Are Italian Pres. Mattarella and the NuVatican of One Mind?

Are Italian Pres. Mattarella and the NuVatican of One Mind?

Fatima Perspectives #1204

The situation now developing in Italy, whose President, Sergio Mattarella, has outrageously blocked the formation of a new government by the coalition of “Euro-skeptic” parties (the Five Star movement and the Lega party) that triumphed in the last election, appears to have the stench of Vatican involvement in favor of continued EU-dominance in Italian affairs.

The pseudonymous commentator “Pezzo Grosso,” in an article appearing on Marco Tosatti’s blog, writes (my translation): “I would never have imagined that even the current government of the Holy See would intervene in support of this course of action.  And in fact there is circulating the unconfirmed report that a very high personage who resides in the Vatican has intervened with President Mattarella, inviting him to do what he has done.  Is it true?  I don’t know. But it would not surprise me, seeing the results.” Nor would it surprise me, given the extent to which the human element of the Church has become, since Vatican II, what Antonio Socci calls a “social assistant to the New World Order.”

The primary means by which the Adversary has installed this new order, thus destroying what was once Christendom, is the process of constructing the sociopolitical novelty of the unitary nation-state by means of revolutionary violence, with the outcome kept in place with as much coercion as required from time to time.  The Age of Democratic Revolution has been followed by the Age of Absolute Obedience to the secular nation-state of political modernity.

The great scholar of religion and politics, William T. Cavanaugh, has aptly described the process as a “flattening” of the “complex space” of the Christian commonwealth, with its numerous intermediary bodies standing between civil power and the individual, above all the Church, into a “simple space” in which the weight of an unchallengeable state drives the Church and other competing institutions below the level of publicly controlling influence.  Religion, first and foremost, is thus privatized.  Which means that the Catholic Church in particular is de facto reduced to a kind of non-governmental organization (NGO) whose role is limited to serving the ends of the State, or at least refraining from any serious opposition to the ends of the State.

Hand in hand with this process is a revolutionary mania for the centralization of power, which in Italy began with the so-called risorgimento, the campaign by Masonic revolutionaries to overthrow the temporal power of the Pope and absorb the papal states into a “unified” Italy whose capital would be Rome.  A revolution that succeeded after rivers of blood were shed, leaving the Pope but a small enclave in the middle of the city, surrounded by walls.

But even this centralization is not enough for the powers that be, who demand a unitary nation-state encompassing all of Europe, meaning the EU.  Bending to the will of Brussels, Mattarella has usurped the will of the Italian electorate by refusing to perform his ceremonial function of accepting the Minister of Finance proposed by the new governing coalition in the Italian parliament, thereby preventing the new government from coming into existence.  Brussels prefers a technocrat who will not threaten Italy’s continued participation in the Euro zone.

Pezzo Grosso sums up the lesson to be learned with bitter irony: that “elections serve exclusively to assess the political maturity of a people.  If this people demonstrates immaturity, it must be helped not to make mistakes. The European government is a manifestation of the Ventotene applied in practice” — a reference to the Ventotene Manifesto of 1941, calling for a “united” Europe and a world government.

As this column goes to press, there is word of a possible breakthrough in the form of an alternate choice of Finance Minister that Mattarella, continuing to usurp power, would “allow” as more acceptable to EU interests.  Even if it happens, one must still confront the reality of a Church now reduced to the status of a vassal of the EU, especially under this pontificate.  As Pezzo Grosso observes:  “[I]t seems clear that immigration aimed at religious syncretism is one of the first strategic objectives of this pontificate… What should we do then? Find a Charles V to arrange a visit to him from the lansquenets?” An astonishing reference to the German mercenaries who rebelled against Charles and sacked Rome in 1527, attacking the very Pope with whom Charles had merely sought an audience.

What does it say about the condition of the Church today that a Catholic writer would suggest, albeit tongue-in-cheek, that an invasion of Rome might be necessary to defend the Faith against Rome.  But such is the apostasy that “begins at the top,” as predicted in that part of the Third Secret which, as Tosatti himself has argued, has not yet been revealed.

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10 comments on “Are Italian Pres. Mattarella and the NuVatican of One Mind?

