France Challenges Germany: Who Will Win?

France Challenges Germany: Who Will Win?

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It is 1861 in Europe, and time is running out.

The special relationship between Berlin and Paris is over. The alliance that has steered the Union from its beginning appears to be shattered. A power struggle over the Union’s steering wheel is about to ensue. People are going to get run over. The only question is how many will get hurt before a strong hand grabs control.

Up until this point in Europe, the German solution for Europe’s economic woes was for nations to live within their means. Europeans had borrowed money to live high—now they must live lower to pay it back. Nicolas Sarkozy seemed content to submit to Berlin’s lead on this matter, mostly because it appeared that it was mostly other nations that would have to do the low living.

But France’s economy is deteriorating fast, unemployment is rising, and a new president seems to have other ideas.

On Sunday, the French elected their first openly socialist president in 31 years. From the Bastille, the symbolic heart of the French Revolution, François Hollande addressed the nation. “Remember your whole life this great gathering … it must tell the whole of Europe that change is coming,” he said. “In the capitals, beyond government leaders, there are people who are hoping, looking to us, and want an end to austerity” (emphasis added throughout).

Hollande’s anti-German approach has not been hidden. “It’s not for Germany to decide for the rest of Europe,” he said in the lead-up to the election. “[T]he people of Europe expect that we, the people of France, will provide Europe with another perspective, another direction, another orientation.”

Those are fighting words—aimed directly at Europe’s financial leaders in Germany. As Brad Macdonald wrote last week, “this man isn’t merely campaigning for leadership of France, he’s making a play for leadership of Europe.”

That is a dangerous move when your economy is weak and the enemy’s is strong.

The discontent in Europe boils down to this. Many Europeans wonder why they should suffer a slow economic recovery, through the process of debt default, recession, saving and hard work, when they can simply print and spend more money. The big banks get bailouts. Why shouldn’t the people?

It’s not hard to see the appeal in such thinking. But the reasoning is deeply flawed. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Germans know what happens when governments print money to pay their bills. This reality was seared into their national consciousness by wheelbarrows of worthless papiermarks—during the Weimar Republic.

Also, what is the motivation for Germany to agree to more money printing when the French cling to their notorious 35-hour capped work week, and Hollande pushes to fulfill his election promise of lowering the national retirement age to 60? It is hard to feel sorry for the French, or Spanish and Greeks for that matter.

So now, France and Germany appear to be on a collision course—which may be the worst of all worlds for Europe. Instead of one bad driver, Europe now has two—and they are pulling in different directions. Europe is locked on an economic course that is sure to lead to a tragic accident.

Time is running out for France and Europe.

“Francois Hollande has 10 weeks to avert a French bond crisis,” writes the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. May 16 will be the first test, as France must go to the bond market to borrow money.

Hollande has also promised to raise taxes to 75 percent on the rich. Evans-Pritchard notes that high-end property prices are soaring in Britain again—due to all the rich French, Italians and Greeks trying to shelter their assets from a tax-hungry government.

But ironically, Britain isn’t the only nation benefiting from Europe’s economic woes. Germany also benefits from Europe’s troubles, via concessions for bailouts and as a recipient of safe-haven-seeking investor money.

Still, the marginal benefits to Germany will evaporate if Europe completely breaks apart and burns. The European Central Bank has already printed and lent $1.3 trillion that have mostly gone to propping up governments like Spain, Italy and Greece. But now the money has been spent, and borrowing rates for these countries are rising again.

More money printing, as prescribed by Hollande, may delay the inevitable. But this is not a solution to the crisis. It is a temporary measure at best.

If Europe is to be saved, a much more comprehensive plan is needed—something on the order of a European 1861. The differing states must be subjected to a federalizing authority with the powers of debt issuance and taxation. A true United States of Europe, in the full sense of the word, will be needed.

A true monetary and political union will not be easy. But crises provide both cover and opportunity.

With Germany and France stuck in gridlock, there will be no shortage of crises.

Even now, Europe is practically begging Germany to open its pocketbooks, turn on the printing presses and save it. Hollande might be surprised. He might get even more than he is asking for.

Germany might surprise the pundits and ride to Europe’s rescue. And you can be equally sure that in exchange, its grip on the bureaucratic machinations of Europe will only be tightened.

Europe is waiting for its Abraham Lincoln. A leader who can stand up, unite the states, and soothe the divisions. It is 1861 in Europe. And time is running out.

Iran Quietly Infiltrates Europe’s Underbelly

Iran Quietly Infiltrates Europe’s Underbelly

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The Islamist push against Europe continues.

Iran employs an unusually large number of employees at its embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as part of its effort to radicalize the majority-Muslim European nation and to extend its reach “closer and closer into the heart of Europe.”

