Trouble for Angela Merkel…?
Der Spiegel wrote on May 15:
“Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel’s austerity policy suffered twin blows in Europe when Socialist Francois Hollande, a critic of her strict approach, won the French presidency and Greek voters firmly rejected the painful reforms imposed on them. On Sunday came a further major setback for Merkel when her conservative Christian Democrats suffered a big defeat in an election in the country’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). It weakens her at home at a time when opposition to her crisis strategy is mounting across Europe…
“German media commentators say the defeat is largely attributable to the weakness of the CDU’s candidate for state governor, Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, and that Merkel will be much harder to defeat in the 2013 general election. But they also say that the result is likely to make the left-wing opposition to her far more confrontational and less ready to compromise on upcoming issues such as the ratification of the fiscal pact, for which Merkel needs a two-thirds majority in parliament.
“Invigorated by their new-found strength, the Social Democrats and Greens are likely to demand concessions in return for supporting the pact that would enshrine budget discipline into the constitutions of 25 of the EU’s 27 member states, commentators say. The pact is central to Merkel’s increasingly unpopular strategy for… saving the euro…”
… Not Really…
Der Spiegel Online wrote on May 15:
“The chancellor’s personal approval ratings remain high, and opinion polls show the majority of Germans support her European strategy, which they see as the best way to limit the impact of the crisis on their personal finances… As long as that doesn’t change, Merkel won’t significantly soften her stance. Minor concessions are all France’s new Socialist president François Hollande… can expect… There is no question that Merkel faces a tougher time both at home and abroad, and that she is looking increasingly isolated after losing her main ally in Europe, Nicolas Sarkozy.
“But she will adapt and move on, as she has many times before, and her domestic support is likely to remain underpinned by Germany’s continued strong economic performance, confirmed again on Tuesday with stronger-than-expected GDP data showing a 0.5 percent rise in the first quarter thanks to a surge in exports… The chancellor said on Monday that the North Rhine-Westphalia election had been a ‘bitter, painful defeat’ for her party, but she signalled she would stand firm on austerity, saying: ‘It does not affect the work we have to do in Europe…’”
Greek Debacle Threatens Europe
The Telegraph reported on May 14:
“Raising the spectre of a Greek exit, the German chancellor said ‘solidarity for the euro’ was threatened by the ongoing political crisis in Athens. Stock markets around the world fell sharply with fears mounting that a euro break-up could lead to renewed financial turmoil… The cost of Spanish government borrowing also hit a record high since the single currency was introduced because of concerns that the crisis will spread… Attempts to form a new government in Athens have been thwarted…
“An outgoing Greek minister warned that the country could descend into ‘civil war’ amid the chaos of a euro exit… New elections may be held next month [Der Spiegel reported on May 15 that “Greece will hold a new election in June after President Karolos Papoulias failed on Tuesday to persuade parties to form a government”] and Greek voters are likely to be warned by European leaders that their country may be ejected from the euro if they do not support parties backing austerity measures… A report from Fitch, the credit rating agency, said yesterday that the British economy may not re-emerge from recession before 2014 if there is a ‘shock case’ of a disorderly Greek exit from the euro. Germany and the European Central Bank are thought to have drawn up detailed plans for a Greek exit for the euro…
“Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister,… said the advantages of Greece staying in the euro outweighed any perceived gain from exiting the single currency… ‘The price if they decide to leave the euro is very high. It would cause a huge amount of turbulence for all of us’… The Foreign Office also has plans to evacuate British citizens from Greece if it becomes dangerous…”
The Guardian added on May 14: “Chancellor Angela Merkel… stressed that Greece would ‘always’ be in the EU, a statement interpreted as meaning it might not always be in the euro…”
It is conceivable that Greece will give up the euro and depart from the eurozone, but it is not realistic to assume that the euro itself will be abandoned.
A Bank Run to Union?
