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Comfortable and warm thanks to Nord Stream, Brussels elite refuse to compensate Bulgaria for their misguided obedience

Russia has axed the South Stream gas pipeline meant to bring gas straight into Southern Europe and avoid any “middleman” countries which might hinder deliveries. The route was supposed to go from Russia through the black sea to Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia, and then further to Austria. Bulgaria, following orders from its E.U. masters, kept delaying the approval of the economically lucrative project. Russia finally got tired of waiting and scrapped the deal.

Alex Christoforou

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Oh that feeling when you have been ripped off. We have all felt it. Maybe a taxi driver overcharges you, a co-worker backstabs you, or perhaps a business partner betrays your trust and runs off with the loot.

We have all been swindled from time to time, some people worse than others. It hurts, it damages your pride and confidence, but if you are smart, you learn from your mistakes and swiftly cut off the wrongdoers from your life.

As the saying goes…”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Perhaps the mother of all swindling just took place two days ago when Russia pulled the plug on South Stream, and left a variety of EU countries holding a bag of nothingness.

Serbia, Hungary, and Austria, who will lose out in the South Stream pull back, at least exercised some dignity and sovereignty by approving the project on their end, and refusing King Brussels’ demands to halt construction on the lucrative pipeline.

Greece, Italy and Romania remained a bit more quiet throughout the entire South Stream tug of war, perhaps opting to fly below the Brussels radar as best they could.

But Bulgaria, oh Bulgaria, you got swindled, shafted, mistreated in the most vile and evil of ways. Those E.U. powers up north…man they screwed you guys big time.

No one can be sure what exact leverage they held over Bulgaria’s politicians and policy makers to warrant the stonewalling of a project that literally would have transformed the country, but whatever guarantees they provided, one thing is for sure, Bulgaria ain’t gonna see one cent of it.

Brussels won’t even be so kind as to offer up an apology…”Hey Bulgaria, sorry guys we misread the whole Russia/gas thing. We thought some hardball would make Russia grovel like we grovel to our US masters.”

The newly crowned Queen of Brussels, Federica Mogherini, had these words of comfort to offer Bulgaria regarding South Stream.

In other words…blah, blah, we will form a committee, blah, blah, which will form a committee, blah, blah, which will do committee stuff and then we will lend Bulgaria $400 million USD in return for reforms, austerity and an “opening” up of their economy to our banks and speculators.

Seriously, this how the Brussels elite think nowadays. It’s all about what’s in it for them. How can they best subjugate, pillage and financially rape their southern neighbours.

Bulgaria should not forget that up in the North of Europe they will remain nice and toasty warm, enjoying their cheap gas delivered via the Russian Nord Stream pipeline. What’s good for the north of Europe is obviously not good for the South of Europe.

Feeling a tad slighted, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has decided to go to Brussels for consultations in the EU regarding “energy issues.”

As ITAR TASS reports:

The main topic of the forthcoming consultations in the European Commission will be Sofia’s attempt to get compensation for the closure of the South Stream gas pipeline project by Russia. It was halted by Moscow on December 1 as Bulgaria did not give Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom the permission to launch the natural gas pipeline system construction in the Black Sea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Sofia on Monday to demand from the European Union compensation for losses from the halted project. Putin said that the project would have given at least €400 million to Bulgaria’s budget per year from gas transit.

The European Commission on December 9 will hold a coordination meeting with the EU countries’ governments on South Stream. And on Wednesday, Bulgarian authorities started the calculation of the lost funds. The more so that freezing the South Stream project Bulgaria complied with the EU policy. Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said in October that his country would “prevent a situation in which the gas pipeline will be built not under European legislation.”

“None of us has seen the official figure – how much Bulgaria would gain and when it would start to get the profit. Such figure does not exist,” Borisov said in the Bulgarian parliament on Wednesday. “If it’s not 400 million euro per year, this means that our half of the project will pay back in several years. I’ve heard this, but could not read anywhere from which year and how much Bulgaria will be receiving from gas transit through its territory.”

Unfortunately Bulgaria will have to tack on Prime Minister Borisov’s plane ticket to Brussels to the total bill of wasted state funds allocated to the South Stream debacle, because as ITAR TASS reports…

The EU already said, however, that it does not intend to pay Bulgaria. European Commission spokesperson Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said on Tuesday that “there are no legal grounds for compensations in case of suspension of that or other similar projects.”

