Saturday 29th of January 2022

the bad smell of submarines...


The European Union has postponed the next round of free trade talks with Australia for a second time amid simmering anger over Canberra's decision to cancel a $90 billion submarine contract with France.

Key points:
  • Australia cancelled a deal with a French company to build eight conventional submarines in September
  • Since then, the EU questioned whether it should continue free trade talks with Australia
  • Trade Minister Dan Tehan had previously said he hoped talks would result in a deal by the end of 2021

Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the 12th round of talks with the EU had been postponed for the second time this month, this time until February 2022.

The talks were previously put off by a month from mid-October.

"The European Union have advised the Australian government that round 12 of the FTA negotiations will now take place in February," Mr Tehan said in a statement to Reuters.

The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 27-nation European Union, said it had not scheduled a resumption of trade talks in November, with no new date set for the 12th round to take place.


A mid-November round could have been awkward timing given it would have coincided with the end of global climate change talks in Scotland, with Brussels seeking greater commitments on climate action from Canberra as part of the trade deal.

Australia in September cancelled a deal with France's Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and will instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology, after striking a trilateral security partnership called AUKUS with those two countries.

The cancellation angered France, which accused both Australia and the United States of stabbing it in the back. Paris recalled its ambassadors from both Canberra and Washington.

In solidarity with France, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen questioned whether the bloc could strike a trade deal with Australia.


Read more:


NOTE: my friend Jules Letambour who provided the lines for the cartoon tells me that the French expression used to be "Va te faire voir chez les Grecs!" which was in reference to the Greek antiquity during which homosexuality was an occurence. Un "merdier" is of course a shit-collector...



free julian assange now ˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇ‰‰‰‰‰‰‰‰‰‰‰!!!!

aukus china caper...

China's Foreign Ministry ha again lashed out at the trilateral security partnership between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (AUKUS), saying the pact poses nuclear proliferation risksand is a threat to regional stability.

Key points:
  • China is responding to comments by AUKUS countries seeking to allay regional concerns around the alliance

  • It accuses them of going against the purpose of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

  • China urges the AUKUS countries to "do more" for regional stability


Mr Wang made the statement at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday in response to the three countries' assurances the day before that the AUKUS pact is only for Australia's development of submarine power and will not undermine ASEAN centrality, nor pose threat to regional peace.

"I've noticed that in the face of doubts and objections from the regional countries and the international community, the United States, Britain and Australia had to defend their trilateral security partnership," he said.

 Read more:  FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW ÓÓÓÓÓÓ˝˝˝!!!!

no champagne?...

Emmanuel Macron's telephone call to Scott Morrison had the precision timing of a torpedo.

News of the conversation broke as the Prime Minister's plane worked its way across Australia, on its way to the G20 Summit in Rome.

It's weeks since Australia sank a $90 billion submarine contract with France but judging by the tone of the conversation — at least according to a read-out from the Élysée Palace — the French President's fury has not cooled.

President Macron told the Prime Minister that "Australia's unilateral decision" to break the contract "broke the relationship of trust between our two countries".

The President says Australia must propose "tangible" actions to "redefine" the bilateral relationship — as well as the two nations' cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

Tellingly, given the Prime Minister is already on the defensive over his government's climate change commitments, the President says he encouraged Mr Morrison to adopt emission reduction measures "commensurate with the climate challenge" and cease production and consumption of coal.

This is a deliberate strike by the French President at the PM's carbon credentials on the eve of next week's Glasgow climate talks.

The PM's office says the Prime Minister was pleased to speak to the French President.

But it's already clear that there's a lot of work needed to heal the relationship.


Read more: