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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Recommended After the Brussels agreement, the tensions on the Middle Eastern chessboard require a Union ...

After the Brussels agreement, the tensions on the Middle Eastern chessboard require a political union

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To define the negotiation that ended in Brussels and that many have called "historic" as troubled, not because of the long and complex discussion that has developed between the parties, but for its conclusion, is perhaps euphemistic. Undoubtedly for Italy the package of loan and grant measures, excluding for now the funds accessible through the ESM, is well received. Having succeeded, the economist Giuseppe Pennisi noted with wit on Formiche, to finally achieve the coveted diploma of "poor" can - according to tastes or needs - be hailed as a great result.

However, pleasant or not, Italy - which remains the European country with the second largest manufacturing industry in Europe and the one with the highest private savings and lower personal debt - is now officially poor and will have to deal with a balance of spending public and harmonization of tax revenues - hitherto evaded and / or evaded by 51% of citizens who leave the greatest tax burden to pensioners and employees -.

The Government will have to combine the revenue policy with an incisive spending policy, because, beyond the goodwill of the contian task forces, 136 projects - never discussed by Parliament and by the economic and social partners in less folkloristic venues than improbable and unregulated General States - they cannot be achieved without a careful and rapid modification of a complex legislation which, beyond good intentions, has dramatically dilated the time required to complete any work.

The continuous reference to the example "Genoa", that is, the commissioner method, is a media operation. The Genoa bridge is badly made, not because it is badly built or because it is insecure, but because of an incorrect technical design that will oblige forever - if not at the cost of onerous work - at a speed of 50Km per hour, and perhaps on some occasions even lower weather conditions, due to a difference in height of the radii of curvature and slope between the bridge and the entrance to it from the existing highway lane. To meet different needs, those in charge of the work, together with the Commissioner, were highly committed to the problem, convinced that the rules governing buildings can be safely violated and if ever resolved in administrative terms. This story of the difference in altitude is not an arcane mystery, it is a well-known and underestimated media note, because otherwise the political power would have had to explain the reasons why those who build the roads starting from Anas were excluded from the construction of the new bridge but also by ASPI itself, to call to work a construction company, which is excellent as it is, like all construction companies, without exception "commissioner", must be technically directed and controlled in the execution of projects approved in a workmanlike manner , leaving the viewers perplexed, as we are, on the role of those who were called by the Commissarial power to cooperate in the construction, coming from the company, whose name we forgot, from the recent and for obvious reasons inexperienced filiation of another shipbuilding excellence, that naval. However this is not the theme, this is an exemplification of the problems to which solution must be paid attention.

What matters today is that the summit compromise between national interests in the sea of ​​mistrust that now separates southern and northern cicada states, by literal translation from the English Financial Time that holds the copyright, "frugal" - a term that has no the same sense of rightly thrifty that the word designates in Italian, but the most disturbing one of sparagnino bordering on avarice - and among the usual "frugal" and other northern countries, this time those of the Visegrad pact. In Brussels, the Germanic will to mediate has emerged yes, but behind the scenes, despite the formal role of President of the semester, for reasons that accord with his status as the first European economic power and difficult partner not only of the fickle Trump but, historically, of the United States.

A mediation made more complex by the particularly Dutch disappointment of those who for ten years have been the clear and objective ally of the Teutonic ordoliberalism and without warning has been downgraded to a profiteer of European commercial and non-political interests on their own. France has revealed the political role of those who want to show that after the severe blow of Brexit, no one, not even the candidate Netherlands with its tax systems that are openly competitive with their partners, will take London's place in defense of the financial and business interests from overseas.

However, always in Brussels, two actions related to each other and of great importance for the Union have emerged: the political families that historically govern the European States (popular, socialist and Labor, liberal) have shattered before the interests of their respective governments in which they participate and have not played a significant role in the negotiation; the European Parliament which is, according to the Treaty, a co-decision-making body in the legislative function, has consequently lost the value of initiative because, also for its regulations, it is guided through the systematic consultation of the Groups and not of the States. The Commission has lost several functions and the European Council has turned into what was previously hidden: the true decision-making and legislative center of the Union. A hope has opened up, which we hope will be an illusion, of many extra Europeans: a Europe divided by local interests will hardly know how to intervene as the main actor in the new building of the World Order and, in a separate way, the states will deal directly with the States. US.