However, the Bulgarian premier still cherishes hopes. Boyko Borisov asked the lawmakers to set specific tasks: “There are issues I would like to discuss with representatives of the European Commission. I want the Popular Assembly to charge me with the task to raise them. I want the coming dialogue to be maximally constructive.”

I guess hope does indeed die last.

As Prime Minister Borisov hopes and prays for a miracle, we suggest Bulgaria not forget that when the opportunity to rise up from poverty and suffering finally presented itself, in the form of South Stream, Brussels made sure to swindle you out of your God given right to energy independence and prosperity.

“In the Now” with Anissa Naouai explains how Europe shot itself in the foot and Bulgaria in the heart.

References:

http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/764937

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Rocky Racoon
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Rocky Racoon

They made up the laws AFTER the pipeline was agreed upon!

redpilltimes
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redpilltimes

Excellent post from Fort Russ blog which went into Bulgarian forums to gauge reactions: http://fortruss.blogspot.ca/2014/12/we-turned-out-to-be-same-stupid.html

Rocky Racoon
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Rocky Racoon

They made up the laws AFTER the pipeline was agreed upon!

redpilltimes
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redpilltimes

Excellent post from Fort Russ blog which went into Bulgarian forums to gauge reactions: http://fortruss.blogspot.ca/2014/12/we-turned-out-to-be-same-stupid.html

Rocky Racoon
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Rocky Racoon

And Russia is an impeccably reliable provider who continued to serve Europe even through the cold war. When they make a deal they stick to the deal. They are solid are a rock unlike the EU stuffed full of cheese EU.

Rocky Racoon
Guest
Rocky Racoon

And Russia is an impeccably reliable provider who continued to serve Europe even through the cold war. When they make a deal they stick to the deal. They are solid are a rock unlike the EU stuffed full of cheese EU.

Narwhal8915
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http://t.co/KyXxnjpnR5
#Brussels elite refuse to compensate #Bulgaria for misguided obedience
@pulsar1 #Nord_Stream http://t.co/sm8qYpP1CZ

rbella24
Guest

RT @Narwhal8915: http://t.co/KyXxnjpnR5
#Brussels elite refuse to compensate #Bulgaria for misguided obedience
@pulsar1 #Nord_Stream http:/…

pulsar1
Guest

RT @Narwhal8915: http://t.co/KyXxnjpnR5
#Brussels elite refuse to compensate #Bulgaria for misguided obedience
@pulsar1 #Nord_Stream http:/…

AgenturRU
Guest

Comfortable and warm thanks to Nord Stream, Brussels elite refuse to compensate Bulgaria for their misguided o… http://t.co/JnDrZx1ZQd

alisya7492
Guest
alisya7492

Russia is rock solid provider. The EU will be scrambling to find solutions going forward

alisya7492
Guest
alisya7492

Russia is rock solid provider. The EU will be scrambling to find solutions going forward

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Putin’s State of the Nation Part III – Raising Russians

President Putin’s State of the Nation talk began with the most important element of any society – the family.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Parts I and II of this series outline much of Russia’s “face towards the world” in terms of both economic / trade and military matters. Part III actually comprises the great majority of what President Putin addressed in the Russian State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, 20 February. As he pledged upon his re-election to his fourth presidential term, the 66-year old leader focused primarily on domestic affairs within the Russian Federation.

The whole speech is available at Kremlin.ru, and by following this hyperlink.

We have selected excerpts along the reasoning of illuminating those parts of domestic policy in Russia that reveal why the globalist and secularist elíte in the West are so determined to block Russia’s success as a nation, even to isolate it and destroy it if possible. We will emphasize and comment on various points from the speech.

One of the biggest differences in Russia from the US is the centrality of traditional families, with children. Children are wanted and needed in the Russian Federation, and President Putin started his speech by addressing the matter of raising new Russians:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia,

Today’s Address is primarily devoted to matters of domestic social and economic development. I would like to focus on the objectives set forth in the May 2018 Executive Order and detailed in the national projects. Their content and the targets they set are a reflection of the demands and expectations of Russia’s citizens. People are at the core of the national projects, which are designed to bring about a new quality of life for all generations. This can only be achieved by generating momentum in Russia’s development…

Therefore, the work of the executive branch at all levels should be coordinated, meaningful and energetic. The Government of Russia must set the tone.

At the same time, I would like to emphasise and repeat: our development projects are not federal and even less so agency-based. They are national. Their results must be visible in each region of the Federation, in every municipality. It is here, on the ground, that the majority of specific tasks is implemented.

Here, President Putin seems to be alluding to the importance of nation. While Russia has a much more openly socialist style government than the US does, it is nonetheless also much more efficient in its work in many ways. Communism failed, but it did teach some lessons about how to do a lot of work with few resources. There is a reason the largest nation on earth does not have to go into huge debt year after year.

Let me now share some specifics on our objectives. I will begin with the key objective of , which means providing all-around support to families.

Family, childbirth, procreation and respect for the elderly have always served as a powerful moral framework for Russia and its multi-ethnic people. We have been doing everything in our power to strengthen family values and are committed to doing so in the future. In fact, our future is at stake. This is a task shared by the state, civil society, religious organisations, political parties and the media.

This, while states in the US are trying to pass radical abortion laws to even be able to kill babies who survive abortions.

Russia has entered an extremely challenging period in terms of demographics. As you know, the birth rate is declining…

We succeeded in overcoming the negative demographic trends in the early 2000s, when our country faced extreme challenges. This seemed to be an impossible challenge at the time. Nevertheless, we succeeded, and I strongly believe that we can do it again by returning to natural population growth by late 2023 – early 2024.

Today, I wanted to talk about a new package of measures that has already been prepared to support families.

First: It is important that having children and bringing them up do not put families at the risk of poverty or undermine their wellbeing. As you know, we have already provided for the payment of subsidies for the first two children until they reach 18 months…

Starting January 1, 2020, I propose raising the bar to two subsistence wages per family member. This is what people have requested and these requests come directly into the Executive Office. This measure will increase the number of families entitled to additional benefits by almost 50 percent. Some 70 percent of families with one or two children will be able to benefit from help from the Government.

Second: At present, carers looking after children with disabilities and people disabled since childhood receive an allowance of only 5,500 rubles. I suggest increasing this to 10,000 rubles, starting July 1. Of course, I understand that it is still a small amount. However, it will be an additional measure of support for families with a child who needs special care.

Third: The income of Russian families must, of course, increase. This is a serious task that requires a comprehensive solution. I will speak about this in greater detail later. But we need direct measures. First of all, the tax burden on families needs to be relieved. The approach should be very simple: the more children there are, the lower the tax. I propose increasing federal tax relief on real estate for families with many children. I also propose lifting taxes on 5 square metres in a flat and 7 square metres in a house per each child…

Fourth: The Government and the Central Bank need to consistently maintain the policy to lower mortgage rates to 9 percent, and then to 8 percent or below, as stipulated in the May 2018 Executive Order. At the same time, special measures of support should be provided for families with children, of course… A family making a decision to buy housing certainly makes plans for a long or at least medium term, a lasting investment. But with this [present] programm, they take out a loan, start paying the installments, and the grace period ends. The interest is actually subsidized only for the first 3 or 5 years. I propose extending the benefit for the entire term of the mortgage loan.

Yes, of course, it will require additional funding, and the cost will be rather high: 7.6 billion rubles in 2019, 21.7 billion rubles in 2020, and 30.6 billion rubles in 2021. But the programme is estimated to reach as many as 600,000 families. We certainly need to find the money. We know where to get it. We have it, and we just need to use it in the areas that are of major importance to us.

And one more direct action solution. Considering the sustainability and stability of the macroeconomic situation in the country and the growth of the state’s revenues, I consider it possible to introduce another measure of support for families having a third and subsequent children. I suggest paying 450,000 rubles directly from the federal budget to cover this sum from their mortgage. Importantly, I propose backdating this payment starting January 1, 2019, recalculating it and allocating relevant sums in this year’s budget.

Let us see what we have. If we add this sum to the maternity capital, which can also be used for mortgage payments, we will get over 900,000 rubles. In many regions, this is a substantial part of the cost of a flat. I would like to draw the attention of the Government and the State Duma to this issue. If need be, the budget will have to be adjusted accordingly. An additional 26.2 billion rubles will be required for this in 2019. The relevant figures for 2020 and 2021 are 28.6 billion rubles and 30.1 billion rubles, respectively. These are huge funds but they should be allocated and used in what I have already described as a very important area.

There is a great deal more detail on the notion of various tax breaks for families with children. It is worth a read, and it is also worth noting the very clear language set forth here. It appears rather refreshing to hear these ideas laid out in such a blunt fashion.

 

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Pressure mounts on Theresa May to agree to 3 month Brexit extension (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 181.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at how the EU, in coordination with forces inside the British Parliament, are pushing for Theresa May to agree to a three month “Brexit day” extension.

According to a Bloomberg, Theresa May must resign as British prime minister and Conservative leader later this year after delivering Brexit, according to politicians at the highest levels of her own government.  May has promised her party she will stand down before the next general election, slated for 2022, but she’s likely to face pressure to go within the next three months. Once the U.K. is out of the European Union, and local district elections on May 2 are over, the premier will have no reason to stay in office, one senior minister said, speaking privately. Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29.

A person familiar with another minister’s views agreed with the timescale, arguing that the prime minister should leave in the summer, so a new leader can be in place in time for the party’s annual conference in October. A third senior member of May’s administration pointed out that Tories had no way of formally seeking to remove May before December under the party’s internal leadership rules. May will never voluntarily resign, despite her previous pledge, the person said.

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Via Zerohedge

Theresa May once again failed to extract concessions from the EU27 on Wednesday after yet another meeting with Juncker (surprise, surprise) as the Continent refuses to budge on May’s demands for “legally binding changes” to the deal – specifically to the troublesome Irish backstop, which many Brexiteers fear could result in the UK being reduced to a “vassal state” of the EU by becoming interminably trapped in the customs union, with zero say over its rules. Talks between Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and EU27 chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday were similarly inconclusive.

And with only 36 days left until “Brexit Day”, it’s becoming increasingly clear that May will need to ask her EU colleagues for an extension to the two-year negotiating period, something that would cut against her commitment to take the UK out of the EU “as scheduled”, though she has never explicitly ruled it out. According to Bloombergthe EU expects May to request a 3-month “technical extension,” which would be the first, and hopefully only, delay, (because anything further would ratchet up the pressure for the UK to participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections…an unnecessary complication).

Still, without meaningful concessions on the backstop, it’s difficult to see a way forward. Rebellious Tories and the “Independent Group” have so far focused their efforts on securing a legally-binding commitment to take a “no-deal” exit off the table. And with the deadline unlikely to be extended past this point, if a deal isn’t reached during the March 21-22 UK-EU summit, he way forward will appear impossibly vague.

But with dozens of Tories reportedly ready to rebel unless the PM offers concrete reassurances that ‘no deal’ isn’t an option, and that rebellion will likely take the form of support for an amendment tabled by former minister Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Yvette Cooper to give Parliament the power to delay Brexit Day if no deal is reached by mid-March.

Meanwhile, thanks to the latest round of defections, the “Independent Group” has become the fourth-largest party in Parliament.

But all of these threats likely won’t take on real significance until the March summit with the EU, thanks to the Continent’s reputation for holding out until the last minute. Meanwhile, MPs have told the media that a vote on May’s Brexit “Plan B” deal – which had been set for next week – is unlikely.

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Trump’s Syria military pullout, not under John Bolton’s watch (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 89.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the announcement from the Trump White House that the United States has decided to station a ‘peacekeeping group’ of roughly 200 US soldiers in Syria for a ‘period of time’ after the much hyped withdrawal.

Once again we see that once the US enters a country for a regime change mission, it becomes nearly impossible to fully disengage, ultimately leaving America in the role of invader and occupier, for an indefinite amount of time.

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Via RT…

Despite President Donald Trump’s promises to withdraw American troops out of Syria, the US intends to maintain presence on the ground with a “small peacekeeping group” for an unspecified “period” of time, the White House said.

“A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement without elaborating.

Trump took the world by surprise back in December, when he announced the US withdrawal from Syria without specifying a timetable. The initiative was not well received in the Pentagon, even forcing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign after clashing with Trump, as both the generals and politicians have been claiming that US presence in Syria is vital and that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group would inevitably reemerge if all of some 2,000 Americans leave.

The US withdrawal is being stalled by concerns about potential Turkish incursion into the territories currently controlled by the US-backed Syrian Kurds. On Thursday, Trump had another phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the issue. Washington wants Turkey to agree to a buffer ‘safe zone’ in northeastern Syria and is also contemplating arming the Syrian Kurds, despite Ankara’s strong opposition.

While the US continues its diplomatic maneuvering, some noted the irony, wondering if the White House was using the term ‘peacekeeping’ correctly or was even aware of what it actually means. Others questioned the logic and the motive of maintaining such a contingent on the ground, noting that 200 troops could serve as a human shield, but is unlikely to really sway the outcome of the conflict.

Traditionally, the term peacekeeping has been used to describe the UN Blue Helmets whose missions are strictly mandated by the Security Council. American troops, however, hardly have any legal basis to remain in Syria, as they had never been invited by the official government in Damascus.

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