Already on Saturday pictures of anxious savers queuing outside banks to withdraw money were circulating. A slow-motion bank run that had already drained €35 billion ($39 billion) of household and corporate deposits out of the Greek banking system between November 2014 and May 2015 threatens to get out of control. Greek banks have been able to cope with the haemorrhage of deposits only thanks to massive borrowing from the Bank of Greece, permitted by the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt. The ECB is now likely to call time on this and to prevent further increases in this “emergency liquidity assistance” (ELA). That will in turn force limits on cash withdrawals along with capital controls to prevent money leaving the country… Even if the ECB stays its hand this weekend, it will be forced to act early next week. Without a deal this weekend, the cash-strapped Greek government will be unable to repay the IMF €1.5 billion that is due at the end of this month.
The climax to 10 days of fraught bargaining in Brussels and Luxembourg was the decision by Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, to call a plebiscite on the terms of Greece’s bailout, stunning the other eurozone governments. “I am very negatively surprised,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chair of the committee of eurozone finance ministers. “The situation [in Greece] will deteriorate very rapidly … How the Greek government will survive, I do not know.”
When it comes to dealing with Europe, I mean. Optimism is suspekt (makes suspicious) here. There is always an angle to everything, you see.
For him (Larry Page), the real danger is opposing technological progress and greater efficiency. Such dangers lurk particularly in the Old World: “Especially in Europe, it appears easy to ignore the fundamental physics of a question in order to claim everything is just fine when things here cost twice as much as elsewhere. This attitude worries me greatly, because it hinders the work of entrepreneurs.”
But should not a society also have the right to say “No” to a superior technology? Certainly, agrees Mr. Page. But that’s not particularly clever. “If you make everything twice as expensive, you reduce people’s quality of life.” And do you really want to keep local entrepreneurs from making their contribution to the global economy? Naturally it’s great when citizens have the feeling they can decide. “I’m merely saying that when they make decisions contrary to a global system of capital, then they have to do that consciously and seriously. And I don’t believe anyone is doing that.”
“If I were a young entrepreneur today and I had the choice of starting my Internet firm in Germany or Silicon Valley, it wouldn’t be a hard choice. And regulation will only get worse in Europe. It will be very hard to build a company of global import there.”
Gerade die Europäer neigen in den Augen von Larry Page offenbar zu falscher Nostalgie. “In Europa scheint es leicht, die grundlegende Physik einer Frage zu ignorieren und zu behaupten, es ist schon in Ordnung, wenn Dinge hier doppelt so viel kosten wie anderswo”.
That means “compulsory contribution” and refers here to the TV fees every German household has to pay for Öffentlich-Rechtliche or public-sector (or state) TV. You have to pay this here, you see, whether you watch these channels or not. You have to pay this here whether you even own a TV or not. Germany has the most expensive public-sector TV channels in the world, by the way.
Sounds reasonable, right? Hardy, har har. Well, now German “scientists” have suddenly figured out that Germany no longer needs these expensive public-sector channels and that they can be, pardon my French, “privatized.” German scientists are notoriously thorough, you know, and that’s why it takes them a little longer than other folks to figure this kind of stuff out.
Other Germans will not want to hear this, however. This is because, well… It’s hard to say why this is. It would mean getting rid of Tatort, for one thing. This would be earth-shattering or something. And in the end, Germans also want to have an official opinion maker, I suppose, someone they can always go to when they need an official opinion of their own, so-to-speak – and Der Spiegel isn’t handy at that moment.
The more things change the more they stay the same. So don’t even THINK about changing channels. “That’s right, folks. Don’t touch that dial!”
Wissenschaftler stellen bei der Betrachtung von ARD und ZDF fest: Deutschland braucht nicht länger den teuersten öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunk der Welt.
Whatever that is. It’s called Postmates and it’s an on-demand courier service that is sure to ruin everything Germans hold to be hoch und heilig (holy) in the realm of quick and easy albeit expensive pick-up and drop-off service.
It’s despicable and it’s nasty and it’s wait a minute… A German invented it. Well, a little German innovation never hurt anybody, right?
Postmates has set itself an ambitious goal — to be the Uber of goods, with a vast network of couriers, linked, like Uber’s drivers, via a sleek app, waiting for users to hit a button on their smartphones and send them forth to pick up anything that money can buy. Like Uber’s drivers, Postmates couriers aren’t employees but “independent contractors.” Anyone with a bike, car, truck, scooter or motorcycle can register and decide exactly when they want to work.
“In Germany, if you have an idea like mine, people think you’re deluded.”
Nope, that doesn’t mean German pooch or mongrel. That means German courage.
And it takes quite a bit of German courage for a German political party to come out in support of economic-liberal policies and free choice in a country like Germany these days (in the end, most Germans want everything regulated for them and prefer equality and conformity to free choice). But that is what the FDP (FDP 2.0?) is trying to do. They’re still on the outside looking in after their ousting in 2013 but appear to be bouncing back, at least for the moment.
They are currently so courageous, in fact, that they must be high. Not only are the Free Democrats now proposing that marijuana be legalized, which isn’t all that original these days, they also think it’s time for Germany to introduce a flat tax. Good luck on that. That’ll be a real hard one to sell here, as elsewhere. Who’s going to “eat the rich” then?
“Die erste Reform, die wir unserem Land empfehlen, ist eine Reform der Mentalität.”
Now they’re talking about it again. Like afterwards even.
Must be a slow news day. This is clearly a re-run of a re-run that’s already done run. Not just the talking part, I mean. These clips, too.
But at least it’s in German. German women speaking German are pretty sexy, I find.
Frauen sprechen über Sex: Das erste und das letzte Mal
More budding crime in Kreuzberg. I bet the Greens planted this stuff. Or maybe some other dope. What a bunch of crackpots.
Kreuzberg is a really seedy district, you know. And these weren’t even potted plants. They just found this stuff among the weeds. I tell you, this town is really going to pot…
I got a million of ’em, folks!
Dass in Berlin-Kreuzberg öffentlich ein Joint geraucht wird, ist nichts Besonderes. Aber bei mehreren hundert Cannabis-Pflanzen auf einer öffentlichen Grünanlage wird dann selbst in Berlin die Polizei aktiv.
German marines have rescued 200 (now over 400) refugees shortly after launching two ships to scour waters between Africa and Europe.
The ship “Hessen” evacuated the boat in distress about 250 kilometers south of the Italian island Lampedusa. The refugees were brought to an Italian port, the German army said after discussions with Italian marine rescue officials.
The “Hessen,” along with the “Berlin,” also a Bundeswehr ship, were warned of a refugee distress situation on Monday morning. The ships had begun their search mission on Tuesday, when they sailed from Crete towards the sea area between Libya and Italy.
After years of close cooperation with the NSA, Germany’s BND has now suddenly reduced this cooperation upon finding out that the information they had been furnishing the NSA with was being used for espionage purposes.
“Who would have thought that?” asked one high-ranking German spy official with a paper bag on his head. “We all figured that that list of 40,000 selectors (IP addresses, search terms and names) we at the BND used on behalf of the NSA had some other justification. I dunno. I personally assumed they wanted to order pizza or something. But to go and spy on other folks like that? No way. We don’t want anything to do with that kind of Scheiße.”
It still remains to be seen whether this list can be released, as that depends on what arrangements were made with the US by the then government [of Gerhard Schröder] after the dramatic events of September 11.