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Home arrow newsitems arrow Trump's Finance Chief Mnuchin to EF on his 1st Trip to Europe: a Feeling of Coming Back Home ?...

Trump's Finance Chief Mnuchin to EF on his 1st Trip to Europe: a Feeling of Coming Back Home ?...

Pisac ACM
18. 03. 2017.

 us_treasury_secretary_steven_mnuchin_replying_to_am_question__eurofora_400


*Baden-Baden (Germany)/G20 Ministerial Finance Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- A New US Treasure Secretary, Steven Mnuchin's unusual Reply, was given to an even more unusual "Eurofora"s Question, at the conclusion of an, otherwise, quite "Hot" Press Conference, on the Results of "G20"'s important Finance Ministers Summit at Germany's Baden-Baden city, almost at the Heart of Europe, from where Both Mnuchin himself, and, even more, the New US President Don Trump's Families, notoriously originate :

As the Chairman, German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble had already Suggested, in his Introductory Remarks to the "Press HandBook" for that "G20" Baden-Baden Ministerial Summit of 2017, when he expressed the Wish, for the Working Conditions of all Participants and attendees, to be as ..."Relaxed" as People usualy are in this World-Famous "Spa" City, located amidst "Black Forest"'s splendid Natural Environment, (full of Mountains and Trees, Sources and Rivers, etc), after more than 2 Days of Intensive, and sometimes, reportedly "Hot" Political Discussions among more than 30 Countries (including "Guests") and 10 International Institutions, (from ECB up to IMF, etc), a Last-Minute, unusual Question by "Eurofora", at the Conclusion of USA's New Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, contributed a bit to Calm the Spirit, among a lot of quite Critical Queries previously raised by most other collegues :


Mnuchin noted that he had a good opportunity to meet and discuss with Schauble in Berlin, Earlier this Week, praising his Experience.


-----------------------------------------------------


    - "In your Curriculum Vitae you have several Personal Relations of your Family with Europe, in the Past, and also President Trump's Father origins are from Nearby Kallstadt" (German) city, (close to Strasbourg), "Eurofora" observed, in a Question to the Top US Official.


    => Therefore, "Despite certain Discussions - but you are Experienced on that -   Did you have some kind of Feeling about ...<<Comming Back Home>>, in one way or another ?", we asked Mnuchin, half joking, half seriously, in substance.


---------------------------------------------------------

g20_finance__press_conf__usa_mnushin__overall__eurofora_400 


    - "I can't be, exactly, coming back Home, since I've never been (at least) in Baden-Baden !", Steven Mnuchin Replied, Smiling, to "Eurofora"s, friendly, but quasi-"provocative" Question.


    - "But, I must say, that here it's a Beautiful Place. I was terribly Impressed with it", he kindly conceded. Therefore, "I Hope to have an Opportunity to Come Back, at some point".


     + Moreover, "I give you that, for a Long Period of Time, this was the kind of Place where a lot of Rich People came, especialy in the Summer, particularly from Russia, in the Old Days", Mnuchin partialy Agreed with "Eurofora"s Question.


 Inter alia, since his GrandFather had, indeed, reportedly Left Russia just a few years Before the 1917 Bolshevic Revolution, and lived, for a part, somewhere inside nowadays EU, including nearby Belgium, where EU Commission and EU Council Brussels' Headquarters are located at present.


    - Now, "I see why those People were comming Here", he realized. - "It's such a Beautiful Place".


    - "Particularly while Walking by the River". Indeed, -"We ("G20" Participants) had the Opportunity to Walk Many Times by the River, Yesterday", (i.e. when the Weather was Sunny), and "it was just a Beautiful Series of that".


    It looked as a Relaxing Conclusion to a quite intensive working day, at the end of the New US Treasury Secretary's Press Conference on this Baden-Baden 2017 Minsterial G20 Finance Summit, (which amused several TV cameramen/women around the 1st Floor of the ..."KonzertHaus", that served as Press Centre).


    - F.ex. it reminds American Singer Billy Joel's neo-classical "River of Dreams" : "... Walking ... to a River so Deep. ...Looking for something... Sacred I lost. But the River is Wide, and it's Too Hard to Cross". However, "...even though I know the river is wide. I walk down every evening ... And try to cross to the opposite side. So I can finally find out what I've been looking for". Particularly as far as Efforts to "Cross" over some "Opposite" Interests, and/or Memory of a "Lost" but "Sacred" Past, may be concerned...

 river_of_dreams_american_song_400

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSq4B_zHqPM


    New US President Don Trump's Family links to Europe are even More numerous : In addition to his Mother's origins from Scotland (UK), his grand-Father is from Nearby Kallstadt (Germany), and his Wife, Melanie, from Slovenia.

    And, Unexpectedly, when Mnushin spoke about his adherence to President Trump's promise to "Defend the Interests of American Workers", this stroke a cord of ...French Maurice Thorez' "Popular Front" Wording of a remote Past in Europe...


    Since this was used in order to speak about the "Fair Trade" Controversy, inevitably, here, it also Reminded former French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2010 Speech at Urmatt, Near Strasbourg, against "Economico-Social and/or Environmental Dumping", (See, f.ex., "Eurofora"s NewsReport from Urmatt, then, at : ...).
    
    At any case, when some others, (particularly the Out-going French Socialist Minister of Finance, Michel Sapin : Comp. various Sapin's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions in Topical Issues, Yesterday, f.ex. : ... +..), "Regretted" Mnuchin's a.o. reported reluctance to Insert, at "G20"'s Official Communiqué a Mention on the "Paris" Agreement for a set of Measures "gainst Global Warming", (something which has provoked Growing Controversies, particularly in the US, etc), perhaps this Might have been understood Yesterday, Friday, 17 of March, when a rather unusualy Hot, for this Period of the Year, Bright Sun had Warmed too much the ambiant Atmosphere here...


    But probably Not Today, Saturday, March 18, when, already OverNight, suddenly, a Cold Winter Wind, Gray Clouds, and a quite Chilly Rain, started to unexpectedly Freeze those who had Imprudently kept too Light Clothes from Yesterday : It all rather looked, much More as a kind of ... "Global Cooling" !

However, Schauble obviously Tried, as Representative of the German 2017 Presidency of this "G20" Global Top Political Event, (while naturaly Keeping Berlin's own positions on the Issues, f.ex. on Trade, etc), to somehow Calm the Play, and/or Create a kind of Synthesis, or, at least, Succesfully propose an Unusual, (as he remarked himself and others), but Neutral "Wording", at the Concluding Official Communiqué, due to manage most susceptibilities from all sides.

Spectaculary Marked also by some Exceptional Top Political Meetings these Same days, key to GeoPolitical developments related to the New, Don Trump's US Administration's policies, this very "special" G20 Ministerial Finance Summit at Baden-Baden's First Day "coincided" with German Chancelor Angie Merkel's 1st visit to US President Trump in Washington DC, Yesterday Evening (Comp., f.ex. : ....), as well as with New USA State Secretary (Foreign MInister) Rex Tillerson's 1st Visit to China, to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, (to be followed even by President Xi Jiping himself), during Baden-Baden's Global Gathering's Second Day, earlier This Morning, when, naturaly, also various "Hot" G20-related Issues were Discussed there.

Final "G20" Decisions are, indeed, currently Prepared for a July 2017 (i.e. soon After the forthcoming, crucial French Presidential and Parliamentary Elections of April-June), Heads of State/Government Summit in Hamburg, (North-Western Germany).



(../..)

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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