Last Man Standing

Only she’s a girl.

Merkel

You have called Angela Merkel the modern-day empress of the eurozone. What do you mean?

The title empress reflects, in my view, two realities of present-day Europe. First, the Germans look so strong because the others look so weak. The British are withdrawing from Europe. The French are down but not out. They’re unable to rev up their economy – same thing for the Italians, same thing for the Spaniards. So, when you add it all up, who is the last man – or in this case, the last woman – standing?

The second reason is more concrete – the Germans have been in the vanguard of driving home fealty to the eurozone’s foundational treaties. These conventions enjoined member states, like Greece, not to overspend and over-borrow and, at the same time, to make their economies more efficient. Merkel and her finance minister are not austerity mongers as everybody is harping on about. They are committed to the original treaties’ stated rules that require eurozone members to reform their economies and become more competitive.

Zum ersten Mal seit 2005 könnte die Union einer Umfrage zufolge die absolute Mehrheit erreichen. Die Partei wäre mit 43 Prozent der Stimmen stärker als all anderen Parteien zusammen.

It Costs More To Make Germans Happy

At the happiest place on earth, I mean. When it’s on French earth, that is.

Disyneyland

French visitors pay €1,346 (£950) for a premium package, significantly less that the €1,870 (£1,320) Disneyland charges British visitors – and more than €1,000 (£706) less than the €2,447 (£1727) bill handed to Germans.

I can understand that, sort of. Americans still do get in for free though, right?

Die EU-Kommission geht Vorwürfen nach, dass der Vergnügungspark Disneyland Paris Besucher aus Deutschland und anderen Ländern wegen ihrer Herkunft benachteiligt.

German Of The Day: Bombenstimmung

That means a tremendous, “bomb-like” atmosphere. And that’s definitely the kind of mood some of those fine, wholesome folks down there in that little old one-horse town called Freital, Saxony seem to be in.

Freital

A local politician who supported a plan to house refugees in the town of Freital outside Dresden has been the victim of an arson attack. The Left party said that Michael Richter was the target of right-wing threats…

In recent weeks, Freital – just 10 kilometers (6 miles) southwest of Dresden – has been the scene of increasingly tense political rhetoric and sporadic violence after city authorities announced in June that the town of around 40,000 would house 280 refugees in a former hotel. Some locals responded by launching a series of increasingly virulent anti-asylum seeker demonstrations, culminating in a July 6 town hall meeting which saw protestors clash with town politicians.

Sheesh. Ugly Germans of the week? These folks have now been awarded the entire month of July.

Speaking Of Posing With Animals…

What’s wrong with this picture?

FKK

Dogs are allowed on the beaches here.

Six odd things Germans do in the summer: These summer pastimes show that Germans’ reputation for being uptight and straight-laced sticklers for punctuality couldn’t be further from the truth. Many like nothing better than getting naked and drunk, and blocking up public traffic routes on the way.

Historical Monstrosities Historical Monuments

We’re so ugly we’re beautiful.

Berlin

What few in 1989 wanted was the supposedly dumpy, chronically unfashionable late-1960s buildings around Alexanderplatz, relics of a defunct, unlovable regime that were perceived as having little or no architectural value.

So that’s precisely what we all just got.

The monuments are certainly far from the worst constructions of their time. Best known and most popular is the World Clock, a kitschy but delightful sculpture-cum-timepiece created in 1969 that has long been a popular meeting spot for locals.

More German “Universalization,” Please

German policy-makers genuinely believe the harsh medicine for Greece and others is the right thing to do, he added. In some ways, Germany is “trying to universalize its own history,” Mr. Kundnani noted. That history includes an extreme leeriness of inflation and debt, plus more recent experience about a decade ago with a series of successful economic reforms, including an overhaul of its labour market.

Germany

“I don’t see Germany as being an outlier. I see it rather as someone who is in the middle ground and seeking a balance. Germany is taking a lead by managing the debate.”

Germany Defeated Yet Again

No, it wasn’t World War III. It was the Endkampf (final battle) for Bailout III. Like, don’t these people ever get tired of surrendering?

Defeat

Europe woke up on Monday to a lot of headlines about the humiliation of Greece, the triumph of an all-powerful Germany and the subversion of democracy in Europe.

What nonsense. If anybody has capitulated, it is Germany. The German government has just agreed, in principle, to another multibillion-euro bailout of Greece — the third so far. In return, it has received promises of economic reform from a Greek government that makes it clear that it profoundly disagrees with everything that it has just agreed to.

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Good Thing Germans Have Strict Gun Control Laws

Otherwise a whole lot more people might have gotten killed here.

Ansbach

A man shot and killed two people in the southern German region of Bavaria on Friday, and fired at two others before being apprehended by authorities, police said.

The man, whose identity has not been released, shot a woman at about 6:30 a.m. from his locally-registered Mercedes in the town of Tiefenthal, near Ansbach, police said in a statement.

The woman died at the scene and the man fled in his car, then fatally shooting a man on a bicycle in the nearby town of Rammersdorf, according to police.

The suspect also shot at a pedestrian and the driver of another vehicle, but hit neither, police said.

Der Tatverdächtige war “ein ganz normaler Ansbacher.”

German Of The Day: Schwitzkasten

That’s “sweat box” but actually means stranglehold. You know, like being stuck between a rock and a hard place?

Tsipras

Is the current five-year Greek drama finally going to come to an end today? Hardly, it already ended quite a while ago, the real drama having actually begun long before that, of course, generations before. The name of the drama is “Living Beyond Our Means” and now the current government wants to give Greek voters the illusion that it gets the chance to turn back the clock with one final vote, a final vote that doesn’t actually mean anything, of course, because the money is long gone and nobody is going to give you any-more-anymore. Said current government has seen to that.

It took many, many years of concerted effort – on the Greek side – to get this far, but at least now we will all have an “official” result: However Greece votes today it has already voted to escape “financial asphyxiation” by committing financial suicide.

After all, debt and guilt – “Schuld” – are the same words in German.

Germans Discover “Text Neck”

Only they call it “Handynacken,” which sounds a whole lot worse because, well, it is. Just look at those lightning bolt thingies flashing around down there, for instance.

Handy Neck

So now everybody has it, of course. And this has nothing at all to do with hypochondria or disease mongering or anything like that, folks.  Nope, this is serious business so I looked it up at a place called “The Text Neck Institute.” Handynacken is an “overuse syndrome involving the head, neck and shoulders, usually resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking in a forward and downward position at any hand held mobile device, i.e., mobile phone, video game unit, computer, mp3 player, e-reader. This can cause headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm pain, breathing compromise, and much more.”

OMG we’re all gonna die. Do they still make dumb phones anywhere out there?

Tägliche Nutzung von mehr als vier Stunden ist mittlerweile keine Seltenheit mehr.

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