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Author Topic: Prophecy series II Europe and the Antichrist.  (Read 22213 times)
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« Reply #75 on: December 08, 2004, 11:42:35 PM »

I still think the USA should get out of the UN. I haven't seen anything good come out of the UN.

I agree. This is something I was saying many years ago.


Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #76 on: December 09, 2004, 04:06:41 PM »

Brussels approves 'neighbourhood' deals
09.12.2004 - 14:58 CET | By Andrew Beatty

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The European Commission has approved agreements with seven of its neighbours, in a bid to spread stability on the EU’s borders.

The Commission met on Thursday and approved wide-ranging deals with Israel, Ukraine, Moldova, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

"[The deals] will prevent a new dividing line being drawn across Europe after enlargement", External Relations Commission Benita Ferrero-Waldner told Journalists on Thursday (9 December).

In spite of the turbulence in Ukraine the commission approved the "joint action plan" with the country, however diplomats say that implementation will have to wait until there is more stability.

This also leaves the door open for broadening the agreement with a new Ukrainian government.

Israel too poised problems for the EU.

Disagreement over the scope of EU-Israel talks on WMD held up all seven ‘action plans ’ for weeks.

However, the Israeli government on Wednesday (8 December) approved the EU-Israel action plan, committing Israel to talks on its adherence to international non-proliferation norms, breaking a long-standing taboo in Israeli politics.

The deal was held up for over Israeli acceptance of "two and a half words", according to diplomats.

One EU diplomat said: "The words might not seem like much but to non-proliferation experts they are very important"
, explaining that the exact terms will dictate how non-proliferation talks proceed.

Israel is suspected of having between 100-200 nuclear weapons and much of its nuclear programme remains beyond International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

One of the key points of the EU’s Security Strategy is to combat proliferation of WMD.

Although Israel is not signed up to international non-proliferation treaty diplomats hope that the EU-Israel dialogue help EU attempts to slow and eventually reverse proliferation in the Middle East.

Shadow talks
"One of the things in the last year that has been interesting is that Israel has been stressing the way it implements international norms in its own legislation", says Ian Anthony, an expert on the EU non-proliferation policy at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, described the move as a significant one.

"It would be a break in past practice", he said speaking before the formal adoption of the plans.

Although Israel has effective export controls, other aspects of the talks may prove difficult, "They will have to dance around their own nuclear programmes", he said.

Foreign Ministers are expected to approve the deals on Monday when they meet in Brussels.

The deals will then be formally adopted at bilateral meetings with the countries concerned.

Talks on expanding the policy to cover Egypt, Lebanon Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia will begin in February.


And it looks like we are begining to start a new wave, 2T.

Resting with the Lord.

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« Reply #77 on: December 10, 2004, 12:25:24 AM »

Dec. 10, 2004 2:52
French envoy criticizes Israel

French Ambassador Gerard Araud can't seem to decide whether to serve Israel teaspoons of sugar or tablespoons of vinegar.

Two days after he broke from France's traditionally harsh public pronouncements toward Israel and told The Jerusalem Post he felt Israel "has tried to show the utmost restraint" in its recent conflict with the Palestinians, Araud did an about-face and slammed Israel for what he called its "anti-French neurosis."

In an Army Radio interview broadcast Thursday, he went on to characterize the relationship between the countries as "very difficult" and said recent polls in Israel show the public likes Saudi Arabia more than France. "You just love to hate France," he complained.

Araud criticized the media, and made special mention of a column Yair Lapid wrote in Maariv after Yasser Arafat's death in France. Lapid wrote, according to Araud, "this is proof that the French are sh**s."

"Saying the French are sh**s is totally unacceptable," said Araud.

The ambassador said that if the same thing was written about Jews in France, "you would immediately say it is anti-Semitism." For Israelis, he said, the French are "good targets."

He said that two synagogues were burned elsewhere in Europe in June but the incidents weren't covered in the Israeli press, while the next day a report about anti-Semitic graffiti in Paris made Haaretz's front page.

Araud also singled out comedian Eli Yatzpan for criticism. "Everyone knows that Yatzpan has chosen France as his usual target, and he is always making fun of the people of France," he said.

