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.

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German Of The Day: Vergewaltigung

That means rape. And three in a row popped up in the news today

Rape

Strange, they never used to be in the news this much. Now hardly a day goes by without a report or two. It’s been, I dunno, two or three years now. Times seem to have gotten a little rougher here in Germany – and elsewhere in Europe – for some reason.

Nach Vergewaltigung in Hamburg Politiker fordern Aufklärung – und Härte… Der Verdächtige ist vorbestraft und sein Asylantrag abgelehnt.

Agreement Kind Of Reached About Actually Sort Of Enforcing A Law That Has Already Been In Effect For Years

Remember when laws used to have to be followed? Me, neither.

Spain

Berlin and Madrid are demonstrating unity with a joint agreement on returning migrants from Germany to Spain. Now Germany wants to seal similar deals with other countries…

Isn’t this already determined by the Dublin Regulation?

Yes, in principle it is. According to the Dublin Regulation, a migrant is supposed to become the responsibility of the country where he or she is first registered. As a rule, it should be the country where they first set foot on European soil. If a refugee comes to Germany and it turns out that he’s already registered in Italy, the German government could send him back there. However, European law also requires it to consider whether it makes more sense for a refugee to stay in Germany — if, for example, they have relatives living here…

Many EU countries consider the Dublin Regulation impracticable. The transfer of migrants from one country to another is extremely time-consuming. Furthermore, many migrants are not even registered at the point when they first set foot on European soil. During her visit to Spain, Merkel too described the Dublin Regulation as “unworkable.”

German Of The Day: Unfassbar

That means unfathomable. As in it being unfathomable” to set free someone who helped the hijackers who seized Flight 11 and Flight 175 out of Boston, launching the War on Terror.

Terror

Mounir el-Motassadeq — who paid tuition and rent for the al-Qaeda killers while they plotted in Hamburg — is being deported back to his native Morocco early. He was sentenced in 2006 to 15 years, but is being given credit for time served, German’s Bild newspaper reported Thursday. He was jailed in November 2001.

“He was found guilty of 246 counts of accessory to murder — one for each of the passengers who died on all the four hijacked flights that day. It’s shocking he only got 15 years and this sends the message the cost of human life is cheap in Germany.”

Das Hanseatische Oberlandesgericht (OLG) hatte Motassadeq wegen Beihilfe zum Mord in 246 Fällen und Mitgliedschaft in einer terroristischen Vereinigung verurteilt.

Why Germany’s Army Is In A Bad State?

Duh. Because that’s the way Germany wants it. This isn’t rocket science, folks.

Army

DONALD TRUMP says it is “not fair” for Europe’s largest economy to spend proportionally so much less on defence than America does. Germany spends just 1.2% of its GDP on defence, and it shows. A report released in February showed that less than half the country’s Leopard tanks, 12 out of 50 Tiger helicopters and only 39 of its 128 Typhoon fighter aircraft were fit for action. At the end of last year, none of the country’s six submarines was at sea. In short: Germany’s armed forces are barely fit for purpose. Why?

Just 15 per cent of all Germans agree with Angela Merkel that the country should increase its military spending to 2 per cent of GDP by 2024, with 36 per cent saying the country’s already spends too much on its military.

No Fake News Here

It’s called “miscommunication.”

Miscommunication

This week, two individuals became the focus of global celebration following an unlikely and joyous confluence of circumstances.

The viral story went that two elderly men escaped their care facility to attend a metal festival in northern Germany (or, as one headline put it: “Elderly Men Escape Retirement Home to Go RAGE!!”).

Except they weren’t, and they didn’t.

The two men, as it turns out, are 58 and 59 years old and had escaped “a home for people with mental health issues,” according to the Associated Press, before traveling to Wacken, a city roughly 50 miles north of Hamburg. They arrived there at the same time that the Wacken Open Air music festival — referred to as the world’s largest for metal — was happening.

If they can’t or won’t get the facts straight on a harmless little story like this then imagine what kind of fairy tale twisting must be going with the more politicized stuff.

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.

German Of The Day: Anstieg

That means surge. An example would be “As remarkable as Spain’s rise in irregular migration activity has been through 2018, even more important is its recent surge.”

Surge

Germany considers tough response to Spain migration ‘surge’ – A German official has warned that Berlin may impose fresh controls on the borders with France and Switzerland. With a surge in migrant arrivals to Spain, Germany is hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis.

“Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa — an average of 54 per day,” the IOM reported. “In the 55 days since May 31, a total of 12,842 have arrived — or just over 230 migrants per day.”

Left Now Right?

No, let’s call it Right Goes Left. How about Left Right Left?

Wagenknecht

This perennial leftist Frontfrau (lead singer) has just thrown up her hands in desperation about what to call her new collective (collectivist?) lefty movement of malcontents (there’s a big demand for movements like that these days) and finally settled for #aufstehen (stand up, rise up).

Leftwing politicians are singing the praises of border control while rightwingers call for expanding the welfare state. Old political certainties could be turned upside down in Germany this summer as the far ends of the country’s political spectrum both moot a “national social” turn.

A new leftwing movement soft-launching in Germany in August aims to part ways with what one of its founders calls the “moralising” tendency of the left, in an attempt to win back working-class voters from the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

SPD-Vize Stegner kritisiert das Projekt als “Egotrip notorischer Separatisten.”

German Of The Day: Allzeittief

That means all-time low.

Trend

According to the “Germany trend” survey taken by the ARD, the popularity of Germany’s dominant sister party union of CDU/CSU (Angela Merkel/Horst Sehofer) has dropped to 29 percent, its all-time low. Meanwhile, the ostracized right-wing populist party AfD has climbed to 17 percent, its highest rating so far. If an election were held this Sunday, the union and the SPD (the current grand coalition government) would no longer have a majority and land at 47 percent.

Now I’m going to go way out on a limb here but I think all of this has something to do with Germany’s still unresolved migrant crisis.

Union sackt auf Allzeittief – AfD steigt auf Rekordhoch.