in other states elections are yet enough.

Alas, there is no solid boundary between calm and turbulent worlds. The evidence of this are large-scale terrorist attacks that hit many countries. And there is a real threat that more and more people will be involved into the most barbarous forms of violence and bloody conflicts.

Of course, the main question is who rebells against whom? Who resists whom? Who is with whom and for what is fighting?

 

For example, many write that Brexit and the American elections have shown that the less educated, not so young and not rich people opposed the younger, educated and wealthy persons. Purely demographic statistics confirmed such a view, but at the same time it simplifies the events, if the essence of the conflict comes down to something like envy, to something resembling the positivist Marxist discourse.

 

In fact, if we listen to the rhetoric of the leaders, it can be assumed that the heart of the matter is not envy, it is fear. For instance, a significant part of the Western society looks to the future with fear, while the other part is building such a future most actively. It means that the essence of the conflict lies in the clash of the models of the future.

There is a feeling that the humanity is evolving at least in two different paths. According to one path, we have an ‚Industrial Revolution 4.0 „and we are rapidly moving toward the world of new technologies: communications, biological and digital technologies, new medicine and so on. We would like to see cars without drivers, longevity up to 120 years, incredible wealth and so on. But according to the second path we seem to move to almost new Middle Ages. We see the desperate defense of very conservative values, the desire to preserve the „traditional“ world (the question is whether it really existed?).

 

When Donald Trump urges to make America great again, he paints a world where still exists a kind of „One-story America“, where everyone has his own house, works in a factory or has a small business, such as an automobile repair shop. Family, work, happy children on a small lawn near a small house.

But if the well-known technological changes happen, a way of life of hundreds of millions of people will permanently change. Robots will control the machines, machines will become precise robots, robots will repair robots, and factories will require only three persons of staff.

Small houses will remain, children can play on the lawn, but what to do with adults is a big question.

 

Moreover, the new technological progress is a result of the unprecedented, cross-border mobility of its organizers. They are, in general, citizens of the world, which in many cases do not care where to work. Singapore or Illinois, it does not matter, the working place should only be comfortable and profitable.

 

Ironically, in the same Middle East, albeit in a different form, there is a dispute between the various models of the future, above all, about the social aspects of this future. The broken traditional Islamic society gave rise to a huge number of people, especially young people, who are looking for a new justice and a new order. They think, for example, that the strict hierarchical model in countries like Saudi Arabia prevents the construction of a new order.

And in 2016 it became clear that the world elites split, they were unable to offer different strata of their societies the acceptable and not too frightening models of the future.

There are many reasons of elites’ weakness. Here we see loss of ideological guidelines, inability to live in the world of arriving new technologies, first of all, communications, and a general loss of the „horizon of the future.“ Actually the humanity is not aspiring – there is no serious alternative to capitalism, although this capitalism looks different in different countries. Nevertheless the fact remains the fact: elites are weakening, they lack the competence to regulate effectively the development of the world. Hereof we see some game for isolation, the myth of the recovery of the past, the attempt to rely on those who have difficulty to see themselves in a new shining world.

 

However, there are oppositional tendencies. In particular, few international institutions, primarily the UN, are clearly perceived by elites as a necessary platform at least to coordinate their interests. First of all, we are talking about the current conflicts, current processes, but the nature of discussions, for example, about climate allows us to hope that the desired future is still subject of consideration.

 

And how a compromise between the desire for development and the desire to maintain stability will look like, how to transmit the past into the future is the main challenge, formulated in 2016.

 

This is not a trivial task. As we know, a change of lifestyle leads to serious shocks. The industrial progress of the 19th century destroyed a lot of empires; the medieval world collapsed under the pressure of the slow and inevitable progress; the printing press changed the structure of society as a whole. The current changes, again, seem to be very radical. The consequences will be relevant. The outgoing year brilliantly demonstrated that the changes which idle politicians discussed for a long time really have come.

 

http://valdaiclub.com/about/speech/revolt-of-the-masses/

 

About: Andrey Bystritskiy

Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics, member of the Union of Writers.

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Washington Times: What Is Best for America – Russia as a Friend or a Foe?

 

By Edward Lozansky and Jim Jatras Monday, January 16, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

 

For Donald Trump and the overwhelming majority of the American people, including those who did not vote for him, the choice between friend and foe is obvious. The whole history of U.S.-Russia relations proves that if we work together it’s a win-win scenario. However, it appears that for Trump’s enemies lurking in what he calls the Washington “swamp” Russia is more useful as a foe, and all who disagree are either directly recruited by Vladimir Putin or are deplorable zombie tools of Kremlin propaganda.

 

Let’s put this into a not-so-distant historical perspective. For the past 30 years, under Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, Dmitri Medvedev, and Putin again, the Russians have been knocking on Washington’s door asking to be accepted as a friend and ally, only to be constantly rebuffed. For voluntarily dismantling the Soviet empire, throwing communist ideology out the window, liberating the captive nations, helping to defeat the Taliban, and doing their share in the war on terror they got in return the abrogation of the ABM treaty, “regime change” and “color revolutions” in the neighboring countries, bombing Serbia, vicious media demonization, an avalanche of sanctions, emplacement of “defensive” missiles in Eastern Europe, and successive rounds of NATO expansion (“RUSSIA WANTS WAR! Look how close they put their country to our military bases!”)