On May 3, radio talk show host John Batchelor interviewed Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Hoenlein said Iran staffs its Sarajevo embassy with over 400 employees, sharply exceeding the usual number for a facility of its kind.

For Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina is becoming “a jumping-off ground,” Hoenline said. He explained that radical Islamist elements in Sarajevo are also establishing shadowy facilities beyond the embassy: “A house goes up for sale for $125,000, [Islamist groups] buy it for $500,000, build a wall around it, and that’s the last the governments know what’s going on inside. They see only cars coming in and out ….”

Bosnia-Herzegovina is a prime location for a hub of Islamist radicalization for three main reasons: Muslims represent the largest demographic group in its population; geographically, Bosnia-Herzegovina is a unique crossroads between Islamic North Africa and Europe; above all, the nation has no viable controls against Islamism.

Through this Bosnian hub, Hoenlein said, Islamists are “moving up closer and closer into the heart of Europe.” After hearing Hoenlein’s assessment, Batchelor agreed that Sarajevo has become “a jumping-off place, a radicalization place, a crossroads, something like Berlin during the Cold War.”

But Bosnia-Herzegovina is not the only location Iran is targeting. Tehran is also establishing radicalization spots “in several places now because Iran is reaching into the Baltics, the Balkans, the Central Asian region, just as they are in South America,” Hoenlein said. Iran’s purpose in investing so much in Bosnia and these other areas is to fulfill “the Messianic vision of the return of the Imam and the dominance of the Persian Empire … the resurrection of the Persian Empire,” he added.

Over 2,500 years ago, the Prophet Daniel predicted modern-day Islam’s confrontational behavior toward predominantly-Christian Europe: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south [Iran-led radical Islam] push at [the king of the north, or Europe]” (Daniel 11:40). Iran’s effort to transform a European capital city into a hub of radicalization reveals that this Islamist “push” against the European Union is already well underway. And such efforts will quickly intensify. But the prophecy continues, explaining that the push will not end well for Iran and radical Islam.

To understand the outcome of this looming confrontation, and how it will affect your life, read The King of the South.

Daily Express Warns of New Charlemagne

Daily Express Warns of New Charlemagne

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A front page warning to Britain.

“EU Plot to Scrap Britain,” warned the front-page headline of Britain’s Daily Express newspaper on May 4. With a circulation of over 550,000, the paper warned its readership that “A covert group of EU foreign ministers has drawn up plans for merging the jobs currently done by Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.”

“Opponents fear the plan could create a modern-day equivalent of the European emperor envisaged by Napoleon Bonaparte or a return to the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne that dominated Europe in the Dark Ages,” it wrote.

The Express article was a powerful warning to Britain and America. The online version appeared as the top headline on the influential Drudge Report.

It was based on a written question Lord Stoddart of Swindon submitted to the Foreign Office, asking “whether a selected group of European Union foreign ministers is considering the appointment of an official combining the roles of the president of the European Council and the president of the European Commission and elected by the European Parliament; if so, whether the foreign secretary is a member of the group; and whether they have made any assessment of those proposals.”

Lord Howell of Guildford replied on behalf of the Foreign Office on May 1, saying: “We are aware of one group of EU foreign ministers meeting on an informal basis to discuss a variety of issues related to the future governance of the EU. While the UK is not part of that group, we understand that one idea under discussion is a merger of the positions of president of the European Council and president of the European Commission.”

Of course the Express isn’t the first to “reveal” this story. A few English-language outlets covered it a fortnight ago, and the Trumpet wrote about it here and here. A group of around 10 foreign ministers, sometimes called the “Berlin Club” or the “Berlin Group,” plan to meet several more times under proposals put forward by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. The creation of a new “super president” is just one of their ideas.

There is little evidence the group is as secretive as the Express says. Media reports state that the foreign ministers plan on publishing their conclusion once the series of meetings is over.

Nonetheless, it is dramatic news and should be on the front page of more than just one newspaper. A new Charlemagne is coming. Continue to watch for him in the headlines.

François Hollande Wins French Presidency

French Socialist François Hollande won the French presidency in Sunday’s election. Final results showed Hollande narrowly defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with 51.6 percent of the vote.

Hollande campaigned on the need for more growth-generating economic policies and less economic austerity. In his victory speech in Paris Sunday night, he declared that his victory heralded the beginning of a new movement and the “end of austerity.”

Hollande inherits an economy that is already deep in debt. But he plans to enact further government stimulus and more spending in general.

Investors and analysts acknowledge that the election results in France—as well as debt-stricken Greece—could mean a new political upheaval. Some fear the election of Hollande could ultimately derail the government austerity measures that Eurocrats have fought so hard for, and could worsen Europe’s economic problems.

