Sorry, Mr. Cameron, the ‘Europe Question’ Is Not Going Away

Sorry, Mr. Cameron, the ‘Europe Question’ Is Not Going Away

Reuters/SUZANNE PLUNKETT

Chances are, Britain’s place in Europe will be decided long before 2017.

After months of promises, Prime Minister David Cameron delivered his keynote address on Britain’s future with the European Union on Wednesday. The speech was deft and nimble, smartly created to placate both Euroskeptics and Europhiles—and to buy time. It was, by virtually all reports, a smashing success.

Britain’s swelling anti-Europe movement will get the opportunity to vote the United Kingdom out of the EU in a straightforward “in/out” referendum. However, the referendum will take place only after Britain has renegotiated a new relationship with the EU. This gives the Europhiles the opportunity to concoct an agreement with Brussels that is palatable to Britain’s public. In short, an in/out referendum will happen, but not till 2017.

And there’s the rub.

This world, particularly Europe, is so fragile, so uncertain and volatile—financially, politically, socially, you name it—it’s impossible to plan five months ahead, let alone five years!

Mr. Cameron delivered his speech with such authority and confidence, as if he’s in total control of the United Kingdom’s future with Europe. To be sure, a leader must project sureness and authority, and responsible governments do plan long-term. But the world is undergoing historic challenges and momentous changes right now. In particular, Europe’s political and financial landscape is rapidly transforming. The Continent, as Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser recently wrote, will look radically different by the end of 2013.

Chances are, the question of the United Kingdom’s future in Europe will be decided not in 2017, but this year!

Perhaps the most significant issue that will have bearing on Britain’s relationship with Europe is the financial crisis, which is far from over. Paolo Manasse, professor of macroeconomics at the University of Bologna, wrote recently, “Despite apparent calm on the financial markets, no illusions that the storm is ending soon should be entertained. Indeed, we may well be in the eye of the hurricane.”

Don’t listen to European leaders proclaiming that the crisis is finished. Their words are hollow. Many of Europe’s economies continue to shrink. Unemployment in many countries is dangerously high and still rising. In Spain, the unemployment rate of under-25s is now 60 percent! Debt, national and private, looms ominously over prospects of new growth. The euro remains on its deathbed. “The longer-term prospects for the survival of the euro not only are not improving, they are actually getting worse,” concluded Manasse. This crisis will radically change the way Europe looks and operates, financially and politically.

Not in three or four years’ time, but within weeks and months!

“How this will end is anybody’s guess but it is hard to believe it can go on for five more years because the ruling parties of the victim nations [mostly southern states] are losing legitimacy month by month,” wrote the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard this week. The crisis is spreading to northern Europe too, “where bailout fatigue is turning into something deeper,” he wrote. “The Dutch Freedom Party is already demanding a referendum in The Netherlands, and premier Mark Rutte has to deal with a euroskeptic electorate that is not so vastly different from UK voters these days.”

This crisis will have massive consequences for Britain. Each week, European nations draw closer to making a decisive choice: Abandon the euro and let the dream of European unity die, or surrender more national sovereignty and integrate further. The way events are moving, it’s clear Europe, or at least a significant contingent of states, is choosing the latter. Under Germany’s direction, a tighter, more integrated, more federalist and controlling entity is emerging. Meanwhile, Mr. Cameron has promised to renegotiate the treaty to make Britain more independent.

This country is on course for a messy and painful clash with Germany and the EU!

“The United Kingdom’s push to renegotiate its status in the European Union threatens the European project,” wrote Stratfor analyst Adriano Bosoni this week. “At no other time has a country tried to dissociate itself from the bloc in this way. The decision not only challenges the Franco-German view of the European Union but also makes a compromise extremely difficult and risky between France and Germany and the United Kingdom.” If Mr. Cameron is to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Brussels and somehow persuade Germany and the EU to relinquish power back to Britain, he’s going need a Red Sea-sized miracle.

Sadly, miracles of this magnitude stopped happening to Britain many years ago.

The reality is, by demanding the renegotiation of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU, Mr. Cameron has made Britain as large a threat to the future of the EU as the financial crisis is. Think about it: How can Europe integrate further with one of its largest and most influential member states demanding more independence? What if other EU states demand similar concessions? Or want to hold referendums? Depending on the extent of the changes Mr. Cameron demands—and they’ll have to be serious and significant to mollify Britain’s public—the renegotiation of London’s relationship with Brussels threatens to unravel the entire European project.

By announcing a referendum five years from now, Mr. Cameron hopes he bought himself time and chance. Time to renegotiate a new, more palatable relationship with Europe, and a chance for the “Europe question” to quiet down, at least for a year or two. It appears many of his political counterparts, both allies and opponents, are content and will leave the subject alone for now. Even Fleet Street, for the most part, looks as if it will oblige.

The problem is there are too many circumstances beyond Mr. Cameron’s control. World events, and events in Europe in particular, are chaotic and uncertain, and moving extremely fast and dangerously. The financial crisis is transforming the Continent, historic changes are already afoot. Britain wants independence and distance, Germany and others want further integration, and more power and influence given to a centralized European government. It’s a recipe for tension and conflict. Try as he may, there’s no way Mr. Cameron can get around this reality.

As the Trumpet has explained for years, using Bible prophecy as our guide, Britain will leave or be cast out of the EU, and more than likely, much sooner than 2017.

Coup Attempt Reveals Eritrea’s Instability

Coup Attempt Reveals Eritrea’s Instability

PETER BUSOMOKE/AFP/Getty Images

The short-lived tumult carries deep implications for Iran’s desire to lock down the Middle East.

Dissident Eritrean soldiers seized the country’s Ministry of Information on Monday, and briefly took over its state-run television service in an apparent attempt to overthrow the government. Though the attempt ultimately failed, it indicates the instability permeating the small nation, and sheds light on its future direction.

The dissidents—around 200 soldiers backed by tanks—demanded the release of thousands of political prisoners, in a signal of the deepening rift between some elements of the military and the nation’s president, Isaias Afewerki.

In the aftermath of the attempt, Afewerki downplayed it, saying it was not actually an effort to overthrow his regime. But tensions between political groups and religions continue to intensify in the nation that is split almost 50-50 between Muslims and Christians. On Thursday, for example, government officials arrested the leaders of 10 Christian churches.

These rising tensions—added to the fact that Afewerki’s health is rapidly failing—mean that Eritrea will likely experience a transition of power in the near future.

This transition will present an opportunity for Iran to expand its power in the region, and, more specifically, its influence around the Red Sea. The Trumpet has long predicted that Iran-led radical Islam would come to dominate the entire Red Sea. With Egypt now firmly embedded in the radical Islamist camp, the Suez Canal portion of this control is already solidifying. In July of last year we explained what to watch for next: “Iran … already controls the Strait of Hormuz, and with the radicalization of Egypt now in full swing, you can be sure its sights are set on the Suez Canal as well. Throw in Eritrea and eventually Ethiopia, and Iran will have devoured the Red Sea. When that happens … Iran will then have the power and resources to lock down virtually the entire Middle East!”

In August, we wrote: “Pay attention to … Eritrea! Tehran will not resist the opportunity to exploit to its advantage the growing social and political uncertainty—as well as the Islamist dissatisfaction and potential uprising.”

A number of factors contribute to this growing unrest in Eritrea:

  • Almost half of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • The majority of the nation’s working population wears a uniform (Eritrea has more soldiers per person than any nation except for North Korea).
  • It is among the chief sponsors of the Islamist al-Shabaab militia.
  • An increasingly youthful population is dissatisfied with shrinking job opportunities.
  • Torture and summary executions are carried out routinely.
  • Transparency International ranks Eritrea among the world’s most corrupt nations.
  • Eritrea is in Iran’s crosshairs because of its instability and because it occupies a strategic strip of terrain at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Monday’s attempted coup shows that social and political upheaval is on the rise in the nation, and, whether directly or through its influence over Egypt, Iran is sure to exploit this turmoil to obtain control over Eritrea and that vital shipping lane.

    To understand more about the rapid Islamization of the Middle East and parts of Africa—and how it will affect your life—download our online booklet Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy.

    German Gold Repatriation Signals Economic War

    German Gold Repatriation Signals Economic War

    FRANK RUMPENHORST/AFP/Getty Images

    But does it signal looming hot war too?

    On January 16, Germany’s central bank made a startling announcement. It asked for the return of gold stored in America and France. Six hundred and seventy-four gleaming tonnes will be relocated to vaults in Frankfurt.

    The statement by the second-biggest gold holder in the world sent a shudder through global markets. Newspapers went into speculation overdrive. Why would Germany ask for its gold back now? Did Germany no longer trust America to hold its gold?

    Veteran gold trader Jim Sinclair said the Bundesbank’s announcement was a warning that investors should take physical delivery of their gold—that in an atmosphere of skyrocketing debt and slowing economies, counter party risk was growing: “This sends a message about storing gold near you and taking delivery no matter who is holding it.”

    According to Sinclair, the announcement signaled an astounding breakdown in trust between Germany and America. “When France did this years ago it sent panic amongst the U.S. financial leadership. History will look back on this salvo as being the beginning of the end of the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of choice,” he said.

    The incident Sinclair is referring to is the notorious failure of the Bretton Woods currency system in 1971. By order of President Nixon, America defaulted on its gold obligations. From then on, only paper currency would be used to pay America’s debts. Foreign nations, led by France, balked, but they lost the battle. America went off the gold standard, and today’s fiat, floating currency system resulted.

    Has America finally printed one too many dollars out of thin air? Has Germany finally had enough of America’s handling of the global financial system? German fear of inflation from money printing is well telegraphed. The Bundesbank has fought the European Central Bank over its quantitative easing programs.

    Is Germany now signaling that a confrontation with the Federal Reserve is immediate? And that Germany will throw its weight behind those who are pushing for an alternative global reserve currency to the dollar?

    Probably not quite yet, at least not in a big way.

    Germany has another fish to fry first—one that comes with escargot appetizers.

    But first, why is Germany’s gold held in New York, London and Paris anyway? Why doesn’t it hold its own gold? According to the Bundesbank, the reason is twofold.

    First, storing gold in America makes it easier to sell, or pledge, in case of an economic emergency. It is easier for others to quickly take ownership of it.

    The second reason is that it was deemed safer to spread Germany’s gold out during the Cold War to protect it from the Soviets. According to the Bundesbank, that is no longer a concern. That Germany feels safe enough to bring it home speaks volumes about Germany’s changing relationship with Russia.

    But there is a third—far more important, and unmentioned—reason Germany’s gold isn’t kept at home.

    Following Germany’s defeat in World War ii, it was the Allies’ purpose to ensure that Germany could never again disturb the peace of the world. Forcing Germany to store its gold overseas was the primary financial mechanism preventing Germany from ever starting another war. As analyst Byron King notes, “One way for the U.S., Britain and France to keep a leash on Germany was to keep ‘German’ gold under control outside of that country’s borders.”

    As long as the Allies controlled Germany’s gold, the Allies had a conqueror’s insurance policy that ensured Germany would not once again strike out on its own and disturb the peace. Without its gold, Germany’s currency, and thus its economy, could be destroyed virtually overnight.

    Now America, Britain and France appear to think that insurance policy is no longer needed. It will be a tragic mistake.

    Germany’s Bundesbank noted that it has already repatriated most of its gold from London. Frankfurt has retaken possession of 850 tonnes out of 1,300 tonnes stored across the Channel. Now it is repatriating 300 tonnes of gold from America, which equates to about 20 percent of its holdings in the U.S.

    Interestingly, the German central bank says it will take seven years to get its gold from America. What is that all about? Why would America need seven years to transfer what is essentially a bunch of bricks? Is America still hesitating at relinquishing control over Germany?

    The most important part of Germany’s announcement, though, may be that it is taking full custody of all of its gold held in Paris. All 374 tonnes will be transferred home—and you can be sure it won’t take seven years. It took less than three years for Germany to remove more than twice that much from Britain.

    This is a sign that Germany is about to stop playing Mr. Nice Guy with France.

    A big battle is raging over control of Europe’s economic destiny. Northern Europe, led by Germany, is fighting for control of the European Central Bank against a group of mostly southern nations led by France. The outcome will impact euro exchange rates, debt markets, employment, social stability—and ultimately, even which countries will remain part of the eurozone.