 

The swamp creatures scream that “the Russians brought it on themselves with their aggressive actions! What about Ukraine! Syria!”

Nonsense. The drive to make Russia’s security situation untenable started almost as soon as the Warsaw Pact was dissolved and the Soviet Union disbanded. What’s different is that Russia is now strong enough to push back. Ukraine – what would we do if Russia, or China, embraced the overthrow of a U.S.-friendly elected government in, say, Mexico, and sought to pull that country into an anti-American alliance?

 

Syria – why is it in America’s interest to help terror-supporting states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to overthrow a secular (and pro-Christian) government and replace it with some jihad terror group like ISIS or al-Qaeda?

 

The hysterical campaign of “the Russians did it!” aimed at de-legitimating the President-elect all boils down to one thing: the defeated Obama apparatus, a politicized intelligence community leadership, a bipartisan foreign policy establishment, and a mainstream media treated with increasing skepticism and derision by the American people are doing their level best to knock the legs out from under Trump largely because he wants to shift U.S. policy from a sterile and counterproductive antagonism toward Russia to cooperation on common concerns. At the top of those concerns – as identified in the hacking report itself! – is joint U.S.-Russian action against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

 

As Trump tweeted after seeing the classified evidence (or lack thereof) of Russian hacking:

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad! We have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”

 

Cynics warn that Trump’s stated desire to improve ties with Russia will founder on the same rocks as the efforts of George W. Bush (who claimed insight into Putin’s soul) and Barack Obama (Hillary Clinton’s ridiculous “reset”). Trump, they say, will eventually like his predecessors see that primordial Russian aggressiveness and Putin’s KGB thuggishness are irredeemable. Missing from this false “analysis” is the fact that neither Bush nor Obama were willing to consider the causes of Moscow’s disaffection or treat Russia’s legitimate security interests with respect. They simply hoped that smiles and handshakes would persuade Russia to accept Washington’s hegemony and Moscow’s subordinate status. As a businessman, Trump knows better than that.

 

Trump has promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC. In that swamp, there are no bigger and meaner alligators than the members of an American version of the defunct Soviet nomenklatura that has built generations of lucrative careers on East-West confrontation, not to mention arming and training Islamic radicals in successive “regime change” wars like Libya and Syria. To preserve their power and perks, even at the risk of fomenting war with Russia, they aim to neuter Trump before he nails their hides to the wall of the Oval Office. At this writing it’s unclear who will win.

 

  • Edward Lozansky is president of the American University in Moscow. He is the author of the book Operation Elbe, which describes joint US-Russia anti-terrorist efforts. Jim Jatras is a former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership. He is the author of a major study, “How American Media Serves as a Transmission Belt for Wars of Choice.”

 

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/16/what-best-america-russia-friend-or-foe/ ************************************************************************************************************************

                                                                                                            Policy = res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster*   Eveline Metzen „Für Trump ist Deutschland sehr wichtig“

Als neue Geschäftsführerin des Unternehmerverbands Amcham Germany in Frankfurt will Eveline Metzen die deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen vertiefen.

Haben Sie Donald Trump jemals persönlich getroffen?

Ja, am Rande des Parteitags der Republikaner im Sommer, bei einem Fundraising-Lunch. Es war faszinierend zu sehen, wie er die Menge für sich gewann und seinen Kritikern den Wind aus den Segeln nahm, indem er sich selbst auf die Schippe nimmt.

Hatten Sie seinen Sieg erwartet?

Ja.

Da waren Sie aber eine der wenigen.

 

Wenn ich diese Prognose zu Zeiten des Wahlkampfes äußerte, wurde das in Deutschland oft so interpretiert, dass ich ihm den Sieg wünsche. Aber wenn man sich so lange mit den Vereinigten Staaten beschäftigt wie ich und mit vielen Menschen dort spricht, merkt man, wie sehr das Land sich verändert hat. Es ist nicht mehr das Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten, in dem allen alles offensteht. Viele haben nicht länger die Hoffnung, dass es ihren Kindern besser gehen wird als ihnen selbst. Was man hierzulande auch unterschätzt hat, war das Bedürfnis nach Veränderung in der Bevölkerung.

Als neue Amcham-Germany-Geschäftsführerin wollen Sie von Frankfurt aus die transatlantischen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen pflegen. Interessiert Berlin oder Washington, was die deutsche Amcham denkt?

Definitiv. Für die Vereinigten Staaten ist Deutschland weiterhin eines der wichtigsten Länder, vor allem wirtschaftlich. Das Interesse an den hiesigen politischen Entwicklungen und daran, wie die Akteure hier die Entwicklungen in den Vereinigten Staaten sehen, ist groß. Gerade den Deutschen begegnen die Amerikaner mit sehr großem Enthusiasmus. Und innerhalb Deutschlands ist die Rhein-Main-Region diejenige mit den stärksten transatlantischen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen, da hier die meisten amerikanischen Unternehmen eine Niederlassung haben.

