My Big Fat Greek Bailout II

Certainly not back by populist demand, the German government now seems prepared to stop the bitching and moaning long enough to support funding for the sequel to the first Greek Bailout box office flop and enable the EU to wrap up a second package of aid loans to help a struggling Greece or, to be more exact, the German banks that are now terribly exposed to a possible default there.

“Germany is considering dropping its push for an early rescheduling of Greek bonds in order to facilitate a new package of aid loans for Greece, according to people familiar with the matter. Berlin’s concession that it must lend Greece more money, even without burden-sharing by bondholders in the short term, would help Europe overcome its impasse over Greece’s funding needs before the indebted country runs out of cash in mid-July.”

But if you want any popcorn, you’re going to have to bring it yourself.

Größter Garant der griechischen Zahlungsfähigkeit nach dem IWF mit 30 Mrd. ist Deutschland mit 22,4 Mrd.


More Green Shirt Activity

See? I told ya.

Greenpeace activists climbed on top of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate yesterday to demand a speedy end to the use of atomic energy (by 2015).

I guess 2022 just ain’t speedy enough.

Every day of Green terror is one day too many (my translation).”

PS: The best part about the article was the Google ad I saw next to it: “Price check for 900 electicity providers: Compare prices and save money today!”

Tyrannischer Tugendstaat Deutschland

I’m tellin’ y’all, the Green Shirts are taking over here. Don’t say later that you hadn’t been warned. It’s just what the Germans ordered, or wanted all along: A new Tyrannical German State of Goodness and Niceness.* And don’t think it isn’t coming because we all know it is.

Now that the only German party that even pretended to want to give its citizen’s the freedom to choose has shot itself in the foot and will most likely bleed to death (the FDP, the anti-Greens), now that the tsunami in Japan has carried the Greens in Germany to major Volkspartei status, good green intentions will soon begin paving the way to hell in a big way and there is not a thing any of you out there can do about it.

Germans were never able to stomach Liberalismus in the first place (I don’t mean liberalism as in being “left,” I mean liberalism as in advocating the freedom of the individual) and now that the latest advocates of politically correct collectivism have ridden into town to guide their constituents down the proper party path (“I’m from the government and I’m here to help”),  everything is going to be alright because, well, we say it is and all are thrilled about the thrilling changes about to appear on the Green horizon.

Some examples of things to come: Now a “traffic light” sticker will be introduced at German restaurants, for instance. This will let potential visitors know (by using the pretty colors green, yellow and red) just how good the hygienic condition of the restaurant they were about to visit might have been. More anti-smoking, women’s quotas, anti-discrimination laws, better waste separation and stricter speed limit laws are soon to follow, along with the solar energy, eco-power and electro cars that will need to be more heavily subsidised because, well, they are the only solution (the final solution?) and that’s why they have to be heavily subsidised, not to mention the host of other environmental protection measures that haven’t even been thought up yet (did I mention the part about shutting down all nuclear power plants?). Laws, laws, laws. It’s not that these are just any old laws however, every state makes laws, these are laws designed to make Germans better Germans, just like the Greens meant them to be. Kontrolle ist besser. Father knows best. I mean Mother does.

This is a great leap forward for Nanny State-kind, in other words. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more nanny-like, too. Liberalism was yesterday, dude. Actually, no. Come to think of it, it has never been tried here yet. But still.

And the reason why it’s never been tried here? “Liberalism knows that what is good in society does not come about through good intention and central planning but through the competition of ideas and their agents.”

“Der Begriff Wachstum ist überholt. Wir brauchen eine neue Größe, die Auskunft darüber gibt, ob das Wachstum auch die Wohlfahrt erhöht.” Eine Bestimmung der Lebensqualität, des zufriedenen Bürgerbefindens, als Maßstab für die ökonomische und gesellschaftliche Entwicklung?

* Read the Zeit article Verschont uns! by Jan Ross (page 10, Die Zeit number 22) on which this post is based. And take a look at Hexenverbrennung on the same page while you’re at it (it’s about retro-feminist terror). Sorry, couldn’t find the links.

PS: Thanks for the Hexenverbrennung link, Indeterminacy.

Organic Cucumber Phase-Out Recommended

As if Switzerland’s announcement of a plan to follow Germany down the path toward a nuclear phase-out had not been shocking enough (other nervous European countries are now most certainly to follow), the alarming outbreak of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) in Germany traced to organic cucumbers grown in Spain has led to wide-spread calls for an organic cumumber phase-out as well.

“We now know that organic cucumbers are more deadly than Fukushima,” said one highly concerned Brussels bureaucrat. “This incident has opened our eyes to the total helplessness of organic cucumber operators, I mean growers, everywhere. We Europeans can no longer deny that an accident of this magnitude is indeed possible so it only stands to reason that the only way to deal with a crisis like this is to stop eating organic cucumbers altogether.”

PS: Thanks for the Hinweis, Ole Phat Stu.

Germans Go Home!

“To Save the Euro, Germany has to Quit the Euro Zone

“When the euro was launched, leading German politicians used to argue, with evident relish (and much to the chagrin of the British in particular), that monetary union would eventually require political union. The Greek crisis was precisely the sort of event that was expected to force the pace. But, faced with a defining crisis, Ms Merkel’s government is avoiding airy talk of political union – preferring instead to force harsh economic medicine down the throats of the reluctant Greeks, Irish, Portuguese and Spanish electorates. This is becoming both economically and politically unsustainable. If the objective is to save the currency union, perhaps policy makers are looking at this from the wrong end. In the end, paradoxically, to save the European Monetary Union, the least disruptive way forward would be for the Germans, not the periphery countries, to leave.”

