The Berlin Airlift

No, not this one. This one.

Iran

Iranian Plan to ‘Airlift $350 Million’ From Germany to Tehran Sparks U.S. Anger

The U.S. ambassador to Germany has called on Berlin to block an Iranian plan to withdraw 300 million euros ($350 million) of cash from bank accounts in Germany to offset the effect of new U.S. financial sanctions imposed after Washington withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal.

This comes after Washington recently announced new sanctions on Iran and ordered all countries to stop buying Iranian oil by November and foreign firms to stop doing business there or face U.S. blacklists.

Der Iran will 300 Millionen Euro in Deutschland loseisen und per Flieger heimholen. Die USA und Israel sind nicht erfreut.

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It’s Like Pulling Teeth

To get this woman to do anything, I mean.

Merkel

Angela Merkel’s friends and enemies lined up in Berlin on Friday morning to defend and attack the chancellor after she stayed up for hours with EU leaders in Brussels hammering out a common European Union plan on keeping out more asylum-seekers.

The ultimate question was whether Merkel had found a deal satisfactory enough to appease her Bavarian allies. The Christian Social Union (CSU) precipitated a government coalition crisis in the past few weeks by insisting that asylum-seekers who had already registered in other countries be turned away at the German border.

“It is the result of a debate in Germany that the migration issue is finally being addressed more strongly at an EU level.”

Alle CSU-Forderungen hat der EU-Gipfel nicht erfüllt. Dennoch gehen die Beschlüsse so weit in Richtung Abschottung, dass selbst Kanzler Kurz zufrieden ist. Ein Erfolg ist die Einigung, weil Europa auf gemeinsame Lösungen setzt.

German Of The Day: Aktionskunst

That means performance art. And in one of the stupidist performances seen to date in Berlin, Greenpeace activists painted the streets around the Siegessäule (Victory Column) yellow. Greenpeace went yellow, in other words.

Greenpeace

They stole this idea from the ancient Egyptions, I believe, as they also worshipped the sun (it kind of looks like the sun, see?). The yellow paint, I think, representing, uh, sunlight or something and thus symbolizing, well, how the hell am I supposed to know what this symbolizes? Wait, I’ve got it now. It symbolizes just how awful coal-firng power plants can be for sun-worshiping Greenpeace Germans (yellow or not) and the rest of humanity for that matter and that they need to be shut down immediately or something. Big medicine, folks. Why didn’t somebody think of doing this before?

Die Berliner Polizei ermittelt gegen Aktivisten der Umweltorganisation Greenpeace – zum einen wegen gefährlichen Eingriffs in den Straßenverkehr, zum anderen wegen eines Verstoßes gegen das Versammlungsgesetz. Greenpeace hatte am Dienstagmorgen um 7.30 Uhr auf dem Großen Stern in Tiergarten gelbe Farbe ausgekippt, insgesamt 3500 Liter.

Remember This Guy?

Martin Schmidt? Or was it Meier? Müller? … Schlitz?

Schulz

Anyway, he’s back again or something. For a few seconds. Now that his fifteen minutes are up, I mean.

He and his comrades over at the SPD are mad as hell at US-Amerika‘s new Ambassador, Richard Grenell, because of, well, “perceived breaches of diplomatic etiquette” (how diplomatic).

He said in a recent Breitbart interview, for instance (Breitbart is a German news service, Breitbart meaning “wide beard” in our language), that he wanted to empower conservative forces throughout Europe. I know, right? And then he did this and then he said that and yada, yada, yada and now everyone on the left (and that’s a whole lot over here) is completely outraged because, well, it’s a slow news day/week/month so it’s time to call for somebody to fire his red, white and blue ass. If it wasn’t for outrage they wouldn’t have no rage at all.

“I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left.”

“Ich hoffe, dass der Kurz-Besuch zu einem Kurz-Aufenthalt von Herrn Grenell in seiner Funktion als Botschafter in Deutschland führt.”

Times Change

Not. Not when it comes to government creating problems by having good intentions and then creating even greater problems by trying to solve the self-inflicted problems it just created. On and on this process goes. Politician generation to generation. Just like the families who now live around Berlin’s Sonnenallee in Neukölln (Little Beirut) will experience, being welfare recipients for many generations to come – instead of working  for a living like the Arab refugees who came before them, albeit “in an orderly manner.”