    “The Germans kind of feel like they’ve been overrun in this decision-making process,” says Michael C. Burda, an economist at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Bringing the gold home, he said, “is just a signal that Germany is not going to take this much longer.”

    Germany is getting ready to deal emphatically, and once and for all, with France. France is about to find out who the true financial power of Europe is. And Germany is signaling to the world that the days of its apologizing over its World War ii past are over. No longer will it weakly submit to Paris’s demands.

    But after Berlin silences Paris, what will Germany’s next move be?

    Here is what Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote after Russia invaded Georgia in 2008:

    I believe it is very likely Germany and Russia have already cut a deal. … The presence of a deal between these two nations is not a sign of peace. Like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and so many others before it, it is a sign of exactly the opposite. Both of these nations are looking to secure their shared border—so they can pursue their imperialistic aims elsewhere! It is a precursor to war! That is the way they operate! And the U.S. has no clue.

    Germany has secured its border with Russia. Its willingness to store its gold in Frankfurt again is evidence it no longer fears Russia the way it once did. Now with its eastern flank secure, Germany is going after Paris for unchallenged control of Europe.

    Then, once it is done subduing its only major counterweight in Europe, it will turn on America and Britain.

    Germany’s old World War ii foes will soon regret turning Germany loose. The world is about to see a much stronger and aggressive German Bundesbank—and consequently, German nation. German confidence and power grows with each brick added to its already formidable stack of gold.

    The Problem of Father-Free Zones

    The Problem of Father-Free Zones

    ©iStock.com/madisonwi

    Father-free zones have become very prevalent especially in inner cities as more illegitimate children are born and fatherlessness in America continues to be on the rise.

    Though the presidential inauguration and celebrations are dominating the current news cycle, President Obama’s recently proposed executive order on gun-related violence is still a popular topic. The 23 actions listed in his order are a convolution of recommended communications and actions between government agencies, health-care providers and other related groups. Despite all of what is said in the order, the recommended actions don’t identify the problem or provide any solutions. Almost as though gun-related violence is easily cured, number 14 on the list directs the Centers for Disease Control to research the cause of gun violence and then offer solutions. Isn’t the executive order supposed to do that?

    As a nation, and as individuals, we will never find solutions to our most complex problems without identifying the cause. Gun control, mental health care and bureaucratic communications aren’t solutions to the violence and murder happening on our streets. The problem and solution is much closer to home.

    In a brief but discerning article by the Investor’s Business Daily (ibd), a leading cause of our violent culture is discussed. The article identifies that so many of our families and inner cities are father-free zones—meaning that children and families in large areas of our society, especially inner cities, don’t have a father present. The article states, “Today, 72 percent of black children are now born out of wedlock. In fact, 36 percent of white children are born out of wedlock. Of Hispanic children, 53 percent are born outside of marriage.”

    In this article from USA Today, we’re shown that the numbers are even larger and that it’s just a small percentage of these illegitimate children who have their father living with them.

    These statistics are shocking! Immense numbers of illegitimate children are being born in America! A generation of children is being raised without understanding the sanctity and responsibility of marriage and family. Marriage is considered obsolete! More importantly, the majority of these neglected children don’t know how important the role of the father is.

    The ibd article goes on to state, “The consequences of fatherlessness are staggering. In such homes there is no male role model who gets up every morning, shaves, gets dressed and goes to work, then comes home to have dinner with his family. There is no male role model to restrain a young man’s masculine impulses and guide him into adulthood. The situation is made worse by the staggering unemployment among young black males that soaking the rich won’t alleviate. These young men find their role models in promiscuous rappers and the leaders of street gangs.”

    With no father present, the essential male example is missing. The father is to provide the dominant male influence necessary to shape and mold the mind of a young child or teenager. Without that paternal influence, few are being taught to control their emotions or their actions. Few are being taught to respect others. Few are being taught the value of hard work. With the father taking the lead, our homes are to be our greatest environment for learning. Yet, at an early age the role of the father is subjugated and these neglected children are turned over to public day care services, school systems and government-run entitlement programs, which are all woefully inadequate surrogates. As the ibd article states, the void left by absentee fathers is filled by the lure of street gangs and our entertainment culture. Music, movies and television that glamorize drugs, crime and violence are the leading influences in shaping the minds of this lost generation. Our neglected children are going to follow these violent examples, and the vicious cycle continues. Is it any surprise that our inner cities resemble lawless war zones?