  1. Eurozone update !
    Italy, Spain: Two New Governments Threaten the Eurozone’s Stability
    The Big Picture
    Italy and Spain are the third and fourth largest economies in the eurozone, respectively, which means that political and economic turbulence in Rome and Madrid can have an impact on the entire currency area. In our annual forecast, we said the Spanish government would be weak, and that Italy presented the main source of risk for the eurozone. Both countries appointed new governments on the same day, introducing challenges that align with both our assessments.
    See 2018 Annual Forecast
    See Europe section of the 2018 Annual Forecast

    See The Fate of the Eurozone

    What Happened
    After a week of political turbulence, Spain and Italy have new governments. On June 1, the Spanish parliament voted to oust conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and replace him with Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez. A few hours later, Italian law professor Giuseppe Conte was sworn in as Italy’s prime minister to lead a government that includes the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the right-wing League. The government will be confirmed by confidence votes in Parliament next week.
    While these developments offer some clarity about the future of two key members of the eurozone, they also serve as evidence that the new governments in Madrid and Rome have a very hard task ahead.
    What’s Going on in Spain
    Spain’s political crisis began on May 25, when a court convicted several people connected to Rajoy’s Popular Party of corruption. This motivated the Socialists, Spain’s main opposition party, to trigger a no-confidence motion against Rajoy. The Socialist strategy succeeded, paving the way for Sanchez to become prime minister. This, however, does not represent the end of the political turbulence in Spain. The Socialists control only 84 of the 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies, which means they will need support from several other parties to pass legislation. Moreover, Sanchez became prime minister with support from parties with very different interests, including Catalan separatists, Basque nationalists and the left-wing Podemos party — hardly a stable alliance.
    In the coming weeks, Sanchez will attempt to move ahead with his political agenda, which includes reversing some of the austerity measures introduced by Rajoy and opening a dialogue with Catalan separatists. Spain’s macroeconomic situation is much stronger than it was five years ago: the country’s economy is growing, its fiscal deficit has been reduced and its banking sector has largely been restructured. In a speech on May 31, Sanchez promised to respect the budget for 2018 that was approved by the outgoing conservative administration. Additionally, the largest parties in Spain’s legislature are pro-European Union, and there are no serious discussions about challenging the bloc.
    However, the new minority government is weak and will ultimately struggle to introduce additional reforms to make Spain’s recovery sustainable. And since many in Spain’s parliament appointed Sanchez only to remove Rajoy, his government will face constant pressure to hold an early election.
    What’s Going on In Italy
    The stakes for Europe are much higher in Italy, where the new government has openly pledged to challenge the European Union’s fiscal rules. While the Five Star Movement and the League have significantly toned down their anti-euro rhetoric, their plan for the economy, which includes tax cuts and spending hikes, will be expensive and raise questions throughout the bloc about Italy’s fiscal balance. Italy will demand that the European Union provides both more room for spending at home and greater public spending at the European level. It will also seek Southern European support in challenging Northern Europe’s fiscally conservative positions.
    Of course, the Italian government will be dealing with its own internal contradictions, as the Five Star Movement and the League have different interests and respond to different electorates. This discordance will make it almost certain that Italy will not obtain everything it wants from the European Union. But even so, the new government in Rome will be a disruptive force in European politics.
    How Do These Events Impact the Eurozone?
    Various financial markets’ initial reaction to events in Italy and Spain was negative; borrowing costs for both countries rose and their stock exchanges faced loses. Worry over the impact of changing Spanish and Italian governments went beyond the countries directly involved, as the Greek government expressed concern about how the instability could impact Athens’ plans to return to financial markets after the end of its bailout program in August.
    Markets calmed down as the new governments settled into place. But the week’s events were a reminder of the extent to which the eurozone is interconnected, with uncertainty in one country raising questions about the sustainability of the entire system. Considering the challenges facing the new governments that were appointed today, more political turbulence is on the horizon for the eurozone.