Yatzpan responded that "[French President Jacques] Chirac has always been pro-Arab. I would like to see how President Chirac would act if buses were exploding on the Champs Elysees. [The French] are always the big patrons of the Arab states and always know everything.

"They preach morality to everyone, perhaps because they know French and English, so it sounds better. Definitely not – it sounds ugly. They should not then wonder why the Jewish people don't love them."

Araud's comments came a day after Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told the Post that the ambassador's praise of Israel's military restraint may indicate an acknowledgment in Paris that a more balanced approach toward Israel is the price for greater involvement in the region.

Araud's evident change of heart Thursday, however, caused a parallel change of sentiment in the Foreign Ministry. Deputy director-general Ran Curiel, who heads the ministry's Europe division, issued a statement protesting Araud's comments.

Curiel termed the ambassador's comments "unacceptable," and a "departure from protocol" that "don't contribute to the efforts by Israel and France to improve their relations." Unfortunately, Curiel said, "these comments only feed ill feelings."

But Araud was not without his defenders inside the Israeli diplomatic corps. Israel's ambassador to France, Nissim Zvilli, told Army Radio "There is a lot of truth in what the French ambassador said. I understand his anger and I think that he is very close to being correct."


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« Reply #78 on: December 10, 2004, 05:26:49 PM »

Mixed signals for further EU enlargement
10.12.2004 - 16:13 CET | By Honor Mahony

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - As the EU looks set to open membership negotiations with Turkey at the end of next week, over a third of its citizens are opposed to further enlargement of the 25-nation bloc.

Conducted in October and November, just months after the Union expanded by 10 countries, the poll shows that 35% of citizens are against further enlargement - with 53% in favour and 12% saying they do not know.

Those against enlargement rises to 43% when citizens only from the 15 'old' member states are considered, according to a eurobarometer poll published on Friday (10 December).

Austrians and Germans have the highest percentages of citizens against enlargement (62% and 57% respectively) - both countries have common borders with new member states.

In France, where President Jacques Chirac has been fighting rising sentiment against Turkish EU membership - fifty-one percent said they are against further enlargement.

This contrasts starkly with new member states, which tend to be strongly in favour of more EU expansion - with Poland at 78%, Lithuania at 76% and Slovenia at 75%.

Replying to a question about whether respondents had been specifically asked about Turkey, EU Communications Commissioner Margot Wallström, who was presenting the results, said no.

However, she added all EU institutions will have to "invest in creating more information and building the cultural bridges between Turkey and the European Union".

"To me that is the absolute key to success for further enlargement because there is so much ignorance and lack of information", said Mrs Wallström.

The EU is expected to take on Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 while Turkey is not expected to join until at least 2015 - a decision on whether to open negotiations with Ankara will be taken at the EU summit on 16-17 December.

The survey also showed that 56% of respondents thought that membership of the EU was positive.

They were also more prepared to trust the European Parliament (57%) than the European Commission (52%) - while unemployment was their biggest worry.

The survey was conducted by eurobarometer between 2 October and 8 November 2004.


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« Reply #79 on: December 10, 2004, 05:36:05 PM »

EU Invites U.N.'s Annan to Summit to Show Support
Fri Dec 10, 2004 07:56 AM ET
By Paul Taylor

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has invited Kofi Annan as a special guest to its summit next Friday to demonstrate support for the U.N. secretary-general amid a campaign in the United States to force him out.

A Dutch EU presidency spokesman confirmed the 25-nation bloc's invitation but declined comment on the political message.

However an EU diplomat said: "The intention is for the EU as a whole to give clear public support to the secretary-general."

The surprise move was decided after the head of a U.S. congressional panel investigating alleged corruption in the United Nations oil-for-food program in Iraq, Republican Senator Norman Coleman, last week called for Annan to resign.

The Bush administration broke its silence on Thursday to express confidence in Annan and say he should stay in office, in a belated rebuff to demands from Republicans in Congress for his resignation.

The Republicans accuse Annan of presiding over corruption in the program under which Iraq was allowed to import food and medicines and sell oil under U.N. supervision in an exception to economic sanctions imposed on former president Saddam Hussein.

After Coleman's statement, President Bush pointedly refused to defend Annan, saying he wanted a "full and open accounting" for the now-defunct program launched in 1996.

In reaction, the 191-member U.N. General Assembly gave Annan a standing ovation on Wednesday and leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Australia telephoned him to voice support.

