O’zapft is

Beautiful Germans of the week.

O'zapft is

Because somebody has to admire them.

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No Contradiction Here

No more than anywhere else in Germany, I mean.

Contradiction

Everything contradicts itself here. Otherwise they wouldn’t call this place Germany. It’s einfach kompliziert (simply complicated) in this country. Germans don’t like or want electric cars, for example, but are obsessed with “saving the climate.”

With the contradiction between Germans’ climate anxiety and their love of huge SUVs, it’s no surprise that carmakers are struggling – Amid trade wars and plunging China sales, the number of cars rolling off Germany’s production lines has dropped by 12% this year and exports by 14%. European auto sales fell 3% in the first eight months of 2019. 1 With demand expected to remain weak for a couple of years, the German parts supplier Continental AG isn’t ruling out cuts to working hours and jobs.

Meanwhile… Riding a bike and car-sharing have become a genuine alternative in cities such as Berlin.

The Only Country To Let In More Migrants Than Germany Is Germany

Just kidding. It’s US-Amerika. But still.

Migrants

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday said Germany is the second-largest destination for migrants.

“Since 2015, European OECD countries have collectively received more permanent migrants that the United States,” said the organization in a report. “Nevertheless, the United States remains the largest single destination country for migrants, followed by Germany.”

At the height of the European migration crisis in 2015, nearly 900,000 migrants entered Germany under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy, many of them seeking asylum.

The numbers were and are higher, of course. But who’s counting?

These Old Germans Are Doing It All Wrong

The number of people relying on food donations has increased to 1.65 million in the past year, a 10% increase overall, and 20% increase among people 65 and older.

Food

They need to approach this problem differently.

1) Go to Austria.

2) Throw away your passport.

3) Enter the country as a refugee from, well, it doesn’t really matter where you’re from as long as you call yourself a refugee.

You’ll get free room and board for as long as you want

“This development is alarming — old-age poverty will overrun us in the coming years.”

German Of The Day: Abzocke

That means rip-off.

Abzocke

You know, like the way the German government uses any opportunity it can to rip-off taxpayers (nobody pays more taxes than Germans do)? The latest Abzocke planned is to double the air travel tax in order to fight climate change. And it will definitely not be the last Abzocke to use fighting climate change as an excuse. It’s a brilliant Masche (scam). I mean, when hasn’t the climate changed? They can keep on introducing rip-off tax tricks forever.

Germany’s ruling conservatives have proposed doubling taxes on domestic flights, as part of a wider package to cut CO2 emissions.

The decision was taken by the leadership of the Christian Democrats (CDU), who form a coalition with the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD).

“We will invest, together with the aviation industry, to make electric-powered flight standard for short-haul flights and to create synthetic fuel to achieve climate-neutrality on medium- and long-haul flights,”

German Of The Day: Diktieren

That means to dictate. You know, like dictators do?

Herbert

When Gutmenschen (do-gooders) go bad. Like all left-leaning artists everywhere, German singer Herbert Grönemeyer routinely goes out of his way to demonstrate how he is on the right side of history by being on the left side of history. But unlike many of his anti-right-wing friends, he actually comes right out and admits on stage that if the populace doesn’t think the right way (namely left) then “it’s up to us to dictate what society must look like.” Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it? Think Germany 1933.

Grönemeyer: „dann liegt es an uns, zu diktieren, wie ‘ne Gesellschaft auszusehen hat.”

German Of The Day: Strafzins

That means “punitive interest rate” and refers to a rates below zero.

Strafzins

It’s an accurate word invention. The ECB has cut rates again and those who save are punished.

The German term “Strafzins”, or “punishment rate” is widely used in the country’s media to refer to interest rates below zero. And a day after the ECB cut rates for the first time since the spring of 2016, it is back in the news.

This is despite the fact there is an alternative German word for negative rates: negativzins (as Michael Steen, formerly of the FT and ECB global media chief, pointed out on Twitter).

Admittedly negativ also has . . . negative connotations. But the use of “straf”, or “punitive”, reflects a widespread perception across Germany that the ECB is penalising savers through its monetary policy.

“They want to pump us up with the credit drug.”

German Of The Day: Graf Draghila

That means Count Draghila.

Draghila

You know, as in Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank President?

Mass-selling German newspaper Bild on Friday accused European Central Bank President Mario Draghi of “sucking dry” the bank accounts of Germany’s savers, a day after the ECB cut interest rates deeper into negative territory.

Next to a photomontage of Draghi with fangs and dressed as a vampire, Bild’s headline read: “Count Draghila is sucking our accounts dry.”

Hoping to kick-start economic activity nearly a decade after the euro zone’s debt crisis, the ECB on Thursday cut interest rates deeper into negative territory and promised bond purchases with no end-date to push borrowing costs even lower.

“The horror for German savers goes on and on.”

An Inconvenient Truth

Germany hides the awkward truth about the euro.

Germany

Mr Kohl’s offence — the original sin, I would say, at the launch of the single currency — was to shy away from spelling out to German voters the inescapable meaning of the bargain. It still goes unsaid. In short, Germany is the biggest beneficiary of European integration. The EU supplies the democratic stability and economic certainty on which its prosperity has been built. No country has more to lose from a break-up.

These benefits, understandably, carry a price tag. As the EU’s most powerful economy, Germany bears a proportionate responsibility for the stability of the enterprise.

The mantra in Berlin continues to obfuscate. Germany, it says, will never accept a “transfer union”. In real life, of course, that horse has already bolted. The true choice is between the shadow transfer union represented by the mountain of national central bank liabilities that have built up at the ECB — so-called Target balances — and the creation of an economic union that admits the role of fiscal policy in managing economic demand.

The present catch-22 is that those with room to operate the fiscal levers — Germany and its northern neighbours — refuse to do so. Those pressing for a more expansionary stance — led by France — lack the budgetary headroom.