Reuters wrote on May 17:
“A spreading bank run could hasten Greece’s exit from the euro zone but it certainly doesn’t have to end that way…
“…if things get worse in Greece, as they are almost certain to, depositors elsewhere in the euro zone may follow suit and withdraw money from banks in weaker countries. Deposits in Italian and Portuguese banks have dropped, relatively gently, though Italian deposits are still near earlier peaks.
“More withdrawals will be no surprise, whatever you think of the game of chicken between Greece and the rest of Europe. The opportunity cost of moving money is low, and even if the money is not deposited elsewhere, very low interest rates impose little penalty on cautious savers stuffing bank notes into mattresses.
“The logic is even less strong for a bank run in Spain, for example, forcing a disorganized euro exit. So long as Spain, or Portugal, is making minimal progress on reforms – and they are doing better than that now – there is even less incentive for the ECB to become spooked by a rush of questionable collateral onto its books.
“And if Spanish bank funds flee, the math will be the same for the ECB (European Central Bank) but the scale will be far different and argues further for forbearance rather than retribution. Something on the lines of a third of Greek deposits, or a bit more than 70 billion euros, have left its system. Extrapolate that to the Spanish system and you are looking at more than 500 billion euros.
“That could spook Germany and the ECB, but more likely it brings Europe into a sort of de facto fiscal union, in which the affairs, credits and debits of the players are so intertwined as to utterly resist detangling. The ECB will not end the euro on its own authority, and in the event of a huge bank run it will probably prove impossible for politicians to make the decision to pull the plug quickly. That will leave the south owing the north even more, but the north having less ability to collect or dodge. Some sort of common bond issuance or fiscal union might actually be hastened by a bank run, ironically enough.”
The inevitability of a growing European unification–in spite of contrary opinions–is coming to pass in this generation, and it is one of the great events of biblical prophecy which is now finding fulfillment. Our booklet, “Europe in Prophecy–The Unfolding of End-Time Events,” offers even more details, and it is available, free, at www.eternalgod.org.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble Recipient of Charlemagne Prize
Deutsche Welle reported on May 17:
“German Finance Minister and veteran of several governments Wolfgang Schäuble is seen as a man for tough jobs. On Thursday, he received the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in Aachen.
“Ever since the election in [the] fall [of] 2009, Wolfgang Schäuble has been the most important minister in Angela Merkel’s government. He’s the one with the most weight in political affairs, and, as the government’s real number 2, is deeply involved in international politics – a constant presence at every important international gathering. On Thursday, he [received] the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen for his service for European unification, an honor previously bestowed on the likes of Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, and indeed Merkel.
“Schäuble, a lawyer who hails from the Baden region of south-western Germany, is one of the most important players in the current efforts to rescue the euro… Now he’s being asked to take on a key formal position in solving the crisis by becoming head of the eurogroup…
“… in 1981, he started his long intense relationship with Helmut Kohl. In 1984, Schäuble became Kohl’s chancellery minister… Then when the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, Schäuble became West Germany’s negotiator with the former communist East Germany over the Reunification Treaty. In less than twelve months, on October 3, 1990, unity had been achieved.
“But only a few days later, Schäuble was the victim of an assassination attempt. On October 12, in a public house in the town of Oppenau near his home in Baden, a psychopath shot him, injuring him severely. His life suffered a drastic change: from then on, he was confined to a wheelchair. Schäuble is a public servant with a strong, almost Prussian sense of duty. What followed was the fight of his life. He refused to give in, and took up his duties as interior minister after just six weeks.