It is not only the fact that, despite the indications of the Parliament that had legislated on a general budget of the Union of 1324 trillion and to which the Summit has cut 250 billion, but because it was canceled Neighborhood Instrument, Development and International Cooperation (NDICI), that is, the program to promote the values ​​and interests of the Union worldwide, designed to pursue the objectives and principles of the Union's external action, which formally falls under the competences of the Commission, and which are all limited or drastically reduced programs that from research to digitalization, to health, to strategic investments to convey resources for financial strategic works mainly aimed at supporting digital recovery that from the 30 billion that was worth at the beginning of the summit it ended up at 5,5 billion (InvestEU, the program inherited from the Junker plan).

Cuts and curtailments that directly influence the possible role, and like all probable and certainly not possible possibilities, of constituting regional sovereignty capable of developing an attractive peace policy for emerging countries and of mediation in the global competition that is now preparing to pass, according to some symptoms, from a slight infection to a more serious illness to be treated, if possible.

The EU Parliament took note of this, starting with those who represented the Commission on 23 July in the hemicycle to comment on the results of the Summit.

President Ursula von der Leyen, who brilliantly and effectively agreed with her compatriot Merkel, thus leaving her future possibilities in domestic politics intact, has indeed claimed that (the following text is the one made public by Brussels) yes European response avoided the reflections and mistakes of the past, gave an indication for the relaunch, that “we have reached a great watershed and we have overcome it by remaining united, but that Europe has not emerged from the impasse”. And the Assembly of the European Parliament voted on a document that suggests a possible veto: "The European Parliament" will not put its stamp on the fait accompli "and is" ready not to give its agreement to MFF 2021-27 until a satisfactory agreement will be reached in the negotiations between Parliament and the Council ”. And he recalls that "all 40 EU programs financed by the MFF must have the consent of the Parliament, as co-legislator". An agreement must be reached "by the end of October at the latest", to ensure the start of the programs from 2021 January 465 ". The resolution on the conclusions of the European Council was approved by the plenary with 150 votes in favor, 67 against and XNUMX abstentions

It should be emphasized that the political culture of pragmatic functionalism, according to which no state is allowed to win or lose too much immediately, is adequate, or bearable, when ordinary crises are experienced. Today the world, after the world crisis of "authoritarian" and global liberalism, well before the Coronavirus - which aggravated and made it evident - undergoes extraordinary inequalities both in highly developed countries and throughout the planet. We are making rapid stages towards a hard and unprecedented confrontation between two different and planetary conceptions of power and development, summarized summarily in the Sino-American competition, exacerbated by Russia's economic and existential crisis.

The need, in the global system of multinational sovereignties which has put the multilateral system in crisis, for a prudent and evolved, strong and autonomous participation of the European Union, is damaged by the "historical" results of the Summit.

Let's see in concrete terms, to understand how serious the absence of a European political decision is, in a moment of global crisis, what happened on 23 July 2020.

Egypt has allied itself with Athens in the clash with Erdogan. Last Sunday the Egyptian parliament gave the green light to possible military interventions. Athens, which feels, best knows, that it is not guaranteed by the NATO it belongs to, appears resolute in showing itself capable of a military response. Mitsotakis, also at the diplomatic level, has found bank in Egypt, which looks with great concern at the expansion of Turkish influence in the Mediterranean. Egyptian President Al Sisi who tries, with difficulty, to maintain the traditional role of mediation that Cairo has in the Islamic world, cannot give up on national interests, as demonstrated, moreover, by the clash with Ethiopia concerning the dam on the Nile. 

The Exclusive Economic Zone agreed by Tripoli and Ankara spills over into Egyptian waters. One reason that prompted Al Sisi to threaten an armed intervention in support of General Haftar if Serraj's troops go beyond Sirte. The first counter-move by Greece and Egypt seems to be an equal and opposite reaction. On July 17, the Greek ambassador in Cairo, Nikos Garilidis, told the newspaper Al Ahram that the two nations are "very, very close" to sign an agreement for an Exclusive Economic Zone which, map in hand, would cross almost right angle the one drawn by Libya and Turkey, creating a sort of St. Andrew's cross at the center of which there would be Crete and Kastellorizo, the islands whose waters are most threatened by Turkish expansionism. Nonetheless, Garilidis did not fail to offer an olive branch to his ancestral opponent, promising that if Turkey renounces its "Ottoman ideas", Athens will undertake to involve it in joint projects for the exploitation of Mediterranean resources, starting with gas. natural.

