Liam Deacon – November 24, 2017
The European Union’s (EU) foreign minister has said the bloc is working at “full speed” to create a unified “defence force” on a “continental scale”.
Federica Mogherini, who is formally known as the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made the announcement at the Annual Conference of the European Defence Agency.
“Exactly ten days ago, I received the letter notifying that 23 Member States are ready to embark on a Permanent Structured Cooperation on defence. And, let me add, that others might join in the coming days,” she said, referring to the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact signed earlier this month.
Led by France and Germany, 23 member-states agreed to a common defence fund, which will see them develop and deploy armed forces together.
They earmarked £4.9 billion (€5.5 billion) to fund research and development into new military hardware and the joint purchase of equipment, as well as committing to integrate their armed forces and the establishment of a joint headquarters.
RT – July 14, 2017
Germany and France have agreed to develop a “new generation” European fighter jet in an effort to strengthen the EU and increase cooperation between the two countries. French President Emmanuel Macron called the plan a “profound revolution.”
The announcement was made by France following talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Macron in Paris.
“The two partners hope to finalize a joint roadmap by mid-2018,” the French presidency said in a statement, as quoted by AFP.
The fighter jets, which will replace the two countries’ current fleets, “were very heavy projects for our armies and our governments,” Macron said during a joint press conference with Merkel.
He went on to state that joint European aircraft will save money and remove competition between different jets which are currently on the market.
Victoria Friedman – June 29, 2017
An app has been launched in Paris, France, which warns people if they are in a No-Go Zone and gives live alerts telling users if they are at risk of sexual assault.
Designers of the app say it can be used to “report, locate and avoid hazardous locations around you and elsewhere”, and has already gained positive review ratings.
The app allows users to report assaults, thefts, sexual molestation, and “rudeness” in the capital city which has seen illegal migrants camping on the streets and near metro stations.
Parisian women have complained they face constant harassment from migrants in certain parts of the city. Women in the east Paris district of Chapelle-Pajol claim they cannot leave their homes without receiving verbal abuse from migrants and drug dealers who have flooded to the area.
DW – June 1, 2017
At the press conference in Berlin after their first bilateral meeting, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her newly-appointed French colleague Sylvie Goulard started with a few words in each other’s language. The message was obvious. France and Germany want to be seen as a unit, working hand-in-hand to make Europe more responsible for its own security.
“We know that our common friendship and common work goes far beyond bilateralism,” von der Leyen said. “For both of our countries it’s crucial that we create more for Europe and that we work together toward a European defense and security union.”
At the core of those efforts is the so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO, which in the words of the European Commission, “allows a core group of countries to take systematic steps towards a more coherent security and defense policy without dividing the Union.” Essentially, it is a mechanism allowing willing countries to launch joint security projects without requiring all EU member states to agree or participate.
Breitbart London – May 14, 2017
PARIS (AP) – France’s new President Emmanuel Macron is formally taking power Sunday during a ceremony at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.
His predecessor, Francois Hollande, is to welcome him in the courtyard in front of hundreds of journalists. The two were meeting in the president’s office before Hollande’s departure, taking a last few minutes to discuss the most sensitive issues facing France, including the country’s nuclear codes.
Macron takes charge of a nation that, when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019, will become the EU’s only member with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
DW – May 7, 2017
Centrist Emmanuel Macron was confirmed president-elect in line with opinion poll forecasts. But some voters in France were shaken by the unprecedented support shown for the far right, reports Erin Conroy in Paris.
Voters in Paris showed little surprise that former banker and technocrat Emmanuel Macron won France’s presidential election in a run-off vote Sunday against the far-right populist candidate, Marine Le Pen.
Still, many found it disconcerting that the Front National’s Le Pen was able to win about 35 percent of the vote – unprecedented support for the party, which has been making steady gains in local and national elections – even as the country’s mainstream parties on the right and left backed the independent centrist Macron. Le Pen’s share of the vote was nearly double that won by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in the 2002 election, the only other time that their party made it to the second round.
WND – April 23, 2017
French voters couldn’t be more divided on the major issues of the day, election results proved Sunday, as Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen were the top vote-getters in the presidential election that will send them to a runoff next month.
Should the fiery Le Pen win the runoff next month, it could spell the end of the European Union, the euro and turn the nation in a “France first” direction. Macron is considered more of a centrist who would continue most of the policies of the past.
With final votes being counted, Macron leads Le Pen with 23.8 percent of the vote to 21.6.
The projected outcome capped an extraordinary few months for a deeply divided France, which saw a campaign full of twists and turns and a movement away from traditional parties.
STRASBOURG, France — The European Court of Human Rights is set to hear the case of a German family that was forced to send their children to public school after they were seized by the government because they were homeschooled.
“I sincerely hope the European Court of Human Rights will reaffirm that the state has no right to abduct children from their family just because they are being homeschooled,” father Dirk Wunderlich said in a statement this week.
“Our youngest daughter was only four years old when the authorities broke into our home and took the children without warning. She could not stop crying for 11 days. Her older sister has not laughed since this incident,” he explained. “We chose to educate our children at home, because we believe this to be the best environment for them to learn and thrive.”
Virginia Hale – April 4, 2017
France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand Hungary and Poland either accept migrants under the quota system or leave the European Union (EU).
The two nations have ignored Brussels’ insistence that they take migrants presently residing in great numbers in Italy and Greece. Public opinion in Hungary and Poland is also strongly against being forced to accept thousands of migrants from non-European cultures.
Poland’s conservative Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) swept to victory in 2015, partly due to voter anger over the previous government agreeing to take migrants under the quota system.
In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a vocal opponent of the scheme from its conception, asserting that forcing member countries to take a compulsory quota of migrants is unlawful and will “spread terrorism around Europe”.
RT – February 10, 2017
Berlin is bringing home its gold reserves stored in New York, London and Paris faster than scheduled, Germany’s central bank said Thursday. The move is linked to surging euroskepticism, as new governments in France and Italy may ditch the single currency.
The German Bundesbank has already moved 583 tons of gold out of New York and Paris, planning to have a half of its gold back in Germany by the end of 2017, which is ahead of the 2020 plan. The rest will be split between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Bank of England.
“We have a lot of discussions about Trump, regarding implications on monetary policy, macroeconomics, etc., but we trust the central bank of the US,” Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told a news conference.
“Trump has not triggered a discussion about the storage facility in New York,” he said.
As French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and Italy’s 5-Star Movement are openly calling to pull out of the euro, some economists in Germany say the repatriated gold may be needed to back a new deutschmark should the eurozone collapse.