  2. FYI Geopolitical Calendar: Week of June 4, 2018

    Stay informed about the most significant meetings and events planned for the week ahead.
    June 4: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travels to Berlin and Paris to discuss Iran with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
    June 4-5: The EU Justice and Home Affairs council meets to discuss migration, asylum and counterterrorism.
    June 5: The EU Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries meet to discuss modernizing the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020.
    June 5: Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Austria.
    June 5: Italy and Greece begin patrolling Montenegro’s skies as part of NATO’s air policing missions.
    June 5-6: The two chambers of Italy’s Parliament hold separate votes of confidence on the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
    June 6: The European Commission is expected to present a second group of legislative proposals on spending programs.
    June 5: The Ukrainian Parliament is scheduled to discuss amendments to a bill that would establish an anti-corruption court.
    June 7: Russian President Vladimir Putin holds an annual question-and-answer session on national television.
    June 4: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross concludes his visit to China.
    June 4: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae In hold a bilateral summit in South Korea during Duterte’s three-day visit to the country.
    June 5: Taiwan holds live-fire drills in the Bashi Channel during the 2018 Han Kuang military exercises.
    June 6-8: Meetings held in Singapore between senior officials from ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
    June 7: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
    June 8-10: Russian President Vladimir Putin visits China.
    June 9-10: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    June 9-10: China hosts the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, with Iran attending as an observer.
    South Asia
    June 6: The Reserve Bank of India holds a Monetary Policy Committee meeting.
    June 8: Pakistan is required to present a concrete plan to the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog for terrorism financing, on how it will prevent terrorists from gaining funds.
    Middle East/North Africa
    June 6: In Jordan, 33 trade unions plan to hold a general strike.
    June 6: Turkey’s central bank holds a Monetary Policy Committee meeting.
    June 7: Turkish citizens living abroad cast their votes for the country’s national elections, scheduled to take place June 24.
    June 9: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz visits Israel.
    June 4-8: Representatives from the European Union and Mercosur trade group meet in Montevideo, Venezuela for negotiations on a free trade agreement.
    June 8-9: The 44th G7 summit is held in Quebec, Canada.
    June 8-10: Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits Canada for the expanded G7 meeting.
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    June 5: Zimbabwe’s opposition begins a march toward the office of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare.
    June 8: The corruption case against former south African President Jacob Zuma resumes.

    • [A wild card!?]
      Talk of war in Putin’s Russia
      by Vladimir Rozanskij – 5/26/18
      The president [Putin] wants to make known that he is not afraid of a nuclear conflict. His project would aim at a “hybrid” war: to destroy a couple of European cities to guarantee the liabilities of the NATO countries in the face of the “reunification” of the empire with Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Caucasian territories.
      Moscow (AsiaNews) – In recent days, the statements of a well-known Russian politician, Grigorij Javlinskij, has caused sensation.He revealed that in a May 19 meeting with President Vladimir Putin, he asked the President the following question: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, do you realize that we are approaching war?”, the president would have answered: “Yes. And we will win it “.
      Javlinskij is the head of the liberal Yabloko party, which has always been against Putin in opposition, and has been insisting in public articles and interventions on the dangers of Russia’s international isolation for several months. In his view, this risks ending up in a global conflict capable of destroying both Russia and much of the world, a nuclear conflict far more threatening than the Korean or Iranian adventurism.
      According to the impressions of various commentators, Javlinsky’s insistence seems to reveal not only a very critical opinion about presidential politics, but also an alarm generated by confidential information regarding possible future moves by Russia on the international scene. In this sense, for example, the authoritative political scientist Andrej Piontkovskij expressed himself on Radio Svoboda on 25 May.
      The interview reported by Javlinskij, confirms Piontkovskij, can hardly be invented, given the authoritativeness of the character and the lack of denial by the Kremlin. This is evidently a signal that Putin himself wanted to transmit, through one of the few truly moderate men of Russia, to spread his threatening intentions: the world must know that Putin is not afraid of war, and that he can win a nuclear conflict . If Russia really prepares itself for war, then this threat risks becoming a nightmare, that of an apocalyptic Fourth World War.
      In what way the “Tsar Putin IV” intends to win the war, in fact, had already been described in some interventions by the Russian president himself in recent years, after the Ukrainian conflict had created the conditions for a confrontation with America and with NATO. In them, some concepts are reiterated, constituting the pillar of the great-Russian ideology re-launched by the annexation of Crimea: the “reunification of the Russian lands” and the “Russian world” are increasingly frequent and unequivocal expressions, starting from the historical discourse of Putin on 18 March 2014, the day of the Crimean referendum. Ukraine, according to the Russian narrative, is one of these “original lands” to be reunited, as in part the Caucasian territories, but also, for example, the Baltic countries. Precisely the ideal of “reunification” leads to the very roots of the medieval ideology of Moscow-Third Rome, which is increasingly being revised today, and the fifteenth-century enterprises of the great prince Ivan III “the reunificator”, grandfather of the first tsar Ivan the Terrible.
      According to this scheme, Russia should annex not only territories such as the Crimean peninsula, where all international treaties have already been broken, but pieces from Estonia or Latvia, whose borders mark the limits of NATO and the European Union itself . And as is well known, Article 5 of the Atlantic Alliance provides for the immediate intervention of all member countries in defense of the assaulted one. The scenario therefore envisages a direct conflict with America and Europe, that is, with the nuclear powers, causing them to intervene without which NATO would lose its meaning, and America would lose its pre-eminence on the international scene.
      It is clear to all that Russia would not withstand a confrontation with America, which is superior even in nuclear weapons, or with Europe, superior in all forms of conventional armament. It would indeed be a “hybrid” war plan, in which the Russians would not risk mutual suicide with the United States, or a position war with the European armies. They could, however, limit themselves to striking (and annihilating) a couple of European cities, playing on the psychological aspect of nuclear terror. The Americans, according to the reconstructions of the Russian plans, would not risk self-destruction to defend Europeans, and countries like Germany or France would certainly not launch in defense of the ancient region of Courland, whether it be or not the “atavistic land” of Russian or Ugro-Finnic peoples. It would be the Ukrainian scenario, multiplied to the ninth degree.
      Not surprisingly, a recent survey was carried out among German citizens with the question: “If Russia invades Estonia, should Germany keep its covenant commitments?”. 70% said no, and one can imagine how much Trump’s America would be willing to sacrifice to save Narva or Kovno, dark Baltic towns formerly part of the Russian empire. The hybrid war counts not only on the cold figures of arsenals and strategies, but above all on the emotions, fears or complexes that nations and peoples suffer. The inferiority complex of Putin and Russia is far deeper and more serious than that of Western superiority.

