Data Privacy, Data Privacy Data Privacy…

That’s how the mantra goes. Unless, of course, it’s about the data privacy of a BAD Austrian nationalist, right?

Srache

No outrage about this blatant breach of data protection here in Germany, at any rate. Normally they’d be out in the streets about something like this.

A German data protection agency has suggested German media outlets were wrong to publish video that exposed Heinz-Christian Strache’s allegedly corrupt intentions.

News agencies violated privacy rights by publishing a secretly filmed recording of the now-former vice-chancellor of Austria, an official German data protection agency claimed on Sunday.

Stefan Brink, who heads the Data Protection and Freedom of Information agency in the German region of Baden-Württemberg, believes the tape of Heinz-Christian Strache has far-reaching negative repercussions.

“If we cheat political opponents, violate their privacy and even commit criminal wrongdoing, we ultimately harm our political culture and us all.”

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What Do You Want, A Cookie?

25-year-old German cookie heiress apologizes for downplaying her family’s history of using Nazi forced labor on the grounds that ‘we treated them well.’

Cookie

Verena Bahlsen, whose great-grandfather Hermann Bahlsen founded the eponymous company that produces the Leibniz brand of cookie, told Germany’s Bild newspaper last week that the company did nothing wrong when it employed dozens of forced laborers during World War II.

“This was before my time and we paid the forced laborers exactly as much as German workers and we treated them well,” Bahlsen said, as cited by Reuters. The German newspaper published the remarks on Tuesday.

Keksunternehmerin Verena Bahlsen bittet um Entschuldigung – und will dazulernen.

Well, Then He Shouldn’t Announce Tariffs, Right?

German auto sector could drop as much as 12% if Trump announces tariffs, analyst says.

Tariffs

Gee, I wonder if there is anything the Germans/Europeans could do to prevent that from happening? I dunno. How about like maybe lowering their tariffs? Just thinking out loud here, people.

Germany’s automotive sector could fall as much as 12% over “three bad trading days,” if President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on European car manufacturers, one analyst told CNBC.

Trump has until Friday midnight (Washington time) to decide whether to impose duties on car imports. This would likely hurt Germany, the EU’s traditional growth engine, given that it is one of the largest direct car exporters to the U.S.

“If indeed we get U.S. car tariffs on imports from the euro zone — not just their announcement, you could forget our economic forecasts completely. No chance of a sustained pick-up in activity throughout the second half as we expect.”

Shame On Him!

Trump treats Germany like ‘America’s worst ally.’

Worst

Especially because, well, like, you know… They are.

North Korea, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela: America currently has disputes with a lot of countries. Europeans, meanwhile, have done quite well at keeping their heads down. A US-EU trade truce is still holding. And Nato’s 70th anniversary festivities in Washington came and went in early April without tweet fireworks from the president threatening US withdrawal.

There was one notable exception to this queasy peace, however: Germany.

At a think-tank event during the Nato celebrations, vice-president Mike Pence castigated Germany for its inadequate defence spending and for being a “captive of Russia”. A few weeks later, presidential daughter-in-law Lara Trump opined on Fox Business that Angela Merkel’s welcome of refugees in 2015 had been Germany’s “downfall” and “one of the worst things to ever happen” to the country.

Germany is, in fact, having a bit of a moment in the roiling imagination of the Trumpian nationalist right. It has been denounced as “selfish” and “America’s worst ally” by Ted Bromund, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation. Jakub Grygiel, until last year a member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, called it “a source of fear and resentment”. And Michael Anton, a former senior White House adviser for strategic communications, just published an essay on the “Trump Doctrine” which contends that the EU is “a fraud” and Germany “treats the EU as a front organisation”…

Like I said. All of this is outrageous. And, well, I dunno, like, how should I put it? True. It’s actually much worse than all of that but nobody wants to hear it so, shame on you, President Trump!

Germany’s Once Mighty Air Force?

That must have been a long, long time ago.

All of the Reasons Germany’s Once Mighty Air Force Is Dying – The German magazine Spiegel recently revealed that most of the Luftwaffe’s—the modern German air force’s—128 Eurofighter Typhoons are not flightworthy.

In fact, only about ten of the aircraft are ready for operations, Spiegel said. This raises doubts about Germany’s ability to meet its NATO defense commitments.

“The problem is complicated.” Uh, no it’s not. This is nothing new. The Germans simply don’t care.

Well, We Certainly Don’t Want To Spark Controversy

Do we? German conference on Islamic veil sparks controversy.

Veils

The Islamic veil – Symbol of dignity or oppression? I’m going to go out on the limb here, folks. I’m going with oppression. Just sayin’.

Islamic veils are a hot topic in Germany, particularly due to a growing Muslim population. Now, outcry over an academic conference on the issue has surprised even its organizer, who says freedom of speech is at stake…

Germany’s Muslim population, which has rapidly increased in recent years due to immigration from Muslim-majority countries, was estimated at between 4.4 and 4.7 million people or approximately 5.5% of the country’s total population in 2015, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The number is doubtless higher now, according to the agency, but updated official figures exist.

With these demographic changes come societal debates — one of which, that of the Islamic veil, has been a continual source of discussion. The latest veil controversy, which made headlines all across Germany, has occurred over a planned academic conference — something that even its organizer did not expect.

“Dissenting opinions must be respected and tolerated.” Must they? For how much longer?

Germany Finally Prepared To Help Iraq

Out of the goodness of its heart. With a giant electricity agreement worth billions.

Iraq

The Germans may not have been prepared to help free the country from Saddam Hussein militarily but they have finally taken a great step forward and are now prepared to free it from lots and lots of money makes the world go around.

Iraq and German giant Siemens have signed a framework electricity agreement potentially worth billions of dollars. The Iraqi premier was in Berlin to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Our claim is that we are a reliable and affordable power supplier to the people of Iraq and want to help them rebuild their country.”

German Of The Day: Verfolgung

That means persecution.

Christians

German politicians denounce growing violence against Christians. Wow. That took a lot of bravery. And it will be long forgotten tomorrow.

German politicians across the political spectrum said the persecution of Christians worldwide is growing. Their statements came after a spate of bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

Not that anybody cares but Christianity remains the most persecuted religion in the world. In recent years, scores of Christians observing Easter and Christmas services have been killed by Islamist terrorists in churches in Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria and now Sri Lanka.

Our Next Promise Will Show More Promise

Not.

Defense

The longer Germany’s grand coalition stays in power, the more doubtful it is that Berlin will raise defence expenditure to the levels that it has promised its US and European allies. A failure to meet Germany’s commitments will corrode the mutual trust that is the essential ingredient of a successful international military alliance.

Inadequate German defence spending weakens Nato, the foundation stone of the nation’s security for 70 years. It damages US-German relations, which are at a post-1945 low because of the Trump administration’s disruption of the liberal world order. Ultimately, it undermines the credibility of the government’s claim that Germany stands for a robust, autonomous European security and defence strategy less reliant on Washington.

The Christian Democrat-Social Democrat coalition that assumed office in 2017 informed Nato at the start of this year that it would spend 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product on defence in 2024. This figure was below the 2 per cent to which Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, and other national leaders had committed themselves at a Nato summit in 2014.

German Of The Day: Naivität

That means naivete, as in being gullible or simple-minded.

China

Here’s an example: Industry Leaders Accuse Europe of Naivete with Respect to China – China’s aggressive approach in extending its economic power is causing concern among European companies. They demand a tougher approach from Brussels – and a convincing vision.

Good luck with that, European industry leaders. “Europe” doesn’t have time to deal with little issues like that at the moment, nor will it have any time in the near future. It is too occupied with self-inflicted problems like uncontrolled migration and Brexit (and the ensuing financial crisis) and placing the next batch of non-elected and unaccountable EU eurocrats in power. But once all that is taken care of, who knows? That little Chinese issue might just get tackled, too.

Die aggressive Vorgehensweise Chinas bei der Ausdehnung seiner Wirtschaftsmacht bereitet europäischen Unternehmern Sorgen. Sie fordern eine härtere Gangart von Brüssel – und eine überzeugende Vision.