The United Nations is conducting its own probe, set up by Annan, into allegations that U.N. employees received bribes from Iraq and that contract prices under the scheme were inflated.

EU diplomats said Annan would meet the European Council of EU leaders and hold a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who will chair the Dec. 17 summit, and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Annan will be present in Brussels on the day when EU leaders are expected to take a landmark decision to open membership negotiations with Turkey.


As days go by, I see more and more, prophecy coming in line.

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« Reply #80 on: December 12, 2004, 11:07:57 PM »


Let me first thank the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting this meeting. In its wisdom, Morocco decided long ago to take the bold path of reform and received strong international support. Today many others are making similar efforts. They are receiving and they will continue to receive the support of the European Union.

In establishing this Forum for the Future we agreed that it would be "a vehicle for listening to the needs of the region". That tells me two things. First, that we must look to the Ministers from the
Area to drive our debate today, and secondly that I am here to listen rather than to lecture. I will therefore limit myself to three points:

I. Yes, reform must originate in the countries concerned but time is of the essence.
II. There is a convergence of objectives in broad terms and much is already being done. The EU values its existing structures of co-operation and is already taking them to a new level in response to new realities.
III. The Forum for the Future was not launched blind to the broader political context, and it should not become so

I. Yes, reform must originate in the countries concerned but time is of the essence For a decade and a half the EU has been fostering the political, economic and social reform of eight states from Eastern and Central Europe as well as two Mediterranean island states. As a result of that Process for six months now I have the pleasure to act on behalf of twenty-five rather than fifteen member states. Looking back it is clear that the EU played a central role in fostering efforts in these countries to reform their societies politically, economically and socially.

It is no secret that the EU is also keen to strengthen its relationship with several countries beyond its immediate neighbourhood of the Southern Mediterranean particularly with respect to the countries around the Gulf. The EU recently endorsed a Strategic Partnership with the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which is relevant also to countries outside the Barcelona Process. It sets out the philosophy of Partnership that it would like to see inspire its relations with the region, including with countries with whom it has not traditionally enjoyed very developed relations.

What is perhaps less apparent is that none of the EU's efforts would have produced results were they not based on a strategic decision on the part of those countries to reform themselves. We invested much in terms of time, money and energy but not nearly as much time, money and energy as was invested in the new member states themselves. We succeeded together but only because they realized that reform was not being sought simply to satisfy EU norms, but because reform was necessary if their societies were to be sustainable, irrespective of the prospect of membership of the Union.

It also emerged that countries reformed at their own pace; but those who reformed first often created comparative advantages that still serve them well today. A reputation for being at the
forefront of reform is valuable in itself. Put succinctly one can say that reform must come from within not from without, but if it is to come it were best if it came sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it has been said, History has a habit of  punishing those who arrive late.

II. There is a convergence of objectives in broad terms, and much is already being done.
Through the Arab League Tunis Declaration on Reform and Modernisation and other initiatives many countries present here expressed their belief that the time is indeed ripe for reform. The
Declaration set out the broad parameters for that process that in no way contradicts our own thinking.
I think it is fair to say that even if sometimes we don't couch our aims and objectives in precisely the same terms we are indeed all working in the same direction.
This Forum is a recognition that the G8 and its unique membership has also got something to bring to the table in support of the process of reform and modernization in the area. It is also a recognition of the stake its members have in the success of the endeavour.

III. The Forum of the Future was not launched blind to the broader political context, and itshould not become so. It would be difficult to argue that there is no link between the EU's strengthened interest in the Gulf and the events that have taken place there in the last years, both in Iraq and elsewhere.

Similarly it would be difficult to argue that the task  of reform that brings us together today could be successfully completed if it is divorced from the political realities on the ground, not least in the Middle East.

The truth is the Forum for the Future was not launched blind to the broader political context, and it should not become so. I will not dwell on whether reforms can wait for the resolution of conflict. I simply don't believe we have the luxury to wait and find out.

We must busy ourselves pursuing the political, economic and social reform that will give young people the education, opportunities and jobs they need to thrive. But we must do so in the knowledge that we will not truly secure their future until we resolve the conflicts that that continue to challenge us. In that task there is no one here without a role to play.
Thank you.


