News Archive – January 2015
UN backs AU force to fight Boko Haram – New Zimbabwe, Jan 31, 2015 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday welcomed an African Union proposal to set up a regional five-nation force of 7 500 troops to fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist militants.
U.S. passports on verge of elimination?
Soros-funded plan champions ‘North American Union’
WND, Jan 28, 2015 – A Soros-funded group arguing to replace the U.S. passport with a North American passport appears ready to take up the mantle of championing the concept of a European Union-style regional government to supersede the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico and Canada, fulfilling the dream of the late American University professor Robert Pastor.
UNASUR Court Could Aid Latin American Security
teleSUR, Jan 28, 2015 – An international criminal court run by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) could be key to the security and democracy of the region, Ecuadorean Attorney General Galo Chiriboga said Tuesday…. The politician explained that a UNASUR court would not be in competition with the International Criminal Court, and would deal with issues specifically affecting the region, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking.
Israel Interested in Free Trade with Eurasian Economic Union
Asbarez Armenian News, Jan 27, 2015 – “We are negotiating creation of a free trade zone, not accession to the Eurasian Union,” Liberman said, adding that Israel has a similar free trade zone with the European Union.
Iranian FM: EEU membership good for Iran-Armenia-Russia relations – ArmeniaNow, Jan 27, 2015 – Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) creates good opportunities for the development of Armenia-Iran relations, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif said on Tuesday,in Armenia during his on his official visit…. “We are using all opportunities to enlarge cooperation with Armenia, and the EEU is one of those opportunities.”
African States To Empower AU Court In Bid To Exit ICC
Citizen News (Kenya), Jan 27, 2015 – The African Union has moved to expand the powers of the existing African Court to also try international crimes following concerns that the International Criminal Court based at The Hague is targeting Africa and Africans. Leaders from the continent are expected to endorse the Malabo Protocol granting international criminal jurisdiction to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.
Tripartite free trade area in Africa to launch in May: AU official
Shanghai Daily (China), Jan 28, 2015 – A senior official of African Union (AU) said Tuesday the long-awaited tripartite free trade area between three regional blocs is expected to be launched in May in Cairo, Egypt…. She announced that the commission is striving towards providing a common AU passport to facilitate a continental free movement of people across the borders of the respective African countries which will enhance trade within Africa.
Strong ASEAN key to regional integration, says Deputy PM
VietnamNet Bridge, Jan 27, 2015 – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh stressed that
Minh told Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland last week that vibrant ASEAN economies would help sustain economic growth in Asia and promote regional connectivity. The Deputy PM called for ASEAN to focus on boosting integration within the bloc and the competitiveness of the ASEAN community to enable members to benefit more from regional integration.
EURASIAN UNION, EUROPEAN UNION:
Armenia wary of new Russo-Turkish alliance
ArmeniaNow, Jan 26, 2015 – Several years ago Putin initiated the project of the Eurasian Union…. Over the weekend, Erdogan issued an ultimatum to the European Union. “We are testing Europe. Will Europe be able to digest and to accept Turkey, whose people are Muslims?” …. Erdogan emphasized that if Turkey is not admitted to the EU, it will go its own way. Will there be a new alliance between Turkey and Russia…?
Greece Must Repay Debt, European Officials Say
Europe Holds Firm on Greek Bailout Terms
Nasdaq, Jan 26, 2015 – Europe’s political establishment moved quickly to douse hopes it would substantially relax the terms of Greece’s bailout after antiausterity leftists swept to power in the country’s national election, insisting that Athens honor its commitments. European officials tried to balance a display of respect for the will of the Greek people on Monday, while also stressing that a change in government wouldn’t upend the rescue framework that many Greeks blame for their country’s deep malaise.
AirAsia CEO calls for single aviation authority in ASEAN
Zee News (India), Jan 25, 2015 – “I think that goes across not just aviation, (but) across everything. If ASEAN is to be a common market, investors have to see us as a common market, which means one approving authority – you get one license to operate in ten countries. I point that as a point from aviation,” Fernandes told Channel NewsAsia at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum here.
