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German election: first assessment – Germany shifts right

Rise in AfD and fall in support for establishment parties puts German stability in question

Alexander Mercouris

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Though the final result has not yet been confirmed statements from German political leaders – including Merkel herself, who has spoken of a ‘disappointing’ result for the CDU/CSU – suggest that the final outcome will differ little from that suggested by the exit polls.

The final outcome of the election is therefore an end to the ‘grand coalition’ between Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the left wing SPD, which has suffered one of the worst electoral results in its history, but with the CDU/CSU almost certainly lacking enough support to form a majority coalition in the Bundestag with the FDP.

Since bringing either the right wing AfD or the left wing Left Party into the ruling coalition is categorically ruled out – and would be rejected by those parties if it were ever offered to them – that means that the only chance of a majority coalition is one which includes the Green Party.

Such a coalition would be difficult to achieve.  The Green Party emerged in the 1980s as an anti-establishment leftist party well to the left of the SPD.  Whilst it has long since put its origins behind it – today it is very much a part of the German establishment and is indeed by many measures the most pro-US, ‘liberal interventionist’ and anti-Russian party in Germany – much of its electoral support continues to be drawn on the basis of its old anti-establishment past.  How its supporters will react to it entering into a coalition with the arch-establishment CDU/CSU and FDP remains to be seen, and as of the time of writing it is not a foregone conclusion that this will happen.

Needless to say, if a coalition with the Greens cannot be patched up, Germany’s future CDU/CSU/FDP government will lack a majority in the Bundestag, making it even less stable that it would be with the Greens in the coalition, and even less likely to forge ahead with fundamental changes to Germany’s established positions.

The inescapable fact of the German election is that Germany has shifted decisively to the right.  The only two parties which have achieved gains in the election are the AfD, which by German standards is right wing, and the FDP, which is centre-right.

By contrast the traditional standard bearer of the left – the SPD – has fallen back, as has the CDU/CSU at the centre.

The right wing shift has however proved insufficient to dethrone the CDU/CSU from its position at the heart of German politics, increasing the sense of paralysis which is at the heart of Germany’s problems.

That means that some of the changes some people have been willing on Germany are now all but impossible.

With the ruling coalition lacking a stable majority even if the Greens can be induced to join it, and with a strong anti-EU party in the form of the AfD now in the Bundestag and threatening the CDU in its conservative heartlands, it beggars belief that Germany will for example agree to the sort of all-embracing changes to the EU institutions demanded by French President Macron.

Needless to say any prospect of a softening of the German line towards Britain with regard to Brexit, or towards Greece in relation to its bailout, can now be ruled out.

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samo war
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samo war

&

DS Analysis
Guest
DS Analysis

The war is lost. The US is doing what the Nazis did in Berlin. They are killing for no reason. Prolonging the killing. Fuck them and they can go to hell

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

The SPD is a neoliberal right-wing party all right, masquerading as a center-leftist social-democratic one. Ditto for the Green Party (unlike the Greens in the US, for example).

DS Analysis
Guest
DS Analysis

The top 2 parties are center left globalist puppets who take their order from DC. One fakes left, one fakes right. Same as the whole of western Europe, Canada, Australia, Scandinavia also.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

SPD is not center-leftist or anything leftist. Most of the political spectrum in Germany and elsewhere has moved towards the neoliberal right so that neoliberal policies won’t be perceived as the purview of a certain party or coalition, but as a product of consensus between all the ”respectable” and somber democratic parties of the ”Left” and the Right.

DS Analysis
Guest
DS Analysis

These NGO’s who are illegally ferrying illiterate subsistence farmers away from their communities where they are needed and dumping them into the streets of Europe, are doing it at the behest of DC. The whole goal here and of the Ukraine war is to weaken Europe. It was getting too strong.

A guest worker program with a path to citizenship is how you move people. Not through migration anarchy.

Anyway Merkel lost some power but NOT NEARLY ENOUGH. THIS IS SICK ! THIS IS A POLITICAL FAILURE.

Le Ruse
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Le Ruse

Mutti, still in charge…More refugees coming to Mutti ??