You will need pdf reader to read the report.

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« Reply #81 on: December 13, 2004, 04:24:53 AM »

Turkish leader warns of terror wave if EU rejects membership
By Suna Erdem

Summit must decide whether to open talks

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, the Turkish Prime Minister, has told European Union leaders that they will pay a heavy price in continued and escalating violence from Islamic extremists if the EU rejects Turkey as a member and confirms itself as a Christian club.

“Accepting a country that has brought together Islam and democracy will bring about harmony between civilisations. If, on the other hand, it is not welcomed, the world will have to put up with the present situation,” he said, referring to terrorism by such groups as al-Qaeda — whose local affiliates hit Turkey last year, bombing the British consulate and three other targets in Istanbul.

“That is the very clear and present danger and it is all around us today. There is nothing we can do if the EU feels that it can live with being simply a Christian club . . . but if these countries burn their bridges with the rest of the world, history will not forgive them.”

Mr Erdogan’s powerful warning came just days before the EU summit that will decide whether to start formal accession talks with Turkey and against a furious European debate about the effects of incorporating Turkey’s 70 million, mainly Muslim, population into the Union.

He was speaking before opening Istanbul’s first modern art museum — an event he had ordered to be brought forward from early next year to help to project a modern image of his country ahead of the summit. After knocking on the EU’s doors for four decades, Turkey is painfully aware that it is viewed abroad as a poor and backward country and that, despite its secular constitution, much of the West is currently afraid of its Muslim tradition.

Mr Erdogan is a declared “conservative democrat”, but his background as an Islamic firebrand has led to so many questions that his face broke into a “not again” smile at the mere mention of the problem.

“We are Muslim, we are Turkish, we are democratic and our country is secular,” he said, emphasising every phrase. “Nothing else need be said.” Nevertheless, he believed that the EU, in trying to add safeguards and get-out clauses in the draft for the talks, was discriminating against Ankara.

“I am of the opinion that Turkey is being faced with tougher criteria compared to other candidate countries,” he said. “No other country had to wait for 41 years at Europe’s door. We have fulfilled all the criteria, but despite this Europeans are hesitating.”

Although loath to say so, he feels upset, maybe even betrayed, by suggestions from some, including France, that Turkey might be offered an alternative form of association with the EU if talks fail.

“There are 400,000 Turks already living in France . . . what have we done to make them so afraid? We find it hard to understand what it is the French do not understand about us that makes them so wary. There is no such thing in the EU as privileged partnership. No other country has been offered this and there is no way that we will accept such an option for Turkey,” he said.

He also rejected suggestions that talks could be open-ended. “At the end of membership negotiations either there is full membership or there is nothing. Full membership is not automatic anyway — it may be that we don’t manage to fulfil our side of the bargain and it all ends in failure. So why hobble the process from the start?” Conditions other than the existing political and economic criteria would be unacceptable, he said, especially any permanent brake on the freedom of movement of Turks, millions of whom were already economic migrants in Europe.

Turkey’s economy has been transformed after a crisis in 2001, while numerous reforms, including the abolition of the death penalty, have improved the human rights situation and reduced the power of the military — an institution that staged three coups between 1960 and 1980 and effectively wrote the present constitution. Mr Erdogan acknowledged that the more difficult phase of implementing all these reforms lay ahead, but he was adamant that Turkey had done enough so far to begin negotiations.

A former semi-professional football player, he resorted to sporting terms to describe the situation: “We are not bringing any conditions to this ourselves. But we are seeing here that new rules are being introduced while the game is being played. As this is unacceptable in a game of football, it is equally wrong in a process like this.”

Despite his criticism, he remains optimistic, saying that he expected to be offered a start date within the next year for talks with the goal of full membership. He said: “In the last days of the Ottoman Empire we were then called the sick man of Europe. Note, of Europe, never the sick man of Asia. You said so yourself.”


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« Reply #82 on: December 13, 2004, 03:59:49 PM »

Worlds Apart on the Vision Thing
by Jeremy Rifkin

In a partisan America, where virtually every value has become fair game for criticism and controversy, there is one value that remains sacrosanct: the American Dream -- the idea that anyone, regardless of the circumstances to which they're born, can make of their lives as they choose, by dint of diligence, determination and hard work. The American Dream unites Americans across ethnic and class divides and gives shared purpose and direction to the American way of life.

The problem is, one-third of all Americans, according to a recent U.S. national survey, no longer believe in the American Dream. Some have lost faith because they worked hard all their lives only to find hardship and despair at the end of the line. Others question the very dream itself, arguing that its underlying tenets have become less relevant in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. For the first time, the American Dream no longer serves as the rallying point for everyone in America.

A new European Dream, meanwhile, is beginning to capture the world's imagination. That dream has now been codified in the form of a draft European constitution, and Europeans are currently debating whether to ratify its contents and accept its underlying values as the core values of a new Europe. Europe's vision of the future may have greater resonance -- a kind of grand reversal, if you will, of what occurred 200 years ago when millions of Europeans looked to America in search of a new vision.

Twenty-five nations, representing 455 million people, have joined together to create a "United States" of Europe. Like the United States of America, this vast political entity has its own empowering myth. Although still in its adolescence, the European Dream is the first transnational vision, one far better suited to the next stage in the human journey. Europeans are beginning to adopt a new global consciousness that extends beyond, and below, the borders of their nation-states, deeply embedding them in an increasingly interconnected world.

Americans are used to thinking of their country as the most successful on Earth. That's no longer the case: The European Union has grown to become the third-largest governing institution in the world. Though its land mass is half the size of the continental United States, its $10.5-trillion (U.S.) gross domestic product now eclipses the U.S. GDP, making it the world's largest economy. The EU is already the world's leading exporter and largest internal trading market. Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European; only 50 are U.S. companies.

The comparisons are even more revealing when it comes to the quality of life. In the EU, for example, there are 322 physicians per 100,00 people; in the United States, it's 279 physicians per 100,000 people. The United States ranks 26th among the industrial nations in infant mortality, well below the EU average. The average lifespan in the 15 most developed E.U. countries is now 78.2 years, compared to 76.9 years in the United States.

When it comes to wealth distribution -- a crucial measure of a country's ability to deliver on the promise of prosperity -- the United States ranks 24th among the industrial nations. All 18 of the most developed European countries have less income inequality between rich and poor. There are now more poor people living in America than in the 16 European nations for which data are available.

America is also more dangerous: The U.S. homicide rate is four times higher than the EU's. Even more disturbing, the rates of childhood homicides, suicides and firearms-related deaths in the United States exceed those of the other 25 wealthiest nations. Although the United States has only 4 per cent of the world's population, it contains one-quarter of the world's entire prison population.

Europeans often say Americans "live to work," while they "work to live." The average paid vacation time in Europe is now six weeks a year. By contrast, Americans, on the average, receive only two weeks. When one considers what makes a people great and what constitutes a better way of life, Europe is beginning to surpass America.

Nowhere is the contrast between the European Dream and the American Dream sharper than when it comes to the definition of personal freedom.

For Americans, freedom has long been associated with autonomy; the more wealth one amasses, the more independent one is in the world. One is free by becoming self-reliant and an island onto oneself. With wealth comes exclusivity, and with exclusivity comes security.

For Europeans, freedom is not found in autonomy but in community. It's about belonging, not belongings.

The American Dream puts an emphasis on economic growth, personal wealth and independence. The new European Dream focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life and interdependence. The American Dream pays homage to the work ethic and religious heritage. The European Dream, more attuned to leisure, is secular to the core. The American Dream depends on assimilation. The European Dream, by contrast, is based on preserving one's cultural identity in a multicultural world.

Americans are more willing to use military force to protect what we perceive to be our vital self-interests. Europeans favor diplomacy, economic assistance to avert conflict, and peacekeeping operations to maintain order. The American Dream is deeply personal and little concerned with the rest of humanity. The European Dream is more systemic in nature and, therefore, more bound to the welfare of the planet.

That isn't to say that Europe is a utopia. Europeans have become increasingly hostile toward newly arrived immigrants and asylum-seekers. Anti-Semitism is on the rise again, as is discrimination against Muslims and religious minorities. While Europeans berate America for having a trigger-happy foreign policy, they are more than willing, on occasion, to let the U.S. armed forces safeguard European security interests. And even its supporters say the Brussels-based EU's governing machinery is a maze of bureaucratic red tape, aloof from the European citizens they supposedly serve.