Die transatlantischen Beziehungen haben zuletzt sehr gelitten. Wird das mit der neuen Regierung in Washington noch zunehmen, weil sie eher auf Protektionismus setzt?

Da muss man differenzieren. Trump ist nicht dezidiert gegen freien Handel, es geht ihm um fairen Handel – fair für die Vereinigten Staaten. Er hat einen sehr starken Wirtschaftsfokus. Er hat zudem erfahrene Leute in seinem Stab: Sein designierter Handelskommissar Robert Lighthizer etwa war bereits in der Reagan-Regierung und hat damals zahlreiche Handelsabkommen ausgehandelt.

Also wird sich gar nicht so viel verändern?

Doch, es wird einiges anders. Trumps „America First“-Politik wird natürlich zu einer anderen Art von Handelspolitik führen. Viele haben ihn für unberechenbar gehalten und dabei nicht erkannt, dass er konkrete Ziele verfolgt: Steuern senken, Infrastruktur ausbauen und Jobs kreieren – selbst wenn das neue Schulden für den Staatshaushalt bedeutet.

Ist mit dem Amtswechsel in Washington das europäisch-amerikanische Freihandelsabkommen TTIP am Ende?

Es steht zu befürchten, dass der neue Präsident eher auf bilaterale Verträge setzt. Vor allem das transpazifische Freihandelsabkommen TPP hat er im Wahlkampf wiederholt kritisiert. Ich glaube nicht, dass er den derzeitigen Verhandlungsstand von TTIP in einem Handstreich vom Tisch wischen wird, Deutschland und Europa sind zu wichtige Wirtschaftsräume für Amerika. Deswegen erwarte ich, dass nach einiger Zeit wieder Gespräche darüber aufgenommen werden – zwar mit anderen Schwerpunkten als bisher, aber es wird sie geben.

Aber warum sollte sich Trump für die Nöte deutscher Unternehmen interessieren?

Ich sehe sogar wachsende Chancen für deutsche Investments in Amerika. Denn Trump wird eine große Charme-Offensive starten müssen, um jene Investments aus dem Ausland anzulocken, die er in seinem Wahlkampf versprochen hatte.

Widerstand gegen TTIP gibt es auch hier in Deutschland, man denke nur an die große Demonstration in Frankfurt im Herbst. Sind Sie da nicht ein Rufer auf verlorenem Posten?

Nein. Die Beziehungen zwischen beiden Ländern sind immer sehr stark gewesen, und abseits der politischen Turbulenzen sind die Wirtschaftsräume immer stärker zusammengewachsen. Trotz aller Skepsis auf beiden Seiten sehe ich daher immer noch das verbindende Element und die Möglichkeiten. Nur gemeinsam werden wir im globalen Handel eine Stimme und Gewicht haben.

Was entgegnet die Amcham Germany den Skeptikern, die ein generelles Unbehagen gegenüber den Amerikanern und ihren Unternehmen verspüren?

Die Deutschen können durchaus mal selbstbewusster gegenüber den Amerikanern auftreten, angesichts dessen, was sie geschaffen und was sie zu bieten haben. Zum Beispiel bei der Industrie 4.0: Deutschland spielt eine führende Rolle bei der Digitalisierung der Industrie.

Wie wollen Sie die Kritiker erreichen?

Wir werden den Dialog mit der Politik und der breiteren Öffentlichkeit führen. Hierzu sind vor allem die modernen sozialen Medien wie Facebook und Twitter vorteilhaft, um besser unsere Zielgruppen zu erreichen.

Glauben Sie, dass auch Deutschland protektionistischer wird?

Das glaube ich nicht. Als Exportnation würde ihr das zu stark schaden.

Werden Sie sich im anstehenden Bundestags-Wahlkampf zu Wort melden?

Für uns wird es interessanter sein, mit der neu gewählten Bundesregierung ab Herbst darüber zu sprechen, wie wir die transatlantischen Beziehungen gemeinsam verbessern können. Es wäre ein schwerer Fehler, wenn die Deutschen und die Amerikaner sich voneinander abwenden.

Was wollen Sie denn in der Amcham Germany selbst verändern?

Was ich an dem Verband schätze, ist die Verbindung zwischen politischer Arbeit und dem Mitgliedernetzwerk. Diese beiden Standbeine gilt es auszubauen. Wir wollen außerdem eine Brücke zwischen beiden Ländern schlagen, wollen verbinden und erklären, gegenüber der Wirtschaft, der Politik und der Gesellschaft.

Sie sind wegen des neuen Jobs gerade von Berlin nach Frankfurt gezogen, wie ist denn dieser Wechsel für Sie?