“In January 2000 Schäuble had to admit that he accepted a DM 100,000 donation for his party from an arms trade lobbyist. Schäuble didn’t tell the whole truth to parliament: it’s an error for which he has never forgiven himself and for which he has publicly asked for forgiveness. As a consequence, in February 2000, he resigned as head of his party’s parliamentary group. He and Kohl became bitter enemies; in a television interview in April, Schäuble spoke of ‘an intrigue with criminal elements,’ and ‘a campaign to destroy me personally’…
“At that time, Angela Merkel was CDU secretary general. In December 1999 she wrote her now famous article in which she advised her party to ‘emancipate’ itself from Helmut Kohl… Once she became strong enough, she called [Schäuble] back into government. In 2005, he became interior minister in the grand coalition with the Social Democrats, and in 2009 he was unexpectedly given the finance ministry…
“Schäuble is passionate about Europe, and is committed to greater integration. The Franco-German alliance is particularly important to him. Whether it was the European single market in 1986, the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the Stability and Growth Pact in 1996 or the Lisbon Treaty in 2007 – Schäuble was there. He is highly respected in the EU, and across party lines in Germany. He’s flattered when people call him the last convinced European in Berlin, and he certainly doesn’t look tired of his job.
“He continues to repeat that the euro ‘is a stable currency, and, so long as we don’t make any serious mistakes, it will continue to be so… Europe has always emerged strengthened from every crisis. It’ll be the same this time,’ he insists. ‘In ten years we will have a structure that will be much closer to what one calls a political union.’ That’s his aim…”
Wolfgang Schäuble was born in 1942. He has been married since 1969, and the couple have four children. He defended the Iraq war and pleads for integration of Islam into German society, while stressing that certain core Christian doctrines must not be compromised. He is a convicted Protestant and still remembers the time when his Catholic father was excluded from the Catholic sacraments because his son Wolfgang was baptized by the Protestant church.
Obama the “First Gay President”
Newsmax wrote on May 13:
“President Barack Obama’s unplanned, sudden endorsement of gay marriage may pose potential political challenges for him in the upcoming months, but at least one news organization is proclaiming the married father of two the nation’s ‘first gay president.’ Newsweek on Sunday released the cover of their next issue, which features President Obama with a rainbow halo and the title of ‘The First Gay President.’… The article accompanying the cover was written by the news magazine’s nominally conservative blogger, Andrew Sullivan, who is an openly gay. ‘When you step back a little and assess the record of Obama on gay rights, you see, in fact, that this was not an aberration. It was an inevitable culmination of three years of work,’ Sullivan said in a statement about the article…
“Obama only made his move after his hand was forced by Vice President Joe Biden, who last week said he was quite comfortable with gay marriage. The next day, Education Secretary Arne Duncan seconded Biden with his own support… some conservatives have applauded the move. Several pundits last week pointed out that before Obama, the highest ranking government leader to endorse legalized gay unions was former Vice President Dick Cheney…”
Indeed, President Obama’s official stance on this matter was predictable.
“Around World, Obama’s Presidency a Disappointment”
The Associated Press wrote on May 12:
“In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Barack Obama speak, there’s disappointment that he hasn’t kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he’s shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic… many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama’s vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world.
“In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global climate change, the consensus is that Obama has not lived up to the lofty expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year later. Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious conservatives…
“Obama also has a strained relationship with Israel, where Bush was popular. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been cool to one another in their handful of meetings. Obama’s Mideast envoy, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, made no progress during two years of frequent meetings with both sides before quitting last year…
“Obama remains popular in Japan, one of the United States’ closest allies, though that may be a matter of style over substance… America’s stature has taken a hit in Japan since the 2008 financial meltdown, which highlighted the excesses of U.S.-style capitalism to many Japanese.”
On the other hand, international confidence in a future Republican President is, overall, very low.
Germany and USA on Different Planets?
The Washington Post wrote on May 17:
“There are 4,169 miles between Berlin and Washington. But on economic policy, the two capitals sometimes appear to be on different planets. Germany has taken a tough-love, austerity-driven approach to solving Europe’s recession, pushing struggling countries to sharply cut public spending and chop their debt even as their economies slump. The United States confronted its own crisis with an $862 billion stimulus package in 2009, which brought debt levels to heights not seen since shortly after World War II but may have dulled the worst blow of its downturn.”