JNDillard
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JNDillard

Mercouris is correct: Germany is shifting to the right. This is likely to continue as the US/Atlanticist umbrella which has shielded Germans since WWII is shredded. Add to that the prospect of a long-overdue world-wide depression and you have more reason for a conservative shift. There are, however, two possible mitigating factors: the first is the likelihood that the worst of the influx of immigation, from which the AfD draws most of its strength, is over, meaning the AfD has probably peaked. The second is Chinese/Russian One Belt One Road. Germany is basically run by its industrial base and its… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Angela Merkel CDU-CSU coalition lost 10 points, . compared to the previous election, won with 42.5%, meaning they lost 25% of voters. Besides, she has no partners to put up a coalition in order to govern, which must have at least 51% of the Bundestag. That only proves what a sinister joke the “democracy” is, when a leader with a third of popular approval can impose her will on a whole people and country. The same with Macron in France, where his support was only of 23% in the first round. The second barely counts, because is not based on… Read more »

Keith Smith
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Keith Smith

This is pretty big, 13% of the total vote for the far right is v similar to the numbers UKIP got in 2015 GE. Will the momentum of nationalism be halted here again tho?

hvaiallverden
Guest
hvaiallverden

Wanna bet on any “change”, huh, I bet that absolutely, definitively, and by all historical preferences that nothing, absolutely nothing will change, and this “alt-right” is an scam, and one must never forget Germany is occupied territory where the inhabitants have nothing to say, what so ever.
Merkel is an Israeli bitch, along with the other rotten heap of shit called Trumpstein.

peace

Peaceful Prosperity
Guest
Peaceful Prosperity

There are some troubling news about the Afd from Aangirfan blogger, maybe it’s all just “smokes and mirrors”:

Alice Weidel, worked for Goldman Sachs, is openly gay, is apparently of Jewish origin, “employed a Syrian asylum seeker at her home in Switzerland.”
AfD candidates “claim they are the real defenders of Jews against reactionary Muslim fundamentalists.”

I guess will see who they really are soon…

Marc Leif
Guest
Marc Leif

Very true. Internet censorship is coming very, very fast. The “West” will be locked up behind a “silicon curtain.”

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Just because the CDU/CSU and SPD lost voters doesn’t mean a shift to the right. Yes, the AfD comes into the Bundestag, but all other parties stayed about the same, with the FDP back on the scene. The AfD came in with a little over 12% – so this number does NOT represent a shift to the right. However, it will be very interesting to see how all this develops. There is big discord within the ranks of the AfD.

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Trump witch hunt dots connected: CNN to Steele to John McCain (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss documents released which show that Christopher Steele admitted to using posts by ‘random individuals’ on the CNN community website ‘iReport’ in order to back up his fabricated Trump dossier.

President Trump took note of Steele’s use of CNN citizen journalist posts, in a twitter tirade that blasted the British ex-spy for running with unverified community generated content from a now now-defunct ‘iReports’ website as part of his research.

Trump the proceeded to rip into late neocon Arizona Senator John McCain, tweeting that it was “just proven in court papers” that “last in his class” McCain sent the Steele’s dossier to media outlets in the hopes that they would print it prior to the 2016 US election.

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Via The Daily Caller

A federal court unsealed 43 pages Thursday of a deposition that former British spy Christopher Steele gave as part of a lawsuit over his infamous anti-Trump dossier.

To the disappointment of many observers, the full deposition was not unsealed in Thursday’s motion. Instead, portions of Steele’s interview, which he gave in London on July 13, 2018, were unsealed in separate court filings submitted in the lawsuit.

Steele’s full deposition totaled 145 pages. The portions published Thursday focus mainly on questions about the dossier’s claims about Aleksej Gubarev, a tech executive who Steele alleges took part in the hacking of Democrats’ computer systems.

Gubarev has vehemently denied the claim and sued Steele and BuzzFeed News, which published the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017.

U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, who handled the lawsuit, ordered a slew of previously sealed documents to be made public Thursday. Ungaro dismissed the lawsuit on Dec. 19 but did not weigh in on whether the dossier’s claims about Gubarev were accurate.