Russia and Turkey replied to the acceptance of the olive branch, to the Greek Egyptian declaration of common interests with a joint statement made public again on July 23 and reported by the AGI agency: "Libya: Turkey, ok, cease fire if Haftar leaves positions = Tripoli, July 23 - Turkey and Russia agreed yesterday to continue pushing for a ceasefire in Libya, but Ankara said that the leader of the Eastern forces is not a legitimate leader and that his forces must withdraw from key positions to carry out any credible agreement. The two countries are the main figures for the management of power in the conflict in Libya, where the opposing sides support. Russia supports Khalifa Haftar's eastern forces, while Turkey has helped the Tripoli-based National Agreement Government (GNA) to repel Haftar's attempt to attack the capital. (AGI). "

Meanwhile, on 23 July from Brussels, the President of the European People's Group (EPP) asked that the EU assess sanctions against Turkey. The usually well-informed Nova writes: “It is time for the European Union to act and assess whether to impose sanctions on Turkey. Weber then listed several Ankara actions that cause concern in the Mediterranean: "Turkey's military actions, decisions on Hagia Sophia, which is an example of religious chauvinism, as such a symbol and monument of peace and reconciliation is now changed" . "It's not just a Greek-Turkish or Turkish-Cypriot issue, it's a European-Turkish issue," Weber remarked, remarking that the EU must clearly take up the defenses of Athens and Nicosia. "Always referring to Nova as an accredited source, the German Weber, who certainly does not lack good relations with the Chancellor of his country, recalled that on 22 July Greece issued a warning signal to mariners, Navtex, in response to that issued in the Tuesday evening from Ankara concerning exploration activities of Turkish naval units in a stretch of sea between the islands of Cyprus and Crete. The Navtex issued by Greece yesterday morning from the Heraklion station in Crete, we learn from the European Parliament, defines the notice previously issued by Turkey as "unauthorized": "All sailors are asked not to respect Navtex (Turkish)", reads the notice issued by Greece. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Athens has criticized in the past few hours the Navtex sent by Ankara highlighting that in this way Turkey "persists in the violation of international legality". Athens has highlighted how, unlike what Ankara claims, the stretch of sea included in Navtex is part of the Greek continental shelf and the Turkish warning "represents an escalation of tensions in our region". The Greek Foreign Ministry also said that the Greek embassy in Ankara had sent a note of protest to Ankara's diplomacy: "We call on Turkey to immediately cease its illegal activities, which violate our sovereign rights and threaten peace and security in the region ”.

And that's not enough. From the Greek press we learn, on Thursday 23 July, that the Greek Armed Forces have been put on alert following the start of a seismic investigation campaign southeast of the Greek island of Castelrosso (Kastellorizo ​​in Greek, Corn in Turkish) , located just 4 kilometers from the Turkish coast, by the Turkish exploration ship Oruc Reis. The launch of the seismic investigation campaign had been announced in recent days by the Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez. The campaign will last until August 2nd. According to the Greek press, more activity has been observed in recent days at the Turkish naval base in Aksaz which has alarmed Athens and the Hellenic Navy. Following these developments, the Greek Defense Chief of Staff, Konstantinos Floros, anticipated his return from Cyprus. Also according to the Greek press, in the past few days two Turkish F-16 fighters would have entered the Greek aero space and flew over the islands of Strongyli and Megisti near Kastellorizo ​​at an altitude of 3.810 meters.

In recent days, during his visit to Athens, the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, declared that Turkey must stop its oil drilling campaigns to search for possible oil and gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean if it wants to make progress in the relations with the European Union. The statements by the German minister were intended as a response to the announcement made public last week by the head of Turkish diplomacy, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on the launch of a seismic research campaign in the eastern Mediterranean based on a maritime border demarcation agreement. , contested by the international community, with the Government of Libyan National Agreement (Gna). "Regarding Turkey's drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, we have a very clear position: international law must be respected, so progress in EU-Turkey relations is only possible if Ankara stops the provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Maas.