Malaysia confident ASEAN will be economic community in 2015
San Luis Obispo Tribune | Associated Press, Jan 22, 2015 – Mohamed sought to “demolish” the impression that the new economic community will resemble the European Union, a single market that allows the free flow of capital and labor across borders. “Yes we are going to declare ourselves a community. But what we mean is that ASEAN countries will be more integrated, ASEAN has the objective of a freer flow of goods and services,” he said. “But it is certainly different from what is happening in Europe.”
The European Economic Community (EEC) began in 1958 with the intention of being dissolved into the European Union, which began with the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, at which time the EEC was renamed the European Community (EC) until it was abolished in 2009.
We’re ready for business, PM tells foreign firms
Free Malaysia Today, Jan 22, 2015 – DAVOS (Switzerland): Prime Minister Najib Razak will kick-off his first day at the 45th World Economic Forum with a message to investors that Malaysia was ready for business…. Being the Asean chairman, certainly all eyes at WEF will be on him to see the determination, as well as, the framework that the prime minister was going to lay out especially towards boosting measures in making the Asean Economic Community (AEC) a reality.
EURASIAN UNION, EUROPEAN UNION:
Europe Appeals to Putin’s Ego As it Seeks Peace in Ukraine
Time, Jan 22, 2015 – Jose Manuel Barroso, whose ten-year term as the E.U.’s most senior official ended in October, also brought up the idea of the Eurasian and European Unions forming a brotherly bond. “Why can’t we do it with the Eurasian Union? We want to do it,” he said in Davos on Thursday, referring to Putin’s grand plan. “Can we one day have this dream? I spoke several times with President Putin about that, from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Can it happen? I believe it can happen.” ….Much more likely, the West simply needed a carrot to dangle in front of Russia, and a way to coax a change in Putin’s thinking on Ukraine.
China and Switzerland to sign mega currency trade agreement at Davos
Examiner.com, Jan 21, 2015 – This move by Switzerland comes one week after the banking nation de-pegged itself from the Euro, and who is now appearing to be reaching out towards the emerging Eurasian Economic Union and Chinese expansion of free trade and banking. In fact, several members of the Eurozone including Germany and Britain have already established currency swap lines with China, with London facilitating the first offshore bond market for Yuan denominated instruments.
Davos 2015: Jacob Zuma’s address to SA Business Delegation
BizNews, Jan 22, 2015 – Regional integration continues to be the key phrase as we promote the competitiveness of the continent…. We are also exploring measures to promote industrialization and regional integration which include the relaxation of customs and tax regulations that will assist with expediting and facilitating the movement of goods and services within the region. Significant progress has been achieved on the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area which includes the Southern African Development Community Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the East African Community.
European democracy is coming to a boil
Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 19, 2015 – The…European Court of Justice had issued a ruling that, in effect, said the European Union had sovereignty over its 28 member states: “It seems all but an impossible task to preserve this union, as we know it today, if it is to be made subject to … the discretion of each of the member states”.
This sweeping reach for legal primacy was contained in a ruling that found the European Central Bank had not broken its EU treaty obligations by printing money to buy distressed sovereign bonds of Italy and Spain…. The first political blowback to the power of the EU superstate will come on January 25, when Greece holds an election.
Euro Back in Davos Focus as First ECB Then Greece Decides – Businessweek, Jan 19, 2015 – The first of this year’s election battles will be in Greece, the euro-zone’s original problem child. Voting takes place Jan. 25 with Syriza leading in opinion polls after five years of fiscal austerity and with unemployment still north of 25 percent. The party is pledging to ease the budget squeeze on which international aid depends and seek a writedown on some of the country’s debt. That would put it on a collision course with the so-called troika of creditors including the ECB [European Central Bank], which have kept the country afloat with 240 billion euros ($277 billion) of loans pledged since 2010.
EURASIAN UNION, EUROPEAN UNION:
Russia takes advantage of EU financial crisis to offer Greece a chance to defect
Examiner.com, Jan 18, 2015 – But while nations like Germany, Britain, and France take a long hard look at being forced to endure an environment of massive money printing, over in Russia they are seeing this turmoil as a chance to use this financial crisis to put a crack in the EU coalition as on Jan. 16 the Eurasian power offered the beleaguered nation of Greece a way out of their own financial straits if they voluntarily leave the EU and sign on with the new Eurasian Economic Union.
AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
A multi-national force will defeat Boko Haram – Mahama
GhanaWeb, Jan 18, 2015 – …ECOWAS has requested that the next African Union (AU) meeting in Addis Ababa must include a special session on terrorism. This will enable West African leaders to seek authority to create the multi-national force to help combat the operations of Boko Haram.
Now is the time for the Africa High Command – GhanaDot.com, Jan 18, 2015 – President Mahama’s request encapsulates the Africa High Command (AHC) idea that Nkrumah had proposed for the continent. For reward, Nkrumah was denounced for his “inordinate ambition” and accused of wanting to be the president of all Africa! ….Ironically, Nigeria had opposed the AHC concept in 1965, mainly on the grounds of sovereignty.
Full steam ahead
ConstructionWeekOnline, Jan 17, 2015 – The GCC’s ambitious plans to deliver a 2,177km network linking all six states will be delivered by the end of 2018, Gulf Cooperation Council secretary-general HE Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani told the GCC Metro and Rail conference in Muscat last week.
Kuwait & Bahrain Push for Gulf Alliance – North Africa Post, Jan 16, 2015 – The leaders of Kuwait and Bahrain, members of the Six Nations Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), have renewed their resolve to work for the consolidation of the gulf alliance…. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have agreed to go ahead with the project of transforming the Gulf group into a powerful regional bloc like the European Union. Riyadh spearheads the gulf union project because it believes that it is high time to move to a closer alliance evolving “from a phase of cooperation to a phase of union within a single entity”.
Turkey aims to mend ties with Armenia
Al-Monitor, Jan 15, 2015 – At the latest Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) summit held in Minsk, Armenia became a regular member of the organization, joining Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Kyrgyzstan will officially join the EEU in May…. Although there is a prevailing perception that the EEU is a project to resurrect the Soviet Union, Putin supported Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s recommendation to make Turkey a member of the EEU.
FFA encourages Solomons to comply with EU regulation
Radio New Zealand, Jan 16, 2015 – The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency has reminded the Solomon Island government of their duties in regards to illegal fishing. FFA Director General James Movick met with Prime Minister Manesseh Sogavare and told him the agency adds its voice to concerns raised over certification of illegal fishing and says any country engaged in tuna export must fully comply with European Union requirements.
ARAB LEAGUE, EUROPEAN UNION:
Can the EU be a role model for
the Islamic world?
Morocco World News, Jan 14, 2015 – The visa requirement must be abolished, and steps must be taken toward establishing a model based on the EU. It will not be hard to initiate a brand new and dynamic integration with new rules and regulations…. Such a rapprochement will make the political and economic structures of Arab societies more predictable and establish a more reliable climate for foreign investors. A union that includes such a broad spectrum can even become a trade giant that puts the EU in the shade.
IMF Advances Dialogue with Mideast Parliamentarians – International Monetary Fund, Jan 14, 2015 – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached out to parliamentarians from the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, sponsoring a seminar to foster greater understanding of the global and regional roles of the two institutions and exchange views on the economic issues facing the region. The seminar was held during December 2-4 at the IMF Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (CEF) in Kuwait City.
EURASIAN UNION, GCC
Saudi Arabia in oil-price war with Iran, Russia
WND, Jan 14, 2015 – Sources say the United States might even be colluding with Saudi Arabia to cause a dramatic drop in the international oil price in an effort to punish Russia not only for its support of rebels in Ukraine but for its backing of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as Iran…. The impact on possible Saudi manipulation of oil prices to impact the Russian economy also is having an effect on Putin’s plan to develop the Eurasian Economic Union, or EEU, in competition with the U.S. and the European Union.
EU Court Opinion Eases Way for More Eurozone Stimulus
ABC News, Jan 14, 2015 – A legal opinion issued Wednesday by an adviser to the European Union’s top court helps clear the way for bigger stimulus measures from the European Central Bank, analysts say…. The earlier bond purchase program, announced in 2012, helped calm market turmoil that was threatening to break up the euro bloc…. Opponents in Germany, however, challenged the program in court. They say the ECB overstepped its authority and violated a European Union treaty ban on the central bank directly helping governments.