      • More Cards to Shuffle

        A Distracted U.S. Struggles To Shift Its Global Focus
        By Omar Lamrani
        Senior Military Analyst, Stratfor

        Omar Lamrani
        Senior Military Analyst, Stratfor

        The United States is restructuring its global military footprint, reallocating its resources and shifting its strategic focus to better compete against China and Russia.
        To achieve this, the United States will be compelled to prioritize its commitments in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
        However, enduring U.S. commitments elsewhere and emerging global flashpoints will sidetrack Washington’s attention and resources.
        Changing times call for changing measures. In the face of an intensifying great power competition with Russia and China, the United States is expanding its efforts to refocus its global strategy, force deployments and resources to better position itself in a new struggle. But recalibrate as it might, the United States’ enduring commitments, along with global flashpoints, will continue to sap the country’s attention and resources as it wages a new global battle for influence.

        The Big Picture
        At the outset of 2018, Stratfor noted that the deepening collaboration between China and Russia would pose a strategic threat to the United States, prompting the latter to consolidate its alliances in the Eurasian borderlands. Washington is doing that and more as it embarks on a period of great power competition with Moscow and Beijing, but ongoing commitments and regional issues appear set to dog its efforts.
        See 2018 Annual Forecast

        Finding a New Focus
        Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the advent of the so-called global “war on terrorism” in 2001 ushered in a change in the United States’ strategic defense posture, which shifted from a primary focus on defeating a great Eurasian power toward a more diffuse, enduring and amorphous effort against violent non-state actors and “rogue” states. As part of this transformation, the United States significantly bolstered its force presence in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, altered its training structure and prioritized different sets of military capabilities. At the same time, the United States greatly reduced its presence in Europe, decreased its capabilities in the Pacific and shuttered a large number of headquarters primed for a potential war with Russia.
        But after years of unceasing conflict in the Middle East and South Asia, the United States has come to recognize the profound shift in the global strategic balance. Observing China’s growing strength and efforts to modernize its military, the Obama administration attempted to rebalance toward Asia with the “Pacific Pivot” in 2011. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in 2014 also completely altered the United States’ direction in Europe, as Washington rushed additional forces to the Continent as part of increased rotational deployments under the European Reassurance Initiative after it had begun to withdraw forces from the region.