Those differences will contribute to an ever-increasing alienation between the USA and Europe.
Will Some Arab Nations Unite?
CNN reported on May 13:
“The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council will… discuss transforming their six nations into a union, similar to the European Union. The idea of the GCC nations to integrate into one entity — and replace what exists now as simply a cooperative — was first floated by Saudi Arabia in December… The GCC is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates… The GCC was formed in 1981, soon after Iran instituted a Shiite theocracy and went to war with primarily Sunni Iraq.”
While many in Europe question the institution of the EU, some Arab states see the great advantages of such a unity for their cause.
Paralyzed Relationship Between USA and Pakistan
The Economist wrote on May 12:
“Relations between the United States and Pakistan, supposed ‘strategic’ allies, have been paralysed since American aircraft mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops stationed on the Afghan border in November, in an awful ‘friendly fire’ incident. Now, like two bickering children unable to swallow their pride and make up, President Barack Obama’s administration is unwilling to apologise over the deaths, and the Pakistani government has refused to reopen its roads for supplying NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, after closing them as punishment… America is furious that Pakistan is not doing more to stop the Haqqani network, an Afghan insurgent group based in Pakistan’s tribal areas, from pulling off attacks in Afghanistan…
“The border deaths in November capped a year of plummeting relations. In January 2011 a CIA employee gunned down two men in the street in Lahore. In May Pakistan was humiliated by the American discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden in a northern Pakistani town… Strikes by American drone aircraft against suspected extremists in Pakistan’s tribal areas make a mockery of the country’s sovereignty. Worse, the strikes often hit the ‘wrong’ jihadi fighters as far as Pakistan is concerned—that is, groups with whom the armed forces have reached an accommodation in order to battle other outfits it regards as more dangerous.
“Pakistan also wants payments, stalled two years ago, that it is owed under an American programme to reimburse the country for its military operations along the Afghan border. Pakistan reckons it is owed around $2 billion… Once Pakistan gets the apology it wants, it should be willing to allow NATO supplies back through its territory. But it no longer wants to give free passage. A transit tax would be imposed on each container, with the sum now being haggled over between the two sides. Before the route was cut, NATO had already managed drastically to cut its logistical reliance on Pakistan, down to about 30% of supplies, with the rest going through a much more expensive route via Central Asia, or by air…”
As the next article shows as well, most Far Eastern countries will ultimately unite against the Western powers.
The Asian Arms Race
Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 20:
“Asia’s military might appears to be growing by leaps and bounds these days. Just last month, China announced a significant increase to its military spending. Since then, North Korea attempted (and failed) to launch a rocket into space, the United States began a joint military exercise with the Philippines and, on Thursday, South Korea tested a missile whose range includes all of North Korea.
“The biggest headlines, however, have been reserved for India’s testing on Thursday of a long-range ballistic missile… When the rocket, the Agni V, becomes part of the Indian military’s arsenal in 2015, the country will become the most recent member in the exclusive club of nations that possess ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads — a group that includes China, Britain, France, Russia, the US and, it is widely assumed, Israel… Most attention… was focused on what appear to be Indian efforts to both catch up to China militarily and to underline its supremacy over neighboring Pakistan, which also has nuclear weapons… Furthermore, New Delhi has purchased nuclear submarines from Russia and is seeking to modernize its tank fleet. In 2011, the country was the world’s biggest purchaser of arms…
“Center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘… The new economic powers in the [Asian] region are expanding their armies, naval fleets and nuclear capacities as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Those who had dreamed that the atomic age would slowly fade away following the end of the Cold War must now confront reality — and China and India are leading the charge. The two powers — which are slowly turning their regional weight into global influence — are counting on the nuclear deterrent. India’s test underlines this intention… An end to the arms race is not in sight. Even if the US wanted to, its influence in Asia would no longer be enough to slow this development.’”