NEW REGIONAL ORDER:
Ecuador Urges Asia-Pacific Forum to Favor Regional Co-op
Prensa Latina, Jan 13, 2015 – Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño today urged member countries of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum to strengthen regional cooperation as a way to change the current world order…. After calling for the elimination of the right to veto within the UN Security Council, Patino said the five powers with right to veto should be replaced by regional blocs like the European Union, the African Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) for the sake of true representation.
EU Considers Improved Russia Ties — Update
Nasdaq, Jan 13, 2015 – The European Union could significantly scale back sanctions and resume discussions with Russia on issues from visa-free travel, cooperation with the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union and the crisis in Libya, Syria and Iraq if Russia moves to end the crisis in eastern Ukraine, according to an EU discussion paper.
GCC moves WTO on customs union
Oman Tribune, Jan 12, 2015 – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has submitted an application to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) seeking international recognition for its customs union…. The customs union creates a common market out of the six states with common external tariff for goods imported into the GCC from outside. Revenues will be shared by the member states. For the outside world they can make a single point entry into the GCC market, be it by air, sea or land.
Despite oil plunge, no austerity yet for Gulf states – Trade Arabia, Jan 11, 2015 – The 55 per cent plunge of oil prices since last June might be expected to usher in an age of austerity in the Gulf, which faces a steep drop in its income. But austerity isn’t happening. The economic defences which the Gulf states built up after the global financial crisis five years ago, to cope with just such a drop in oil, are holding…. Some economists expect growth in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to accelerate this year.
Council of Europe says Turkey should take rightful place in EU
Daily Sabah (Turkey), Jan 8, 2014 – The secretary-general of the Council of Europe questioned the wisdom behind not allowing Turkey into the EU: ‘Who can say no to add 70-80 million new customers to the internal market?’ He also thanked Turkey for its financial contribution to the organization.
Mexican president offers Obama help with amnesty documents
Washington Times, Jan 6, 2014 – Mexico’s president told President Obama Tuesday that his government will supply the documents necessary for millions of illegal Mexican immigrants to prove they’ve been living in the U.S. prior to 2010, a move that will help them qualify for Mr. Obama’s recently announced deportation amnesty.
New driving licences to feature Union flag
ITV (UK), Jan 6, 2015 – Anyone applying for a new licence or changing their personal details will be issued with a licence showing the Union flag, the government has announced. It will appear alongside the European Union flag on licences issued in Wales, England and Scotland.
Parliament of Unasur takes shape
Los Tiempos (Bolivia), Jan 3, 2014 (Google Translate) – President Evo Morales yesterday inspected the construction of the Parliament of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) in the municipality of San Benito de Cochabamba and verified progress of work of 40 percent.
David Cameron twice refuses to rule out Ukip coalition
Prime minister declines to answer whether he would align with Ukip as Nigel Farage also refuses to rule out deal
The Guardian (UK), Jan 1, 2014 – Farage has said he would do a deal with the devil if it meant getting the UK out of the European Union. Pressed again on whether he would work with Cameron, Farage said: “I’m pretty clear I want my country back. I want us to be a self-governing nation. The big elephant in the room still is the fact that most of our legislation is not made in this country, it’s made somewhere else. I want our democracy back, I want control of our borders back….”
Let’s play ‘guess what Brussels is going to ban next’ – Express (London), Jan 3, 2015 – If you were playing it over Christmas and you had coffee percolators on the list then well done! As you’ve probably noticed to your surprise and delight, the European Commission has just decided that they are the new public enemy number one in the war on climate change…. In future, Brussels decrees, they must all be fitted with devices which stop them heating your coffee for more than five minutes.
EU ‘nanny-state’ rules again over our gadgets: Now Brussels tells us when to turn off TV – Express (London), Jan 2, 2015 – Brussels Eurocrats were accused of meddling last night after ordering that TVs and computers must switch off automatically…. They claim that electricity is being wasted while the owners are in bed.
Eurasian Economic Union is a reality
Vestnik Kavkaza (Russia), Jan 1, 2015 – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are stepping up to a new level of integration. Free movement of commodities, services, capital and the labour force has beer launched inside the EaEU countries. The sides should provide coordinated policy in key economic spheres. In 2016 they should establish a united market of medicines.