The German Reputation For Efficiency?

Is that anything like the German reputation for moral integrity (see VW’s Dieselgate, Deutsche Bank’s countless crooked dealings, the ADAC “Gelber Engel” fraud, the purchase of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, to name just a few)?

Refugees

So what’s all this talk about “Berlin’s refugee chaos eroding the German reputation for efficiency” here? You can say what you want about the city of Berlin, pal, but at least we Berliners are consistent. Nothing ever works here and the people of this less than fair city are damned proud of it, too (see the Airport fiasco, the S-Bahn, the city’s finances (ha, ha!), to name just a few). Just go and try, for instance, as a “normal” citizen here, to get an appointment at your local Behörde (public authority) for some important paperwork to be processed. You will have to wait months – unless, of course, you “buy” an earlier appointment online from one of the many enterprising entrepreneurs active in the Internet these days (I’m not making this up, folks). I think this is how they do it in Baghdad, too.

Why on earth then should anyone expect that the 73,000 refugees who have arrived in Berlin during these past months be treated any differently? You can expect it if you want to but your expectations will most definitely be disappointed. Welcome to poor but sexy land, people.

At least Hertha BSC seems to be working at the moment. Enjoy it while it lasts, my fellow Berliners.

Berlin’s State Office for Health and Social Affairs is the gateway to life in the German capital for thousands of asylum seekers. Refugees must register here for access to healthcare, housing and welfare support; the wait is measured in days rather than hours. But in a country that prides itself on its orderliness and moral integrity, the chaotic scenes outside this office block have proved deeply humiliating.

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