imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Free Trade Agreement: Special Rights for Corporations

by Southwest German Radio Thursday, Jul. 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM

The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) gives corporations the right to sue sovereign states for lost profits and endangers public sector jobs and social and environmental protections


Special Rights for Corporations

By Southwest German Radio

[This radio transcript from 6/11/2014 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

The planned free trade agreement between the US and the EU earmarks arbitration courts that make final decisions for disputes between businesses and state boards. Suits in the billions imperil Germany. An American firm sues the Federal Republic of Germany for compensation because a chemical plant cannot be built… Baden-Wurttemberg gives way out of worry of a lawsuit in the billions. Monsanto may grow genetic corn in the country… US corporations could sue the German state for billions of the money of taxpayers. That could soon be reality. There are already other cases now.

Like Krummel near Hamburg, the Brunsbuttel nuclear power plant in Schleswig-Holstein was shut down after the reactor accident in Fukushima. The German nuclear exit was resolved by the government and the parliament and supported by the large majority of Germans. Nevertheless the Swedish firm Vattenfall, operator of the plants, sues Germany for compensation (3.7 billion Euros) before a secret international court of arbitration, not a regular German court. Three private economic lawyers make legally binding decisions while the public is excluded.

“They open up a parallel course of law for a corporation to which only they have access. The legal system that we have has nothing to do with the rule of law principles that are known and esteemed like independence of the administration of justice.” Pia Eberhardt, trade expert (CEO). This is because companies like Vattenfall enjoy special rights. The foundation is a so-called investor-protection agreement.

Germany has concluded over 130 such agreements. Originally businesses were protected from arbitrary expropriations as in countries without a functioning constitutional state or dictatorships. However not much is left of that, says Pia Eberhardt of the critical lobby organization CEO.

“The system has actually changed very much. Complaints today do not generally focus on direct expropriation on the taking away of a factor or land, discrimination against foreign investors. Today democratic laws to protect the public interest are attacked. In other words, language and democracy are completely mutated or turned upside down.”

So the cigarette giant Philip Morris sues Australia to prevent the planned warnings on cigarette packages. A US energy firm demands compensation of a billion Euros from France because its drilling license for natural gas was cancelled. Deutsche Bank sues Spain because the country cut solar subsidies. The bank speculated in new plants. All this happens before courts of arbitration that work completely non-transparently, experts criticize.

“We have problems with transparency. No rule says investor-state arbitral proceedings must take place publically. While some occur publically, most do not. There is no basic rule on publication of arbitral awards.” Prof. Steffan Hindelang, constitutional lawyer, Free University of Berlin. The number of these non-transparent procedures increases. In 1995 there were only three such procedures in the billions worldwide. In 2013 there were 568 procedures. American companies suing states were prominent.

Until now these companies could not sue Germany before a court of arbitration. This could change through the planned free trade agreement between the US and the EU with comprehensive investor protection rights for American companies.

An example from Lower Saxony shows what this could mean concretely.

The American energy giant ExxonMobil drills here for natural gas and uses the controversial fracking. With fracking, rock is burst open with the help of water and chemicals to gain natural gas. The method is regarded as very dangerous; the groundwater can be contaminated through the chemicals. This is already happening in the US and triggers massive resistance.

“That we want to protect our water is most important. 340,000 people are affected here… Exxon and the other gas producers want to squeeze the last gas from the earth through fracking.” Hartmut Horn, Botersen citizen initiative “Frackless gas drilling in Rotenburg district.”

Their protest could be very expensive for taxpayers through the planned investor protection since ExxonMobil has a drillingt license. If the state sets strict drinking water conditions or prohibits fracking, Exxon could sue for damages in the future in a court of arbitration.

“I can argue as an investor I was not treated fairly and justly. My legitimate expectation that I could frack to all eternity was disappointed. A court of arbitration could understand that argument and then say here is a billion Euros compensation that a license was taken away from you for example.” Pia Eberhardt, trade expert/ Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)


Just the fear of suits in the billions could influence German politics to renounce on new environmental- and consumer conditions.

“The higher the compensation demands, the more a state is obviously inclined to reflect about corresponding legal measures again.” Prof. Steffan Hindeland, law professor at the Free University of Berlin

Remember, investor-protection was originally intent on protecting businesses in developing countries and dictatorships, not for functioning legal states like the US and Germany.

“We do not need any parallel structures when national courts can make decisions according to neutral and unbiased objective criteria.” Prof. Steffan Hindelang, law professor, Free University of Berlin. Thus investor-protection and backroom deals as in the free trade agreement are undemocratic and unnecessary.


Senators on republican and democratic sides are now working on a deal so US super-companies can bring back money bunkered abroad to their home cheaply. Apple chief Tim Cook did his utmost for that.

A large part of Apple’s 0 billion in cash resources is stored abroad. The 35 percent business tax would arise if the company returned the sum to its home, the US. The amou9nt would not be so high after an alliance of several democratic and republican senators. One republican tax lobbyist said a revival of the 5.25 percent paid during a similar tax holiday in 2004 is possible. (source: heise newsticker)


By George Restle

[This short facebook blog and comments published on 5/15/2014 are translated from the German on the Internet,]

In Europe there will be elections next week (May 26)… Facts are created across the Atlantic. Next week the EU commission will be negotiating the free trade agreement with the US. The fifth round of secret negotiations will occur in the provincial town Arlington. Much is at stake: telecommunications and protection of the atmosphere, work, energy and copyright law. The agreement involves investments and regulation questions, the public employment system and trade with goods and services. Whoever looks at next week’s agenda could ask: what is not at stake? That is the point. The mandate for the negotiations is boundless. Whatever is not explicitly excluded can be treated – and in case of doubt regulated.

Several things come to us through the backdoor of the TTIP. Principles are involved and not only chlorinated chicken and hormone beef, the privatization of whole sectors of public services. Central institutions of our society threaten to become playthings of the open market: universities, hospitals, savings banks and local public transportation. Even the basic values of democracy do not seem secure any more: constitutional state and transparency, citizen participation and parliamentary oversight. Everything becomes reduced to only trade barriers in the intellectual world of free trade ideologues. The gibberish or jargon of the new transparency offensive cannot be trusted. Even if investment protection were suspended, the controversial arbitration courts will still come. Nothing seems safe anymore before the clique of the big corporations. The free trade agreement is an attack on our democracy and is more than an attack on environmental- and social standards. That should be clear to everyone.


Muchacho Smith: The Transatlantic Free Trade agreement (TTIP) is a coup de-etat in slow motion!

Mecki Drees: What has now become of democracy? I feel like I’m in the 52nd state of the US.

Michael Mechtold: Unrest will begin in one country and trigger an extensive Europe-wide fire. After the elections, Brussels will show its true grotesque face. This will not be pleasant for us. I am very worried.

Uwe Meier: “Everything comes into question EXCEPT rightwing parties!”

Domingos Celsio Patricio: I recommend voting for the Left party (Die Linke) in Germany.

Dagmar Gawronski: Facts are created and forced on citizens. Is that democracy?

Andarle Sodarle: The EU now has the possibility of being made a slave after being made a prostitute. It will not be able to escape this. The US goes down and obviously would like to take along as many as possible.

Karin Kauzlaric: A swarm of overpaid twits sit in the EU. Recipients of orders from the US. Ms. Merkel and Mr. Steinmeier are the model students of the US.

Marsu Polami: TISA is at least as bad as the free trade agreement TTIP.

Hubert Hoffmann: We CITIZENS are raped and incapacitated by POLITICS. Time for street fighting!

Michel Goedecke: The main point is people vote for this black plague. They want to be Christians!

Axel Weber: TTIP is a dangerous brazen attack on our social-democratic basic values… Americans want to bomb us back into the proverbial pre-industrial slavery. Look at their totally ruined country!

Lutz Romahn: Momentous decisions are made over the heads of the affected! What does this have to do with democracy?

Karin Johnson: The big conglomerates are determined to get everything… Society pays for this, not only with its taxes.

Andrea Klinkhart: Yesterday Ann Will spoke about an agreement with Canada that serves as a model. That should be thematicized.

Angela Heumann: None of the EU oligarchs wanted to admit what was resolved long ago and was actually negotiated. Oligarchs act that way!

Gabriele Dominiak: Monsanto sends its regards! If this happens… then good night!!

Erik Schuler:What is the TISA?

Andy van den Unartigen: This is not secret any more. Citizens do not want this and yet it will come to them. Excuse me, I forgot, when are the citizens interested?

Andrea V. Earthling: Thanks Monitor for not being intimidated from reporting the truth!

Bernhard Wessling: We must leave the EU!!!! Europe can function without these lobbyists!

Rudolf Kapp: These Americans are smashing the whole world!

George Parker: When will the nations get the message about what is wrong? I recommend the book by Naomi Klein: Shock Therapy. Everything is there.

Marcel Fuhr: There will be worry and foreboding!

Sylvia Koepen: The usurpation is fully underway.

Michael Lips: We cannot prevent it as citizens because it is all the same shit to the masses. Political weariness is the decreed state education program!

Michael Fritz: I vote for one of the small parties. This is “only” to express my displeasure… I do not want established politics any more… No vote is in vain.

Ulrich Hohmann: On May 26 we could all vote for a party that opposed the TTIP! We cannot set a clearer sign!

Elke Windemuth: This makes me infinitely furious. When is there a demonstration against this? My rage must go somewhere.

Thomas Samoht: I am an ardent European. Therefore I am against the EU in Brussels!

Michael Gunther: We all have responsibility that our incompetent highhanded politicians driven past the people by lobbyists do not suspend our democratic values. Some time after the EU election, Merkel and her failure will sell us out again since there is allegedly no alternative. Let us all say STOP!

Michael Greten: If the agreements had not been leaked out, we would not even know what Merkel and Obomba wanted to negotiate very secretly… without parliament and without the people – democracy a la Western!!!

Fritz Wert: Democracy worldwide is in retreat.

Martin Grasser: We have the problem today that our politics does not resist international corporations. We need an institution like the UN to say a little word. Social misuse occurs regularly when subsidies are cancelled and shortly thereafter relief works are closed.

more at,

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy