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Home arrow newsitems arrow Tomi Ungerer Starts his 1st Year in Eternity : a Franco-German European to revisit USA on 2020 ?!

Tomi Ungerer Starts his 1st Year in Eternity : a Franco-German European to revisit USA on 2020 ?!

Written by ACM
Sunday, 01 December 2019
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*Strasbourg/Hilton/Angelo Marcopolo/- Invited by the Secretary General of the International Association of Tomi Ungerer's Friends, (AIATU in the Original in French), Robert Walter, Experienced former Long-Time Director of the Franco-German Cultural Center at nearby Karlsruhe, for the presentation to the Press of the very Serious, Annual "TomiScope" Review, naturally Focused on the Actuality of the Famous Humoristic Cartoonist and even CoE's PanEuropean"Ambassador"'s Brillant Work, "Eurofora" didn't expect to be, suddenly, propulsed at a Global, World-wide Horizon, in a more Topical Context than one could usually imagine, inviting to Travel accross Continents and throughout History, with a Spicy, Emotional and Imaginative Art.

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Naturally, when the AIATU's President, Constant Reibel, gave us, smiling, as a Gift, that precious "Collector's Item", which really is the "Number 20" TomiScope, due to Jump from 2019 to 2020, everybody expected -or, rather, Hoped- that it would Meet the Exceptional Challenge to gather, in its almost 100 large Pages, a lot of Interesting Data, pertinent Reminders, Revelations and/or News, that Inspired to his Best Friends,

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(including even the Young French President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who had Welcomed him at Elysée Palace), the Last "Joke" that Tomi played on Earth, by suddenly Jumping into Eternity, after More than 88 Years of a very Active and Creative Life, between 1931 and 2019.

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Earlier this Year, when the sympathetic Mayor of Nearby Kehl City at Neighbouring Germany, (Now Linked to Strasbourg not only by the "Europa Bridge", recently reinforced for High-Speed Trains, and even Bicycles, but Also by a Splendid Rhine River's "2 Shores Garden" and, at last, a popular Direct "Tram" Connexion, as if it had really Started to progressively Become One City for a foreseable Future), Tony Vetrano, (almost an Homonyme with Tomi !), a real Italian turned into a convinced Deutsch, and Ambitious enough as to try to Learn also French, as a Good European, had Welcomed the "Press Club" of Strasbourg in a well prepared Press Conference on the New, "Post-Tram" Era that was just Beginning for the 2 Cities, it's some Highly Symbolic Drawings of Ungerer on Franco-German Friendship and EU's core Integration, that Robert Walter, offered him as a Gift.

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Seated aside "Eurofora", Walter let us Notice the Fact that he had Offered, in Fact, 2, quite Different Ways to Imagine and Design a Joint Franco-German Future in Europe's Heartland : Both Interesting and Positive, one looked, however, even if equally ambitious, also a little-bit more ..."Techno" than the Other, which, on the Contrary, Focused on a very Simple but deeply Human Symbolic Image of 2 Friends rowing Together in 1 Boat through a splendid Nature... Curious to Find out which one Vetrano was going to Choose and show us all, or not, "Eurofora" soon saw that he had, indeed, chosen what looked as the most "Human" and SImple Version, (But Strong in Meening), almost at the Same Time that he Replied to one of Our Questions, during his Press-Conference, by, unexpectedly Pleading for what he named as the ..."Emotional" Character of "Border-line" Neighbouring Regions, which Share one and same Natural Border, (f.ex., here, a River, elsewhere, perhaps, a Mountain, etc)... Tomi Ungerer's Simple but Profoubd "Music" had worked just fine !     

But, Later this Same Year, we were genuinely Surprized to "Meet" anew Tomi Ungerer, this time Well Surrounded by Numerous among his Long-Time Friends, look at us all with a Kind but always Spicy Smile, High from the Top of Strasbourg Cathedral's Giant Roof, thanks to a Huge Image that himself and/or his Family and Pals had Chosen for the Ceremony of his Public Funeral, with the participation of several Confessions, and attended by a lot of People, clearly indicating his Popularity :

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Soon, the well known, Traditional Song for "Freedom of Thought", ("Die Gedenken sind Frei"), with the eternal Schieffer, echoed its Music in that emblematic, Historic Christian Monument. It was for a Protestant, who Liked that Catholic Cathedral, even added to some Jewish Yiddish, etc, amidst a Visible Franco-German participation : A Real "Alsacian" in the Middle of Europe...

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- However, when, during Today's 3rd "Meeting" that we had with Tomi Ungerer and his Friends, during this Same Year 2019, at AIATU's Gathering in Strasbourg's "Hilton" Hotel, "Eurofora" asked Walter and Reibel whether it was feasible to have, more or less, a Digitalized Catalogue uniting together a Full Overview of all the Huge List of various and Numerous Works Created by the Artist during all his Life, in a way which would Facilitate also People's and Experts' Research of the most Pertinent Artworks, among Tens of Thousands of "Pieces", (roughly separated between his "Museum" in Strasbourg's superb Republic Square, aside CoE's Secretary General's House, which is also an Internatiobnal Center for Designers, and those still Kept by his Family, living in Ireland since a long time ago, added also to a 3rd Group reportedly assembled by the German art collector Würth, etc), the Reply, given by Walter, was, basically, that, while something like that Already exists, somehow, inside at least a Part of Strasbourg's Museum for Tomi, nevertheless, a Fully-fledged, Scientific and systematic, overall Work of that Kind, might, Probably, be undertaken, sooner or later, "by the University of Cork", in Ireland, as he guessed.

+ And, then, suddenly arrived the Real "Surprize" :  - During the Next Year of 2020, "a Big Lot", more than 500 Pages-long, is due to Emerge, "with Tomi Ungerer's ArtWorks on America !", Walter announced Today. I.e., by a Timely Coincidence, during the Same Year of the forthcoming Crucial USA's Presidential Elections...

- Indeed, Ungerer had Left Europe during the 1950ies, in order to Work in the USA, at New York, and didn't Return but Only during the 1970ies, Walter Reminded to "Eurofora". During all that Period of Time, he was Living and Working there, even if he personaly was Against the residues of Maccarthysm and Cold War, Racial Segregation, Vietnam War, etc., and, on the Contrary, Favorable for Detente, Civic Rights, and Peace, he observed.

Inter alia, it will be certainly Interesting to see, whether, Tomi Ungerer's best Artistic Creations, mainly at the World-Famous Times of the "Sixties" inside the USA, would Help Inspire and ReVive also in Nowadays Europe a Similar "Magic" ambiance, mutatis-mutandis.

Even if we know, Nowadays, that, by having Left from the USA on 1971, he did Not have yet the Time to experience there Nixon's Recognition of China, Detente with Russia, Peace Treaty with Vietnam, End of Segregation, etc : Richard Nixon, indeed, was Not Only the "Watergate" impeachment scandal, But much More in World's History !

Let's cross fingers, and see what will happen, in that regard...

 

 

(.../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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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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