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Anglo-German rift deepens as UK envoy issues formal protest

Row over Finance Minister's attack overshadows EU summit / Leaders agree £175bn boost to stimulate European economy

By Andrew Grice, Political Editor in Brussels
Saturday, 13 December 2008

Gordon Brown announces measures adopted by the EU yesterday

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Gordon Brown announces measures adopted by the EU yesterday

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Britain has formally protested to the German government about the stinging attack on Gordon Brown by its Finance Minister, deepening the Anglo-German dispute over the Prime Minister's economic strategy.

Sir Michael Arthur, the British ambassador in Berlin, raised strong objections with the German Finance Ministry over the remarks by Peer Steinbr�ck, who branded Mr Brown's £20bn fiscal stimulus "crass" and "breathtaking".

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, denied knowledge of the complaint. But the British embassy in Berlin confirmed that Mr Steinbr�ck's criticism was raised by Sir Michael, a clear sign that the Brown Government was rattled by the attack. A spokesman said the ambassador had made it clear that, "we fundamentally disagreed with the comments made by Peer Steinbr�ck".

Yesterday, the pound fell to a record low against the euro for the fifth day running, dropping to €1.1191 amid fears that the British economy would be among the hardest hit by the recession. It later edged to €1.12.

Mr Brown tried to move on from the row with the Germans, telling his critics their "answer" was yesterday's approval of a £175bn European-wide stimulus by EU leaders at their summit in Brussels. It was agreed by all 27 member states, including Germany, whose Chancellor, Angela Merkel, backed the need to stimulate the continent's economies.

Accusing the Tory Opposition, which has exploited his row with German politicians, of having a "do-nothing approach", Mr Brown said: "European governments have come together. This sets aside the opinion the Conservative Party has that nothing could be done and that the recession should take its course. We have a responsibility to our peoples to give real help to families and businesses now."

He blamed Mr Steinbr�ck's attack on "domestic politics" in Germany, a reference to divisions in Ms Merkel's left-right coalition over whether to adopt a bigger fiscal package. However, two German politicians questioned the British Government's strategy yesterday. Steffen Kampeter, a budget spokesman for Ms Merkel's Christian Democrats, said Mr Brown was seeking Berlin's help only now that the British boom was over. "The British are expecting that we help them out of the muck. But we certainly weren't expecting that they share their profits from the financial market boom with us." Carsten Schneider, a Social Democratic Party MP, criticised the Government's £12bn temporary cut in VAT as a waste of money. "The British and Brown were good when it came to bailing out the banks," he said. "But I think the sales tax cut is counter-productive."

Mr Brown argued that the "ambitious" EU package was "good news for the UK and good news for Europe" as it would boost growth and jobs throughout the continent.

The package, worth 1.5 per cent of EU output, envisages tax cuts, a reduction in regulation, support for small business and further interest rate cuts. But individual nations will be able to opt out of measures with which they disagree, such as tax cuts. Some countries, including Britain, have already announced such measures and British sources suggested the Government would not go any further than last month's pre-Budget report.

George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, said: "Gordon Brown's claims that the rest of the world backs his reckless borrowing are in tatters."

He claimed there was "a growing international consensus" that Mr Brown's "borrowing binge" will make the recession worse, the recovery more difficult and burden future generations with a mountain of debt. Mr Brown tried to head off another row with the Tories over the Lisbon Treaty to streamline EU decision-making. He insisted that concessions offered to the Irish government in the hope it will win a second referendum next autumn would not affect the treaty passed by the UK Parliament. Any reopening of the treaty would have provoked Tory calls for the blueprint to be ratified again and renewed demands for a British referendum.

The Tories have promised not to "let the matter rest" if they win the next election but refuse to say what they would do if the treaty has been approved by all 27 EU states by then.

EU summit: Stimulus package

*The recovery plan calls for £175bn – or 1.5 per cent of the EU's GDP – to be spent on softening the impact of the recession. Individual states can still act according to "national circumstances", but possible measures include "judicious reductions in tax burdens" and "a reduction in social security contributions". The European Investment Bank will provide £26.25bn in the current financial year for small and medium-sized firms, renewable energy and clean transport. The EU will also consider allowing member states to cut VAT on "labour-intensive services" below the EU minimum rate of 15 per cent to boost jobs.

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73 Comments

Or maybe you world [sic] for Mossad?

As you've got a big mouth and boundless energy, tell the public what 'sayanim' means, and what Sayanims like you are organized to do.

And make sure you tell us who your Katsa is.

"Zionism, Jew, or the gods: Isis-Ra-El."

Are you the best hit-boy 'they've' got?

Posted by Errol Flynn | 14.12.08, 13:30 GMT

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EF 05:09 post:

An aside:

You raised the issue of monikers of choice in your post. While we are on the subject of moniker’s, your use of Errol Flynn maligns the name of an Australian actor. Did you know that the actor you name yourself after was arrested for paedophilia in 1942 and some have alleges he even spied for the Third Reich? This says a lot about the image you want to project here.

Posted by Zen | 14.12.08, 13:22 GMT

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EF 12:38: I predicted that you couldn’t post without using the world Zionism, Jew or Israel.

Let us get this straight, you post three successive posts from 5am and call me a troll? I rebut all your false allegations and now you say I world for New Labour? Absolutely hilarious, I never even voted Labour let alone work for them, you paranoid fantasist.

Then you bemoan: “Anyone with any savvy knows that Commenters of your "pedigree" are abnormal”. Thank you, compliment accepted; I know that posters like you usually get to spew hate without being challenged and humiliated.

Then you cry that it is my posts that break the forum rules; when in fact it is your posts that are full of race hate (not mine)! As you point out there are “Hate Laws” in the UK, which in fact your posts breach.