The point, however, is not whether the Europeans are living up to their dream. We Americans have never fully lived up to our own dream. What's important is that a new generation of Europeans is creating a radical new vision for the future -- one better suited to meet the challenges of an increasingly globalizing world in the 21st century.

Canada finds itself caught between these two 21st-century superpowers. Sharing a common border with the most powerful economy in the world makes Canada more vulnerable to U.S. economic and political influence, and some observers even suggest that Canada might be forced eventually to become part of a greater American transnational space. The North American free-trade agreement may be the first step down that road.

On the other hand, Canadians' own deeply felt values are more closely attuned to the emerging European Dream. Could Canada lobby to become part of the European Union? In a world of instant communications, fast transportation and global economic integration, the prospect of Canada's enjoying at least a special associational partnership with the EU is not inconceivable. The EU and Canada laid the foundation for such a possibility in their 1996 joint political declaration on EU-Canada relations, designed to focus on economic, trade, security and other transnational issues. Canada could edge ever closer to its European soulmate in the decades to come.

Jeremy Rifkin, founder and president of the Washington-based Foundation on Economic Trends, is the author of 14 books, including his latest, 'The European Dream'.

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« Reply #83 on: December 14, 2004, 01:15:02 AM »

EU Works on Turkey Membership Talks

1 hour, 54 minutes ago
Europe - AP
By ROBERT WIELAARD, Associated Press Writer

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union (news - web sites) edged closer Monday to giving Turkey the green light on membership talks, but jitters over bringing the relatively poor Muslim nation into the fold prevented a decision on a starting date.

AP Photo


EU leaders will have the final say at a summit in Brussels later this week, after foreign ministers from the 25-nation bloc failed Monday to set a start date and duration for talks.

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, whose country is skeptical of Turkey's joining the bloc, said "negotiations will be long, open-ended and difficult" and stressed that membership was not yet a done deal.

The draft text of a declaration for the two-day summit starting Thursday, obtained by The Associated Press, hails Turkey for having made "decisive progress" in economic and political reforms.

Leaders also express confidence in Turkey's sustained reforms, "and vow to monitor Ankara's commitment to "fundamental freedoms and to full respect of human rights, (especially) the zero-tolerance policy relating to torture and ill-treatment" of prisoners.

Of particular concern to the EU is that the Turkish parliament approve laws on criminal procedures and the judicial police.

Four other laws, including one enacting a new penal code, have been adopted by the legislature, but must yet take legal effect.

The EU foreign ministers debated possible dates for talks to start, and conditions to attach to them to assuage fears in Western Europe of bringing Turkey into the bloc.

Opposition to Turkey's joining has come from Austria, Slovakia, Denmark and France.

"An exact date should not be set too early," Barnier said. France wants the talks to begin in late 2005 or 2006.

Entry negotiations with Ankara will likely last 10 or 15 years.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a German newspaper that his country wants a fair chance to meet the EU's membership criteria

"We want justice," the Passauer Neue Presse daily quoted him as saying. "We are trying to open a society and an economy that until now was very inward-looking."

The EU foreign ministers also delayed membership talks with Croatia until at least March to give Zagreb three months to bring an indicted war criminal, Gen. Ante Gotovina, to justice.

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« Reply #84 on: December 14, 2004, 01:18:58 AM »

urope Jittery on Turkish Membership

37 minutes ago
Business - AP
By LAURENCE FROST, AP Business Writer

PARIS - An impoverished backwater that will drain the EU's resources and flood its labor markets with unskilled jobseekers? Or a dynamic economy whose youthful population will help offset a looming pensions crisis? The economic case for Turkish membership of the European Union (news - web sites) is anything but clear cut.

EU leaders are expected to set a date for launching Turkish membership negotiations when they meet Friday. But the outcome of that process — one likely to last up to 15 years — looks ever more uncertain as a highly charged debate over letting in Turkey gathers pace.

Opponents argue that Turkish accession would create 70 million new EU citizens — only a few million short of the combined population of the 10 mostly eastern and central European states that joined on May 1.

In population terms, bringing in Turkey would be like doing the last wave of enlargement all over again.