Mysterious Deaths of Dolphins and Seabirds
The New York Times wrote on May 7:
“Late last year, fishermen began finding dead dolphins, hundreds of them, washed up on Peru’s northern coast. Now, seabirds have begun dying, too, and the government has yet to conclusively pinpoint a cause… At least 877 dolphins and more than 1,500 birds, most of them brown pelicans and boobies, have died since the government began tracking the deaths in February, the Environment Ministry said last week. The dolphins, many of which appeared to have decomposed in the ocean before washing ashore, were found in the Piura and Lambayeque regions, not far from the border with Ecuador. The seabirds, which seem mostly to have died onshore, have been found from Lambayeque to Lima…
“Over the weekend, the Health Ministry issued an alert advising people to avoid the waters around Lima and to the north… It advised people not to eat raw seafood… and recommended that people disposing of dead marine animals wear gloves and masks. The warning sowed confusion, given earlier government statements indicating that the seabirds were probably starving rather than falling ill from some disease…”
The Bible tells us that in these end times, more and more animals will die.
Abortion a Lifestyle Choice?
Mail on Line wrote on May 13:
“The Health Service [in Great Britain] is spending around £1million a week providing repeat abortions. Critics said figures revealed yesterday show thousands of women are using the procedure as a form of contraception. It is not unknown for some women to have seven, eight or even nine terminations in their lifetime.
“According to the statistics, single or unmarried women account for five out of every six repeat terminations. Around a third of all abortions carried out in England and Wales are repeats. The figures will fuel the debate on whether abortions, which cost the NHS up to £1,000 each, are being sanctioned as more of a lifestyle choice than a medical requirement.”
This sad development is by no means restricted to Great Britain. Please read our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?”, which shows you from the Bible WHY abortion is wrong.
Microchips for Everyone?
Infowars reported on May 9:
“What would you do if someday the government made it mandatory for everyone to receive an implantable microchip for identification purposes? Would you take it? Such a scenario may not be as far off as you might think… In the United States today, millions of dogs and cats have been microchipped, thousands of elderly Americans with Alzheimer’s disease have been microchipped, and the U.S. military is developing ‘medical devices’ that contain microchips to monitor the health of soldiers. Once the government has microchips implanted in all of our soldiers, how long will it be before they want to put a microchip in all government employees for the sake of national security? Once the government has microchips in all government employees, how long will it be before they want to put a microchip in you?…
“The spread of implantable microchips is going to mostly be voluntary for right now. Large numbers of Americans have already taken them, and that number is going to greatly increase in the years ahead… We will be told that such programs are necessary to prevent identity fraud, to track criminals and terrorists, to crack down on tax evaders and to strengthen ‘national security’… some scientists are working on developing ‘edible microchips.’ These edible microchips would be used by doctors to monitor your health… if it was possible would you connect your brain directly to the Internet? It may not be as far off as you might think… But wouldn’t connecting your brain to the Internet also be incredibly dangerous? Couldn’t someone download ‘viruses’ directly into your brain? Couldn’t someone find a way to ‘control’ your brain remotely?… We will be sold on the ‘benefits’ of implantable microchips, but the public will rarely be told about the potential dangers…
“What would happen if a totalitarian government started requiring that all citizens have their ‘identities’ put on a microchip and implanted into them? It would certainly make it easier for a ‘Big Brother’ government to watch, monitor and track everyone… What would you do if you could not get a bank account without a microchip? What would you do if you could not go shopping without a microchip? What would you do if you could not get a job without a microchip? What would you do if you could not conduct a single financial transaction without a microchip?… Certainly most people would be very tempted to take the microchip so that they could take care of their families and lead fairly normal lives. Those that rebelled and didn’t take the microchip would be ostracized and would be considered enemies of the state. They would be hunted down and hauled off to prison… Don’t think that such a scenario is impossible.”
These are interesting questions. Even though the implantation of a microchip is NOT to be confused with the mark of the beast, spoken of in the book of Revelation, governmental control via microchips should not be underestimated. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”