Friday, October 13, 2006

The Russiafication of Germany As Germany and France face economic pressures, the two countries are turning more and more to Russia to bail them out from their own misadventures. In particular, Germany, now headed by Angela Merkel, a former East German physicist is turning to the former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, to guarantee gas and energy supplies.
Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas monopoly, already supplies a third of Germany's energy and a quarter of all gas consumed in the European Union.
This, despite the unreliability of dealing with Russia and worries about last winter when Russia cut off pipeline supplies to the Ukraine, reneging on contracts with Shell and two Japanese investment firms and the outright seizure of Yukos and the assassinations including the director of Vneshtorgbank, the Russian state-owned bank that bought a 5% EADS stake.

In the meantime, Russia has helped to bail out the cash-strapped troubled EADS, the European aerospace parent of Airbus, by buying a 5% stake in EADS just in time to provide capital to keep the Airbus A-380 alive. Washington is said to be "dismayed" at Chirac's "complicity" in the sale. EADS is so in need of a cash infusion that Germany is considering buying a stake in EADS in a panicky attempt to preserve French and German jobs.

Even Germany's largest investor in EADS - DaimlerChrysler wants to cut their investment in EADS. Russia, however, has money to burn. Russia's newest German investment.

The story of the abject failure of the Airbus is equally the story of the failure of the European Union to curb corruption and political interference in every aspect of business, euphemistically called "corporate governance." It isn't, as the Guardian puts it, "European dream turns sour". It's a sour European dream - Socialism.

This is how the Associated Press reports the story.

And Gazprom? Well, Gerhard Schroeder, Ms. Merkel's predecessor, now works for the company that is run by a former East German secret police officer who was close to Putin in his KGB years. Small world, huh?

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