Hard Row Italy-Germany Over Sanctions & Pipelines
Dr. Merkel is the #1 driving force behind keeping the anti-Russian sanctions in place, the good US lapdog that she is. Yet at the same time, Germany and Russia merrily work on planning the expansion of the North-Stream pipeline, where at the same time Brussels ordered Bulgaria to stop implementing South-Stream. Italian PM Renzi, one of the EU politicians with the relatively most positive attitude towards Putin-Russia, got irritated by this and a row escalated during the last summit in Brussels. According to Tusk, the discussion had been “hard” and “emotional”.
After all, the South-Stream pipeline was torpedoed as part of the sanctions policies and now Germany does go ahead with North-Stream, making Germany the main distributor of Russian gas in Europe. No wonder the other Europeans are mad about this German hypocrisy.
For the record: we want maximum European dependency on Russian gas & oil and as such want to see both South-Stream and North-Stream expansion implemented without delay or “third energy package” baloney (and all sanctions lifted).
[spiegel.de] – Pipeline-Projekt Nordstream 2: Heftiger Streit zwischen Merkel und Renzi auf EU-Gipfel
[politico.eu] – Matteo Renzi picks fight with Angela Merkel
‘You cannot say that you are giving your blood to Europe,’ the Italian premier told the German chancellor at the EU summit. “It was very impressive how tough he was” in confronting Merkel on several key EU issues, said a minister who was in the room. The clash with Merkel highlights Renzi’s increasingly confrontational posture towards EU officials… Renzi is under political pressure at home, facing local elections next year in which he is expected to lose ground to populist, Euroskeptic parties. During the course of the two-day meeting in Brussels, Renzi went on the attack against Berlin several times, according to sources. And with Italians increasingly disillusioned with German-led Europe, his more aggressive strategy could be popular with voters… Renzi also accused Merkel of a political double-standard over the involvement of German companies in the construction of a gas pipeline with Russia, Nord Stream, at a time when the EU is about to approve the extension of sanctions against Moscow, according to a diplomat. Renzi said he was opposed to automatically renewing the sanctions without opening a discussion on the pipeline project.