In order to overcome the EU debt crisis, many financial and political leaders have put their confidence in the austerity policies created by Germany and staunchly backed by Sarkozy. But now the famed “Merkozy” relationship is over.

Berlin must now find a new partner to help it steer Europe to stability. The Trumpet believes Germany will no longer look to France for strong support. Instead, it will kindle a new partnership with a centuries-long history. For more in-depth analysis on what the French election means for the future of Europe, read “Merkel and Monti Revive Old Berlin-Rome Axis.”

Pope Gives Quarter of a Million Dollars to Anglican Breakaways

Pope Gives Quarter of a Million Dollars to Anglican Breakaways

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The pope signals his personal commitment to bringing Anglicans to Rome.

Pope Benedict xvi donated $250,000 to the UK Catholic organization set up to receive defecting Anglicans—the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Monsignor Kieth Newton, head of the ordinariate, thanked the pope for his gift May 1, saying: “This gift is a great help and encouragement as we continue to grow and develop our distinctive ecclesial life while seeking to contribute to the wider work of evangelization in England and Wales.”

The group has come out of the Anglican Church with little to no property or funds, making the pope’s donation a key lifeline.

A priest and spokesman for the group, James Bradley, said the money “will help us get up on our two feet.” But this money is just the beginning, he said, “we are also looking at some serious fundraising.”

Thus far, Anglicans leaving for Rome have had to worship with regular Catholics. But, Bradley said, “we will need funds for the acquisition and upkeep of our own church buildings.” The money will also be used to “finance clergy, pay for the training of seminarians, missions and evangelization. We don’t want to be hand to mouth,” he said.

Part of the need for cash comes because the orginariate has been “inundated by success,” according to Bradley. “We did not realize there would be these numbers or such a spread in the UK.” So far, around 1,200 members and 60 clergymen have joined.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports: “Anglican vicars who have announced their defection to the ordinariate have often taken parishioners with them, leaving loyal Anglicans scrambling to fill pews and organize services.”

These funds could make the church grow much faster. Once members see that they won’t be absorbed into a Catholic congregation but will instead be able to worship with former Anglicans in their own buildings, many more may be willing to make the move. And much more of the clergy would be willing to jump if they knew the ordinariate had the money to pay them.

The Vatican’s nuncio, or ambassador, to the UK, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, encouraged others to donate, and said the pope’s gift is “a clear sign of his personal commitment to the work of Christian unity and the special place the ordinariate holds in his heart.” Indeed, the evidence shows the pope has been very involved in the setting up of this ordinariate.

As the ordinariate expands into America and continues to grow, watch for more disaffected Anglicans to make the move. And watch for this to continue to be a high priority for the pope. The Bible forecast that the Catholic Church would woo back its Protestant daughters. For more information, see our article “The Church That Swallowed a Church.”

Merkel and Monti Revive Old Berlin-Rome Axis

Merkel and Monti Revive Old Berlin-Rome Axis

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Chancellor Merkel’s replacement of her old political partner Nicolas Sarkozy with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti hastens the resurrection of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire.

Sixty years of work by European elites to create a united Europe consummated recently in two events that bring the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire much closer to being a current-day reality.

First, the “Berlin Group,” a fringe EU group of nations formed out of a German idea promoting the regular meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union’s leading economies (excluding Britain), recently launched the idea of creating the office of a European supremo.

They have recommended that a powerful new presidency be created within the EU—a super-president—a veritable “Charlemagne” having power over all EU institutions.

Shortly after the “Berlin Group” came out with that startling recommendation, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, anticipating the now current demise of France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy—whose candidacy she endorsed in France’s national elections—turned to Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti to forge a new alliance in the leadership of the EU. Berlin and Rome will now dominate EU policy decisions from here on.

These are game changers in Europe, the effects of which will soon be felt worldwide. The balance of power is changing in Europe, and the fallout will have prophesied global effects of massive proportions!

Since the European Community’s inception, joint Franco-German leadership has been taken as a given. France wanted to keep a close eye on Germany to ensure that nation would never repeat its incursions across France’s borders such as had occurred in 1871, 1914 and 1939. The postwar French view was that Germany was slated to take on the role of the economic engine of Europe, while being marginalized from direct political influence. France was to take the lead European political role. It seemed an ideal arrangement to the Western allies.

Things continued in that preordained manner till two major disruptions began to fracture this arrangement.

The first was the implosion of the Soviet Union, which had two effects: the reunification of Germany in 1990, and the resurgence of Roman Catholicism in post-Communism Eastern Europe.