Ich habe mich auf Frankfurt gefreut. Die Region ist mir noch neu, denn ich bin sozialisierte Rheinländerin. Aber ich habe hier schon einige Freunde und kenne daher schon mehr als nur den Flughafen oder das Bankenviertel. Frankfurt ist offen und international und hat eine Willkommenskultur, in der Neuankömmlinge schnell und freundlich aufgenommen werden. Darum glaube ich, das ich mich hier schnell zu Hause fühlen werde.

Die Fragen stellte Falk Heunemann.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/rhein-main/wirtschaft/eveline-metzen-fuer-trump-ist-deutschland-sehr-wichtig-14642670.html?printPagedArticle=true#pageIndex_2

 

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

Barandat*    What Latin America and Africa Have in Common

 

 

Isolation stemming from Africa’s and Latin America’s inhospitable terrain has defined the politics, societies and economies of each region. In Latin America, for example, topographical barriers such as the Darien Gap (Panama), the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts (Mexico) and the cross-border Andes Mountains and Amazon rainforest have historically prevented its political cohesion. During colonial times, the Spanish struggled to maintain their colonies, separated as they were from one another. Later, independence movements had equal difficulty unifying the region. Africa has experienced similar problems with regionalism. It boasts approximately 14 major agro-ecological zones, including the Congo Basin; the Sahel, Sahara and southern Kalahari deserts; and the Niger Basin. These zones act as natural political, religious and tribal boundaries that have shaped the political dynamics of the massive continent.

 

By the 20th century, Africa and Latin America contained many isolated regions and states ripe for the taking by local strongmen. But the kind of authoritarianism that arose in each was distinct. Paraguay rests deep in the heart of South America, between Brazil’s savannah forests and Argentina’s northern plains. In 1954, Alfredo Stroessner ousted Paraguay’s civilian president in a military coup. The United States, watching the spread of communism in Latin America with growing concern during the Cold War, was searching for a staunch ally in the region to host its logistics and intelligence platforms. Paraguay’s remote location at the center of the Southern Cone fit Washington’s needs perfectly, and throughout Stroessner’s 35-year rule, Paraguay pursued a foreign policy that supported the United States in its competition with the Soviet Union.

 

In Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s vast and mostly ungoverned territory almost necessitated an authoritarian government, but in the end, Cold War interests were what ensured one. The Soviet Union quickly focused its attention on the Congo, believing it could build a chain of African allies by gaining a foothold in the isolated country. Moreover, the Congo had massive deposits of cobalt, which was critical to weapons development at the time, and it was strategically positioned in the center of Africa. The Soviets hoped that they could start in the Congo and expand their influence north, outflanking NATO in Western Europe by eventually controlling the Mediterranean Sea through North Africa. But the United States did not sit idly by. It poured considerable resources into backing Mobutu Sese Seko, who rose through the military ranks to become chief of staff of the Congolese army and, eventually, head of state.

 

Africa and Latin America have vastly different politics, religions and social customs, but when it comes to geography there are similarities. Such striking likenesses in both regions‘ terrain — which is dominated by impenetrable rainforests, highlands and harsh deserts — gave rise to yet another similarity in the 20th century: dictators.

https://www.stratfor.com/image/what-latin-america-and-africa-have-common?id=be1ddd5371&uuid=ea67d2bb-4a71-4907-93fc-04895e8d89f8

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     NATO and the United States                                                                               

By George Friedman

President-elect Donald Trump deeply upset the Europeans by raising the possibility that NATO is obsolete and that the European Union is failing. This is not the first time these issues have been raised. Many in the United States have raised questions about Europe’s commitment to NATO and to its relationship with the U.S. Many Europeans also have made the observation that the EU is failing. What Trump has done is simply bring into the open the question of Europe’s relationship with the U.S.

This question has been on the table for 25 years, since the Soviet Union collapsed. NATO was an alliance with a single purpose: to protect Western Europe from a Soviet invasion. That was a clear and understandable goal in the interest of all concerned. The military structure that was created was directed toward that end. And it reflected the relative economic and military strength of each party at the time of NATO’s founding. The Europeans bore the geographical risk. Any war would be fought on their territory, and their forces would face the first wave of an attack. In the long term, American reinforcements, air power and, in an extreme case, nuclear weapons would protect Europe. The foundation of the relationship was that Europe, with the best will, could not afford to build a sufficient defensive force. The U.S. was the indispensable force that could deter and defeat a Soviet attack.

 

In this photo illustration, a copy of the Jan. 16 issue of German tabloid Bild Zeitung that features an exclusive interview with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump lies on a table in a train in Berlin, Germany. In the interview, Trump branded German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal refugee policy a mistake, the NATO military alliance obsolete and threatened German carmakers with 35 percent import tariffs.

 

The basic structure of NATO did not change in 1991. What happened was an expansion to include the former Soviet satellite states and the Baltic states. Little military consideration was given to that expansion. Europe no longer faced a military threat. The motive behind the expansion was to bring these countries into the framework of the Western defense system to give them confidence in their independence and help support the development of democracies on the Continent.

