Gantry 5


N° 31 janvier 2023 14 December 2022   A visit that signals a shift ….President Xi Jinping is making his first state visit to Riyadh after the congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which consecrated him as the undisputed leader, including in terms of thought Politics.

And this choice is not trivial. On this occasion, the two parties sent messages. On the Saudi side, it is a question of clearly showing the strategic independence of the Kingdom which seems to break the Quincy pact, sealed in February 1945 with the United States. The founder of the Saudi Kingdom, Ibn Saud, and President Roosevelt had then signed on the ship Quincy an oil-type alliance (Aramco, then owned by various American oil companies, obtains concessions on the immense Saudi deposits) against American military protection .

Observers have noted the difference in tone between President Biden's visit, invited to attend a regional summit, and the emphasis on celebrating "a new historic phase of relations with China" .
Most of the discussions related to energy – Saudi Arabia is China's leading supplier (but the discussions also focused on the development of nuclear energy). In summary, Saudi Arabia shows its desire to stand out and means that it is not aligned with the objectives of the United States. Already, in October 2022, tensions arose when Saudi Arabia refused to delay decisions to cut oil production despite pressing demands from the United States (during an election campaign).
China, devoted to its development project, can only be in favor of this strategic emancipation. And the Chinese leaders are even pressing on a very sensitive point by opening discussions on the subject of transaction currency. Why not the yuan instead of the dollar?
Sensitive subject for the United States: the dollarization of international trade feeds a permanent need for the “greenback” and consequently, the United States can afford monstrous indebtedness according to common financial standards.
For now, the Chinese proposal has been received with caution by Saudi leaders (the Kingdom holds $120 billion in US debt and its currency is pegged to the dollar). However, the intensification of trade between the two countries opens a way: in the long term, indeed, oil could be sold in yuan, which would pay for the Chinese purchases of the Saudis.
These developments are to be placed within the framework of the confrontation within imperialism, between the two dominant powers, China and the United States, in which the various States, according to the interests of their respective dominant class, orient their trade policies , financial or even military to maintain room for autonomy and/or manoeuvre.
Let us note that unlike those of the European Union, the leaders of Saudi Arabia do not align their strategic agenda with that of the needs of US imperialism. We therefore have with this meeting the illustration of the increasingly multipolar character of a world dominated by the capitalist system.

European Union: The zealous servants legislate in the name of the interests of capital
The Qatargate affair has been shaking the European Parliament for several days, all eyes are on the Greek Eva Kaili vice-presidency of the European parliament suspected of having been responsible for treating the image of the gas emirate (1). Other people suspected of corruption and money laundering within the European institution have been arrested. Among them, Francesco Giorgi, parliamentary assistant, Luca Visentini, trade union leader of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Pier-Antonio Panzeri, former MEP and NGO director, or Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, secretary of the NGO No Peace Without Justice. They are suspected by the Belgian prosecutor's office of having received bribes from the Qatari government and of paying large sums of money or offering significant gifts "to third parties having a political and/or strategic position allowing , within the European Parliament, to influence the decisions' of this institution.
The affair broke out in the middle of the 2022 World Cup, when the organizing country must make efforts to defend its decried reputation for respect for human rights, in particular those of immigrant workers. The arrest of Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ITUC reveals an aspect of the political system of the European Union: corruption, bribes and fraudulent transactions, concealment of crimes committed against thousands of workers, many of whom lost life in Qatar (2) so that enormous profits of capitalist companies are ensured by the work of an immigrant labor force brutally exploited, for the construction of the infrastructures of the World Cup which did not exist 10 years ago .

Corruption within the trade union movement itself
The arrest of the former General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and recently elected General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) also highlights the issue of corruption within of the trade union movement and its support for the capitalist and anti-worker policies of the European Union, its continuous attacks on the labor and social rights of employees. The World Federation of Trade Unions had denounced and carried out campaigns to condemn the crimes and the impunity of exploitation against the workers in the process of preparation for the World Cup. Qatar has put all its strength into shaping an image of regional power, spending lavishly to achieve its ends.
The Football World Cup gives a huge media spotlight it is an important tool in the game of influence of the States, no effort was spared: half a billion dollars were spent each week.
While 220 billion (3) dollars have been spent on building the necessary infrastructure, part of this sum has been used for propaganda, corruption and publicity purposes, with the aim of creating a pro-Qatar discourse. and its World Cup. A whistleblower explained that the Qataris have“recruited journalists, bloggers and other personalities to spin negative stories, spy on rivals, produce intelligence reports on key people and spark grassroots protests. These
are not the only methods used by Qatar to ensure its selection for the 2022 World Cup. Dirty money has flowed between Qatar and members of the FIFA executive committee, accused of having collected millions of dollars from Qatar to vote in favor of the latter. Corrupt business at the highest level, Qatar would have bought the support of France under the presidency of Sarkozy in exchange for a contract for the sale of Rafales and the acquisition of PSG.
The appointment of ambassadors among the biggest planetary stars is also an important factor in spreading a positive message to the public, Qatar has bought the services of football stars (4) and personalities. Propaganda operations are also very present on the web, the Qatari government finances influencers in exchange for positive communication operations on social networks. Qatar's main media strike force is also the continuous news channel "Al Jazeera" , created in 1996, by launching "Al Jazeera English" in 2006, the channel is offered to a worldwide audience.

