Remind me of this?
Just kidding. Sort of.
When East and West Germany reunited 25 years ago this weekend, the country was drunk on euphoria and a sense of heightened optimism. While reigning chancellor Helmut Kohl promised “flourishing landscapes”, his predecessor Willy Brandt produced the now legendary sentence: “What belongs together, will grow together”.
Then it’s too big. Think GM (Government Motors). Only different. As in much worse.
At Volkswagen AG, political connections come already fitted.
When it comes to Volkswagen, German chancellors don’t intervene in company decisions. But the unique arrangement in Lower Saxony (it holds 20 percent of the company) has spawned alumni in high places with an interest in the boardroom, including Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. Schroeder, who sat on VW’s supervisory board for eight years as state premier, was known as the “auto chancellor” when he led Germany from 1998 to 2005 because of his perceived closeness to the car industry.
Following him to Berlin after serving at his side in Lower Saxony was Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now in his second stint as Merkel’s foreign minister. Sigmar Gabriel, who succeeded Schroeder as state premier — and VW board member — is now vice chancellor and economy minister. He also heads the Social Democratic Party, Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Christian Wulff, a Christian Democrat like Merkel who succeeded Gabriel in the state capital Hanover, made it all the way to the German presidency, before resigning in 2012 amid a legal probe.
Im Abgas-Skandal, dessen Auswirkungen noch unübersehbar sind, rückt die Frage nach der Mitverantwortung der deutschen Politik in den Fokus. Und weil die politischen Spitzen der Republik wie geschockt schweigen und selbst die sonst geliebten Talkshows meiden, werden Vorwürfe laut, die Bundesregierung habe mit Volkswagen gekungelt und möglicherweise sogar von den Manipulationen gewusst.
(In Germany) That is the question. Standing up, I mean.
And the next German court has just made its standpoint clear. They’re still on our side, men. Standing. Because they won’t stand for us having to roll over dead by sitting down like that. But how long can we keep going like this?
Gee wizz. Bladder enjoy it now while we still can because let’s face it, pal: Urine danger. So hang in there.
A court in Germany has once again ruled in favor of a man’s right to urinate while standing up after his landlord demanded money for damage to the bathroom floor.
And it does. But the German state can burn the stuff up pretty good, too – at any level.
The German Federation of Tax Payers just came out with its latest “Black Book” of government waste, a breathtaking collection of 133 of the most impressive cases of abuse it found. Some are quite imaginative, I must say.
The city of Bergen on the island of Rügen, for instance, ordered 200,000 earthworms from a special firm in Holland for a sports field there – for over 7,000 euros. These special „Dutch Nightcrawlers“ were supposed to loosen up the hard playing field. They failed at that but made the field so “soiled” with worm Dreck (filth) that it couldn’t be used anymore.
Or how about the five manhole covers in Osnabrück with the colorful LED lamps on the side? They only cost 10,000 euros a shot. They sure are purty, though.
Then there’s the State Ministry for Culture boss who felt the need to have a “cemetery app” developed that would show its users where over 1,000 famous graves are located. It was called “Where They Rest” and all it did was redirect these users to the website with the same name. It only set tax payers back some 548,000 euros, however.
Nicht kleckern sondern klotzen, I say. Don’t take anything halfway.
Well, not quite yet. But that would certainly be cheaper in the end.
Here’s the latest on Klaus Wowereit International:
Plagued by a series of construction problems, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport is years behind schedule and billions of euros (dollars) over budget. Lawmaker Jens Koeppen said in an interview published Sunday that all options should be considered, including building an entirely new airport.
“If there are problems that can’t be solved, and that’s clearly the case, then one needs to admit defeat and get off the dead horse.”
That of course means “Suck Me Shakespeer 2” in our language.
Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
– William Shakespeare
If my film makes one more person miserable, I’ve done my job.
– Woody Allen
Not. Here’s the latest Germany refugee crisis update:
The European Union has criticized Germany for being much too lax with refugees who are seeking asylum in Germany. Not enough are being rejected (only one in six).
Nearly a third of migrants in Germany claiming to be Syrians aren’t from Syria.
Mass brawls are beginning to break out at German refugee centers.
An imam at a refugee camp refused to shake hands with the visiting CDU party boss in Rhineland-Palatinate because she is a woman.
And chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity ratings are dropping sharply over her handling of the refugee crisis, two polls showed this weekend.
Other then that, though, everything is working out just fine.
Germany in a state of SIEGE: Merkel was cheered when she opened the floodgates to migrants. Now, with gangs of men roaming the streets and young German women being told to cover up, the mood’s changing
Roughly half of Germans asked are dissatisfied with chancellor Merkel’s refugee policy. This has come out in a survey taken by the INSA Opinion Research Institute in Erfurt. 48 percent disagreed with the statement “For the most part I am satisfied with the chancellor’s handling of the situation.” 41 percent agreed. 11 Percent did not specify.
Despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s warm words and saintly intentions to shoulder the refugee crisis, her efforts are meeting resistance at home. The populace feels overwhelmed and unsupported, not knowing where to accommodate so many people.
„In der Flüchtlingspolitik hat die Bundeskanzlerin die Deutschen mehrheitlich gegen sich. Und zwar aus ganz unterschiedlichen Gründen: Die einen nschen sich noch mehr Offenheit gegenüber den Flüchtlingen, die anderen Orbans Härte.“
No way. Or way?
The German language website Frankfurter Allgemene has reported on how the British media “reports on the crisis differently than the German” media.
The newspaper explains: “When it came to clashes between Hungarian border guards and refugees, the BBC showed young men who threw stones.”
The rioting, fit young men were of course described as “hungry”, “desperate” and “defensive,” but at least the images were shown. The suggestion that such a key part of the developing story was omitted on German TV is a startling one.
“On [German channel] ARD Tagesschau,” Frankfurter Allgemenie reports, “the most dramatic pictures could not be seen – instead, women and children, fleeing the tear gas by security forces [was shown]… German television suggesting disproportionate action by Hungary, however the BBC reported of the “defense of the borders…””
Flüchtlinge sind eine Chance, heißt immerfort. Und das entspricht der Wahrheit. Gleichzeitig jedoch stellen uns die 800 000 Flüchtlinge vor Integrationsprobleme, die offen anzusprechen ein Tabu ist. Menschen, die dies trotzdem tun, werden unbedarft rechts verortet, teils sogar medial beleidigt. Dabei muss das Stellen von Fragen erlaubt sein: Wenn so getan wird, als gäbe es bei hunderttausenden Flüchtlingen keine oder kaum Probleme, können diese auch nicht bekämpft werden.