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Home arrow In Brief arrow Strasbourg Region, Alsace, doesn't want to become ... "ALCA(PONE)" area !?

Strasbourg Region, Alsace, doesn't want to become ... "ALCA(PONE)" area !?

Written by ACM
Saturday, 11 October 2014

 

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*Strasbourg/Bordeaux squr./Angelo Marcopolo/- Most Strasbourg Region, Alsace's People don't seem to like at all for their Historic land, with its Symbolic and specific role for EU Integration through the Historic Franco-German Reconciliation, to be suddenly submerged inside a much larger but Artificial conglomerate, made by adding together 3 Different Regions, including Lorraine and even Champagne-Ardennes, which might, perhaps, have an interesting point into bringing together 4 Borders to other European Countries, (from Switzerland and Germany up to Luxembourg and Belgium, throughout France's North-Eastern frontiers), as the Socialist Chair of Strasbourg's Urban Community, Herrmann, recently argued at a meeting with the local Press Club, but, nevertheless, risks to look quite .. fishy with its Strange scheduled Name of ... "ALCA", which would inevitably remind Chicago border-city's World-famous Chief Gangster "ALCAPONE"...

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This became clear during a Popular Mass Demonstrations of critics, mainly from the Center and Right side of the Political Spectrum, which was added Today to another, previous Protest also from Rightists and/or Regionalists, representing all in all a large Majority in Alsace, considering also of the fact that even some Socialists, and particularly "Greens", are, them too, critical of the current Government's Draft Bill on ReGrouping France's Regions, that the Senate might oblige the National Assembly to soon review at a second, and crucial reading soon.

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- "PACA Region's Chairman Vauzelle, (from the Southern Marseilles area), used to tell me that Nobody  knows "PACA", while, on the contrary, Picardy, Ardeche and Cote d' Azur, are quite Well known", denounced from the outset Alsace Region's President, Philippe Richert, who has a unique Experience as also former President of Lower Rhine's Department and former Minister for all France's Territorial organisations.

 

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- Similarly, nobody would know what "ALCA" (the controversial planned "Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne/Ardennes" Super Region) might be, while our Region, Alsace, is already well known, both throughout Europe and Internationaly, he pointed out, calling rather to  "develop our own piece of France, and piece of Europe : Alsace", as he stressed, largely applauded by an enthousiastic Mass Demonstration of some Tens of Thousands of People gathered at Strasbourg's Bordeaux square, right in front of Regional TV's HQ "France 3 - Alsace", and close to the European quarter where CoE and ECHR, as well as EU Parliament's buildings are located.  But the desirable Administrative Simplifications and Economies could be better made otherwise : i.e. by merging together the 2 currently existing Departments of Lower and Superior Rhine, inside a revigorated Alsace Regional Council, Richert proposed instead, backed by an impressive gathering of Local and Regional elected politicians, from Mulhouse and Colmar up to Strasbourg itself and many Villages.

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Indeed, Alsace is one of the  few Regions to have had a special Pavillon of its own at the International area of Shanghai's 2010 World Expo, has the biggest ratio of Foreign Investments in France after Paris' Region, holds a notoriety as Host of the PanEuropean CoE, with its Court of Human Rights, EU Parliament's full Plenary Sessions and Ombudsperson, EUROCORPS' Army HQ, is at the forefront of the Franco-German Integration at the core of EU's €uroZone, including with the "OberRhein (Superior Rhine)" Tri-National project, together with Switzerland, has the only French University out of Paris which is rated among the 100 Best in the World by the Shanghai Academic Ranking of Universities, with 3 Nobel Prize winners active, exports its "Elsass" Café trademark by Henri even up to Moscow or Japan, etc.,, as well as its famous traditional White Alsacian Wines and Beer "Kronenbourg 1664" (recently bought by Danish Giant "Carlsberg"),  has recently got its own, private TV station : "Alsace-20", and is quite well known in Brussels and throughout the World as one of the most performant and pittoresque French Regions, neighbooring wonderful German "Black Forest" and Swiss Bale areas, etc., thanks also to an active "Alsace International" organisation.

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    - Idenity issues were highlighted even ...Musically by American Singer Liza Doby's "Who are we ?" latest Album. After softly promissing to "love, unconditionaly" her new homeland : Alsace region in North-Eastern France, Doby almost prayed for the region's future, with her "Sankt Amarin" song, before concluding, timely, with a critical "I don't need a Doctor" at all, with the satirical "Dr. FeelGood" song, obviously percieved now in Strasbourg as a denunciation of some "Dr. Frankestein juniors", too hastily rushing to excessively heavy operations over Regions' remake, dangerously cutting and/or grafting these or those Regions together, even without taking any necessary precaution beforehand...

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     - "In fact, Alsace might, perhaps, fit well with Lorraine's Moselle department, but not so much with its Meuse and/or Vosges parts, and certainly not with Champagne-Ardennes' region, as far as Historic and Cultural identities and particularities are concerned", told "EuroFora" Richert's Brother, Pierre, with an astonishing, almost identic twin-like resemblance to the President of Alsace Region, while proudly holding its traditional flag...

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    Indeed, specific realities as such of Franco-German BiLingualism inside Elementary Education, the "Concordate" which gives a special status to Historically recognized Religions (as Christian, etc), the so-called "Local Law", which has, in particular, a special regime for Social Security, for the creation of Associations, etc., together with Geography, crafted by the Natural landscape of Rhine valley, from its Swiss sources all way through the Mountains of "Vosges" and "Black Forest" in the French and German side of the River, respectively, as well as the Economy and the abundance of pittoresque small-medium Villages accross mainly Rural areas, (etc), form integral parts of Alsace Region's own characteristics.

 
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     + Even on a European level, "Alsace would better work on Franco-German relations, while Lorraine should focus on Luxembourg, Belgium and Sarre" (a semi-French speaking area at nearby Germany). "That's better both for France and Europe", advised wisely the experienced long-time former President of EU Parliament's biggest Group of MEPs, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, and currently New Head of the EPP Party, headquartered in Brussels, Joseph Daul, speaking to "EuroFora", while personaly participating (disguissed as a grassroots Farmer) in a very Popular free distribution of fresh, home-grown Agricultural products of the area, which made many People happy...

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    From Young representative, freshly elected Municipal and Regional politician Elsa Schalck, up to ... "Miss France 2012", superbe Red-haired Alsacian Delphine Wespeiser's Mother and Father, representing to Strasbourg's Demonstration their Daughter, obliged to travel to Shri Lanka, Canada, etc, who posed smiling proudly for an "EuroFora" Photo, the overall atmosphere of this exceptional Popular Gathering united both Aged and Young People, including several young couples with their Children, Citizens and Municipal, District and/or Regional elected representatives, Consular Chambers, etc., in a rare mix.

 

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    In conclusion, Alsace Region's President Philippe Richert, invited all participants to sing, all together, France's National hymne, known as "la Marseilleuse", which has notoriously been created historically in Strasbourg, inspired from the "Rhine army" saga in the Past, before it was brought, through the Rhone valley, until Marseilles city, from where it won its National prestige thanks to an important group of revolted People who succesfully fought their way up to Paris during the Historic 1789 National Revolution which established the nowadays Republic since then. Consistently, the Demonstration for Alsace region ended with a Flight of "Blue, White, Red" Baloons, French flag's colors... 

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(../..)

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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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