The outward indignation of the imperialist powers.
Outrageous cries could be heard from the imperialist powers around the treatment of immigrant workers or LGBT people in the country, a hypocritical and facade indignation, when we know that countries like the United States or the France are privileged partners of Qatar. Through its largest construction companies, France helped build infrastructure for the World Cup, regardless of the plight of workers dying on their sites. No remorse in selling weapons, including combat helicopters and Rafales to a country that violates human rights, on the contrary Macron congratulated Qatar for the organization of the World Cup“for the first time organized in the Arab world, testifies to the concrete changes that are at work. Qatar has embarked on this path and must continue. He can count on our support” . The United States has 10,000 soldiers stationed in the Al-Udeid military base, this type of partnership is never without compensation, a strategic place to monitor the Middle East. The crimes of the Qatari government are made possible by their connivance.

Everything capitalism touches is corrupt.
The register common to the Commission and the Parliament currently includes more than 12,000 organizations declared as representing interests to decision-makers and officials of the European Union (EU). 30,000 declared full-time equivalents. The non-governmental organization Transparency International estimates the number of lobbyists present on a regular basis in Brussels at around 26,500, and the number of people involved in lobbying activities in the Belgian capital at around 37,300. The latter thus concentrates the second largest battalion of lobbyists in the world after Washington.
The sector represents a business of several billion euros per year within the EU. Lobbyists (5)the most influential spend several million euros a year. US tech giants not only dominate the Western market with their products and services, they are also the source of much of the lobbying spending recorded in Europe. Nearly 30 million euros: this is the annual amount that GAFAM (6) invests to influence the policies of the European Union, according to estimates published by LobbyFacts.

You are never better served than by yourself
In France too, capital has put its servants at the helm of the government to stick to its roadmap. Half of the 41 ministers have more than 1 million euros. The average gross heritage of ministers is 1.9 million euros (1.5 million net, debts deducted).
To be compared with the average wealth of the French: 192,400 euros gross (147,200 net), with a few exceptions, all the ministers are in the richest 10% and/or the 10% with the highest incomes, with a tendency manifest to join the very small square of 1%
Qatargate highlights how and in what ways they exploit the workers and peoples of the whole world, how they plunder the wealth of the planet to increase their profits…
Fight against our class enemies until they are annihilated, build a new society , socialism, such is the goal of the fight that we lead in France day after day. It is also that of all the revolutionary parties that exist in the world.

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(1)Eva Kaili, 44-year-old former TV presenter, elected in January 2022 to one of the vice-presidencies of the European Parliament, went to Qatar in early November where she greeted in the presence of the Qatari Minister of Labor the emirate reforms in this sector. The EU ambassador to Doha Cristian Tudor then provided publicity on Twitter for this meeting, which was considered positive. The organization of the World Cup by Qatar bears witness to the "historic transformation of a country whose reforms have inspired the Arab world", Ms. Kaili also said on November 22 at the podium of the European Parliament.
(2) the construction of the megalomaniacal infrastructure that hosts the World Cup cost the lives of thousands of workers who had to endure endless working days, sweltering temperatures, poverty wages and poor health and safety conditions. non-existent security; workers from the African continent and Southeast Asia who were forced to accept slave contracts, known as the kafala system, where the employer kept their passports, imposed their working conditions on them to imprison or deport without compensation anyone who fails to comply.
(3) In total, more than 220 billion dollars would have been spent for the organization of the World Cup. A huge sum, eleven times greater than the last record of 20 billion dollars spent by Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. A large part of this sum has fueled lobbying companies, bribes and communication in general.
(4) Cafu, Eto'o, David Beckham, the former English international will receive no less than 178 million euros, or 11.8 million euros per year for 15 years!
(5) The European Council of the chemical industry, for example, spends 12 million euros each year Among the biggest lobbyists, we also find the firm FleishmanHillard, on behalf of the agricultural chemist Monsanto. The firm employs 60 lobbyists, almost all of whom have access to Parliament, and spends more than 7 million euros a year defending its clients' interests with European decision-makers. American Chamber of Commerce, or "AmCham", is not a chamber of commerce, but an organization which represents the interests of some sixty large American firms, such as Chevron, Mars, Pfizer or the Walt Disney Company.
the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) very close with the industrialists of the sectors it must control and the conflicts of interest within its panels of experts, nearly half of its experts are linked to industry. The VTC giant devotes around 800,000 euros per year to defending its own interests with the European institutions SNCF, for example, devotes around 650,000 euros per year to lobbying the EU and the airlines Lufthansa and Ryanair respectively around 550,000 and 250,000 euros.
(6) With each more than 6 million euros invested in 2021, Apple, Meta and Google are the tech representatives who spend the most on lobbying the EU. With a budget of between 3 million and 6 million euros, we then find companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Qualcomm and the Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Google is one of the most important lobbyists in Brussels, they have officially met 220 times with members of the European Commission.