European Council President Calls on Europe to Switch to a War Economy

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via Mike Shedlock

As a way to create jobs, EC President Charles Michel promotes a war economy. Where that would lead is obvious. I have a suggestion.

Michel’s Rosy War Economy

Eurointelligence discusses Michel’s Rosy War Economy

What Michel wants concretely is EU targets to buy twice as much weapons from European defence producers by 2030; to use the profits from Russian frozen assets to finance weapons purchases for Ukraine; to facilitate financial access for European defence industry, including by issuing a European defence bond and getting the European Investment Bank to add defence purposes to its lending criteria. Michel sells it to us as a way to create jobs and growth. It is to provide more clarity to companies with multi-annual defence contracts to increase their capacities. And by investing in defence industry, the EU is boosting its technology and innovation, a confident Michel reassures us.

What Michel talks about is not a European Union we recognise any more – nor one that would work in practice. Perhaps that will be Vladimir Putin’s greatest triumph that he changed the DNA of our union.

The attempt to base economic integration and economic stimulus on defence creates precedents. If we build up a defence industry, we need conflicts to feed them. Beyond Ukraine, will we do the same for Georgia? Would we want our economy to depend on wars in Africa to prop up our GDP growth data? If the US decides to retreat, does that mean we need to pick up where the US left?

Michel wants a geopolitical Europe, and finishes his letter with the familiar cold war phrase that if you want peace you need to prepare for war. This is not a cold war but a hot war in Ukraine. Are those weapons in Michel’s war economy to speak for our failures in diplomacy? What is our historic contribution to this conflict? Should we not start from there?

The language Michel uses is dramatic and dangerous. Some of our older citizens still remember what it means to live in a war economy. Michel’s loose talk is disrespectful. And it is insincere to suggest that we need a war economy to help Ukraine. He focusses on the bright side of this war, the solidarity the EU shows with Ukraine and the economic growth that could come from an increasingly thriving defence economy. Michel is deliberately ignoring the dark side of this war, with the many tough life-and-death decisions to be taken. Just look at Israel to see where this has gone.

Is Michel acting alone, or is he building a case for leaders like Emmanuel Macron or the next European parliament? Macron recently talked about European troops in Ukraine and a defence union. We think this loose and un-coordinated talk is careless. It gives rise to fear narratives that the public is not in the position to judge within a rational framework. It does not solve the more fundamental disagreements amongst European countries either. Then there is the European Parliament which is expected to swing further to the right after the elections in June. We have to resist the temptation to reduce our policy options to defence-only. Europe will need to a lot more, in terms of diplomacy especially, to become a geopolitical player in its own right.

Loose, Uncoordinated, Careless, and Cheered

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Asinine Comment Department

Zelensky: “The war will not be over as long as Crimea is occupied.”

How many more Ukrainians will die as a result of Zelensky’s asinine policy statement.

The war will end when people decide enough is enough. And it will not be with Ukraine controlling Crimea.

A negotiated settlement is political and economic reality. Neither side will win. This has nothing to do with liking Putin, and I don’t.

With that, let’s return to reality.

European Parliament Polls in France

EP France Polls from Wikipedia

Marine Le Pen’s National Rally is clobbering Renew/Modem by a whopping 12 percentage points, 30-18. This is France only, not the entire parliament, but it reflects on Macron’s sinking popularity and the sinking centrists in general.

Composition of French Seats

Renew and the greens are going to get clobbered in France. The winner will be National Rally. The Greens will get clobbered everywhere.

Solidarity With Ukraine

Solidarity with Ukraine is drying up everywhere. Support is “so deep” that in the EU it died over wheat. Seriously.

How Ukraine Overcame Russia’s Grain Blockade

On February 27, 2024, the Council on Foreign Affairs explained How Ukraine Overcame Russia’s Grain Blockade

One might have thought that would lead to cheers everywhere. But something else happened.

Grain Sabotage by Polish Farmers

Please consider Ukraine Grain Tensions Rise After Sabotage by Polish Farmers.

A backlash against cheap imports has resulted in 160 tonnes of Ukrainian grain being deliberately spilt in Poland amid large-scale protests in the country against what farmers describe as unfair competition.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov, described Sunday’s destruction of the corn near a Polish railway station – the fourth such incident in recent months – as an act of “impunity and irresponsibility”.

Sharing pictures of mounds of grain spilt from train wagons, he wrote on X: “These pictures show 160 tonnes of destroyed Ukrainian grain. The grain was in transit to the port of Gdansk and then to other countries.

“The fourth case of vandalism at Polish railway stations. The fourth case of impunity and irresponsibility.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later warned: “If steps to solve the problem with Poland at the border are not found, we will protect our business.”

Solidarity with Ukraine is so deep that Zelenskyy is warning Poland “we will protect our business.”

It’s not just Poland. Farmers across the EU are hopping mad over Ukrainian wheat and corn.

Europe’s Support for Ukrainian Wheat Gets Farmers Even Angrier

Bloomberg reports Europe’s Support for Ukrainian Wheat Gets Farmers Even Angrier

A move by the EU this week to extend free trade measures with Ukraine has poured fuel on the already growing frustration among grain producers from Poland to France. A provisional deal early on March 20 to suspend duties and quotas for another year means Ukraine would be able to continue to sell wheat in the common market of 27 European countries.

Ukraine is only one of the worries for European farmers, and the country isn’t to blame for the tumble in wheat prices. Imports, though, have become a rallying point. The disquiet presents a challenge for politicians as they balance priorities at home with support for Kyiv against Russia’s invasion.

Poland, where farmers blocked more than 500 roads again this week, threatened to extend its grain ban and even halt flows of wheat to other countries in the EU. “We are flooded by Ukrainian grains, and the government needs to find a solution,” said OPZZ farming union leader Slawomir Izdebski.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron has made support for Ukraine central to his campaign to thwart the rise of the far right at European elections in June. His government has been working to appease farmers, rolling out concessions ranging from fuel costs to pesticides and green rules.

It appears Macron’s Green principles go as far as the European elections in June.

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His appeasement is far too little and far too late.

By the way, have any of these solidarity candidates thought through the idea of allowing Ukraine in the EU where it would be able to sell wheat freely?

Ukraine Won’t Win the War, It’s Time for a New Strategy

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is refusing to send Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

On March 16, I commented Ukraine Won’t Win the War, It’s Time for a New Strategy

SPD Now Openly Supports Partition of Ukraine

I do no not have details of that because it’s behind a paywall. But it is from Eurointelligence, a source I trust for accuracy, but not philosophically. The latter because it is very pro-EU, and I am not.

The political reality in the west is that political support for Ukraine aid is falling. In Germany barely half of the population supports weapon deliveries according to a recent poll. In Italy, support is even lower. With the return of fiscal austerity, support for Ukraine is starting to compete with domestic policies.

You might call the Congressional Republicans irresponsible. But they would not be doing this if a large majority of the US electorate supported Ukraine.

When total victory is no longer a realistic option, the second-best outcome is to avoid defeat.

There’s Solidarity, Then There’s Solidarity

Poll after poll shows support for Ukraine. Every one of then is flawed because they fail to ask “how much are you willing to pay.”

There’s solidarity in the EU, but it stops with wheat and weapons.

In the US, Biden is desperate for the war to go on. But he still has no goal. Is Biden’s goal the same as Zelensky’s: “The war will not be over as long as Crimea is occupied.”

We don’t know because Biden won’t say. Biden also will not say how much he is willing to commit. Is it another $150 billion or is it $1 trillion or more?

Lindsey Graham Tells Ukraine to Force More Young Men Into War With Russia

Political jackass Lindsey Graham travels to Kyiv and tells Ukraine to Force More Young Men Into War With Russia

Senator Graham visited Ukraine and made an ass of himself, proving he do so on multiple continents.

I have a suggestion that would fix the problem: Lindsey Graham should lead the charge along with EC President Charles Michel.

Meanwhile, prepare for carnage of the center, Greens, and warmongers in the next European Parliament elections.

 

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