It is unclear whether Steele’s entire deposition will be released. A source familiar with Steele’s interview tempered expectations of any bombshells in the document, saying that Steele avoided going into detail about his efforts to create the dossier and his sources.

A deposition given by former State Department official David Kramer was perhaps the most enlightening document contained in the dump.

Kramer, a longtime associate of late Arizona Sen. John McCain, was BuzzFeed’s source for the dossier. Kramer shared the dossier with at least 11 other reporters, including CNN’s Carl Bernstein. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Gave Dossier To A Dozen Reporters)

Kramer obtained the dossier in late November 2016 after visiting Steele in London. Steele acknowledged that Kramer and McCain were picked as conduits to pass the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. McCain met with Comey on Dec. 9, 2016 and provided all of the dossier’s memos that had been written up to that point.

“I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack,” Kramer said in the deposition when asked why Steele and his business partners at Fusion GPS wanted McCain to meet with Comey.

Via Washington Examiner

Former British spy Christopher Steele admitted that he relied on an unverified report on a CNN website for part of the “Trump dossier,” which was used as a basis for the FBI’s investigation into Trump.

According to deposition transcripts released this week, Steele said last year he used a 2009 report he found on CNN’s iReport website and said he wasn’t aware that submissions to that site are posted by members of the public and are not checked for accuracy.

web archive from July 29, 2009 shows that CNN described the site in this manner: “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”

In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.

When asked if he discovered “anything of relevance concerning Webzilla” during the verification process, Steele replied: “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”

“I do not have any particular knowledge of that,” Steele said when asked what was his understanding of how the iReport website worked.

When asked if he understood that content on the site was not generated by CNN reporters, he said, “I do not.” He was then asked: “Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”

He was pressed on this further: “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”

When asked about his methodology for searching for this information, Steele described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”

Steele said his dossier contained “raw intelligence” that he admitted could contain untrue or even “deliberately false information.”

Steele was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Fusion GPS was receiving funding at the time from the Clinton campaign and the DNC through the Perkins Coie law firm.

The series of memos that Steele would eventually compile became known as the “Trump Dossier.” The dossier was used in FISA applications to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

When asked whether he warned Fusion GPS that the information in the dossier might be “Russian disinformation,” Steele admitted that “a general understanding existed between us and Fusion … that all material contained this risk.”

Steele also described his interactions with Sen. John McCain’s aide, David Kramer, whose own deposition showed that he provided BuzzFeed with a copy of the dossier and had spoken with more than a dozen journalists about it.

“I provided copies of the December memo to Fusion GPS for onward passage to David Kramer at the request of Sen. John McCain,” Steele said. “Sen. McCain nominated him as the intermediary. I did not choose him as the intermediary.”

When asked if he told Kramer that he couldn’t “vouch for everything that was produced in the memos,” Steele replied, “Yes, with an emphasis on ‘everything.'”

When asked why he believed it was so important to provide the dossier to Sen. McCain, Steele said: “Because I judged it had national security implications for the United States and the West as a whole.”

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Trudeau’s Top Bureaucrat Unexpectedly Quits Amid Growing Corruption Scandal

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

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Via Zerohedge


Since it was exposed by a report in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this month, the scandal that’s become known as the SNC-Lavalin affair has already led to the firing of several of Trudeau’s close advisors and raised serious questions about whether the prime minister was complicit in pressuring the attorney general to offer a deferred prosecution agreement with a large, Quebec-based engineering firm.

And according to the first round of polls released since the affair exploded into public view…

…it could cost Trudeau his position as prime minister and return control to the conservatives, according to the CBC.

Campaign Research showed the Conservatives ahead with 37% to 32% for the Liberals, while both Ipsos and Léger put the margin at 36% to 34% in the Conservatives’ favour.Since December, when both polling firms were last in the field, the Liberals have lost one point in Campaign Research’s polling and four percentage points in the Ipsos poll, while the party is down five points since November in the Léger poll.

Meanwhile, as the noose tightens around Trudeau, on Monday another of the key Canadian government officials at the center of the SNC-Lavalin scandal has quit his post.

Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy council, the highest-ranking position in Canada’s civil service and a key aide to Justin Trudeau, announced his retirement Monday. Trudeau named Ian Shugart, currently deputy minister of foreign affairs, to replace him.

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

“It is now apparent that there is no path for me to have a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the leaders of the opposition parties,” he said, citing the need for impartiality on the issue of potential foreign interference. According to Bloomberg, the exact date of his departure is unclear.

As we reported in February, Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, quit following allegations that several key Trudeau government figures pressured her to intervene to end a criminal prosecution against Montreal-based construction giant SNC. Wernick was among those she named in saying the prime minister’s office wanted her to pursue a negotiated settlement.

Wernick has since twice spoken to a committee of lawmakers investigating the case, and during that testimony both defended his actions on the SNC file and warned about the risk of foreign election interference, as “blame Putin” has become traditional Plan B plan for most politicians seeing their careers go up in flames.

“I’m deeply concerned about my country right now, its politics and where it’s headed. I worry about foreign interference in the upcoming election,” he said in his first appearance before the House of Commons justice committee, before repeating the warning a second time this month. “If that was seen as alarmist, so be it. I was pulling the alarm. We need a public debate about foreign interference.”

Because somehow foreign interference has something to do with Wenick’s alleged corruption.

Incidentally, as we wonder what the real reason is behind Wernick’s swift departure, we are confident we will know soon enough.

Anyway, back to the now former clerk, who is meant to be non-partisan in service of the government of the day, also criticized comments by a Conservative senator and praised one of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers.

Wernick’s testimony was criticized as overly cozy with the ruling Liberals. Murray Rankin, a New Democratic Party lawmaker, asked the clerk how lawmakers could “do anything but conclude that you have in fact crossed the line into partisan activity?” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said he seemed “willing to interfere in partisan fashion for whoever is in power.”

Whatever Wernick’s true motives, he is the latest but not last in what will be a long line of cabinet departures as the SNC scandal exposes even more corruption in Trudeau’s cabinet (some have ironically pointed out that Canada’s “beloved” prime minister could be gone for actual corruption long before Trump). Trudeau had already lost a top political aide, Gerald Butts, to the scandal. A second minister, Jane Philpott, followed Wilson-Raybould in quitting cabinet.

Separately, on Monday, Trudeau appointed a former deputy prime minister in a Liberal government, Anne McLellan, as a special adviser to investigate some of the legal questions raised by the controversy. They include how governments should interact with the attorney general and whether that role should continue to be held by the justice minister.

As Bloomberg notes, the increasingly shaky Liberal government hasn’t ruled out helping SNC by ordering a deferred prosecution agreement in the corruption and bribery case, which centers around the company’s work in Moammar Qaddafi’s Libya. Doing so would allow the company to pay a fine and avoid any ban on receiving government contracts. That decision is up to the current attorney general, David Lametti; of course, such an action would only raise tensions amid speculation that the government is pushing for a specific political, and favorable for Trudeau, outcome.

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France To Ban Yellow Vest Protests In Neighborhoods With “Ultra” Radicals

Philippe added that he has asked the State Judicial Agent to “systematically seek the financial responsibility of troublemakers.”

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Via Zerohedge


France is cracking down on “yellow vest” protesters following a weekend of renewed violence – as the Macron administration announced on Monday that it would ban demonstration in several areas of france – including the Champs Elysees in Paris, if “ultra elements” are present, according to Interior Minister Edouard Philippe.

‘We will ban demonstrations if ultra elements’ are present, said Philippe, according to CNEWS.

The ban will apply to “neighborhoods that have been most affected as soon as we have knowledge of” the “ultras.”

“I am thinking of course the Champs-Elysees in Paris, the place Pey-Berland in Bordeaux, the Capitol Square in Toulouse”, Philippe added, where “we will proceed to the immediate dispersal of all groups.

Philippe added that he has asked the State Judicial Agent to “systematically seek the financial responsibility of troublemakers.”

Saturday marked a significant escalation in violence during the group’s 18th straight week of protests – which began as a revolt against a climate-change gas tax and expanded into a general anti-government movement.

As we noted on Sunday, the riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

Sounds like things are about to get a lot more violent in Gay Paree.

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