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.

Germans Arrive In Tehran For Piece Talks

Piece of the pie talks, that is.

Roughly four minutes after a deal with world powers over Iran’s nuclear program was reached, Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel flew down to Tehran (and boy are his arms tired) in another selfless attempt to bring more love and understanding to the troubled  region and make tons and tons of money selling German stuff to the moolah-mullahs again in the process.

Iran

German exports to Iran hit 4.4 billion euros in 2005 but then slumped to 1.8 billion by 2013 as the West tightened the sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme. However, the agreement between Iran and six world powers including Germany has opened the prospect that the sanctions will be removed.

The Guy YOU Love To Hate

I pour moi think he’s the greatest. Weiter so (keep it up), Wolfgang!

Schäuble

Despite bitter opposition in many quarters to the austerity-first policies Germany has imposed on Europe’s poorer nations, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has hung on to its role as champion of integration on the Continent through deft use of diplomacy and the country’s economic clout.

But in negotiating a new deal this week to bail out Greece, Germany displayed what many Europeans saw as a harder, more selfish edge, demanding painful measures from Athens and resisting any firm commitment to granting Greece relief from its crippling debt. And that perception was fueled on Thursday when the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggested that Greece would get its best shot at a substantial cut in its debt only if it was willing to give up membership in the European common currency (they mean Grexit here, of course, they just don’t like to use the word).

“Ich werbe nur dafür, dass Sie heute nicht meinen – jetzt ist das Thema erledigt, jetzt haben wir noch mal einen da zum Bösewicht erklärt. Ich bin so abgehärtet in einem langen politischen Leben, dass mich das nicht aus der Bahn wirft.”

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.”

Little Oskar Thinking Out Of The Box Again

Well known for his refreshing viewpoints, Mr. ex-SPD, ex-Left, ex-Bolshevist, ex-you-name-it Oskar Lafontaine himself has come up with a brilliant new idea to save Greece from its upcoming euro Grexit exit: Get rid of the euro first.

Oskar

Being the true radical thinker that he is, he seems to have devised a radical new European economic system by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without having to use a medium of exchange like dirty, filthy, old (or in his case new) money. And the way things look right now, Greece will be the first country to get the chance to test this out in a big way.

“Der Euro ist ein Rückschritt im historischen Projekt der europäischen Integration. Der Euro ist schon gescheitert, wir dürfen uns da keinen Illusionen hingeben.”

At Last!

Fashion for the rest of us. At Berlin fashion Week. Wear else?

Fashion

And speaking of aliens…

Angela Merkel FORCED to release secret UFO files German government fought to withhold – ALIEN investigators hope the release of German government files on historical UFO sightings will be a milestone in their quest for evidence of extra terrestrial life (when they write ALIEN investigators here they don’t actually mean ALIEN investigators, they mean alien INVESTIGATORS – I think).

“One thing is certain they won’t reveal any secrets about hidden alien technology or alien bodies, but then again we can always hope.”

Greeks Apologize And To Pay Back All Debts Tomorrow

The nation of Greece said sorry to the European Union with a present of an enormous wooden horse.

Horse

Left outside the European Central Bank in the dead of night, the horse has now been moved into the ECB’s central lobby where it is proudly on display.

A gift tag attached to the horse, which is surprisingly light for its size and has small holes along the length of its body, suggested that it should be placed in the bank’s vaults overnight to avoid it being targeted by thieves…

Oddly, Greek representatives in Brussels have hinted that they may soon be in a position to settle their debts and have puzzled the French and German banks that hold their loans by asking if there is any discount for cash.

PS: Thanks for the link, A.K.

Germans So Shocked By Greek No They Decide To Go On Big Fat Greek Vacation

Stunned by the Greek no yesterday and the end of European civilization as they know it, millions and millions of German tourists have spontaneously decided to get their minds off it all by going on vacation to Greece again this year, just like the millions and millions of other Germans who did the same thing last year.

Tourists

Not that it matters anymore or anything, but tourism used to account for 18 percent of what used to be the Greek economy.

“We are still taking bookings for Greece and there is no change in the levels.”

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