Dial M For Merkel

And something tells me there was a lot of heavy breathing during this telephone conversation, too.

Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an uncexpected telephone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that nobody wants to comment about officially.

Bild newspaper reported on Monday that Tsipras had called Merkel as well as Euro group head Jeroen Dijsselbloem to try to convince them of the need for more help for Greece and for the need for an emergency meeting of EU leaders this week.

Bild said the reason for the call is that the Greek government has run out of money

“It’s on fire and there’s no water there to put out the fire. The situation is more than dramatic.”

It’s TTIP, All Right

It’s TTIP of your normal-everyday-hysterical-German-anti-American iceberg.

TTIP

“All this enters the debate, but it surprises me a bit that the resistance is so strong in a country like Germany, where the benefits will be the greatest.”

The most controversial element of TTIP is a plan to let companies have legal disputes with governments heard by supra-national tribunals, which campaigners say would undermine national sovereignty and favour big business.

The so-called investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, allows firms to sue national governments if they feel that local rulings — such as health and safety regulations — violate the trade deal and threaten their investments.

The courts are a critical issue for US negotiators, who underline that these types of panels have existed for decades and are already included in thousands of trade deals worldwide, including about 400 in Europe.

„Dabei ist es geradezu bizarr, dass die Debatte in Deutschland so aufgeheizt ist: Schließlich profitiert kein Land so stark von TTIP wie Deutschland.”

It’s Not That We’re Too Strong

The rest of you guys out there in Europe are just too weak. Like start doing more push-ups or something.

Germany

German dominance is in part a consequence of others’ retreat. That may be why complaints have been muted. “If the Italians don’t bring pasta and the French don’t bring pâté,” says a diplomat, “you can’t complain about Mrs Merkel’s cabbage soup.

PS: And speaking of getting stronger, you folks over at the FDP should learn to smile a little already. Polls indicate that you’re back over that magical 5 percent line and could get back in the saddle again – if elections were to be held today.

Germany And USA Divided Over How Best Not To Do Anything In Ukraine

Although President Obama just went out of his way to stress that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine only reinforces the unity of the US and Europe to not do anything about it, Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Washington today nevertheless made clear once again just how wide their views differ when it comes down to the how-not-to-do-anything-about-it part.

Ukraine

Washington, on the one hand, prefers talking about maybe sending weapons someday perhaps but let’s not rush into things because these are weapons we’re talking about here after all people while Merkel, for her part, categorically rejects the idea of sending weapons that are never going to be sent anyway, preferring instead more negotiations about negotiations with whoever feels like negotiating about anything at anytime anywhere, stressing here how crucial it was “that the West stand up for Ukraine,” provided, of course, that this remain a purely figurative expression devoid of anything that could even remotely be interpreted as meaning “like actually standing up for Ukraine or anything.”

“If we give up this principle of territorial integrity of countries, then we will not be able to maintain the peaceful order of Europe.”

“Friends Don’t Spy On Friends”

Somebody said that once, not all to0 long ago, after some NSA Aufregung (excitement) about something somewhere. I forget where. But I couldn’t agree more. So, uh, where’s the outrage now?

Turkey

Now that Germany’s intelligence agency BND has revealed that NATO ally Turkey is one of five countries it is spying on, I mean.

Outrage won’t be necessary this time, I guess. It appears that Germany is finally coming clean and ready to admit to the world that Turkey has officially reached non-friend status so spying in this case is allowed.

Hey, what goes around comes around.

The news reports (of NSA spying in Germany) outraged Germans, leading to favorable attitudes about the United States falling to their lowest levels in years and creating a public and private sense of mistrust. Merkel has repeatedly called the U.S. spy program a breach of trust and noted that “friends don’t spy on friends.”

German Spy Etiquiette Initiative Fails For Now

But will most likely be introduced again at a much later date once hell freezes over.

Spy

The United States and Germany had been negotiating over mutual rules for intelligence-gathering aimed at each other, but there still appears to be “some gaps that need to be worked through.”

It seems Angie Merkel suddenly had more important things to say than talk about the NSA during her latest stay in the USA. Hey, that rhymes.

“We do not have a blanket no-spy agreement with any country.”

Tsar Vladimir Vs. The Empire Of Peace

Gee, I wonder who is going to win? Or who just won, I mean.

Putin

Russia is back and intent to recoup its losses suffered at cold war’s end. Mr. Obama’s America is difficult to fathom as it disarms and turns inward (for “a little nation-building at home,” as the president keeps intoning). So suddenly, Europe – this self-proclaimed “empire of peace” – has to recalculate, and Germany is the best bellwether of change.

Germany? And the Pres himself? You can kiss Crimea goodbye for good, Ukraine.

Putin will go as far as he can get with minimal risk and effort.

Who Would Have Expected That?

Germans Oppose Russian Economic Sanctions – Poll.

Merkel

Uh, what else can you expect from a country where more than one-third of it’s gas and crude-oil imports come from Russia?

Mrs Merkel is Europe’s most powerful leader, yet her country has so far been the main obstacle to a firm, unified Western response.

Putin Clearly Shocked By EU Sanctions

The European Union’s daring suspension of talks with Russia on something or other after Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula has shocked Russian president Vlad Putin so thoroughly that he has just been sighted wandering around in a shirtless daze on his shirtless horse somewhere near what is still the Ukrainian border but probably won’t be for very much longer.

Putin

Thank goodness he has not yet found out that the EU is also threatening even “tougher sanctions” unless Moscow swiftly defuses the crisis and Putin puts his shirt back on.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is still doing her damndest to put on the sanction brakes but has now announced that she is at least prepared to cast dirty looks at Putin, if he and his horse can be located. And if all else fails, of course.

Merkel

Die Staats- und Regierungschefs der EU haben sich auf kleine Sanktionen gegen Russland verständigt.

Germans Bugging Americans About Bugging Germans Again

Well they’re sure bugging me.

Merkel

I mean, the Pres already told the NSA to stop listening in on Angela Merkel, right? So like are they now supposed to stop listening in on everybody else out there, too? Why that’s, I dunno, unrealistic or something. Damned if you do. Damned if you still do.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has stepped up its surveillance of senior German government officials since being ordered by Barack Obama to halt its spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday.

Was soll ich denken?”

PS: Looking at that picture up there makes me think that I could work for the NSA, too. I bet I could have cracked that password eventually myself.

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