 

The motivation was roughly the same as for expanding the EU. The bloc was primarily an economic entity. It expanded its membership without serious thought to its economic mission. Simply being an EU member was believed to enhance prosperity, so that even the economically weakest countries would become robust after attaining membership. The real motive was to expand the EU as far as possible, to integrate as much of Europe as possible into the political and social culture that the union guaranteed. As with NATO, EU expansion had less to do with the EU’s primary mission than with political and ideological factors.

 

The EU question is ultimately a European problem. The U.S. can’t save it, and it won’t collapse because of American opinion. Here, the Europeans must take responsibility for what happens. But NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It includes Canada and the United States. It is an alliance, and the U.S. has important and legitimate interests.

 

For 25 years, the fundamental question regarding NATO was not raised in polite company – that is, in the company of NATO countries’ leadership. That question, from the American point of view, divides into three parts. First, with the Soviet Union gone, what is NATO’s purpose? Second, how does NATO serve the American national interest? Third, given the fact that the EU has almost as large a GDP and almost 200 million more people than the U.S., why isn’t Europe’s collective contribution to NATO’s military capability larger than the U.S.’? By contribution, I don’t simply mean money, but a suitably large, trained and equipped force able to support the wars that are being fought now.

 

(click to enlarge)

The automatic answer to the first question is that NATO’s purpose is to guarantee its members’ security. On the second question, it can’t be argued that NATO has served American interests since 1991. For the last 15 years, the U.S. has been engaged in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Muslim countries. Whether wise or not, these wars have been waged to different degrees under both Republican and Democratic administrations. NATO is a military alliance and one of its members, the United States, has been involved in wars for 15 years. NATO as an institution has not devoted anywhere near the military force it could afford to any of these wars.

 

It is true that NATO’s area of responsibility is focused on Europe, and the U.S.’ current wars are outside of this area. But from the American point of view, maintaining an alliance with a region where large-scale warfare is unlikely makes little sense. The place where the U.S. needs a large commitment from allies is outside of Europe. NATO must evolve with the needs of its members, and if it can’t, it can be seen (as Trump put it) as obsolete, an alliance created to fight a war that will not happen, and unable to fight a war that has happened.

 

It is certainly true that NATO committed itself to fighting in Afghanistan. Many countries sent contingents. Some, like the Germans, were not permitted to engage in offensive operations, others were too small to be anything more than symbolic. Everything taken together was insufficient to affect the strategic balance on the battlefield. They were there in spirit, but wars are fought with large numbers of troops and equipment. This brings us to the third question – the size of the European force. A military alliance requires a military, and many European countries, in times of prosperity as well as constraint, have chosen not to create a force large enough to support American interests. Their unwillingness to do so has created a reality, which is that even when NATO commits to fighting alongside the Americans, European capabilities limit their contribution to the margins.

 

NATO chose not to support the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. This may well have been wise on its part. But the reality was the following. The U.S. was attacked on 9/11. The initial response was in Afghanistan. The U.S. chose to carry out a follow-on action, in the same conflict, in Iraq. The NATO alliance refused to commit itself to this. Some members fought alongside the U.S., particularly Britain, along with some smaller countries. But France and Germany refused.

 

This was their right as sovereign states. But in exercising that right, they radically reshaped their relationship with the U.S. They would participate in a U.S.-led war if it was in their self-interests. The U.S. could not assume it would receive their automatic support. In that case, the question is what does an alliance with France, Germany and others mean? The issue is not what NATO’s charter says. That charter is obsolete and must evolve to account for new conditions. The issue also is not whether the U.S. was starting a new war in Iraq or continuing the one that began in Afghanistan. The diplomats can argue that as they wish. The issue is that the U.S. was engaged in wars for 15 years, and there was no automatic support from NATO or major European countries in those wars. The countries that wanted to participate fought, with as much or as little as they chose to send. Those that wanted to fight in one war and not the other did. And those that didn’t want to get involved in any wars or arranged to be unable to engage, fought in neither.

 

Nations have the right and obligation to carry out their foreign and military policies as they wish. But an alliance constrains nations to behave in a certain way given certain events. An alliance is a pooling of sovereignty. It is absolutely true that NATO wasn’t conceived to fight wars outside of Europe. Nor was it conceived as an organization where the primary military burden falls on the Europeans. But Europeans must face two facts. First, this is 2017, and the wars that matter to the U.S. are being fought in the Islamic world. Second, this is not 1955, and Europe is not struggling to recover from World War II. It is a wealthy region, and its military capabilities should be equal to those of the U.S.

 

There is a long argument to be had about the wisdom of U.S. policy in the Middle East. It may well be that those countries that limited their involvement in those wars made a wise choice. But that also means that there is no alliance in any practical sense. The U.S. was at war in two countries with multidivisional forces. Each NATO country sent what it chose to Afghanistan. Many chose not to go to Iraq.