Neukölln

Of the nearly 695,000 migrants who applied for asylum in Germany in 2016, more than 62 percent received refugee status or humanitarian protection, which enabled them to work and receive welfare benefits, according to data from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (the same scandal-ridden authority we’ve been reading about these days). Among applicants from Syria, the figure was higher, at around 97 percent.

In contrast, 10 years earlier less than seven percent of asylum applicants in Germany received refugee status. A 2016 study by Bielefeld University found more than half of established migrants in Germany believe the newcomers should settle for less.

“When I saw what they received, I wished I was a refugee.”

The Iran Deal Is Not Dead

It just smells funny. At least that’s what Germany seems to think.

Iran

You see, spokesmen for German industry plan to call up Donald Trump and explain to him that the “US Iran call is illegal.” Then, once they’ve straightened that up with him, everything ought to be hunky dory, right? And they can go back to getting moola from the mullahs again.

They better hurry up, though. America’s new ambassador to Germany has only been in office for twenty-four hours and already has a really bad case of ITF (Itchy Twitter Finger).

For the past year, German officials have been urging their U.S. counterparts to send a new ambassador to Berlin. But after finally receiving one, many may be having second thoughts.

Within hours of assuming his new post on Tuesday, Richard Grenell triggered harsh criticism in this Trump-weary country after appearing to threaten one of the American president’s frequent targets: German businesses.

“German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.”

Additional Terminal For Berlin Brandenburg Airport Also Not To Be Built On Time If Ever At All

Flushed with the success of not having been built yet but nobody really seeming to give a shit, Berlin’s hyper-delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport will soon also not be getting an additional terminal for none of the additional millions of passengers that are almost certainly never going to land here.

Airport

Being that the airport was originally planned to open in 2011, Airport operators are playing it safe this time and have scheduled the new terminal to open in October 2074, provided, of course, no unforeseen delays get in the way of all the other unforeseen delays that are invariably going to pop up during non-construction so unforeseenly.

The new airport has defied all clichés of German efficiency: it was meant to open in 2011, but construction problems and technical delays saw the date pushed back repeatedly, leaving the German capital reliant on two small and aging Cold War-era airports.

Get Your Popcorn Ready

It’s May Day in Berlin! And Berliners are big on tradition.

May

Tuesday I watched the riot . . .
Seen the cops out on the street
Watched ’em throwin’ rocks and stuff
And chokin’ in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin’ ’round
Seen the smoke and fire
And the market burnin’ down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn

Berliner Polizei rechnet mit heftigen Krawallen – 5300 Beamte im Einsatz

German Of The Day: Standpauke

That means lecture. And according to the Spiegel, that’s what Angela Merkel is about to get from Donald Trump.

Merkel

Well, folks. If it’s not in the Spiegel it didn’t happen. Or ain’t gonna happen, in this case. So “dress warmly,” Angela, as the German saying goes.

After Macron’s two-day Trump charm offensive, Merkel plays “bad cop” in Washington.

Angela Merkel won’t be showered with the pomp and praise that marked Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to Washington this week—let alone with any touch-feely back rubs. The German chancellor comes armed with spreadsheets, rather than Gallic charm, and has just a couple of hours to try and head off Trump’s looming aluminum-and-steel tariffs and protect German businesses.

“In Germany, every fourth job depends on exports. In the industrial sectors, it’s more than every second job.”

Keep Berlin Poor!

And sexy, of course.

It all used to be so easy. But now property prices are rising like mad. This is not sexy, I am told. Unless, of course, you own property here, which practically nobody does. And that brings us back to poor…

Poor

About 85% of Berlin’s 3.4 million residents live in rentals and homeownership remains remarkably low — a condition fostered by the city’s turbulent history, Cold War division and five decades of communist rule in East Berlin. Almost by nature, Berliners tend to have a low regard for property owners…

Though still modest compared with other cities in Europe, rents in Berlin have risen 75% in the last five years. A recent survey by the property consultant group Knight Frank showed that property prices in Berlin rose 21% in 2017, the steepest rate in its survey of 150 cities around the world and far above the average increase of 4.5%. The biggest increases that year in the United States were Seattle, where rent rose 12.7%, and San Francisco, where they were up 9.3%.

“Once you move into an apartment in Germany, you are basically in the lease for life unless you cancel it yourself.”