A classic post, very funny indeed, I am still rolling on the floor laughing. Keep it coming: Post without using the words Jew, Zionism or Israel if you can, you oligophrenic.

Posted by Zen | 14.12.08, 13:03 GMT

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'Zen' ... I no longer need to comment much. You're doing all my work for me.

You defending decency??

With great desperation, you are only defending yourself against your own vanity & excesses, and trying to cover up your attempted deceit of Independent readers.

There again, you did take on the tone of a Troll several comments ago. For all we know, you could be a paid Troll working for some backroom Op financed by New Labour. We know this sort of thing goes on. Zionists use every dirty trick in the book in order to intimidate others from discussing the truth. That is why so-called 'Hate Laws' have been enacted in several countries.

Anyone with any savvy knows that Commenters of your "pedigree" are abnormal, and are therefore likely to be operating to someone else's political agenda. What will you do if they sack you? Line up at the soup kitchen?

I might also add that most of your comments on this thread are in flagrant breach of the Independent's 'Terms of Use.'

Posted by Errol Flynn | 14.12.08, 12:38 GMT

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EF 11:23: You cannot even get your argument straight: You accuse me of both defence and attack! Which is it? I am not the one making accusations; I am simply correcting the falsehoods that you are attempting to purvey. If anyone is hysterical here it is you. I cannot stand being part of a species that is so hateful that it produces posts like yours. You bleat that you were not attacking Jews. For anyone reading your posts this makes you sound ridiculous: You are self evidently in a state of denial. The only propaganda here is your own Judeophobic race hate: You attempt to ascribe false guilt and criminality to Jews. You talk of a Banking Cabal; it is China and the Arabs that own the banks, not the Jews: Fool. The Economic troubles are due to over borrowing, fraudulent US debt instruments and high oil prices: Fool. Your obsession with Jews has made you hijack this forum. I am defending decency. Try to post on-topic without the words Jew, Zionism or Israel you ethnological-cripple.

Posted by Zen | 14.12.08, 12:09 GMT

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'Zen' ... who ever you are, you are mentally imbalanced, & understand little. All your wild accusations & barrages of hysterical counter-claims are typical of your type.

You have been rendered mentally weak by a Banking Cabal that has your culture & my culture by the neck.

Nobody is going to believe in your hysterical defences of the Jews, because I wasn't attacking Jews in the first place!! It is U desperately creating a straw-man to beat up upon that intro'd 'hatred.'

The reason why our culture is in the mess it is in & why we are facing imminent financial & economic collapse, is because there are millions with minds like yours, which have been so addled & confused by 50 years of incessant propaganda that you can no longer think straight. You can no longer accept any facts that contradict the propaganda programmed into your head.

Independent readers should take note of ALL your comments on this thread so they may understand the lunacy that now passes for normalcy.

Posted by Errol Flynn | 14.12.08, 11:23 GMT

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Historically in times of economic hardship people scapegoat and blame Jews and other minorities for their problems. Generally what happens next is war, and since the twentieth century this usually means a world war. So perhaps it would be better to keep a lid on the hate speak?

Blame Brown for his mistakes, blame Brown for usurping the position of Prime Minister, stop the Jew Talk, it confuses things that are hard enough to understand without bxllsxit.

The Germans were wrong about the Jews but they are right about brown.

Posted by Zen | 14.12.08, 10:52 GMT

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Flynn: You ask about the Kabala; talk to a Rabbi. You are clueless. The last person who allegedly used the Kabala was Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew: It is forbidden for obvious reasons. You quote Madonna! Now we all know how serious you are. Madonna is as clueless about the Kabala as you or I. She is into fads and fashions; clearly she has impressed you. Madonna is not even Jewish.
Kabala taught in schools? How absolutely ridiculous. You have to be over 42 years old and married with children before anyone who knows Kabala will even talk to you about it. I will tell you one thing, British schools have stopped teaching about the Holocaust for fear of offending certain minorities; hence the growth in venom such as your own. You accuse me of babbling, foaming at the mouth and having a tail: I would suggest you are describing yourself and are transferring again. However we have made some progress; you are asking questions now not just making false statements. Seek medical help.


Posted by Zen | 14.12.08, 10:46 GMT

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Flynn: “but the Jews are not a race! Jews never had or sought a unique homeland”
Wikipedia says: Israel existed from before 1000 BC several times. The only thing stopping Israel being independent before 1948 were other Empires: Roman, Islamic, Ottoman and British. Israel is a central and essential part of their religion. If Jews are not a nation there are no nations.
Flynn: “Your corrupt world, peppered with lies”
I say: You are completely out of your mind; we see your transference: It is you who are lying and distorting the facts as is evident from three minutes on Google. Funnily enough you probably are going to say Google is Zionist controlled as well now!
You are the type who blames the Jews when their cash card will not give them any more money as you spent it all!
Flynn: “Get used to the new, better informed world that is slowly taking over”.
I say: No one wants to go back to the dark ages of superstition and false beliefs. Stop being a racist hater.

Posted by Zen | 14.12.08, 10:29 GMT

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If the Kabala is never to be used -- only studied -- then what would be the point of studying it?

Why has Madonna become a Kabala junky? Why has Kabala mushroomed in influence in the West this past 10 years? Why has the Kabala been recently introduced into some British schools if it is never to be used?

If all others are 'clueless' then is it possible Judeophilia has made you a babbling, foaming at the mouth dupe with a Pavlov tail?

With friends like 'Zen,' ordinary Jews don't need any enemies.

Posted by Errol Flynn | 14.12.08, 10:16 GMT

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