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Windbag Jean-Claude Juncker's Pathetic Bluff Regarding Iran Sanctions

EC president Jean-Claude Juncker says the EU will activate a 'blocking statute' to avoid Iran sanctions.

"As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies. We now need to act and this is why we are launching the process of to activate the 'blocking statute' from 1996. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

"We also decided to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies' investment in Iran. The Commission itself will maintain its cooperation will Iran," Juncker told a news conference after a meeting of EU leaders.

Solidarity Busted Already

French President Emmanuel Macron ruled out on Thursday any trade war with the United States over its withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal as a wave of European companies quit business with Tehran, fearing the global reach of U.S. sanctions.

Macron acknowledged the predicament of firms wanting to trade with Iran or invest there, especially multinationals with close business ties to the United States. But he made clear bigger matters were at stake.

"We won't start a strategic trade war against the U.S. about Iran," he said on arriving for a second day of a European Union summit in Bulgaria. "We're not going to take counter-sanctions against U.S. companies, it wouldn't make sense."

"All European Union member states are still backing this agreement, despite the fact the United States has decided not to, and we will continue talks with the United States," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters at the EU summit.

Actions Speak Louder Than Bluffs

The EU can claim it is still honoring the deal, but ultimately the decision is up to corporate CEOs. And we have seen the response.

  • Soren Skou, chief executive of Danish-based A.P. Moller-Maersk, made this statement: "With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the U.S., and we have that on a large scale. I don't know the exact timing details, but I am certain that we're also going to shut down."
  • Italian steel manufacturer Danieli announced it has halted work on finding financial coverage for orders it won in Iran worth 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion). "With the withdrawal of the U.S. from the treaty the banks are no longer ready to fund Iranian projects for fear of secondary sanctions," Danieli CEO Alessandro Trivillin said.

EU's Pathetically Weak Response to Donald Trump

Eurointelligence mocked the Juncker's response last night, even before Juncker made it.

It is really quite sad to see the lack of gumption by EU leaders when confronted with Donald Trump's threats.

The fundamental tenet of German policy will be to protect the interests of industry in general, and of the car industry specifically. That clearly sets limits to the EU's ability to stand up to Donald Trump, and risks a major trade conflict.

Yesterday's EU summit in Sofia agreed a broad strategy of the neither-here-nor-there kind to deal with Trump. The leaders managed to agree that they will not enter into a trade talks if the US applies tariffs to steel and aluminium from June 1, when the current and final exemption expires.

The leaders also agreed the implausible strategy to prepare protection for European companies against secondary US sanctions to be slapped on EU companies dealing with Iran. But they gave no details on how this can be done. As FAZ recently pointed out, the only companies willing and able to resist US pressure will be European importers of Persian carpets.

Jean-Claude Juncker even mentioned the possibility of invoking the blocking statute. This is the ultimate bluff. The statute would allow the EU to impose sanctions on European companies that comply with US sanctions. In other words, it would give EU companies a choice between pest and cholera. Needless to say, this has not been agreed. Nor will it be. It is a sign of the helplessness and panic of EU leaders that they even talk about it.

Windbags Juncker, Merkel, Macron

Merkel's role in Europe is now essentially the same as Juncker's. Both are nothing but pathetic windbags with dwindling power.

Macron wants to be the European savior but he is just another windbag who bows down to Trump internationally while accomplishing nothing domestically.

Nonetheless, this story is not over yet. The EU will at some point be forced to respond and the results won't be pretty.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

I think the EU should play hardball back. But I know they won't.

You need backbone to play hardball.

1

spot on

1

You need voter "buy-in" to play hardball but outside of not particularly liking Trump I suspect most EU voters don't really care. They care when they fell the hurt, not much until.

Imagine trying to shepherd 27 cats round an obstacle course. That's the EU.

1

Trying to change many years of faulty US trade/economic policies
with a sanctions/tariff blitzkrieg is foolhardy. Why don't we show the world we can produce a globally competitive product within our borders instead ?

USA already does when you look at semiconductors, aerospace, the digital economy, banking etc. It's just that the threads of trade and supply to most industries run far and wide and rarely just within the borders of a single nation. No man is an island and never more true than when expanded to a nation's trade.

Because the Globalist Oligarchs would prefer to continue using slave labor abroad, while pushing people in the USA deeper and deeper into debt. Win-win for them.

Yes we do excel in the "selling","distribution", "brokerage" ,and "arbitrage" of financial products. The Financial service industry has become a large contributor to GDP and has supplanted other productive growth vectors. but is this the
road to follow? China has US by the short hairs. if the port of Long Beach shut down our economy would be paralyzed within months.

If I were an EU taxpayer I'd be p*ssed at having to pay Juncker's generous salary and ludicrous expenses.

When was the last time the EU/Commission etc was audited, independently? Hint, hint. Pensions, don't get me started on that one. Their salaries, pensions, perks, office expense allowance, would make the average man cry. It's a gravy train and that's why they react so strongly when it's threatened. Bureaucrats should not be remunerated so well as it gives the wrong idea to kids that wealth creation is climbing the greasy pole of being a bullsh!t peddler and not turning a profit.

German automobile companies assemble cars in the USA, many for export. Volume of cars imported is very low, and most come in from Mexico, not Germany. Tarifs will impact US consumers more than anyone, even if they were to be levied on US manufactures. US needs to fix military, medical, and educational spending to get competetive. Also get skill, schooling, and attitude
for its work force.

Mr. caradoc, I happen to be personally acquainted with somebody who knows someone who once lived in the same condo complex as the Senior vice deputy sub assistant secretary for the bureau of select interagency inspector general pro-tempore assembly auditors. He’s buried so far up the bureaucracy’s ass he should be checking for polyps. He takes great offense with your suggesting that there may be some mis-allocation of resources taking place within the EU.

He has assured me that as soon as this quarter ends, on the next odd numbered calendar date that falls on a second Thursday of the month, (if it’s not on a holiday) he will initiate a paper trail to request that a motion be put forth to a review panel to determine if it would be legal to appear before the council that recommends discipline for people who question the workings of foreign governmental bodies like the EU.

In other words, you’re in big trouble buster! LMAO😃😂

sarc / off.

Whistleblowers? There was a TV series made in the nineties about the unbelievable lifestyle of EU bureaucracy. The title:
Gravy train.

With a pension fund of Euro 416 million and an actual pension liability of Euro 62 BILLION as at Dec 2016, the EU is really a giant pension ponzi scheme that plays politics as a side line!!

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