        But this year’s National Defense Strategy, which identifies great power competition as the “central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security,” leaves no room for doubt as to the strategic direction the United States wishes to pursue in its security outlook. Reinforcing the new defense strategy is a robust defense budget that seeks to repair some of the readiness shortfalls stemming from years of sequestration (automatic spending reductions).
        In line with its strategic direction, the United States will make significant changes in terms of the regional deployment of strategic forces and, in the same vein, the geographic areas it wishes to prioritize. The North Atlantic has emerged as a central battleground in the competition with Russia, prompting U.S. military officials to announce plans to reactivate the U.S. 2nd Fleet in July after deactivating it in 2011. The 2nd Fleet’s central mission will be to ensure U.S. naval dominance in the body of water amid increased forays by Russian submarines into that particular ocean. At the northern edge of the area, Iceland, which is strategically positioned as a base from which to detect and intercept such submarine activity, is accordingly receiving increased attention from the United States after its significance waned following the end of the Cold War.
        At the other end of Europe, Ankara’s balancing effort between the United States and Russia will gain added importance as Moscow seeks to break the containment role that Turkey, home of the strategic Bosporus, has played on its flank and the U.S. efforts to maintain it. Elsewhere on the Continent, the Baltic nations — Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia — have assumed an increasingly important role as battleground states between the United States and Russia. In the north, Scandinavia in general and Norway in particular are witnessing increased attention from the United States as well, mainly because of the area’s strategic proximity to the Arctic theater. Furthermore, the U.S. Navy has raised the number of deployments made by the 6th Fleet to the European theater amid expectations of more patrols in the Baltic and Black seas.
        In the Pacific, China’s growing arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles and the United States’ lack of air bases relative to other theaters complicates the latter’s strategic military posture in the competition with Beijing. As a result, the United States must place special emphasis on its relationship with Japan and Singapore. At the same time, the Pentagon is simultaneously searching for alternative bases in places such as northern Australia, the Philippines and the Northern Mariana Islands. The United States already maintains a considerable military presence in South Korea, but these forces are largely oriented toward a potential conflict with North Korea and could even constitute a strategic liability to the United States because they would be within striking range of China’s much larger land forces in the event of open hostilities.

        The United States is the world’s dominant naval power, but China has ambitions to closing the gap.

        Beyond military issues, however, Washington also aims to strengthen its relationship with a number of non-allied Asia-Pacific countries as a hedge against China’s ascendancy. India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, in particular, are all likely to witness increased attention from the United States in the years ahead. Together, these countries form a solid anchor on the southern rim of the first island chain — an area that encircles the Yellow, East China and South China seas — from which the U.S. Navy could choke off China’s sea lines of communication to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Naturally, China is unlikely to remain passive on this front, and will work hard to enhance its relationship with Southeast Asian countries in response.

        Unsurprisingly, Taiwan remains a serious bone of contention. The United States appears increasingly willing to provoke China’s ire against the island through the sale of sensitive military equipment and enhanced diplomatic and military engagement with Taipei. Accordingly, Taiwan is the issue that is most likely to push the strategic competition between Washington and Beijing into an active conflict, especially as China’s military options expand with its naval development.
        Finally, the United States is considering major changes in how it deploys its main naval forces on a global basis. Over the last three decades, U.S. aircraft carrier task forces have maintained a virtually constant presence in the waters around the Middle East. Now, however, the country is working toward shifting its deployments to focus more on the European and Pacific theaters and to be less predictable and routine in its naval forays.
        The Fly in the Ointment
        Although Washington has recognized the emergence of this new great power competition and begun acting accordingly, several flashpoints could distract the United States and tie up its resources and focus. Of these, the most prominent is the global “war on terrorism,” which continues to this day, even as its focus has shifted considerably since beginning 17 years ago. Globally, but especially in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the United States has devoted considerable attention and resources to this fight. In turn, this has placed significant strain on the United States’ special operations forces and hurt the readiness of U.S. air forces, both from the Air Force and the Navy. Almost two decades of consistent deployments and rotations to frontlines and bases have left little time for recuperation. This fatigue, coupled with the recent effects of sequestration, has led to maintenance problems, the widespread cannibalization of airframes and a recent spike in accidents.

        The United States preparations to confront China and Russia could be derailed by significant conflicts and engagements elsewhere.

        Adding to this ongoing strain is the potential for significant conflicts that could distract the United States from its preparations to confront China and Russia. Immediately, this could emerge in the form of a possible war with either Iran or North Korea — or both. The U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and the adoption of an increasingly hard-line stance on Iran’s activities in the Middle East could ignite a conflict between the two, especially if Tehran chooses to restart its nuclear program in response to Washington’s actions. As for North Korea, the initial optimism regarding a summit between Washington and Pyongyang could rapidly give way to preparations for war in the absence of any breakthrough in negotiations.
        A war with either Iran or North Korea would undoubtedly require the commitment of large numbers of forces and funds, but even a containment strategy against both could entail long and significant deployments in and around the Persian Gulf and the Korean peninsula. The United States could rapidly reverse its decision to curtail its permanent carrier presence around the Middle East, the theater of operations for the 5th Fleet, if tensions with Iran rise significantly as a result of Washington’s increasingly confrontational approach toward the country. The return of more forces to the Middle East, however, would hamper the United States’ struggle against Russia and China, since the region is far removed from the areas of activity central to the emerging great power competition. Force dispositions around North Korea, on the other hand, offer more flexibility because the U.S. military could redirect troops and materiel in northeast Asia, especially those in Japan — if not those in South Korea that are locked on North Korea and remain vulnerable to Chinese action — to face China more easily.
        These costly distractions to U.S. power are unlikely to escape the attention of China or Russia. As the great powers engage in increasingly adversarial competition, the planet might witness a geopolitical climate unseen since the days of the Cold War. The hallmarks of such competition would include concerted support for insurgencies and proxy forces around the globe that could tie down an adversary in protracted and expensive campaigns. Russia, in fact, has already begun pursuing some facets of this new fight by reportedly supporting certain factions of the Taliban in Afghanistan, while the United States has previously backed certain anti-Russian factions in Syria. In this context, if the adversarial relationship between the United States and Iran reaches a more bellicose level, Moscow and Beijing could provide direct aid to Tehran to improve its capabilities.
        The United States has moved to define the great power competition with Russia and China as its greatest priority, necessitating a restructuring of the country’s global military footprint, reallocation of resources and shift in strategic focus. The Pentagon has already begun implementing measures in this regard, but it is by no means a straightforward process. Continued distractions abound, specifically the crises with Iran and North Korea, though more generally the enduring U.S. commitment to the global “war on terrorism.” In the end, the United States will undoubtedly intensify its focus on great power competition, but overcoming these distractions will be no easy task — especially as China and Russia are unlikely to make the United States’ attempts to disentangle itself any easier.

  3. I’ve rarely considered Putin to suffer from an “inferiority complex”, actually.
    He’s been quite successful in wiping the floor with dumb bunnies like Dubya and the idiot who succeeded him, without breaking a sweat. He’s been direct and unapologetic in addressing Euroweenie gatherings on broad moral questions.
    The prospects for a more stable Euro-US relationship with Russia, long-term, are greater now than 15 years ago despite the financial holocaust Jeff Sachs, now a key Pope Francis advisor, wreaked on the former Soviet Union residents thanks to NeoCon idiocy. At least, it seems that way to me, even taking the Syrian civil war into consideration.

    • Putin should realize not to pique The Donald, because Comrade President won’t know how Mr. President will react.
      Mr. Trump has said that he wants good relations with Russia and to downplay our role in NATO and Europe, and he has been advised such (so as not to provoke Russia) by those inside the White House (although previously but currently uncertain because of his new neo-Con advisors) and those outside (such as Pat Buchanan, who continues to do such).
      Nonetheless, as in the case of the two uses of poison gas against civilians – allegedly by Syrian government and Russian-advised forces, the President, regarding those incidents as attacks upon innocents, has quickly (and some say precipitously) responded with missile and air strikes against the supposed source of the gas attacks from Syrian government military facilities with Russian advisors.
      Thus, if Putin tries to implement all or part of his strategy (such as – at least – invading to annex the Baltic states and/or more of eastern Ukraine), he doesn’t know the Donald will react.

  4. Another Wild Card
    Spain: Catalan Nationalists Pledge to Seek Independence, Posing Challenge to New Prime Minister

    What Happened: Nationalists regained control of Catalonia’s government on June 2 and immediately said they would seek independence for the region, Reuters reported. The pledge posed a challenge to new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who took office about an hour earlier.
    Why It Matters: The coincidence of the central and regional governments taking power on the same day could open a new chapter after dramatic months that have seen Catalan politicians jailed or flee abroad to avoid arrest.
    Background: The new Catalan Cabinet was sworn in after months of tensions with the central government, ending Madrid’s seven-month direct rule of the region, imposed by Sanchez’s predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, after separatists declared independence. Sanchez has said he wants talks on Catalonia but opposes independence.
    Read More:
    Independence-Minded Catalonia Will Tread a More Cautious Path (May 14, 2018)
    Spain: After Elections, Catalonia Faces a New Year as Complicated as the Last (Dec. 22, 2017)
    Spain, Catalonia and the Distance That Divides (Nov. 11, 2017)

  5. Last time around, Spain had Franco to save it. Not so today, however. What was once a Catholic culture has been smashed.

  6. Looks Like the Italians are not taking the Popes calls !

    New Italian govt vows to create jobs, deport migrants

    ROME (AP) — Italy’s new populist leaders commemorated the founding of the Italian republic by attending a pomp-filled military parade Saturday — and then promised to get to work creating jobs and expelling migrants.
    “The free ride is over,” League leader Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new interior minister, warned migrants at a rally in northern Italy. “It’s time to pack your bags.”
    The pledge of mass deportations to come was a reminder that Italy has a staunchly anti-immigrant, right-wing party in its governing coalition — and that the European Union will face a whole new partner governing its fourth-largest economy.

    Earlier, Salvini joined Premier Giuseppe Conte and the rest of the newly sworn-in Cabinet to view the Republic Day parade. Italy’s aeronautic acrobatic squad flew low and loud over downtown Rome trailing smoke in the red, white and green of the Italian flag.
    The national pride on display is a feature of every Republic Day, but it took on a particular significance this year after Italy on Friday ended three months of political and financial turmoil and swore in a government whose populist and euroskeptic leanings have alarmed Europe.
    Conte, a law professor plucked from relative obscurity to head an unlikely governing alliance of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and League, said the celebrations Saturday transcended all the tensions of recent days.
    “It’s the celebration for all of us, of our republic,” he said.
    Conte’s Cabinet was sworn in after a last-minute deal averted the threat of a new election that could have turned into a referendum on whether Italy stayed with the shared European euro currency. The political stability relieved financial markets on Friday but Italy’s European neighbors continued to express concerns about the euroskeptic bent and the heavy spending agenda of Italy’s new government.
    “Italy is destroying itself — and dragging down Europe with it,” read the headline of Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, the cover of which featured a forkful of spaghetti with one dangling strand tied up as a noose.
    While Spiegel is known for such provocations, another Spiegel article last week drew an official protest from Italy’s ambassador to Germany.
    On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned Conte and invited him to visit soon. Merkel’s office said both leaders emphasized the importance of continued close bilateral cooperation.

    Conte has so far left policy specifics to the drivers of his improbable rise, his two deputies: Salvini and 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio.
    Di Maio, the new economic development minister, reported for work after the parade to his ministry, which would have otherwise been closed for the holiday.
    “Starting today, we get to work to create work,” Di Maio said in a Facebook video giving Italians a tour of the empty ministry. Di Maio is also the minister for labor, a combination he said made sense since the two ministries must work together.
    Offering the new government cautious support was Italy’s small, far-right neo-fascist CasaPound party, which held its own Republic Day commemoration on Saturday. Banners featured images of a crossed-out EU flag and “#exIT” written underneath, a reference to calls for Italy to leave the 28-nation bloc.
    The 5-Star-League agenda has no such plans, but Conte made clear he was irked by comments this week by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said Italy had to stop blaming the EU for its problems and must take responsibility to address the poverty in southern Italy.
    “That means more work, less corruption. Seriousness,” Juncker said in comments his spokeswoman later said he regretted.
    In an unscripted blast from the parade route, Conte insisted Italy wasn’t alone in facing cases of corruption and declared that “we all have to work for legality.”
    Conte’s government faces mandatory confidence votes next week in parliament, where the two governing parties have a slim majority.
    Republic Day commemorates the day, June 2, 1946, when Italians voted in a referendum to abolish the monarchy in favor of a republic, Italy’s first.
    The political upheaval that has created western Europe’s first populist government this week has been dubbed the start of Italy’s Third Republic.
    Associated Press writers Frank Jordans and Karin Laub in Berlin contributed to this report.

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