That Was Close

Just in time, people. Brussels has just proudly and loudly announced that it plans to encourage and better protect whistleblowers in order to help them “bring light to scandals that would otherwise remain in the dark.” You know, like the Facebook thing, the Panama Papers, scandals like that. Or maybe like this one right down here?


“Experts Strongly Suspect Corruption in the European Council.” Several members of the European Council are suspected of having taken bribes from Azerbaijan in exchange for political support.

Perfect. They really think these things through, don’t they? So now it’s time to step up to the plate and start shedding some light on this for us, European Council whistleblowers. But don’t worry. Brussels will protect you. Oh, I forgot. You are Brussels. Why, see? Then there’s even less for you to worry about.

“Es sollte keine Strafe dafür geben, das Richtige zu tun.”

What Kind Of SPD Do You Want?

They’re switch-hitters, you know. You can have the Squeaky-Clean Party of Doves SPD that has been making a whole lot of noise these days about curbing German arms exports but hasn’t wirklich (really) taken all that much action up until now and of course never, ever, ever will.


Or you can have the Sweet and Plentiful Dough SPD that boasts of having two former lawmakers who are said to have raked in over five million euros in commissions from the German defense contractor Krauss-Maffei Wegmann for two big honking tank deals.

This little tidbit, that nobody here is particularly interested in, was uncovered during an investigation being made by Pricewaterhouse Coopers looking into charges of payoffs made to Greece.

Wurde Einfluss auf die Auftragsvergabe genommen?

Germans Not Corrupt

Just kind of sleazy.


Corruption across the European Union’s 28 countries costs about 120 billion euros ($162 billion) per year — a “breathtaking” sum equal to the EU’s entire annual budget, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said Monday.

But Germany gets top marks from the commission: “When it comes to fighting corruption, Germany is amongst the best countries of the EU.” But the country could benefit from introducing “strict penalties” on corrupt elected officials and “develop a policy” to limit the ability of government officials to go work for companies they previously were in a position to help.

With A Little Help From My Friends

To keep Willy Brandt as Chancellor, the GDR was prepared to bribe members of German Parliament. Brandt’s intimate friend Egon Bahr (both SPD) negotiated with a GDR mediator in 1972 about payoffs for CDU and CSU parliamentarians. This has emerged in Stasi documents available to Der Spiegel. Brandt should thereby be kept in office. Bahr was State Secretary of the Chancellery at that time.


And this is completely unrelated, of course, but for you history buffs out there: There was a very controversial Misstrauensvotum (vote of no confidence) in German Parliament back in 1972 which Willy Brandt won – with two decisive votes mysteriously missing for the conservative opposition that had proposed it.

“Das muss absolut verschwiegen bleiben.”