And in a related story…

Everything must go! The Greek government is selling everything it still has its debt-ridden little fingers on so guess who is now interested in buying Athens International Airport? Fraport AG (Frankfurt Airport).

Left-Wing Extremists Attack Berlin S-Bahn System, Nobody Notices

Long used to irregular service, missing trains and outages and shortages of every conceivable kind, tens of thousands of Berlin commuters failed to notice that they were the innocent victims of a vicious left-wing extremist arson attack yesterday.

Huge sections of the Berlin S-Bahn system (some here call it the Stress-Bahn) were disrupted on Monday after a left-wing group set a fire at the Ostkreuz station that caused utter chaos, as usual. In a communiqué issued by the group, they expressed their hope that the attack would be a valuable contribution to the valiant fight against nuclear power (in other countries I assume, as Germany has already capitulated here), militarism and racism, although not necessarily in that order.

“This is absoulutely shocking,” one stunned commuter noted. “I should have known something was up when I actually made it to work thirty minutes earlier than usual. The terrorist bastards.”

Police in Berlin have recently made some progress in fighting left-wing extremism, with the number of arson attacks on cars attributed to anarchists down to 54 in 2010 from 145 a year earlier.

Germany’s Little Greece

Or little Greeces, I guess I should say. Remember all that German finger-pointing at Athens and the indignant lectures about “financial responsibility,” “saving until it hurts” and “working harder?”

Well four of Germany’s sixteen state governments are so way out of control with their money (or lack of it) that they now face the distinct possiblity of sliding into a homegrown debt crises of their own.

This is the first time that the so-called “stability council” has put on its “debt-brake,” emergency procedures created by the federal government two years ago which is aimed at forcing all state budgets to be in surplus by the year 2020.

And the losers are (who else?): Berlin. Oh yeah, and Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland. And just to stick with Berlin, how high is this city in debt? It’s only around something like sort of 62 billion freakin’ euros (17,140 euros per resident).

And how does this way cool debt-brake work? That’s easy. If the states promise to be good in the future (2011 to 2019) they will get an additional 800 million financial support from the federal government each year. You know, just like the way they do it down in Greece. I can’t wait to hear the next lecture.

In den betroffenen Ländern wurden bereits Sparmaßnahmen ergriffen. Im Gegenzug erhalten sie von 2011 bis 2019 Finanzhilfen von insgesamt 800 Millionen Euro pro Jahr, um die Schuldenbremse einzuhalten und ihre Defizite abzubauen.

German Vocabulary of the Day

Alleingang: Going it alone.

Although every German knows that things go invariably terribly wrong whenever Germans do this (go it alone), they sometimes simply just can’t help themselves (think the recent UN Libya resolution episode, for instance) and let this atavistic throwback throw them back to behavior (misbehavior) they will bald (soon) regret. For the latest case in point see Ausstieg.

Ausstieg: This means to exit, phase-out. Germans are the born Aussteiger (exit-ers or escapists), but this is getting ever harder and harder for them to do. Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA (not IKEA), for instance,  has warned Germany about going their nuclear phase-out alone (see Alleingang). Germany’s policies here affect all of Europe, he says, and “it’s not about a German problem, it’s an overall European problem.”

Blackout: This means blackout. German power companies are now warning that should the Ausstieg and Alleingang described above be implemented too quickly and too efficiently (a grave possibility in Germany), they will not be able to guarantee an uninterupted power supply for their customers in Southern Germany during the so-called “winter” months.

Die Netzfirmen warnten, wenn nur die im Zuge des Atom-Moratoriums stillgelegten Alt-Meiler weiter vom Netz blieben, fehlten an kalten Wintertagen in Süddeutschland etwa 2000 Megawatt Leistung.

This New-Fangled EBOOK Nonsense Ain’t Never Gonna Happen Here

Not in Germany it ain’t. No way. It’s, uh, I dunno. It’s just plain wrong. It’s too American or something.

Let Amazon & Co. sell all the damned ebooks they want to over yonder (currently 105 ebooks for every 100 printed at Amazon), we’re sticking to tradition and our traditional fixed book prices (this protects our culture somehow) and the unfair taxation and the measly 0.5 percent ebook sales of total volume of books sold in Germany (sure we only got around to introducing the Kindle here just a few weeks back, but still).

Remember this: Germans don’t read ebooks.

And remember this too: Television had no future (radio pioneer Mary Somerville) and the world only needed five computers at most (IBM president Thomas J. Watson).

Verlage und Buchhandlungen in Deutschland sind zögerlich, weil die Investitionen hoch und die Gewinnspannen niedrig sind und es außerdem mal wieder Streit um die Mehrwertsteuer gibt: Während gedruckte Bücher einem ermäßigten Satz von sieben Prozent unterliegen, sind es für E-Books 19. Und bis das ausdiskutiert ist, wird vermutlich auch mehr E-Books als Bücher verkaufen. Denn in Deutschland wurde der Kindle ja erst vor vier Wochen eingeführt.