    The traditional family is under attack. The father, as the traditional head of the family, is being targeted above all else. There is a conspiracy against fatherhood! Gun violence isn’t the cause of our problems. It is simply an effect of the demise of the traditional family, and more specifically the role of the father. Our inner cities are a graphic example of what happens to a society and a nation when the all-important role of the father is rejected.

    Eliminating Father-free Zones Forever

    When Jesus Christ came to this Earth, He shared the most encouraging message mankind has ever heard. At the very heart of His ministry was a message about God the Father (John 1:18). The gospel message that Jesus Christ delivered is the good news about the soon-coming Kingdom of God—which is the Family of God. God is a Family, and everything that Jesus Christ accomplished was according to His Father’s will (John 5:30).

    When God created Adam and Eve, He created marriage and family (Genesis 2:24). He also placed Adam as the head of the family, with Eve being his help meet (Genesis 2:18-23). In His perfect wisdom, God created this physical family relationship so that we can better learn, understand and prepare for His greater spiritual Family (Ephesians 5:32). God created the role of the physical father so that we can better understand His role as our spiritual Father. Just as we were made to need our physical fathers, because they are essential to our well-being, so we were made to need our spiritual Father—He is essential to our greater well-being!

    God isn’t an absentee Father. He has allowed us, as His creation, to make the wrong choices. Father-free zones, our inner cities and our violent society as a whole are the result of our damaging choices—rejecting God and His family law of love. God wants us to turn to Him and look to Him as our Father, and make the right choices by putting Him first in our lives (Matthew 22:37-40).

    The wonderful news is that Jesus Christ is about to return and establish God’s Kingdom forever. As humans, we will finally see and understand our incredible human potential—why we were created! We will be taught the importance of God’s family government and His laws. As His children, we will be close to our Father and understand the loving role He fulfills (Revelation 21:3-4). Never again will our families or our societies experience father-free zones!

    Wildfires Rage for Weeks in Australia

    Large, fast-moving bushfires continue to sweep across New South Wales and Victoria, Australia, this week. Over 122 fires are still burning in New South Wales, and 17 of them are uncontained. Last week’s extreme heat and gusty winds complicated the efforts of firefighters who were trying to stop the blazes. Experts say the battle against the flames will continue for weeks.

    Record-high temperatures and drought have caused the fires to be more dangerous than in years past. So far, they have burned over 700 square miles of land and have killed thousands of livestock and at least one person.

    Wildfires are common during Australian summers, but should they be? Should people have to constantly live in fear of losing their homes and land? The Bible addresses the issue of environmental disasters. God specifically promises to bless the obedient with good weather and to curse the disobedient with bad weather.

    Is Australia cursed? To find out more, look up Deuteronomy 28 and also read our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?

    Merkel Coalition Suffers Defeat in State Elections

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative-led coalition suffered a narrow defeat on Sunday. During state elections in Lower Saxony, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the Free Democrats lost their majority. The state legislature is now controlled by the Social Democrats and the Green Party, which won a single-seat majority. Prior to Sunday, Merkel’s coalition had controlled the northwestern region for 10 years straight.

    The outcome in Lower Saxony may indicate trouble for Merkel in this year’s national elections.

    In the fall, Merkel will seek a third four-year term. The chancellor and her Christian Democratic Union currently enjoy favorable poll numbers. However, the opposition believes that the Lower Saxony vote reveals she is vulnerable.

    The upper house of the German Parliament represents the nation’s 16 states. Since 2009, Merkel’s coalition has lost control of four states. Losing Lower Saxony now gives opposition parties a majority in the Bundesrat.

    Watch Germany’s federal elections in September. Bible prophecy states that a powerful leader will soon emerge in German politics. This leader will lead Berlin—and, ultimately, a united Europe—into a massive war for global domination.