The economic challenges appear even more daunting. Turkey's per-capita income stands at roughly one-third of the EU average prior to May 1, compared to about 40 percent of the pre-enlargement average in even the poorest new members — Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

"On economic grounds there's not much of a case for letting them in, let's be honest," said Alan Marin, a senior lecturer at the London School of Economics.

Turkey would be a major drain on EU development aid, which has proved a powerful motor of economic improvement in countries such as Ireland and Portugal. Even if Turkey joined in 15 years' time, Marin said, the bloc's new eastern members would still be drawing heavily on EU aid, placing "immense strain" on one of Europe's main tools for achieving economic convergence.

On the other hand, Turkey's economic growth has averaged about 8.5 percent over the last two years as it emerges from its 2000-2001 financial crisis. Inflation is below 12 percent for the first time in recent memory.

The head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Donald J. Johnston, recently said Turkey's economic progress "can only be described as stunning."

Many Turks, however, complain that European politicians and media are weighing the potential cost of their EU membership far more carefully than they did for the 10 recent entrants.

"The economic arguments are often a smoke screen for political ones," said Samim Akgonul, who works as a university researcher in the French town of Strasbourg, close to the border with Germany. "They cancel themselves out, it's a draw."

Opponents of Ankara's membership have stoked public fears — particularly in countries where unemployment is already high — about the prospect of Turkish workers flocking to European cities in search of work.

But supporters say access to Turkey's younger work force is just what Europe needs to rebalance its aging societies and help make up for the resulting shortfall in public pensions through tax contributions.

Those who do make the trip, economists say, often take work that resident jobseekers turn down or aren't offered, even in times of high unemployment. Rather than take jobs, they create them.

"In France's hotel, catering and construction sectors there are millions of unfilled jobs despite the (10 percent) unemployment rate," said Christophe Bertossi of the French Institute of International Relations.

"You don't win elections by saying you're going to open the borders to more immigrants," Bertossi said, "but we nevertheless do need more of them in order to cope with labor market deficiencies."

Widespread fears that Paris, London and Berlin would be swamped with migrants from Spain and Portugal proved unfounded after the two countries joined the bloc in 1986.


Furthermore, any lifting of entry restrictions for Turkish workers is probably two decades away. Most EU states negotiated long exemptions to free movement rules with new eastern members and are bound to do the same again with Ankara.

Job outsourcing, on the other hand, could happen from day one — or even sooner, as companies anticipate Turkey's entry.

Highly publicized threats by French and German companies to transfer jobs to eastern Europe have led to public anxiety that EU enlargement is becoming a jobs drain.

Turkey's membership could similarly raise incentives for firms to base production there, combining cheaper labor with guaranteed access to EU markets.

But Vural Oeger, a Turkish-born member of the European Parliament for Germany's governing Social Democrats, says the EU's richer states have nothing to fear and everything to gain from such investment decisions.

Oeger, the founder of a successful German charter company, said Germany's car industry created more jobs at home over the last decade than it had in the previous one — thanks largely to efficiency gains made through outsourcing to eastern Europe.

"Better to produce parts in Turkey than in China," he said. "They can be at your European factory in 36 hours. From China it takes weeks."

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« Reply #85 on: December 14, 2004, 01:20:03 AM »

Hamas: We're Still in Contact With EU

Mon Dec 13, 9:05 PM ET
Europe - AP

LONDON - The leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas said his organization is still in contact with the European Union (news - web sites) even though the 25-nation bloc considers it a terrorist group.

Khaled Mashaal also said in a television interview broadcast Monday that the United States had made contact "in past months," but he did not specify how or when.

"The European Union, which put Hamas on a list of terrorist organizations, is still continuing communications and meetings," Mashaal told the British Broadcasting Corp.

"They recognize Hamas' authority and that there is no understanding or stability in Palestine without a dialogue with Hamas," he added.

Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said there were no EU-Hamas meetings.

Hamas on Sunday carried out its deadliest attack on an Israeli military outpost in more than four years of fighting, killing five Israeli soldiers by blowing up 1.5 tons of explosives in a tunnel dug beneath an army post on the Gaza-Egypt border.

Last month, Solana denied having had direct contact with Hamas after he told the BBC he had seen representatives from the group.

"I have had contacts with Hamas but not in the last few days," Solana said in the original interview. He added, "these meetings were not long." His office later said the comments had been misinterpreted.

