German Of The Day: Hand Over The Money Or I’ll Shoot!

Greece

And here you thought that Germans didn’t have a sense of humor. Galgenhumor (gallows humor), OK, but humor all the same.

Public broadcaster ARD, in its Morgenmagazin breakfast show, lampooned the tit-for-tat battle that has ensued between German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis, 54, in a video clip based on the 2011 French film The Intouchables, depicting the unlikely friendship between a wealthy quadriplegic and his African carer. Schaeuble, 72, has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot by a deranged man in 1990.

But Can I Keep My Torpedo?

As you may know, German authorities are really touchy when it comes to gun control. Sort of. But it doesn’t just stop there. They totally freak out and call the Bundeswehr if they find out that you have a tank in your cellar. Skeleton in the closet? OK. But a tank in the cellar? No way.

Like take a chill pill already, officer. It wasn’t even loaded.

Tank

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank.

“He was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978.”

Grexit: Bad Attitude In A Can

German entrepreneur Uwe Dahlhoff has trademarked the term “Grexit” — used to refer to the possible Greek exit from the eurozone — and plans to use it to market a new vodka drink.

Grexit

The drink itself is sour — vodka mixed with lemons.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

“The problem with socialism…”

is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Socialism

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.”

More Negativity

But it ain’t nothing new, folks.

Flag

More than half of Germans (53 percent) said they did not believe the United States government respects the personal freedoms of its people, according to a Pew Research Center report published on Tuesday.

“The U.S. receives largely positive reviews among many of its key NATO allies. About two-in-three Canadians have a favorable opinion, as do large majorities in Italy, Poland, France, the UK and Spain. The outlier is Germany.”

German Of The Day: Amerikanische Verhältnisse

That means “American conditions” or “the American situation,” meaning really, really bad, of course, and is most often used when referring to crime and the use of guns there.

Shooting

But then there’s this homeowner guy in Hamburg. I don’t know what the hell he was thinking but when two thieves forced their way into his house he pulled out a gun and shot one of them. At this point the thieves decided to leave. The guy that got shot, however, only made it about two hundred meters down the road before dropping dead. A very similar incident also happened recently in Hanover, by the way.

Shocking, isn’t it? Talk about your amerkikanische Verhältnisse. But even more shocking, I find, is how these news items are quietly being ignored and how you will be hard-pressed to find anyone here in Germany who doesn’t think this guy was right in protecting himself and his property. After all, this isn’t Wild West US-Amerika we’re talking about here, folks.

Einer der Männer soll dann bis in den Hausflur eingedrungen sein. Daraufhin gab der Hauseigentümer einen Schuss auf den Täter ab.

Europe Must Think Hard About Automobile Control

“At some point we as a  politico-economic union will have to reckon with the fact that this type of violence doesn’t happen in other advanced  politico-economic unions or countries,” one leading European politician said, unnamed for the moment. “It doesn’t happen with this sort of frequency.”

Maniac

The comments came after a maniac driver in Graz, Austria mounted his vehicle on the pavement and aimed it at pedestrians – sending several crashing into the windscreen and flying over the car and killing at least three – before getting out and stabbing bystanders with a knife

“We will also need to think hard about stricter knife control, too,” the politician then added.

“I heard a little hissing sound as it went past at maybe 100kmh.”

Welcome To The Hotel Kalimera

You can checkout any time you like. But you can never leave.

Tourists

Are German tourists still welcome in crisis-battered Greece? “Definitely!” insists the travel board of Europe’s top economy, which nevertheless issued a few words of caution Thursday.

Protracted talks on Greece’s debt crisis may have driven up tensions with Europe’s paymaster Germany but visitors can still count on a warm reception, the German Travel Association (DRV) said.

But what if Greece should default on its loans, exit the eurozone and reintroduce the drachma? Fear not, the DRV said. “There would only be a limited impact on holidaymakers, particularly those on package tours. Flights, hotel stays and bus transfers are bought and covered by contracts.”

Practice Your German Tonight

And your Cold War attitudes from the 80s, while you’re at it. Looks like we might be needing them again.

Deutschland 83

“Deutschland 83” premieres 11 p.m. Wednesday on SundanceTV.

SundanceTV’s “Deutschland 83” is the first German-language series ever broadcast on a U.S. network. The eight-part fictional spy thriller is set in 1983, when the then-split Germany was the hot spot for escalating nuclear tensions between NATO and the Soviet Union.

Vladimir Putin: “More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems will be added to the make-up of the nuclear arsenal this year.”

Gimme A G! Gimme An R!

As time ticks down for a deal, Athens and the lenders remain at odds over how far Greece is willing to bend to meet demands for austerity in exchange for funds desperately needed to avoid a default. The dispute is likely to come to a head by a European summit on June 25, or possibly earlier, at which either Mr. Tsipras or German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have to back down.

GREXIT

In a speech to Syriza party lawmakers, Mr. Tsipras said that Greece cannot accept deeper austerity demands from its international creditors—other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, accusing them of trying to humiliate the country and the IMF of having “criminal responsibility” for the country’s current economic woes.

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