Do They Strike This Much In Greece?

European travelers have contended for weeks with the possibility that Greece’s dwindling finances might lead to empty ATMs. They should have concerned themselves instead with Germany.

ATM

While cash machines in Athens are still operating without any trouble, striking couriers in Berlin this week stopped filling ATMs, leading to a crunch for those trying to make withdrawals. And the open-ended labor dispute with a local security company means there’s no end in sight.

Berlin’s strike is the latest in a series of walkouts that have riled a nation more accustomed to mocking the labor strife which has so often beset neighboring France. A strike by train drivers that began Tuesday is paralyzing travel and clogging highways throughout Germany. That action follows a March walkout by pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG that led to flight cancellations for 220,000 people.

Our Espionage Doesn’t Stink

On the one hand, we as German spies only do nice spying and would never spy on friends much less on other other nice Germans like ourselves.

BND

But on the other hand, intelligence agencies are working to ensure the public’s safety and the German government will do everything it can to ensure that it can carry out its job.

“And this ability to carry out its duties in the face of international terrorism threats is done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies, and that includes first and foremost the NSA.”

Deutschland regt sich über eine Spionageaffäre auf. Dabei wäscht seit Jahrzehnten unter den westlichen Diensten eine Hand die andere. Wir sollten endlich realistisch mit dem Thema Sicherheit umgehen.

Germans To Be Replaced By Robots

Maybe this continued drop in Germany’s population isn’t such a bad thing after all. It will open up more employment opportunities for R2D2 & Co.

Robots

A study by ING-Diba Bank indicates that in the medium to long-term, 59 percent of German jobs are directly threatened by robotics and other technologies.

“We have taken the robot out of the cage.”

German Of The Day: Krawalltourismus

That means “violent demonstration tourism,” more or less. And May Day (or International Workers’ Day) is booked out completely for this every year in Berlin.

May

These international workers are off that day, you see. And it’s a bewitching event that these folks just can’t afford to miss. You know, tradition and all that?

Weder mystisch noch romantisch. Für die Berliner Polizei steht run um die Maifeiertage viel Arbeit an.

Germans Can’t Figure Out Why Germans Keep Disappearing

Suffering from one of the lowest birth rates in the EU and xenophobic to the core (although officially in denial about this), Germans everywhere (or at least where you can still find them) are puzzled by the continued drop in Germany’s population.

Population

Federal statistics office Destatis said Germany was expected to have between 68 and 73 million inhabitants by 2060, compared to its current 81 million.

I think it’s time for even more concentrated government intervention, don’t you? More sex education efforts, for instance.

“It won’t fall below the 2013 level until at least 2023.”

German Of The Day: Heimatfilme

Heimatfilm (German pronunciation: [ˈhaɪmatˌfɪlm], German for “homeland-film“; German plural: Heimatfilme) is the name given to a film genre that was popular in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. They were usually shot in the Alps, the Black Forest, or the Lüneburg Heath and always involved the outdoors. These films were noted for their rural settings, sentimental tone and simplistic morality, and centered on love, friendship, family and non-urban life. Also, the polarity between old and young, tradition and progress, and rural and urban life was articulated. The typical plot structure involved both a “good” and “bad” guy wanting a girl, conflict ensuing, and the “good” guy ultimately triumphing to win the girl to the happiness of everyone and the children.

Heimatfilme

Well that’s cool and all but I guess they’ve tweaked the genre around a bit because they’re going to film the next bunch of “homeland-films” with lots of guns and blood and terror and stuff right here in not so non-urban Berlin itself. But still.

The fifth series will pick up two-and-a-half years after the previous one ended, with main character Carrie Mathison out of the Middle East and in self-imposed exile in the German Capital.

German Border Guards To Keep Wolves Out

About 150 years have passed since German hunters eradicated wolves from the nation’s woodlands. But the animal’s threatening aura has persisted through folk tales, including those by German writers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

Wolves

So when wolf packs began reappearing in Germany late in the 20th century, thanks to the efforts of conservationists, the animals faced a public-relations challenge.

Meanwhile… Even though members of the “Night Wolves” may already have visas for Germany, they will be revoked at the border if members of the group, blacklisted in the United States for their participation in Russia’s annexation of Crimea, try to enter.

Dial M For Merkel

And something tells me there was a lot of heavy breathing during this telephone conversation, too.

Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an uncexpected telephone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that nobody wants to comment about officially.

Bild newspaper reported on Monday that Tsipras had called Merkel as well as Euro group head Jeroen Dijsselbloem to try to convince them of the need for more help for Greece and for the need for an emergency meeting of EU leaders this week.

Bild said the reason for the call is that the Greek government has run out of money

“It’s on fire and there’s no water there to put out the fire. The situation is more than dramatic.”

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