In order not to let a dangerous day for peace pass uselessly, we also report how a resolution, unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council, is being held in good consideration. In the resolution passed a few weeks ago and praised exclusively by the Vatican that announced it as good news in a papal Angelus, a moratorium on conflicts was recommended to bring assistance to the sick. Turkey has made public its ceasefire okay if Haftar leaves positions currently occupied. "We have just reached an agreement with Russia to work on a credible and sustainable ceasefire in Libya," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's chief security advisor, Ibrahim Kalin, told Reuters news agency. Kalin said any deal must be based on a return to what used to be Libyan borders in 2015, requiring Haftar's forces to withdraw from the Mediterranean city of Sirte, gateway to Libya's eastern oil fields, and Jufra, an air base. near the center of the country. "For the ceasefire to be sustainable, Jufra and Sirte should be evacuated by Haftar's forces," Kalin told Reuters in an interview with the presidential palace in Ankara. "

The United States claimed that Moscow sent warplanes to Jufra through Syria to support Russian mercenaries fighting alongside the Libyan national army in Haftar (LNA).

Although Moscow and the LNA both deny the use of mercenaries, while Egypt, which also supports the LNA, has threatened to send troops to neighboring Libya if the GNA and Turkish forces attempt to take over Sirte, sources trusted by the international information system tell a different story. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in London, also made it known on 23 July that Turkey has sent a new contingent of Syrian mercenaries to Libya to fight against Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there are now 16.500 Syrian fighters in Libya, including 350 minors, while 5.850 fighters have returned. According to the NGO, the death toll among Syrian fighters brought by Turkey to fight in Libya has reached 481, including 34 minors.

France has decided to move less secretly since it publicly supported Italy's weak activity in Tripoli and secretly spared no aid to Haftar, which however has the slight defect of having allied itself with Turkey which in turn causes accidents against oil exploration. of Paris in the Mediterranean.

French President Macron said it was a mistake to leave our security (French, European?) To other actors: "It is not acceptable that the maritime space of a Member State of our Union is violated or threatened," said the head of the French state in reference to Cyprus, explaining that anyone who does not respect these rules must be sanctioned. “It is the same sovereignty challenge we are facing in Libya. We cannot leave foreign powers there, whatever they are, to violate the arms embargo, "said the French president. The implementation of sanctions, according to Macron, "is the necessary condition for obtaining a ceasefire and embarking on a real dynamic towards a political resolution of the Libyan conflict". 

Of course, the President of Cyprus, Anastasiades, also on 23 July, defined France as a "ray of hope". Nicos Anastasiades, who met Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée, regretted the political absence of Europe and praised the active role assumed by France in the Eastern Mediterranean. According to the Cypriot president, quoted by the online edition of the Cyprus Mail newspaper: "the presence of the French Navy in our large geographical area demonstrates in practice the leading role and determination of France to act as a pillar of security and stability"; the Cypriot president praised ”the positions taken by Macron against Turkey's illegal actions in the Mediterranean and reiterated that the EU should not limit itself to making statements but should concretely support the member states. According to Anastasiades, the recent Turkish threats on the opening of Varosha in Famagusta, such as the actions of Ankara in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Greece, "demonstrate the absence of the EU". 

"Turkey has violated the sovereignty of Greece and Cyprus" reports the French press, also on 23 July, and as the German Martens asks for sanctions: "" I want to reiterate once again the full solidarity of France with Cyprus, but also with the Greece, faced with Turkey's violations of their sovereignty, "said Macron. “It is not acceptable that the maritime space of a member state of our Union is violated or threatened. Those who contribute to this must be sanctioned ". In the eastern Mediterranean, on energy and security issues "power struggles are at stake, especially in Turkey and Russia, which are becoming increasingly widespread and in front of which the European Union still weighs too little", he underlined Macron.

In short, after the historic victory of the Summit it is necessary to take note that, and for example only a critical situation that could lead to a serious conflict has been taken, perhaps it is necessary to work to strengthen the political union, at least for active consultation within a framework that NATO's current weakness, fueled by controversial US interests, is bleak.

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