Complicated?

Not at all. It’s called freeloading.

Gabriel

Germany and two percent for defense – it’s complicated.

Lofty goals of European and NATO cooperation abound here at the Munich Security Conference, but who will pay the bill?

Top German leaders here have managed to put a damper on the expectation that Berlin would radically ramp up its defense spending, as Washington would have it, stressing instead that gradual boosts and integration with foreign development would yield better results than military might alone.

“We no longer recognize our America.” No, Sigmar. I guess you don’t. That America where nobody bothered to call it freeloading up until now, I mean.

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EU + Brexit = 3.5+ For Germany

That’s 3.5 billion more. Euros. To pay, I mean. Annually.

Oettinger

Somebody has to compensate for the Brexit shortfall and Greece won’t answer the phone. Nor will Italy, France or anybody else out there. Maybe the EU dream team back then should have tried a little harder to keep Britain in and compromised just that little tiny bit more but hey, that was then and this is now. Get out your checkbook, Berlin.

What a mess.

Konkret sprach Oettinger gegenüber der Bild-Zeitung von “mindestens 3 oder 3,5 Milliarden Euro” jährlich. Zu den neuen Aufgaben gehörten etwa der Schutz der Außengrenzen oder der Kampf gegen Terror. Zudem könnten zusätzliche Zahlungen Deutschlands dazu beitragen, die durch den Austritt Großbritanniens aus der EU entstehende Lücke zu schließen.

Made In Germany

Speaking of sanctions… Neither Iran nor Syria will ever have to worry about those, either. Not as long as Germany is in the picture, I mean.

Germany

Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control approved a license for a company to sell military applicable technology to Iranian companies that subsequently was used in Syrian regime chemical weapons attacks, reported the German publication Bild on Monday.

The German company Krempel, located near the southern city of Stuttgart, sold electronic press boards to Iranian companies that were used in the production of rockets.

Deutsche Bauteile in Assads Giftgas-Raketen – „Der konventionelle Gefechtskopf wurde entfernt und mit einem großen Gaszylinder ersetzt.“ Die Kennzeichnung aller Raketen verrate, dass sie „2016 produziert wurden und während des Konfliktes aus dem Iran geliefert wurden“.

More Redistribution Needed

Or that’s what this article seems to suggest.

Redistribution

And this in a country that has already been redistributing the wealth for decades and decades or longer.

When it comes to the superrich, however, there are relatively reliable estimates in the form of lists of the world’s wealthiest people, with the one compiled by the US business magazine Forbes leading the way. A similar list is compiled in Germany by manager magazin. A team of tax experts led by Stefan Bach of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has examined the wealth statistics compiled by the ECB and augmented them with lists identifying the ultrarich. And the team did so for three countries: Germany, France and Spain.

The result: The 45 richest households in Germany own as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. Each group possessed a total of 214 billion euros in assets in 2014.

Bad superrich! Bad!

Why would more redistribution be necessary in a country like Germany? Maybe because it doesn’t work. It can’t work, in fact. It is not, nor has it ever been, a zero sum game, this wealth business. Here or anywhere else. But it’s a great way for redistributing politicians to get elected. Again and again and again. To no avail.

“Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”

“Not Deployable For Collective Defense”

Three years ago, Germany’s military made headlines when it used broomsticks instead of machine guns during a NATO exercise because of a shortage of equipment. The lack of real weapons in the European Union’s most populous nation was seen as symptomatic of how underfunded its military has long been.

Germany

One Russian annexation later, if anything, the state of affairs has only gotten worse, according to the parliamentary commissioner for the country’s armed forces.

He has now reached the conclusion that the German military is virtually “not deployable for collective defense,” at the moment. Independent commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels also indicated in a recent interview that Germany was unprepared for the possibility of a larger conflict even though smaller operations abroad may still be possible.

Meanwhile… Rising exports, Turkish tanks fuel German arms sales debate.

Again: Germany’s army is an alibi army that will never be used for anything other than to make Germans feel better (less worse?) about being 1) pacifists while being at the same time 2) the world’s third largest weapons exporter. Remember this when the next demand for them to spend 2 percent GDP on their defense comes up and they start to fidget – and get away with not spending it again.

Too Lidl Too Late?

More like too Lidl too big and too early.

Lidl

The expansion of German discount chain Lidl into US-Amerika is turning out to be less successful than hoped, to put it mildly. Sales are disappointing and the two billion euros planned to cover investment and start-up losses will not be enough. Management apparently chose too many wrong locations and built stores that were much too big. Instead of the 100 stores planned for last year only 47 actually opened.

This puzzles me a bit. You can’t walk a quorter of a mile in Germany without running into one of these places. And when I read how Lidl prices in the US seem to be just as low or lower than they are here, how could they possibly fail? Well, if they do, there’s still Aldi, right?

Die extrem jungen Expansionsteams haben in Amerika oftmals falsche Standorte ausgewählt. Zudem wurden zu große und zu teure Märkte gebaut. Die Umsätze sind enttäuschend. Die ursprünglich kalkulierten zwei Milliarden Euro für Investitionen und Anlaufverluste werden nach Informationen vom manager magazin nicht ausreichen.

Germans Oddly Quiet About Protests In Iran

I wonder why?

Iran

I know, let’s ask the Tasnim News Agency: The head of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce said Germany sold 2.358 billion euros ($2.846 billion) worth of goods to Iran, and imported just $328 million worth of goods from Iran in nine months from January through October 2017.

“Germany’s trade surplus with Iran is massive. But that’s nothing new. The Iranians complain about it from time to time, and we try to find ways to encourage more Iranian exports into Europe and Germany, but we’ve been running big trade surpluses with Iran for forty years.”

While Russia Simulates Bombing Germany…

The Germans are up in arms about Donald Trump’s tax code overhaul in US-Amerika.

Russia

I don’t make this stuff up. It’s all about setting priorities, people. One has to stay focussed on the real dangers facing Germany out there today. Getting annihlated by Russia would be unfortunate, for sure, but the American President handing out “a Christmas present that the majority does not even want” is just too damned much to stomach.

Who knows? That could even give taxpayers in Germany ideas about getting tax breaks over here. Nah. Believe me, it couldn’t.

Das Verhältnis des Westen zu Russland ist seit der Krim-Krise stark belastet. Eine Entspannung ist nicht in Sicht. Nun soll das russische Militär in einem großen Militärmanöver namens “Sapad” die Einnahme Westeuropas geübt haben.

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German Of The Day: Suboptimal

That means sub-optimal, of course. Somewhat less than perfect.

Sub

And, as reported earlier, that is the condition in which Germany’s mighty submarine fleet is currently in.

Abysmal Readiness – Indeed, the German military, which transitioned to being a purely volunteer force in 2011, has struggled to fill its ranks, and has sought to appeal to young recruits with more flexible hours, cozier barracks and childcare facilities. A recent publicity campaign featured one of the female sailors serving aboard a U-Boat, which commentators have pointed out would be impossible now due to the entire fleet being grounded.

Exports of these babies, however, couldn’t be doing better. You do the math. You know, just do a little sub-traction.

Germany’s low levels of defense spending in the post–Cold War era reflect a commendable wariness toward using military force after the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II. However, as the state with the greatest wealth, population and political clout in the European Union, it will be expected to contribute more to European defense as Moscow presents a more aggressive posture in eastern Europe.

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The Beate Uhse Sex Trade Has Fallen On Hard Times

Or on not so hard times?

Beate

Sales have failed to rise. They’re busted. The company couldn’t keep their turnover turning over enough. Then they got strapped for cash. Pinched. Hey, sex re-tail just ain’t what it used to be. Especially when you pay in arrears and then get behind. Hey, if they turn Beate Uhse into a holding company just what will it be holding, anyway?

I’m sorry. I’ll stop now. It’s Friday.

Sex sells – auf dieses Motto konnte sich der Erotikhändler Beate Uhse seit mehr als 70 Jahren verlassen. Doch seit längerem stockte das Geschäft mit Schmuddelfilmen, Dildos und Dessous. Nun kommt die Teil-Insolvenz.

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