Germany to Cyprus: Terms of Surrender Not Good Enough

Germany to Cyprus: Terms of Surrender Not Good Enough

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Negotiations over Cyprus’s bailout show how much sovereignty the country has given up.

The German Parliament and European Union officials are refusing to support Cyprus’s bailout unless the country submits to further conditions. They’re accusing Cypriot banks of making dodgy deals with shady Russian businessmen, and they want this to stop.

Shortly before the end of last year, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias announced, with “heartfelt pain,” that Cyprus would seek a bailout from the EU. He said that terms had been agreed “in principle.” Spiegel Online wrote that the deal means that Cyprus “will effectively lose its sovereignty.” The “troika”—the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ecb) and the International Monetary Fund (imf)—“will essentially take control of the Mediterranean island,” it wrote.

Now we’re seeing that in action. Germany’s parliament is refusing to give Cyprus the money unless it changes its banking system and cracks down on money laundering.

A report by Germany’s intelligence service, the bnd, that was leaked last November accused Cyprus of creating the perfect conditions for money laundering. It also said the country was giving Russian oligarchs Cypriot passports that allow them to live anywhere in the EU.

Germany’s politicians don’t want German bailout money helping Russian businessmen. The Social Democrats (spd) and the Green Party are threatening to oppose the bailouts. “As things currently stand, I can’t imagine German taxpayers bailing out Cypriot banks, whose business model depends on abetting tax fraud,” the spd’s chairman, Sigmar Gabriel, said.

Without these politicians’ support, German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be able to get the bailout through parliament. She doesn’t have the complete support of her own conservative coalition. Chancellor Merkel herself still wants more from Cyprus. President Christofias doesn’t want Europe to force him to privatize government-owned business, but Merkel insists that “There can be no special conditions for Cyprus.”

EU financial affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said the spd will probably get its way. In an interview published by Handelsblatt on January 11, he said Cyprus has accepted international rules on money laundering. But “these laws actually have to be applied,” he said. “I am aware of the problems.”

“I believe we can address the concerns of the spd,” Rehn said, adding that he was sure Cyprus could be made to comply.

From the German taxpayers’ point of view, these demands are reasonable. They’re not concerned about buying Cyprus’s surrender. They’re begrudgingly bailing them out, and they don’t want to waste their money.

But as Cyprus is forced to bow to these new demands, it shows that Cypriots have handed over control of their country to Germany.

When Greece’s bailout was approved, the Greeks weren’t just handed a lump sum of money and told to fix their problems. There are explicit conditions they must obey—and the bailout money is given in installments. Each installment is an opportunity for Germany to threaten to withhold the money.

And Greece didn’t need just one bailout.

Now Greece’s unemployment is above 25 percent. It could be forced to turn to Germany again to help contain rising unrest and violence.

Cyprus is starting down the same road. It must obey Germany’s parliament to receive the bailout, and will have to submit to Germany’s conditions to receive each installment of the money.

The banking reforms will also cut Cyprus off from the only other power that might step in and rescue it: Russia.

Russia also has a lot of interest in the island. But if Germany cuts Cyprus and its banks off from Russian money, Russian influence will greatly decline. Europe is getting rid of a rival for Cypriot loyalty. It doesn’t want to bail out the Cypriots only to have them turn to Russia if it offers a better deal later. Europe wants to make sure that once Cyprus has surrendered to Germany, it stays surrendered.

This time, the condition is that Cyprus reform its banking system. What will it be next time? That German taxpayers get something back from their investment—in the form of a German naval base on Cyprus, or direct German access to Cypriot radar facilities?

Cyprus is a key location to project power into the Middle East. If you haven’t already, watch Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s video “Cyprus Surrenders to Germany” for more on the vital background to this story.

Israel Finalizing Fences

Israel Finalizing Fences

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Israel has finalized the construction of their border fence which separates them from Egypt.

On January 2, the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that it had completed a 230-kilometer-long fence along Israel’s southern border. Construction of the fortification that separates Israel from Egypt began three years ago. The final extension is expected to be finished in May this year.

The fence is 4.7 meters high and is topped with razor wire. Military cameras, radars and other surveillance equipment will allow Israel to monitor the vast expanse that is to be defended.

