German Of The Day: Das war knapp!

Meaning that was a close call.

Flughafen

For a moment there it almost appeared as if the city of Berlin might somehow actually manage to complete the construction of the Mother of All Politically Engineered Airport Absurdities by the end of 2017. But only for a moment. Whew. The more things don’t change, the more they stay the same.

Travelers are set to wait still longer for Berlin’s much-delayed new airport to open, as city media report that a provisional opening date in late 2017 is no longer achievable.

Niemand hat die Absicht, einen Flughafen zu errichten.*

*Nobody has the intention of building an airport. Get it? You know, like nobody had the intention of building a wall? The only difference is that they got that wall up in no time.

Is Bild Without Bild Still Bild?

Germany’s best-selling newspaper has removed all pictures from its print edition and website in response to complaints about its decision to publish images of the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned trying to reach Greece.

Bild

The decision to remove pictures in print and online comes less than a week after the newspaper dedicated its whole back page to the distressing image of Alan lying face down on the beach in Bodrum, surrounded by a black background and a plea for action from Europe.

Not Bright To Call Germany Dark

It is weder (neither) dark noch (nor) bright.

Personally, I like to think of it as being more of a Wehrmacht gray. No, wait. Leave that Wehrmacht part out. Gray like all cats are in the dark, I mean. When it’s not light out there in Dark Germany.

Refugees

And being that it’s always darkest before the dawn and there is no darkness but ignorance and out of darkness comes creation, well, let’s all lighten up and Schluss (enough) with these all of these dark thoughts already.

Which Germany will prevail? The Germany of racist chants from the roadside? The Germany of rioters and drunken rock-throwers? “Dark Germany,” as President Joachim Gauck calls it? Or will it be the new, bright Germany, represented by the young policeman with his roots in Afghanistan?

“The problem with socialism…”

is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Socialism

Already on Saturday pictures of anxious savers queuing outside banks to withdraw money were circulating. A slow-motion bank run that had already drained €35 billion ($39 billion) of household and corporate deposits out of the Greek banking system between November 2014 and May 2015 threatens to get out of control. Greek banks have been able to cope with the haemorrhage of deposits only thanks to massive borrowing from the Bank of Greece, permitted by the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt. The ECB is now likely to call time on this and to prevent further increases in this “emergency liquidity assistance” (ELA). That will in turn force limits on cash withdrawals along with capital controls to prevent money leaving the country… Even if the ECB stays its hand this weekend, it will be forced to act early next week. Without a deal this weekend, the cash-strapped Greek government will be unable to repay the IMF €1.5 billion that is due at the end of this month.

The climax to 10 days of fraught bargaining in Brussels and Luxembourg was the decision by Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, to call a plebiscite on the terms of Greece’s bailout, stunning the other eurozone governments. “I am very negatively surprised,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chair of the committee of eurozone finance ministers. “The situation [in Greece] will deteriorate very rapidly … How the Greek government will survive, I do not know.”

Grass Bites Grass

And I bet he’s greener on the other side now, too.

Grass

No, but seriously folks… He was very outspoken. And he spoke out a lot. And he was a humble social critic.

Too bad he couldn’t just stick to what he was really good at. Writing The Tin Drum, for instance.

During the rise of Nazi Germany and the Second World War, Grass was in the Jungvolk (Hitler Youth) before, aged 17, being drafted into the Waffen-SS, the elite armed wing of the Nazi Party. He only revealed this fact about himself in 2006.