Are You Feeling The Security Risk Yet?

European automobile tariff regulators?

Import

The U.S. Commerce Department is set to meet a Sunday deadline to deliver its recommendations to President Donald Trump on whether imported vehicles and parts pose a national security risk, and to outline options on how to address the issue, officials said on Thursday.

Trump would then have 90 days after Commerce’s recommendation to decide whether to impose tariffs…

Trump has urged the EU to drop its 10 percent tariff on imported vehicles. The U.S. passenger car tariff is 2.5 percent, while it imposes 25 percent tariffs on pickup trucks.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, whose members include General Motors, Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp, has warned tariffs would boost imported car prices nearly $6,000 on average.

Deutsche Autobauer verstehen die Welt nicht mehr.

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What Army?

Nobody wants to join Germany’s army.

Army

Germany’s armed forces are struggling to attract much-needed recruits, with the number of new soldiers joining the Bundeswehr falling to an all-time low last year. The shortages are an urgent challenge for the German military, which has tried to boost its strength and capabilities at a time of record-low unemployment, and against fierce competition from both the private sector and institutions such as the police.

The need to build up the Bundeswehr reflects at least in part the recent pressure from the U.S. and other allies to raise German defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product, in line with a longstanding commitment given by all NATO members. Berlin spent 1.2 percent of its budget on defense last year, a figure that is expected to rise to 1.5 percent by 2024. Still …

JUST 20,000 RECRUITS JOINED THE ARMED FORCES IN 2018, DOWN FROM 23,000 THE PREVIOUS YEAR, AND THE LOWEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE BUNDESWEHR.

No Job Losses Here

In Germany. Then everybody’s happy, right?

A380

The German government is not expecting widespread job cuts in Europe’s largest economy following Airbus’s decision to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo, the aerospace policy coordinator told Reuters on Thursday.

“We expect these jobs will largely continue to exist, working on different models such as the A350, the newest plane on the market, or the A330 neo.”

 

Let’s Celebrate Together In Berlin!

The German foreign affairs ministry sent representatives to Iran’s embassy in Berlin yesterday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran

Iran is just a regular old country after all and Germany is everybody’s darling so, what’s the big deal? OK, the mullahs have been known to dabble in international terror now and again. And maybe that part about Tehran urging the destruction of Israel (the Jewish state) is a little over the top but Germans would never urge that kind of thing on their own, directly, so take a chill pill already. Keeping up good business, I mean, diplomatic relations is never a bad idea.

Doch warum schickte die Bundesregierung einen Vertreter zur Revolutionsfeier eines Terrorregimes in dessen Botschaft?

German Of The Day: Grenzschließung

That means border closure.

Borders

Damn. Maybe Mini-MErkel isn’t so Mini-MErkel after all.

Much like the SPD desperately trying to get back the people who used to vote for them with yesterday’s Hartz IV shenanigans, Germany’s CDU 2.0 (can we call it post-Merkel yet?) is fighting to get back the voters who abandoned them in droves after Angela Merkel’s bat shit crazy migrant fiasco of 2015. Boss lady Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has made it clear that this can and will never happen again – without pointing fingers or naming any names, of course – and has even said that her party would be prepared shut down German borders (no, really, they have borders, too) should it ever be necessary.

Odd. These are stands that the pure evil of evilness AfD has been taking from the start (that’s were the CDU voters ran off to). Now the CDU is acting as though they just figured this out all by themselves. Better late than never, I guess.

„Wir haben gesagt, als Ultima Ratio wäre das durchaus auch denkbar.”

Right, Left, Up, Down…

But mostly down. That’s where Germany’S SPD keeps going in the popularity ratings these days.

SPD

Their latest act of desperation? Turning back the hands of time and abolishing the one reform the SPD ever managed to get right (Hartz IV). Nobody’s buying it, of course, “social” (free) gifts or not. There is no going back and somebody else already ate your free lunch.

The SPD wants to replace Hartz IV, the basic welfare benefit — currently €428 ($484) per month — with a basic income. They also want to extend the period of time that older people, from age 58, receive unemployment benefits, to 33 months from 24 months. Younger people, too, will receive unemployment benefits for longer, taking into consideration how long they contributed to the welfare system when they had work. Those who are jobless should have the right to further training, the 17-page welfare state concept says.

“We are overcoming what we recognized as not having been the right route.”

Whatever Is Not Expressly Allowed

Is verboten. In Germany. If you’re Facebook, Google, Amazon, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Co., that is.

Facebook

Recognize a pattern here? They’re all American companies and they’re all “free” to use. The Germans, of all people, surely must have figured out by now that nothing is ever for free. But they haven’t.

GERMAN REGULATORS JUST OUTLAWED FACEBOOK’S WHOLE AD BUSINESS – FACEBOOK’S MASSIVELY LUCRATIVE advertising model relies on tracking its one billion users—as well as the billions on WhatsApp and Instagram—across the web and smartphone apps, collecting data on which sites and apps they visit, where they shop, what they like, and combining all that information into comprehensive user profiles. Facebook has maintained that collecting all this data allows the company to serve ads that are more relevant to users’ interests. Privacy advocates have argued that the company isn’t transparent enough about what data it has and what it does with it. As a result, most people don’t understand the massive trade-off they are making with their information when they sign up for the “free” site.

“We disagree with their conclusions and intend to appeal so that people in Germany continue to benefit fully from all our services.”

More Fake News

It’s 95 percent easy.

Fake News

Nicht gut: Nearly 85 percent of Germans see U.S-German ties as negative.

Nearly 85 percent of Germans have a negative or very negative view of U.S.-German relations, and most want to put more distance between the traditionally close transaltantic allies, a new poll showed on Friday.

Just over 40 percent of those polled view China as a better partner for Germany than the United States, the survey of around 5,000 people, conducted by Atlantik-Bruecke and the Civey institute in poll in November and December, showed.

Ties between the United States and Germany, Europe’s largest economy, have been strained since the 2016 election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has criticized Germany repeatedly for its trade practices, defense spending and its participation in the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Forget About Jane’s Addiction

Germany has the real problem.

Nord Stream 2

And France is going to help the Germans score… Right?

Nord Stream 2 pipeline row highlights Germany’s energy dependence on Russia – Almost a third of the new Nord Stream gas pipeline has been laid across the Baltic Sea. There is, however, growing opposition to the pipeline — and Brussels is having difficulty figuring out how to deal with the project…

Germany is pressuring other European capitals to block an EU proposal to regulate Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline ahead of a key meeting on Friday, diplomatic sources said, but may fail to convince France, threatening the project’s construction.

Germany Reassures NATO Partners It Will Continue To Miss Defense Spending Goals

Worried that the German government’s tax revenues are likely to decrease in coming years due to a slowing economy, German defense officials were quick to explain to their NATO partners that this will have absolutely no effect on the country’s continued failure to increase defense expenditures.

Defens

“Whether tax revenues increase or not is really not the issue here,” these officials stressed. “We have absolutely no intention of raising our defense spending under any circumstances. We do this to ensure that our NATO partners will be able to plan effectively for future increased defense spending on their part and thus continue to protect us as they have done so in the past, pretty much free of charge. For us, anyway. But still.”

“We have time until the end of March. Let us negotiate.”