German Of The Day: König Kunde

That sounds a bit like King Kong but actually means king customer or the customer is king, if you prefer. And it’s nice to be the king, as you well know.

Uncle Sam

For decades, France was the single biggest importer of German goods. But that’s changed now. The United States has taken the pole position among clients for “Made in Germany” goods for the first time.

Seit dem Jahr 1961 kauft kein Land so viele deutsche Produkte wie Frankreich. Das hat sich nun geändert. Und auch damit zu tun, dass Amerika wieder mehr auf die Industrie setzt.

PS: But thank goodness Germany still has its trade with ten foot tall China, too.

 

Last Man Standing

Only she’s a girl.

Merkel

You have called Angela Merkel the modern-day empress of the eurozone. What do you mean?

The title empress reflects, in my view, two realities of present-day Europe. First, the Germans look so strong because the others look so weak. The British are withdrawing from Europe. The French are down but not out. They’re unable to rev up their economy – same thing for the Italians, same thing for the Spaniards. So, when you add it all up, who is the last man – or in this case, the last woman – standing?

The second reason is more concrete – the Germans have been in the vanguard of driving home fealty to the eurozone’s foundational treaties. These conventions enjoined member states, like Greece, not to overspend and over-borrow and, at the same time, to make their economies more efficient. Merkel and her finance minister are not austerity mongers as everybody is harping on about. They are committed to the original treaties’ stated rules that require eurozone members to reform their economies and become more competitive.

Zum ersten Mal seit 2005 könnte die Union einer Umfrage zufolge die absolute Mehrheit erreichen. Die Partei wäre mit 43 Prozent der Stimmen stärker als all anderen Parteien zusammen.

It Costs More To Make Germans Happy

At the happiest place on earth, I mean. When it’s on French earth, that is.

Disyneyland

French visitors pay €1,346 (£950) for a premium package, significantly less that the €1,870 (£1,320) Disneyland charges British visitors – and more than €1,000 (£706) less than the €2,447 (£1727) bill handed to Germans.

I can understand that, sort of. Americans still do get in for free though, right?

Die EU-Kommission geht Vorwürfen nach, dass der Vergnügungspark Disneyland Paris Besucher aus Deutschland und anderen Ländern wegen ihrer Herkunft benachteiligt.

Germans Thrilled About Crappy TV Satire Nobody Watched Last Night

Or at least German Twittererers are.

Veronica

It was called “State Affair” and had to do with an affair (like a sex one) between two heads of state – the German Chancellor lady and the French President dude.

I dunno. Sounds pretty satirical to me. Should have worked. But apparently it didn’t.

Like one guy tweeted: “I don’t even buy Veronica Ferres playing the role of Veronica Ferres.”

Sex beim Gipfeltreffen: Veronica Ferres verliebt sich als deutsche Bundeskanzlerin in den französischen Präsidenten. Die TV-Satire “Die Staatsaffäre” beginnt und endet wie schlimmes Werbefernsehen. Zwischendurch amüsiert man sich aber prächtig.

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. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 492 other followers