Just Like The Duracell Bunny

Germany’s Energiewende (energy turnaround) just keeps on going.

Not only is the cost part still working: The cost of government subsidies for green energy is passed directly through to consumers. As a result, German households pay twice as much for electricity as their US counterparts.

Coal

The unreliability of renewables keeps on working, too: Berlin has little choice but to rely on electricity generation from dirty coal-fired power stations (evil nuclear power has been turned off here).

Which brings us to the next absurd turn of events.:  A striking example of the absurdity of this emerged this week with the publication of a letter from Germany’s vice-chancellor to the new Swedish centre-left government. Ms Merkel’s deputy warned of serious consequences for electricity supplies and jobs if Vattenfall, Sweden’s state-owned utility, ditched plans to expand two coal mines in Germany. While the Germans may need the dirty lignite these facilities produce, the Swedes are under pressure to scale back the mines because of popular concerns in Sweden about CO2 emissions.

Grand Opening For Klaus Wowereit International Airport Now Planned For 2018

Planning for the big party has run into a number of problems and cost-overruns that have made the postponement necessary, party planners announced today.

Wowereit

At least the party’s delay coincides with the latest delay for the completion of Berlin’s not-so-new-anymore-soon-to-be-new airport. The only problem here now is that the building permit runs out in 2016.

Party Klaus himself could not be reached for comment but is sure to attend the party if still alive, albeit no longer as mayor and El Architect Grande of Berlin.

“I leave voluntarily and I am proud of my contribution to the positive development of this city.”

It Takes Two Sanitary Gloves To Handle A Whopper

I can think of a lot of countries where Burger King might want to close down some of its franchises due to poor hygiene issues, but here in Germany?

Burger King

Pimp my burger! But wipe that Dreck off it first. And give me some French flies while you’re at it…

Die einstweilige Verfügung bedeute für den Franchisenehmer nicht die umgehende Schließung, erklärte der Sprecher. Yi-Ko müsse aber alle markenrechtlich geschützten Gegenstände von Burger King wie Schilder und Speisekarten entfernen, die Mitarbeiter müssten die Uniformen ablegen. „Wenn sie alles abnehmen, bleibt es ihnen überlassen, was sie mit dem Restaurant machen.“

Germany’s “Save Vlad’s Face” Movement Picking Up Steam

If you have ever had any doubts about just how deep of an understanding German Putin-Versteher (Putin understanders) have with the current Russian czar, you won’t have to look any further than here.

Platzeck

Former Brandenburg Minister President Matthias Platzeck (SPD) wants the West to resolve the Ukraine crisis by recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea. He’s clearly thought this through, too. Recognition is the highest form of flattery, you know. Or the second highest. I forget.

Well at least one of them finally had the decency to come out and just say it. Crimea, I mean criminy! It’s like pulling teeth with you people sometimes.

“The annexation of Crimea must be retroactively arranged under international law so that it’s acceptable for everyone.”

Same Old Problems Caused By Same Old Solutions

Rent control still rocks. Just ask the people looking for a place to live in Hamburg, for instance.

Rents

The German government’s Mietpriesbremse (rent control plan)  – it’s “sozial,” as in “for free”  –  has alarmed landlords who are now raising rents even higher than they already had been, “vorsorglich” (preventitively).  Imagine that. Bad landlords.

It’s always the same old thing. There is a shortage of apartments. This increases the rents. New apartments are needed. That is why the government steps in “to help” by imposing price controls called rent controls. That is, the government ensures that the shortage will remain by making new housing construction unprofitable for those who would otherwise build the new housing (I know, profit is a dirty-ugly-yucky word but we haven’t found a better one yet). The shortage is sustained and increased by rent control, the supposed solution.

But don’t worry. Elections will come around soon enough and the same politicians who fixed that first problem will have new proposals for fixing the one that followed, all inexplicably like. And they will get reelected – by the very same people they screwed in the first place. Now that’s what I call sozial.

“Durch die Ankündigungen ohne konsequente Umsetzung hat die große Koalition die Kosten immer wieder angeheizt.”

A Third Of The World Wants To Work In Germany?

That’s strange because 56 percent of Germans would prefer to work abroad (and 35 percent of those would like to work in the United States).

Jobs

Germany is the number one non-English speaking destination for migrant workers, according to a global study. It ranked as the fourth most popular place to work abroad globally, after the US, UK and Canada respectively. One third of the 200,000 respondents surveyed said they’d like to move to the country.

“German jobseekers don’t necessarily associate going abroad with getting a better job offer or more money. Germans are much more likely than workers elsewhere to say that interesting job content and challenging work assignments are important to them.”

Germans Hate Monopolies

Unless they are labor monopolies, of course. They’re always showing Verständnis (understanding) for strikes. And this despite the fact that only about a fifth of employees in Germany are union members.

Strike

It might be a bit different this time, however. The latest hostage-taking of millions of German travelers over the weekend (a weekend in which there are more travelers than usual due to school breaks in most German Länder) during a 50+ hour strike by the GDL train drivers’ union is finally starting to piss people off here.

It’s becoming increasing clear that the union’s boss Claus Weselsky, is suffering from “delusions of omnipotence” and that his thirst for power has less to do with the interests of the train drivers then he would like us to believe. And the passengers? What passengers?

By the way, unlike labor monopolies, Germans don’t generally like leaders with “delusions of omnipotence” anymore.

Es ist erstaunlich, dass sich die Lokführer auf dieses Spiel einlassen. Denn Weselsky ist gerade dabei, seine eigene Klientel durch den Dreck zu ziehen. Für die Erschließung neuer Kompetenzfelder lässt er es zu, dass ganz Deutschland aufschreit: Stoppt die Lokführer! Dabei geht es hier gar nicht um die Lokführer. Die werden von der GDL bestens und uneingeschränkt vertreten, selbst wenn sie bei der Konkurrenz organisiert sind.

Drittländer

Or “third countries.” Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.

Third countries

Because somebody has to admire them.

The German government has approved over 1.4 billion euros worth of weapons sales to third countries during the first six months of this year.

Deutsche Firmen dürfen unter Wirtschaftsminister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) beinahe ebenso gute Rüstungsgeschäfte mit sogenannten Drittländern machen wie unter der schwarz-gelben Vorgängerregierung.

Germany’s Growth To Be Removed

I mean cut. Yuk. Talk about your gross national product.

Growth

Actually, I mean have its economic-growth forecast for 2014 reduced to 1.2 percent from 1.8 percent.

Jeepers creepers. Is this the end of the beginning of the party or the beginning of the end of the party? Let’s ask two economists and get their five answers and find out.

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