The Nerve

After all Germany has done for Iraq.

Siemens

Germany’s main industry federation said U.S. pressure to quash Siemens AG’s $15 billion power-plant deal with Iraq is unacceptable and shows how President Donald Trump’s “America First” stance is corroding business decisions.

Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with General Electric Co. on Oct. 15 after U.S. officials warned Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that U.S.-Iraqi relations would be at risk if his government accepted the deal with Siemens, Bloomberg reported.

Hey. All’s fair in love and business (Siemens is fighting back).

“To implement the America First doctrine in this way in the global competition of multinational companies is not acceptable.”

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German Of The Day: Korruption

That means corruption. It’s a foreign word here, though.

Audi

Unless, of course, you’re talking about VW, Daimler, BMW, Audi

Now it’s out that Audi tampered with the chassis numbers of their test vehicles to hamper the emissions scandal investigation going on in Korea. And it looks like this was all directed from Germany.

Please note: The next time Germans get morally outraged about the next big moral outrage in US-Amerika – and it won’t be long – remember that absolutely nobody here in Germany pays the slightest attention to any of this dieselgate made in Germany crime and corruption stuff. They’re all serfs owned by the German automobile industry.

Audi hat jahrelang Fahrgestellnummern von Testautos gefälscht und so die Aufklärung des Abgasskandals in Korea behindert. Die Vorgänge wurden offenbar von Deutschland aus gesteuert.

 

Germans Threaten Americans With Non-Negotiable Friendship

In a sly move calculated to add more leverage to the German position in the on-going trade war troubles with Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is now headed there for talks in which he will openly threaten US-Amerikans with “non-negotiable” friendship should they not budge on their demands.

Friendship

Officially there to open the Year of German American Friendship, Maas made no secret about Germany’s intentions. He warned, “Our goal is not to just maintain the relationship we have with the United States but rather improve it.” Adding, “It (the Year of German American Friendship) is designed so that people learn more about Germany than any normal American person could ever possibly want to learn and, what is more, this will be done in an annoyingly friendly and courteous manner for, like, well, a whole year or something. Unless, of course, you lighten up with this tariff bullshit already. Here, let me shake your hand again.”

“Things that used to be taken for granted are no longer that way, they must be worked on.”

Germans Feeling Gloomy?

Wow. We’ve never had that one before.

Gloomy

The German economy is booming. Unemployment is at a near-record low. In Europe and around the world, the country is seen as a beacon of wealth and efficiency.

So what’s so mysterious about their gloom? This is Germany. Duh. How could Germans not get gloomy about a situation like that?

But maybe, just maybe, with a little luck things will start to crap out here before too long and everybody can start cheering up again.

Es war einmal ein starkes Land.

Isn’t Anyone Going To Do Anything About This?

The great German beer crisis? Demand is falling, people. And I can only drink so much on my own.

Beer

Demand is falling in a country where there are more than 6,000 different brands of beer. The theory goes that you could drink a different one each day for more than 16 years without having to taste the same one twice. In fact, today fewer Germans regularly drink beer at all. Since the early 1990s, domestic consumption has dropped by more than a quarter. Consumption per head peaked in 1976 and has been falling ever since. The result has left mass-market brewers suffering from overcapacity and fighting a long-running price war. More than two-thirds of all the beer sold in supermarkets is offered at a discount.

“How is it that one of the world’s biggest export nations, and one so obsessed with beer quality, fails to woo international drinkers?”

German Budget Surplus Offers German Politicians Further Ways Not To Spend It

The dramatic growth in Germany’s public sector surplus over the first half means the government has extra room for manoeuvre, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday after data was released showing the surplus at a record high.

Scholz

“I’ll be looking into as many ways as possible not to spend any of it,” he said. Or could have said. And this is social democrat, too. This savings mania is a German thang.

And saving money is generally a very sound idea, I understand that. But how about considering giving that surplus back to the people you took it from in the first place? I’m just saying.

Der FDP-Politiker Dürr verlangte angesichts der hohen Überschüsse, den Solidaritätszuschlag abzuschaffen. Auch der Bund der Steuerzahler forderte eine Entlastung der Bürger.

Tourists Can’t Destroy Berlin

“How Tourists Are Destroying the Places They Love,” a recent Spiegel article title goes. Well, if they love Berlin they’re in for a way big disappointment. Everything here is already kaputt.

Tourists

Nothing like putting a refreshing, positive German spin on things, I always say. Go Spiegel! And I guarantee you: The average Spiegel employee goes on vacation three times a year.

Predatory Modern Tourism…

The travel industry has begun recognizing that its own success is increasingly undermining the foundation of its business model. “Overtourism” is the buzzword currently dominating industry conferences. Discussions are taking place about how tourist flows can be directed such that they will no longer be perceived as a threat.

“Tourist Go Home!”

Just Like That Japanese Reactor

Not quite as dramatic, granted, but just like how Fukushima took down the nuclear power industry in Germany, all it takes is a collapsed highway bridge in Italy to suddenly put Germany’s bridge infrastructure in full tilt crisis mode. You gotta worry about something, after all.

Bridges

The latest reminder of the risks of aging infrastructure came Tuesday, when a highway bridge in Italy collapsed, killing at least 35 people. Germany is also exposed. Its once-envied network of roads, bridges and railways are decaying due to decades of underspending. The country has fallen to 15th in road quality behind Oman and Portugal, according to the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings.

Autobahnbrücken in Deutschland – Jede achte Brücke in schlechtem Zustand.

It’s Good To Be The Queen

Of extracting wealth from the rest of the European Union.

Merkel

While few European states can pretend to share Germany’s distinction of being a “country of poets and thinkers,” none can rival German abilities to extract so much wealth from the rest of the European Union.

Last year, Germany posted a 159.3 billion euro surplus on its goods trade with other countries in the EU — one of the world’s largest free-trade areas and a region with privileged access to German goods and services.

That’s the way it’s been since 1958, when Europe’s common market opened up.

Statistisches Bundesamt: Deutsche Exporte im Juni 2018 um 7,8% höher als im Vorjahr.

The Short Answer Is No

Not without nuclear energy.

If Germany Can’t Quit Coal, Can Anyone Else?

Coal

It would seem like a major step toward Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 1990 totals by 2020. But German utilities just can’t seem to quit burning coal. Some power plants are switching to cheaper imported black coal from the United States, Russia, or Colombia. And at the same time, Germany is also digging more lignite, or brown coal. Lignite is 50 percent water and yields much less energy than the shiny black anthracite. But lignite is easy to bulldoze from massive strip mines that dot Germany’s northwest and eastern border with Poland. Among Europe’s power plants, Germany’s brown coal stations constitute six out of 10 of the worst polluters.

“It’s like organizing your own funeral.”