The EU added the entire Hamas organization to its terrorist list in September 2003 following dozens of deadly attacks in Israel. The EU list had previously included only Hamas' military wing.

Mashaal, who is based in Damascus, Syria, also told the BBC's "Newsnight" program that the United States had been touch with Hamas but did not elaborate.

"The American administration, which also put us on terror lists and criticizes us, contacted us in past months," he said.

"The Arab countries are continuing meetings with Hamas despite pressure from the American administration," he added.

The BBC said it interviewed Mashaal under heavy security in Lebanon, near the Syrian border.

Mashaal said upcoming Palestinian elections would not be truly democratic, which is why Hamas will not participate.

He added that he believed "100 percent" that the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat (news - web sites), died from poisoning.

"There is a lot of evidence that Yasser Arafat was poisoned, his health deteriorated suddenly without a reason, the symptoms which Yasser Arafat suffered were similar to poisoning," Mashaal said.

Arafat died in a French hospital on Nov. 11.

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« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2005, 02:57:17 PM »

EU's Solana voices hope Palestinian vote will give Israel peace partner


EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Sunday said the landmark Palestinian election should give Israel a partner to push forward the stalled Middle East peace process.

"I hope very much that by the end of the day, tonight, tomorrow morning we will have a president for the Palestinian Authority legitimised by a high turnout of people and therefore, also, an interlocutor for the peace process," Solana told reporters in Amman before flying to Ramallah.

"I think that these days are going to be days of optimism, days of hope that a new avenue for peace will be open," he added.

Solana, who arrived overnight in Jordan for a week-long tour of the region, had talks with King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Hani Mulki on how Europe and Jordan can help the Palestinians in the post-election environment.

"I am sure that both Palestinans and Israelis will take advantage of this opportunity," he added. "They can count on their European friends."

Text and Picture Copyright © 2004 AFP. All other copyright © 2004 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.


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« Reply #87 on: January 13, 2005, 11:12:10 PM »

AHA!--->Prince Felipe of Spain<--- successor to his father Juan Carlo's throne<---??? I'm still doing research on this daunting task of the 'anti-christ hunt'!  So, far I'm going with Felipe of Spain. Definetely the prince from Spain has the charming looks....never heard him speak as the bible says he will be a powerful speaker

672 in the EU and one seat to fill, which is #666:
(the 11th member The eleventh nation to join the EU is to have great powers - Daniel 7:8,20,24. Spain was the eleventh nation to enter the European Union in 1986) see fifth picture down:  


Do some researching on his father King Juan Carlos of Spain. Very interesting info on his father....not much YET though on his son!

Something to chew on.   Undecided


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« Reply #88 on: February 07, 2011, 09:03:10 PM »

The 4th Beast Kingdom is different from all the rest.......and has been quietly gobbling up the whole world.  In my opinion the world elite bankers have been quietly running things since the time of the French Revolution.  This kingdom is different because there are no visible kings as in years past.  They have been ruling in secret and becoming very wealthy over time.  The original family is the Rothchilds.  There are currently in my opinion 10 great international banking families running things......and the politicians are merely there puppets......bought and paid for. 

The man of evil will be a past leader.....well recognized......who will come back to life.  Many will marvel and follow after him.  He will make a deal with the 10 current leaders and bring down 3 of them. 

"The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be DIFFERENT from all other kingdoms, and shall DEVOUR THE WHOLE EARTH, TRAMPLE IT AND BREAK IT IN PIECES. 

"The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom, and another shall arise after them;  He shall be different from the first ones.  He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.  Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time."   (Daniel 7: 23-25)

"The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition.  And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

"And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.

"And the ten kings which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.

"These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast."

"For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled."

Rev. Chp 17

In summary, an invisible kingdom has been ruling the world and gobbling up it's wealth since the time of the French Revolution.  These are the descendants of the original money changers which Christ chased out of the temple.  They have no allegiance to any particular country.  They finance both sides during wars and make money on interest, manufacture of munitions, etc.   They inflate economies and then bring them down.  They own the Federal Reserve and the current crisis was done by intention to destroy the USA, the nations, and usher in a one world government with themselves as visible oligarchs.  They will turn over their power and authority to the man of evil when he comes to facilitate their intentions. 
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