It is hoped the fence will stop terrorists entering Israel through the Sinai, prevent smuggling, and deter illegal immigrants from Africa from getting into the nation.

Following on the heels of the finalizing of this defense project came an announcement on January 6 from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of yet another fence that is to be set up. This latest fence will be in the northern region known as the Golan Heights. The area has long been the source of contention between Israel and Syria. The region was controlled by Syria until 1967, when Israel took the area during the Six-Day War. Since then it has remained under Israeli control.

The fence in the north is being built because of the Syrian civil war, and may heighten tensions with Syria, but Israel appears willing to take that risk. Amos Harel, the defense correspondent for Haaretz, stated that a conventional attack from the Syrian government was not the only concern. “There is the problem of al Qaeda, chemical weapons, whatever you’d like,” he said. There is also another concern from across the border. Moshe Maoz, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, said that Mr. Netanyahu was building because, “if a radical Islamic organization takes over, Israel will be in danger.”

Israel is scrambling to secure its borders as the tumult in surrounding nations threatens its security. Despite the millions of dollars Israel is spending on defense, prophecy tells us that Israel will not be able to protect itself. Prophecy from Hosea 5 tells us who Israel will look to for assistance. When Israel realizes that wire and cameras are not enough, watch it turn to Europe in search of a strong hand to solve the crisis in the Middle East.

For more on the impending attacks on Israel’s borders, watch columnist Stephen Flurry’s Trumpet Daily update “Israel’s Enemies Prepare for War.”

On the Divergent Effects on Man of Different Forms of Government

On the Divergent Effects on Man of Different Forms of Government

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America is changing rapidly. Its present administration is lustily driving the nation toward the clearly failing European socialist model. Watching this causes me to consider some stark contrasts with the perfect model of government expounded in Scripture.

  • Socialist government creates complacency through wealth redistribution. God’s government fosters stewardship through private property ownership.
  • Socialist government takes from the rich to supply the poor and calls it compassion. God’s government teaches love by example and inspires both rich and poor to emulate of their own will.
  • Socialist government encourages dependency. God’s government encourages industry.
  • Socialist government creates discontent and a sense of entitlement. God’s government enables man to savor the fruits of his labor.
  • Socialist government rewards idleness and saps motivation. God’s government energizes, ennobles and arouses ambition.
  • Socialist government tends toward self-satisfaction and mediocrity. God’s government demands excellence.
  • Socialist government insulates man from the consequences of his actions. God’s government obliges man to be accountable for his choices.
  • Socialist government strips man of responsibility. God’s government prepares man for ever greater capacity, duty and authority.
  • Socialist government erodes character. God’s government is aimed primarily at creating and cultivating character.
  • Socialist government turns citizens into wards of the state. God’s government transforms people into Gods.
  • The study of God’s biblical form of government is fascinating and inspiring. If you want to learn more, you might start with an article from our archives, “A New World Economy,” which describes the biblical economic model at work. Then read Chapter 7 of the book Mystery of the Ages,Mystery of the Kingdom of God.”

    Unemployment: Europe’s Next Crisis

    Unemployment: Europe’s Next Crisis

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    Half of Spain’s young people cannot find jobs. That’s a recipe for chaos.

    European leaders are claiming that the worst of their financial crisis is over. They couldn’t be more wrong. The eurozone is on the brink of radical change.

    Look at Europe’s latest unemployment figures, published January 8.

    In November, the Spanish unemployment rate for those under 25 was 56.5 percent. The latest figure for Greece is 57.6 percent (November figures aren’t available yet). Over half of all young people looking for work in these countries can’t find a job. One million young people in Spain alone can’t find work. Across the eurozone, nearly one in four young people are without work.

    The overall unemployment rates are also dire. In Spain and Greece, one in four adults looking for work can’t find a job. This doesn’t include people who’ve simply given up or taken part-time work. In Portugal, Ireland, Slovakia, Latvia and Cyprus, unemployment is around 15 percent.

    Many of these are record highs. But unemployment was only a few percentage points lower this time last year.

    This persistent, high unemployment is Europe’s big crisis.

