Germany May Double Number Of Soldiers In Africa To 14

OMG! Is Germany now headed for WAR ITSELF?!? Where is Guido Westerwelle when you need him? “The deployment of German combat troops is not an option. And I have to mention just one more point. We Germans are highly involved in Afghanistan, where the French are hardly involved at all.”

Soldiers

According to a report in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on Saturday the German government is planning to help reinforce the ongoing military operation in Mali through a larger and more robust French-German contingent. The newspaper also reported that government would support a possible EU military operation in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) with transport aircraft and aerial refueling.

“Europe cannot leave France on its own down there.”

PS: In a related story (not), Barack Obama Tells Germans In TV Interview That It’s OK For Them To Stop Worrying About US Spying Now So Everything Is OK Again.

Mutually Assured Disillusionment

And here you thought that the Germans could bitch and moan about Europe.

Moan

And boy can they ever. But the reigning Weltmeister of Whining is now suddenly getting some unexpected stiff competition from France, of all places (with Spain, Italy and Greece picking up speed in the griping department, too).

“No European country is becoming more dispirited and disillusioned (with Europe) faster than France,” according to a Pew Research Center report, released in Brussels and Washington. “The French are negative about the economy, with 91 percent saying it is doing badly, up 10 percentage points from 2012.”

France’s malaise with the European Union’s outlook is more similar to sentiment in Spain, Italy and Greece than it is to the mood in Germany, which is the only EU nation of eight surveyed where at least half the public backed giving more power to Brussels to deal with the economic crisis.

So let’s get with it already, Germany. This race ain’t near over with. We (as in you) can do this. When the going gets tough, the tough get moaning.

“Deutsche leben mental auf ihrem eigenen Kontinent.”

Sure Is Cold In Here

Cold

The issues at stake are not trivial ones. At the core of the Franco-German conflict is no less a matter than the question of how Europe can shake off the current crisis. Merkel is convinced this can only be achieved by implementing reforms — austerity, liberalization of the labor market and restructuring of social welfare systems.

But Hollande is unwilling to let Germany impose its model on France. He fears the European recession will only worsen if Berlin succeeds in implementing its austerity plans.

Even in the euro crisis, Germany is reluctant to be seen as sole leader. It badly needs a French economic revival to have a plausible partner at the top again.

“This is why, ultimately, it does not matter whether they like each other—that has not been the case for years.”

We Don’t Do Dirty Work

Yet again (this time not in Mali).

Mali

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “The deployment of German combat troops is not an option. And I have to mention just one more point. We Germans are highly involved in Afghanistan, where the French are hardly involved at all.”

The French are not alone in their criticism of Berlin. Political leaders in the US and Britain also find it aggravating that Germany presents itself as a peace-loving power and leaves all the dirty work to the others. Mistrust of Berlin has been especially strong since the German government abstained in the United Nations vote over the Libya intervention two years ago — the only Western country on the Security Council not to support the measure — and refused to provide its NATO allies with military aid. “As is usually the case these days, Germany … is keeping its head down,” wrote the British daily Guardian last week. Westerwelle’s “mealy-mouthed statements leave a bad taste,” commented the newspaper.

“We never explain what we want to achieve, we always talk about how we can stay out of things.”

Merkozy This Is Not

How about Hollmerk?

The two capitals (Berlin and Paris) always begin from very different positions, whether there is a socialist or conservative administration in Paris.

The concern in Berlin is over what is seen as the absence of a clear strategy on eurozone reform from the new French government. There is a deep suspicion that France is happy to have a weaker euro, higher inflation, and a looser monetary policy than Germany.

Mr Hollande’s refusal to incorporate the recent “fiscal compact” into the French constitution is one reason that Germany is now pushing for every country to sign a bilateral budget “contract” with the European Commission, that can be enforced by a powerful budget commissar… But Paris regards Ms Merkel as being overly focused on building deeper European political integration in a way that ignores deep-seated reticence in France reflected in the 2005 referendum defeat of the then-planned EU constitution. 

EADS-BAE SSA OK?

BAE Systems has warned it will walk away from its proposed €35bn tie-up with EADS if the deal waters down its special relationship with the Pentagon.

This SSA, specifies that BAE’s senior leadership in the US is made up of Americans, among other things, and has allowed the UK’s biggest defence company to work on many lucrative US national security projects.

“The [US] military would rather have a BAE than a combined BAE-EADS. BAE has been very successful in managing its US relationship. EADS is not in the same bucket, and a combined EADS-BAE is going to be treated a lot more like EADS than BAE.”

Germany Not Considering Military Options Again

Just in case you were wondering, I mean (this time they’re not considering them for Syria).

Not like anybody would ever expect them to consider otherwise. I mean, is the Pope a Catholic? Do chickens use fowl language? Do vacuum cleaners suck?

Germans never consider military options, even when they maybe ought to. Unless it’s an Angriffskrieg (war of aggression), I mean. And that’s been a while. It’s just what they (don’t) do. They don’t use weapons, people. They just, you know, sell them.

“We want to avoid a wildfire in the region.”

Now That’s What I Call Starting Off With A Bang

A presidential jet carrying newly inaugurated French President Francois Hollande was hit by lightning en route to Berlin and forced to turn back to Paris, but the Socialist was unharmed and took off again in another plane, a presidential source said.

Damn. This Hollande guy is definitely more flashy than his predecessor Sarkozy was. When it comes to lightning, I mean.

Blitzschlag hin oder her. Angela Merkel empfing den französischen Präsidenten im Kanzleramt per Handschlag.

PS: Is there a metaphor here or something?

Airbus (Some Call It Airbias) Needs More Germans

At least that’s what the Germans will tell you if you ask them, which of course nobody is.

OK, we’re actually talking about EADS here. “The German government is deeply concerned by the concentration and centralisation of research and development competencies in the headquarters in Toulouse, which have to a large degree led to the current imbalance,” a pissed off big-time German politician has lamented.

So much for Franco-German understanding (yet again). And if it were up to the Germans, they would even see to it that EADS ensure “equal numbers of French and German nationals occupy positions in the top five leadership levels,” although how you would equally distribute five people is unclear to me (government can do this kind of stuff, you know).

But none of this will lead to anything, folks. I can tell you that right now. The Airbus Chief Executive and designated EADS boss isn’t about to let any pigheaded German government official tell him what to do. His name is Thomas Enders and he’s a pigheaded German himself.

EADS was formed in 2000 from French, German and Spanish assets as a counterweight to U.S. aerospace and defense giants.

Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Becomes final today. Me and little Sar-ko-sy will be goin’ away…

So much for France and Germany as the inseparable couple at the heart of Europe.

The issue here is not direct German military participation. Everyone would have understood if that was not possible. But how could Germany not support a UN resolution backed by its principal European partners, the United States and the Arab League?

Like so many contemporary European politicians, they (in the German government) follow rather than lead public opinion.

“We calculated the risk. If we see that three days after this intervention began, the Arab League already criticises [it], I think we had good reasons.” While French and British pilots risk their lives in action, the German foreign minister is virtually encouraging the Arab League to make further criticism.

Latest Angst Update:
++ Ticker Ticker++Several German container shipping companies have stopped going to eastern Japanese ports including Tokyo for the time being amid fears of radiation++ Ticker Ticker ++Fukushima radiation detected in Germany!!!

And thanks for this cool Angst Republic link, A.K.

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