 

This was not an alliance action, but individual European countries making the decisions that best suited them. That cannot be criticized, but this does not constitute an alliance. NATO is obsolete if it defines its responsibility primarily to repel a Russian invasion, especially since it refused to create a military force capable of doing that. It is obsolete in that its original mission is gone. It is obsolete in that it regards the U.S. as the guarantor of Europe’s security, when Europe is quite capable of incurring the cost of self-defense. If European nations are free to follow their own interests, then so is the United States.

When we step back from the argument between the U.S. and Europe on NATO, we see a broader reality. First, the European Union is fragmenting and that fragmentation necessarily affects NATO. Europe is in no position to undertake unanimously supported NATO operations. Nor is it in a position to incur the political costs of a massive military buildup. For the Europeans, NATO is important because it guarantees that, in the extraordinary circumstance of a European war, the U.S. is, under treaty, required to be there.

 

The United States has other interests. It is interested in preventing Russian hegemony over the European Peninsula, but the U.S. can effectively address that by placing limited forces in the Baltics, Poland and Romania. Just as the Europeans have devolved NATO into bilateral relations between the U.S. and each NATO member, the United States can do the same. Similarly, the U.S. can accept the status quo in Ukraine, written or unwritten. Kiev has a pro-Western government, the east is a de facto autonomous region, and the rights of ethnic Russians in Sevastopol are guaranteed by the Russians. The U.S. is not going to war in Ukraine, and Russia is not going to war there, either.

 

Trump’s approach to NATO has been forced on the U.S. by the Europeans and would be on the table with a different president. NATO doesn’t function as an alliance. It is a group of sovereign nations that will respond to American requests as they see fit. The U.S. understands this, and inevitably, the veil of good manners was going to be torn away. Someone was going to point out that NATO is obsolete. Trump happened to enjoy saying it.

But whether it is a tragedy or comedy, the matter can be summed up the following way. The Europeans are wondering if the U.S. will leave NATO. The U.S. is wondering if the Europeans will join NATO. Forgetting NATO, the question is this. What is the commitment of European countries to the United States, and what is the American commitment to Europe? It is not clear that there is a geopolitical basis for this commitment any longer. Interests have diverged, NATO is not suited to the realities of today, and the U.S.’ relations with European states differ from nation to nation, as do European nations’ relations to the United States.

 

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/nato-and-the-united-states-3/

 

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*Massenbach’s   Recommendation*

 

Vier Präsidenten – zweierlei Maß

 

von: Michael Wolffsohn – 14.01.2017 08:37 Uhr

 

Ein großer Teil der Öffentlichkeit misst Donald Trump, die beiden Bushs und Obama mit zweierlei Maß – aus nachvollziehbaren Gründen. Das ist menschlich. Aber man sollte sich dessen bewusst sein. Ein Gastbeitrag.

 

Play

Donald Trump über „Fake News“: „Es ist eine Schande – Nazi-Deutschland hat sowas gemacht“

 

„Vergesslich ist hässlich“ – aber menschlich. Vergesslichkeit ist eine Sache. Sie ist verständlich und verzeihlich. Mangelnde Werte-Verlässlichkeit ist eine andere Sache, über die man vielleicht hinwegsehen kann. Aber man sollte sich ihrer wenigstens bewusst sein und sich dabei nicht zum Moralapostel aufschwingen.

Konkret: Aus durchaus nachvollziehbaren politischen, ideologischen und persönlichen Gründen misst ein großer Teil der amerikanischen, deutschen sowie der weltweiten Politik und Öffentlichkeit Donald Trump, die beiden Bushs und Obama mit zweierlei Maß. Die jeweilige Bewertung der vier Männer erfolgt à la carte. Beim gleichen Sachverhalt gilt nicht der gleiche Maßstab.

Noch konkreter: „Blut für Öl“ riefen 1991 deutschland- und weltweit Menschenmassen, als US-Präsident George H.W. Bush den ersten US-geführten Krieg gegen den irakischen Diktator Saddam Hussein führte. Bush-Vater hatte diesen Krieg nicht in erster Linie wegen des Öls begonnen. Nicht nur die US-, sondern auch viele andere Nachrichtendienste hatten, wie sich später herausstellte, richtig herausgefunden, dass Saddam über Massenvernichtungswaffen verfügte.

Das Trump-Kabinett – Militärs, Manager und Millionäre

 

 

Der gelernte Bauingenieur verbrachte sein gesamtes Berufsleben beim Öl-Multi ExxonMobil. 1975 trat er beim weltgrößten Energiekonzern ein und arbeitete sich bis zum Vorstandsvorsitzenden hoch. Auslandserfahrungen sammelte er bei Einsätzen im Jemen, Thailand und Russland. Auch als Konzernchef pflegte der Texaner seine engen Kontakte zu Russland, dessen Präsident Wladimir Putin ihm dafür den „Orden der Freundschaft“ verlieh. Tillerson setzt sich für eine Verbesserung der Beziehungen zu Russland ein und ist ein Gegner der von den USA bisher mitgetragenen Sanktionen des Westens wegen des Ukrainekonflikts.

 

 

Steven Mnuchin ist der erste Leiter des Ressorts mit umfangreicher Wall-Street-Erfahrung seit seinem früheren Goldman-Sachs-Boss Henry Paulson unter George W. Bush. Mnuchin gründete die Filmproduktionsfirma Dune Capital, die unter anderem „Avatar“ und „Gravity“ mitfinanziert hat. Mit Trump ist er privat seit über 15 Jahren verbunden.

 

 

Der frühere General der Marines leitete das Central Command, das die US-Einsätze im Nahen Osten und Südasien steuert.

 

 

Der Senator aus Alabama gehörte zu den ersten Unterstützern Trumps. Der ehemalige Bundesstaatsanwalt vertritt bei der Einwanderung einen harten Kurs.

 

 

Kelly ist der bislang dritte Ex-General in Trumps Kabinett. Wie Mattis diente er bei den Marines. Er hat sich wie Trump für ein schärferes Vorgehen gegen illegale Einwanderung und eine Verstärkung der Sicherheitsvorkehrungen an der Grenze zu Mexiko starkgemacht.

 

 

Der Kongressabgeordnete war Kommandeur der Marine-Elitetruppe Navy SEALs. Das Ministerium verwaltet rund ein Fünftel der öffentliche Flächen des Landes, darunter Nationalparks. Es ist in den USA nicht für die innere Sicherheit zuständig. Das übernehmen die Ministerien für Justiz und Heimatschutz. Zinke ist gegen die Privatisierung von öffentlichem Grundbesitz, hat aber auch für Gesetze gestimmt, die Umweltauflagen in solchen Gebieten aufweichen. Trump will auf Staatsgebiet verstärkt Ölbohrungen und Bergbau erlauben.

 

 

Der Milliardär diente Trump als Wirtschaftsberater. Entschiedener Gegner des nordamerikanischen Freihandelsabkommens Nafta.

 

 

Der Chef eines Fast-Food-Konzerns lehnt einen höheren Mindestlohn ab und befürwortet die Automatisierung in der Gastronomie.

 

 

Diente George W. Bush acht Jahre lang als Arbeitsministerin. Sie ist die Ehefrau des republikanischen Mehrheitsführers im Senat, Mitch McConnell.

 

 

Früher ranghöchster Staatsanwalt im Bundesstaat Oklahoma, Gegner der Klimaschutzpolitik von Präsident Barack Obama.

 

 

Der Investmentbanker ist Präsident und Chief Operating Officer (COO) der Großbank Goldman Sachs.

 

 

Der ehemalige Gouverneur von Texas und kurzzeitige republikanische Präsidentschaftsbewerber soll das wichtige Ressort leiten. Pikant: Während seiner Bewerbung um die Präsidentschaftskandidatur 2012 hatte Perry die Auflösung des Ministeriums vorgeschlagen.

Bush-Vater verließ sich auf die Geheimdienstinformationen und zog aus ihnen die ihm richtig scheinenden Schlüsse. Doch deutschland- und weltweit wurde die Richtigkeit dieser Informationen bestritten. Man könne sich eben auf Geheimdienstinformationen nicht verlassen.

Bush-Sohn griff im Jahre 2003 Saddams Irak aus dem gleichen Grund an. Nicht nur seine Dienste, eigentlich alle wichtigen, auch der BND (der davon später nichts mehr wissen wollte, was eine glatte Lüge war) hatten seiner Administration mitgeteilt: Der Diktator verfüge erneut über Massenvernichtungswaffen. Der Irak wurde und Führung der USA angegriffen, besiegt, Saddam entmachtet und dann erhängt.

Die Massenvernichtungswaffen wurden jedoch bis heute nicht gefunden. Kein Wunder, sagten deutschland- und weltweit die Bush-Sohn-Kritiker. Auf Geheimdienstinformationen könne man sich eben nicht verlassen.

Russlands Präsident führt gegen die USA einen Cyberkrieg. Das sagen die US-Geheimdienste ihrem amtierenden Präsidenten, Barack Obama. Aus den Informationen seiner Geheimdienste zieht Obama die ihm richtig scheinenden politischen und diplomatischen, nicht militärischen Schlussfolgerungen. Dass die Auswertung der US-Dienste zutreffe wird deutschland- und fast weltweit nicht bezweifelt.

Obamas Last-Minute-Aktionen gegen Trump

 

 

Obama verhängt Sanktionen gegen Russland wegen dessen mutmaßlicher Hackerangriffe im US-Wahlkampf. Trump will bessere Beziehungen zu Moskau und hat Zweifel an der Einschätzung der US-Geheimdienste geäußert, dass Russland hinter dem Hacking steckt.

 

 

Obama entscheidet, kein US-Veto gegen eine UN-Resolution einzulegen, in der ein Stopp israelischer Siedlungen in Palästinensergebieten gefordert wird. Trump will eine stärkere Unterstützung Israels und hat angekündigt, dass nach dem Amtswechsel am 20. Januar „alles anders wird“.

 

 

Obama verbietet Ölbohrungen in großen Teilen der arktischen Gewässer und im Atlantik. Trump will dagegen auf alte Energien wie Kohle und Öl setzen.

 

 

Obama erklärt zwei Gebiete in Utah und Nevada zu nationalen Denkmälern und stellt sie damit unter besonderen Schutz. Das Trump-Team hat sich nicht dazu geäußert, aber Kritiker meinen, dass Obamas Schritt der Wirtschaft schadet und wollen, dass Trump ihn rückgängig macht.

 

 

Obama ordnet die Schließung eines – seit 2011 nicht mehr benutzten – nationalen Registers mit Daten hauptsächlich über muslimische und arabische Männer an. Es hätte als Grundlage für eine von Trump angekündigte Datenbank bilden können, die sich nach Äußerungen aus seinem Übergangsteam auf Muslime aus „terrorexportierenden“ Ländern konzentrieren soll.

 

 

Obama will rasch noch möglichst viele Häftlinge aus dem Lager Guantánamo Bay in andere Länder entlassen. Trump will „Gitmo“ nicht nur offen lassen, sondern auch neue Gefangene dorthin schicken.

 

 

Obama hat bereits die Haftstrafen einer Rekordzahl von nicht gewalttätigen Drogenkriminellen abgemildert oder Begnadigungen gewährt. Weitere sollen bis zum Amtswechsel hinzukommen. Trump hat sich nicht dazu geäußert, aber sein Kandidat für den Posten des Justizministers ist gegen Nachsicht für Drogenstraffällige.

Donald Trump, der gewählte Präsident, dem, zurecht oder nicht, deutschland- und weltweit fast nur Verachtung entgegenschlägt, macht nun genau das, was deutschland- und weltweit beinahe unisono von Bush-Vater und –Sohn verlangt worden war: Er bezweifelte (zunächst!) die Geheimdienstinformationen und zog aus ihnen die ihm richtig und wichtig scheinenden Schlussfolgerungen.

Mir geht es nicht um pro oder contra Trump. Darum geht es: Wer für sich die Richtigkeit seiner analytischen und moralischen Maßstäbe in Anspruch nimmt, kann nicht mit zweierlei Maß messen.

„Zivilcourage, Wie der Staat seine Bürger im Stich lässt“, heißt das neueste, brandaktuelle Buch des Historikers und Publizisten Prof. Dr. Michael Wolffsohn

 

http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/professor-tacheles/professor-tacheles-vier-praesidenten-zweierlei-mass/19250454.html

 

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WSJ: Theresa May Lays Out Brexit Plan, Signals Single Market Exit; Pound Rallies; City Reacts

 

Must Reads

 

British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her keynote speech on Brexit at Lancaster House on Tuesday.

 

May Says U.K. Won’t Seek Membership of EU Single MarketPrime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday said the U.K. intends to leave the European Union’s single market, delivering more clarity on her approach to Britain’s future economic relationship with the bloc.

Pound Rallies as Traders Digest Vote Pledge in Theresa May’s Speech: The British pound rallied during Theresa May’s speech, which some investors said suggested the U.K. wouldn’t end with an aggressive break from the European Union after Mrs. May said that the final Brexit deal will be put to a vote in parliament.

U.K. Prime Minister’s Speech Points to Banks Losing Financial ‘Passport’: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday confirmed what many London-based financiers had predicted for months: U.K.-based banks will almost certainly lose their ability to “passport” into the EU after Brexit.

Brexit Plans: The City of London Reacts: The Brexit stakes could not be higher for the City of London. The timing and composition of an exit deal are crucial to its smooth running. It’s also being closely eyed by investors, of course. Here’s the reaction to Mrs. May’s speech from London’s finance sector.

It Doesn’t Look Like It, But U.K. Stocks Rallied After Brexit Speech: The U.K.’s flagship equity index slumped after Prime Minister Theresa May finally gave some clarity to her Brexit intentions. But despite appearances, the stock market actually welcomed Tuesday’s speech.

Video: WSJ Discusses May’s Speech: What did we learn from Theresa May’s Brexit speech? WSJ Editor in Chief Gerard Baker and Europe Finance Editor Charles Forelle discuss the U.K. prime minister’s speech on Britain leaving the EU.

U.K. Inflation Hits Two-Year High in December: Consumer prices in the U.K. rose in December at their fastest annual rate for more than two years, fueled by a slide in the pound in the months since Britons voted to leave the European Union.

Bank of England’s Carney Sees Slower Growth Ahead: Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney expects the British economy to slow this year as accelerating inflation squeezes consumer spending.

Amped Up Politics and the Future of Central Banking: With central bankers veering into uncharted policy waters since the financial crisis, vacuuming up trillions of dollars in securities and pushing interest rates to zero and beyond, it is perhaps no surprise to see them drawing political attention.

 

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see our letter on:  http://www.massenbach-world.de/41259.html

 

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

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UdovonMassenbach@t-online.de   Mail@Freudenberg-Pilster.de   JoergBarandat@yahoo.de

 

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