    Last week, Stratfor’sGeorge Friedman outlined what these numbers mean in real life. “Consider someone unemployed in his 20s, perhaps with a university degree,” he wrote. “The numbers mean that there is an excellent chance that he will never have the opportunity to pursue his chosen career and quite possibly will never get a job at the social level he anticipated” (emphasis added).

    “Also remember that unemployment does not affect just one person,” he continues. “It affects the immediate family, parents and possibly other relatives. The effect is not only financial but also psychological. It creates a pall, a sense of failure and dread.”

    Europe’s high unemployment means there are millions with no interest in supporting the current order.

    The EU has come up with solutions that will keep Greece and Spain from going bankrupt over the next few months. But its solutions do nothing to solve the unemployment crises. Those unemployment figures aren’t going to change any time soon.

    When the unemployed realize this, Europe will be gripped by social upheaval.

    “The stoicism of the Spanish people so far has been impressive,” writes the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. “But willingness to put up with an intolerable state of affairs depends on belief that the pain is ultimately worthwhile.”

    Once Spain’s 6 million unemployed realize that their stint on the dole is not a short step on the road to prosperity, then the rioting will start.

    “Unemployment is a root of anti-state movements on the left and the right,” writes Friedman. “The extended and hopelessly unemployed have little to lose and think they have something to gain by destabilizing the state. It is hard to quantify what level of unemployment breeds that sort of unrest, but there is no doubt that Spain and Greece are in that zone and that others might be.”

    Europe is heading for social chaos.

    This, not the bond markets, is what will probably drive the euro crisis in 2013.

    This social crisis will cause radical change in Europe.

    “Social unrest and riots will eventually force Europeans to succumb to a strong united government of Europe, led ultimately not from Brussels, but from Berlin,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in February 2009.

    Northern Europe is not suffering. Germany’s unemployment rate is 5.4 percent—roughly a fifth of Spain’s.

    Faced with mass unrest, some countries may quit the euro. But others will instead turn to Germany, willing to do almost anything to get German help to stop the rioting. This huge unemployment rate could be the hammer, anvil and furnace necessary to forge a newly integrated Europe.

    European leaders already want political and financial union. But they’re talking about it in terms of the next five or ten years. Social unrest will force this unification to happen much faster. Some countries won’t be able to take the heat and will leave the kitchen. But the rest will forge closer together to form an undemocratic superpower.

    Web Exclusive: Cyprus Surrenders to Germany

    Popular UK Textbook Erases Israel From the Map

    Popular UK Textbook Erases Israel From the Map

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    A textbook used in colleges across the United Kingdom has been found to have an alarming anti-Israel prejudice.

    The textbook—called Skills in English Writing: Level 1—is used to teach students English as a second language, and one of its segments on geography includes a map of the Middle East on which the name “Israel” is nowhere to be found. Instead, the Jewish nation is labeled “Occupied Palestine.”

    You can see an image of the map here.

    This textbook’s widespread use in the UK is symptomatic of the nation’s embrace of Islamic culture. Garnet Education, the firm that produced the book, is owned by the Lebanese Tahseen Khayat Group, which also owns Ithaca Press—a publisher specializing in Islamic studies. Any question of the group’s political leanings should be obliterated by the fact that Ithaca Press recently published Through Secret Channels—a book written by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

    So, why would so many educational institutions in the UK choose to teach from such a book? London bends over backward to demonstrate its hospitality toward Islam’s culture and beliefs, no matter how extreme. Lax immigration policies and liberal social benefit programs combine to make Britain an attractive home to swaths of Islamists.

    The textbook is also one of many indications showing that not only is the traditional anti-Semitism of the far right gaining momentum, but it is being joined by a new leftist anti-Semitism in media and academia. Among British liberals especially, Israel has come to be regularly accused of explicit racism. And the disparagement of Israel’s foreign policy often bleeds into resentment of Jews in general.

    There is a growing divide under way—propelled by public opinion—between Britain and Israel, two nations which have traditionally been strong allies. The changing British demographic is also creating a similar rift between the UK and the United States. The ever broadening breaches between these three entities leave all three substantially weaker. To understand the significance of the drift of these nations away from each other, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy.