More than half of Germans, French and Italians say that their country should not use force to defend NATO allies from an eventual Russian military attack. Since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization says precisely the opposite - that is, that an attack on one NATO member state is to be considered an attack on all of them -what value to attribute today to the treaty with which the organization began life in 1949? / Leggilo in italiano
‘They’re on their own’ — “More than half of Germans, French and Italians say that their country should not use force to defend NATO allies from an eventual Russian military attack.” That’s the key result of a recent in-depth survey conducted by the authoritative Pew Research Center, based on interviews with 11,116 respondents in 10 countries.
Since the “Atlantic Pact” which founded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization says precisely the opposite – that is, that an attack on one NATO member state is to be considered an attack on all of them – the question arises of just what value to attribute today to the treaty with which the organization began life in 1949. The matter is of crucial importance for the Baltic States who feel that they are particularly threatened by Russian neo-expansionism, like Poland, where 70% of the population says it considers that Russia constitutes a “major military threat.”
According to the same Pew study, the inhabitants of the majority of NATO countries still believe that the United States instead would fight to defend them. It’s their neighbors that they don’t trust.
Green within 2100 — Beyond speaking badly of Vladimir Putin and publicly hoping that someone else might act rapidly to solve Greece’s problems, the members of the G7 at their recent summit in Bavaria also signed a solemn agreement in which they pledge to rid the entire world of any source of energy based on the use of fossil hydrocarbons – gas, oil, coal – within the end of this, the 21st Century.
The odds of that actually happening are close to zero, but the environmental sensibilities of the main leaders of the West have been placed on public display and, anyway, we still have 85 years before anything actually has to be accomplished. However that may be, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told journalists that: “We have agreed on the fact that over the course of this Century we want to see the decarbonization of the global economy,” so that’s okay.
It’s easy to be sarcastic about all this, but there have been some first results regarding coal – a particularly worrisome source of atmospheric pollution. Both the World Bank and European Investment Bank stopped financing new “greenfield” coal mining projects beginning in 2013. A few days ago the Norwegian Parliament finalized plans which called for the the country’s gigantic sovereign investment fund – it manages assets worth $890 billion – to rid its portfolio of stakes in any company that deals in coal. It’s true that the fund was established to reinvest profits coming from the production of gas and crude oil, but the intent is noble.
Noble intentions, but it’s not clear that the real world is paying much attention. The global consumption of natural gas and petroleum both rose by 1.4% in 2013: coal use climbed by 3%.
Fleeing Europe – Since European news media are full alarming estimates of just how many millions of African migrants are waiting on the Libyan coast to flood into the EU through Italy, we thought it might be interesting to go see how many people instead are leaving the European Union to, ah, “seek opportunities elsewhere.”
The EU statistical agency Eurostat though – which possesses vast quantities of information about the international travel of cats and dogs who are now required to have a “Europassport” of their own – says it finds data on the outbound travel of EU citizens permanently leaving the Union “particularly difficult” to collect and that as a result it does not calculate net emigration.
However that is, a Eurostat publication issued last May does concede that in 2012 alone “at least” 2.7 million EU citizens did emigrate, leaving their country of origin – in many cases, probably most, for another EU member state, in others for God knows where. Perhaps some one of these departing citizens left behind an empty home that can now house a few of the “new Europeans” arriving from North Africa.