The second disruption occurred when economic crisis struck Europe in 2008. All of a sudden, Germany, by far Europe’s most powerful economy, found a political voice to match its economic weight.

Using the economic crisis as the catalyst, Germany started to call the tune Europe-wide. This it has done to its own mighty advantage by promulgating policies that are leaving EU nations largely subject to diktats from Germany’s political power base in Berlin and its financial base at the European Central Bank (ecb) in Frankfurt.

A third catalyst now works to change the whole balance of power in Europe: the failure of Nicolas Sarkozy to gain reelection in the French presidential elections over the weekend. This will prove to be a watershed event in not only Franco-German relations, but in Berlin’s political relationship with the EU.

Gone is the lynchpin partnership that held the EU together since the Treaty of Rome established the European Community in 1957. The German chancellor has quickly moved to align herself with Rome through her overtures to Italy’s Prime Minister Monti as a replacement for her old EU political partner Nicolas Sarkozy.

In place of the Franco-German alliance as of this moment is a new partnership. In reality it is none other than the resurrection of the old Berlin-Rome Axis of 1939.

To think of that old Axis being resurrected—given its historically destructive consequences of just 70 years ago—is a fearful thing indeed!

Yet this is the reality. And it was all prophesied in your Bible millennia ago!

Back in 1954, Herbert Armstrong declared: “Nothing can prevent Germany from completely dominating Europe. Soon there will be the prophesied United Europe—the resurrected Roman Empire—with Germans in complete domination. It’s prophesied! It is hurling on toward the destruction of America and Britain” (co-worker letter, Sept. 18, 1954).

Three years later he wrote: “No one else is telling what prophecy says Germany and fascism in Europe are starting under cover. You’ll soon see it—the United States of Europe—the resurrected Roman Empire!!” (ibid, Nov. 20, 1957).

No-one else was!

Herbert Armstrong was the lone voice crying out in a wilderness of confusion and declaring to the world the sure prophecies of God! Declaring decades ago that a final resurrection of the old Holy Roman Empire would arise to powerfully disrupt the world again!

In 1978, Mr. Armstrong specifically declared, “Undoubtedly Germany will head the new resurrected ‘Holy Roman Empire’” (ibid, Aug. 14, 1978).

One year later, in the January 1979 Plain Truth magazine, he published an article declaring emphatically:

I have been proclaiming and writing, ever since 1935, that the final one of the seven eras of the Holy Roman Empire is coming in our generation—a “United States of Europe,” combining 10 nations or groups of nations in Europe—with a union of church and state!The nations of Europe have been striving to become reunited. They desire a common currency, a single combined military force, a single united government. They have made a start in the Common Market. They are now working toward a common currency. Yet, on a purely political basis, they have been totally unable to unite.In only one way can this resurrected Holy Roman Empire be brought to fruition—by the “good offices” of the Vatican, uniting church and state once again, with the Vatican astride and ruling (Revelation 17:1-5).

That prophesied union of church and state could not effectively emerge till the Franco-German bloc was broken and a new balance of power established in Europe—a Berlin-Rome axis! Just such an axis emerged recently with Chancellor Merkel’s capitulation to Rome’s behest on her policy regarding the handling of Europe’s economic crisis.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and European Central Bank head Mario Draghi are of the same Jesuit mind in their approach to the crisis. Merkel’s joining forces with them places the control of the EU’s purse strings—plus the influence of Europe’s dominant political power, Germany—directly under Rome’s influence.

To adapt a famous statement of Winston Churchill’s to the fulfillment of the prophesied resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, this newly forming Berlin-Rome axis is not the end-fulfillment of the great prophecies relating to this event, but it has every indication of being “the end of the beginning”!

Chancellor Merkel has lost significant face with the demise of her endorsed candidate for France’s presidential elections. Her Christian Democratic Union/Federal Democratic Party coalition continues to lose power at state and parliamentary levels in ongoing state elections in Germany. As per the trend over the past year, her coalition lost further ground in the weekend elections in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

With the Rome-Berlin axis now in place, with a Bavarian pope at the helm in the Vatican engaged in a great crusade of “new evangelization,” with Rome’s men at the head of both the ecb and the Vatican’s home base nation, Italy, all that remains to complete the prophetic picture in Europe is for the new “Charlemagne” to arise and pull together the final prophesied 10-nation combine under the “super-president” office as proposed by the Berlin Group.

Is this indeed the formula that will catalyze the ultimate fulfillment of some of the most powerful Bible prophecies for our time?

Those prophecies foretell of great devastation to be brought upon the Anglo-Saxon nations in the wake of this seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!

These most recent dynamic events in Europe indicate more than ever that, even as Jesus Christ declared of these times we are living through, it’s time to “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).