Gazprom Gerd Gets A Raise

You’ve got to have principles. As many as possible. For all eventualities. Take former German chancellor Gazprom Gerhard Schroeder (SPD), for instance. Please.

Gerd

His nomination to the board of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company – majority-owned by the Russian government – is breathtaking in its brazenness. You can’t really call it a sell-out, however. This guy sold out long ago.

Rosneft is under Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. By pure coincidence, Schroeder, who calls Vladimir Putin his friend, has regularly criticized any moves to impose sanctions on Russia.

I know it’s hard to take an unpopular stand sometimes, especially when it is unethical, mercenary and just plain wrong, but he certainly is consistent here, at least.

“Schröder macht sich zum russischen Söldner.”

PS: Germany is predictably outraged about this (not) (or not particularly). But rest assured that if this had been a US-Amerkan oil company there would have been hell to pay.

German Of The Day: Heimaturlaub

That means home leave. And boy oh boy is Germany ever sticking to its guns on this one. When it comes to being super-mega-ultra strict about paying for asylum seekers’ vacation trips back home, that is.

Vacation

As German Integrationsbeauftragte (integration commissioner) Aydan Özoguz (SPD) explains, Germany doesn’t foot the bill for just any asylum seeker. They have to be Ausnahmefällen (exceptional cases) before the German tax payer will be asked to send them on an all expenses paid flight back home – and back again.

Someone’s mother dying would be such an exceptional case, for instance. Anybody’s mother (it doesn’t have to be your own). Or maybe your ex-neighbor’s dog is suffering for an ingrown toenail. Or maybe you forgot to bring your favorite bowling ball with you when you were on the run and now you have the urgent need to go pick it up. For integration purposes, of course. You know, exceptional cases like that.

I’m not making this up, people. Not all of it anyway.

“Es kann gewichtige Gründe geben, warum ein anerkannter Flüchtling für kurze Zeit in seine Heimat reisen will.”

We’re Not Putin You On

A new survey indicates that the vast majority of Germans hold Russia’s Vladimir Putin to be more trustworthy than US-Amerika’s Donald Trump.

Putin

In fairness to Donald Trump, however, these Germans also found Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un more trustworthy, too. Or so I assume.

Please note: These are people who even find Germany’s Angela Merkel more trustworthy. For crying out loud already.

The disparity in favor of Putin over Trump was most stark in Greece and Germany, where he outscored the US president by 31 and 14 points, respectively. In Germany, around a quarter of respondents said they had confidence in Putin, while only 11 percent said the same of Trump.

Germany Outraged Over Swiss Outrage About German Outrage

So that’s why Germany has indicted a Swiss citizen on suspicion of espionage for spying on German tax investigators.

Data

It’s complicated and goes like this: The German state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (SPD – at that time) decided to openly deal in stolen goods by purchasing, from a criminal who worked for a Swiss bank, a CD containing details on German clients of said Swiss bank. These Germans were dodging German taxes and this illegally acquired CD was then used to pursue numerous tax evasion cases in Germany.

The Swiss, outraged by this, had one of their spies try to obtain information on tax officials in North Rhine-Westphalia and wiggle his way into their system but he got caught doing so.

The Germans, outraged by this, have now indicted him for this outrageous activity and are outraged, as usual, that anyone could ever be outraged by any of the outrageous stuff Germans are always doing, which, in and of itself, is also an outrage. Like I said, complicated. Outrageously complicated.

Zunächst beschaffte er laut Bundesanwaltschaft persönliche Daten von drei nordrhein-westfälischen Steuerfahndern. Später platzierte er demnach eine Quelle in der nordrhein-westfälischen Finanzverwaltung.

German Brains Tick Differently

So let’s tock about it. “Germans Just Love Paying Sky-High Prices for Green Energy.”

Energy

Huh? I don’t get it, either. It’s kind of like Angela Merkel’s popularity ratings. How could she still be in office after that refugee number of hers? Yet her popularity ratings are still very high. It makes no sense.

So even though… The cost of the Energiewende  is largely borne by German consumers, who pay a surcharge of around €20 ($23.61) on their energy bills. German households pay more for their electricity than in any other European country except for Denmark, where power costs €0.308 per kilowatt hour to Germany’s €0.298.

However, as the latest survey – conducted by Kantar Emnid on the AEE’s behalf – shows, enthusiasm for renewables is increasing if anything. “The survey results show the breadth of the societal consensus supporting the Energiewende in Germany,” said AEE deputy managing director Nils Boenigk.

