Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 8 Nov 2017


  • Monarchy at War
  • New Leaks: Paradise Papers
  • Leaked German Documents reveal EU Collapse

Monarchy at War

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has moved to consolidate his position in the kingdom by carrying out biggest purge of his family and other cabinet members. Under the guise of a newly formed anti-corruption committee, arrests were undertaken of several prominent members of the royal family. The king, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, took the throne in January 2015 following the death of his half-brother, Abdullah. But it took a behind-the-scenes power struggle for King Salman to crown his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as his chosen successor. On November 4th 2017, the power struggle became public. The key arrest is if Mitab bin Abdullah, who was the minister of the National Guard – the parallel military force to the regular armed forces he and Mohammed bin Salman shared responsibility for Saudi Arabia’s armed forces, this is no longer the case. Since the creation of Saudi Arabia for the monarchy its throne has always been the most important consideration. Now it looks as though the monarchy is at war with itself.


New Leaks: Paradise Papers

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung has released 13.4 million leaked records mostly from offshore law firm Appleby, along with corporate registries in 19 tax jurisdictions, which reveal the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders. People and organisations linked to the British Queen, the Canadian prime minister and the US president have been disclosed. Among the documents of offshore businesses with some questionable activities, were owned by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s family members, including his two sons. Former Pakistani PM Shaukat Aziz, who served from 2004 to 2007, was also named in the Paradise Papers. He is mentioned with regard to a family trust he set up before taking office in 1999, but did not disclose when he was prime minister or finance minister.


Leaked German Documents reveal EU Collapse

The German military has outlined six “worst-case” scenarios for the future of Europe by 2040. The leaked secret document predicts that more states will leave a disordered, chaotic and conflict-prone EU – to join a Russian-led “Eastern bloc.” Entitled ‘Strategic Perspective 2040’ (Strategische Vorausschau 2040), the 102-page policy paper imagines six scenarios that strategists in Berlin deem plausible. The secret Defense Ministry paper leaked to Spiegel Magazine shed light on Germany’s main concerns about the breakup of the European community. They range from an East-West conflict in which some EU states side with Russia, to a “multipolar Europe,” where some states adopt a Russian political or economic model in defiance of EU agreements. One such scenario, titled ‘The EU in Disintegration and Germany in Reactive Position,’ sees a world suffering from “decades of instability.” It also describes the departure of other states from the EU as well as Britain, and an end to the bloc’s expansion, stating: “The EU enlargement has largely been abandoned, [while] more states have left the European community that lost its global competitiveness.” A scenario called ‘Multipolar competition’ predicts extremism on the rise in Europe as some EU members appear to move closer to Russia’s “state capitalism model.” All scenarios, drawn by the German military’s Planning Department, are viewed as conceivable by 2040.