The AEE’s survey that 95 percent saw the expansion of renewables as important or extremely important. That’s up from 93% in a similar survey last year.

95 Prozent der Deutschen für Ausbau von Ökostromanlagen.

What The SPD Stands For

Stop Paying for Defense, for one thing.

SPD

It’s election time, you see. And Germans like to pretend they are pacifists (as the world’s third largest weapons exporter). So the SPD, once again, is going to take an unpopular stand (not) and rule out their country’s obligation to meet NATO’s two percent defense spending target – a target the Germans agreed to years ago and still refuse to meet. You’ve got to have backbone in politics.

The parliamentary leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) rejected NATO’s 2 percent of GDP defense spending target and called for strategic investment in the German armed forces in an interview published Thursday.

“We think this is the wrong way, and with the SPD in the government there will be no such thing.”

The Mainstream Press Said No

The German literary establishment unanimously denounced it, too. It is a bad book. Bad book! It is a bad book of essays attacking said media/establishment – and the German government – for not taking citizens’ concerns about migrants seriously. Finis Germania has effectively been banned, in other words.

Book

This is not so terribly interesting, right? I agree. But what is interesting here is that the ban has turned Finis Germania into a bestseller. What does that tell us about what is really going on in Germany today? Down here were the little people live, I mean.

Don’t worry, though. This could never happen in your country, folks. Or could it?

Through its blind embrace of Angela Merkel’s open door to Middle Eastern migrants, the German media has lost the trust of a whole section of the German public. When the press calls something extreme, many no longer listen.

“What happens when the majority of Germans lose confidence and trust in mainstream leaders? Many of the Germans becoming disillusioned with mainstream politics and turning to these groups are not hardcore neo-Nazis. They don’t want to persecute the migrants or see them imprisoned, beaten up or killed. … They are concerned about Germany’s future. But Angela Merkel’s government refuses to give serious attention to these concerns and refuses to tell the truth about the impact the migrants are having and will have on the nation.”

Denn wer Antisemit ist, bestimmt der „Spiegel

Martin Schulz Takes An Unpopular Stand For German Votes

Breaking with SPD vote pandering tradition, Martin Schulz has decided to show some real backbone by telling German voters what they do not want to hear.

Martin Schulz

In a shock move nobody here could have possibly expected, and with the German election just weeks away, Schulz has decided to reshuffle the playing cards by coming out to savagely criticize American President Donald Trump.

Like, you got have courage, you know?

DER SPIEGEL: Before the U.S. election, you told us that as president of the United States, Donald Trump would be “not only a problem for the EU, but also for the entire world.” You were right.

Schulz: It has actually been far worse.

DER SPIEGEL: What do you mean by that?

Schulz: It was clear to me that the White House’s solemn atmosphere would not civilize Trump. But the merciless nepotism with which he conducts politics, in which he places himself and his family above the law, I wouldn’t have considered that possible. And on top of that there is this reduction of complex political decisions to 140 characters. When it comes to a U.S. president, I consider the reduction of politics to a tweet to be truly dangerous. Trump is a risk to his country and the entire world.

 

US-Amerikan Gas Conspiracy In Full Swing

German survey time – and no Russian influence here, either. Honest: BASF-owned Wintershall, one of Gazprom’s closest upstream partners and backer of its Nord Stream 2 project, has published results of a survey which it says indicate that most Germans not only oppose an expansion of US sanctions against Russia but also prefer Russian gas to US LNG.

LNG

More than three-quarters (77 percent) believe that the US is attempting to bolster its own economic interests in the European natural gas market… The survey also showed that the vast majority of Germans (83 percent) reject the planned increase in US economic sanctions, which would also restrict the actives of German and European companies. Only seven percent considered criticism of planned US sanctions as exaggerated.

“Whereas half the Germans surveyed support a further diversification of the natural gas provision, only six percent want more imports of US LNG,”

German Of The Day: Sozialabgaben

That means social welfare contributions. And that comes out to be some 900 billion euros in Germany annually. These are not voluntary contributions either, folks.

Sozialabgaben

This is 29.3 percent of Germany’s GDP. GDP here standing for Grotesque and Deranged Payments, by the way.

Diese Leistungen entsprechen den Angaben zufolge 29,3 Prozent vom Bruttoinlandsprodukt (BIP/2015: 29,2). Nach einer Prognose wird Ende kommender Legislaturperiode die Billionen Grenze überschritten. Die Sozialausgaben werden dann bei 1,1 Billionen Euro liegen.

PS: The word “social” is a code word for “here’s something for free” over here, too. Just in case you were wondering.