European Data Security Just Got More Secure

So secure that not even your mailman, friends or family will be able to find you anymore.

Datenschutz

Europeans want secure data. So you can imagine how thrilled everybody is about this latest development.

The city of Vienna has determined that name tags in apartment houses are a violation of the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). After a renter complained about the lack of proper data security, some 220,000 renters will lose the name tags next to their doorbells.

In Wien verlieren etwa 220.000 Mieterinnen und Mieter die Namensschilder an ihren Türklingeln, weil ein Bewohner sich über mangelnden Datenschutz beklagt hatte.

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Good Deportees Are Hard To Find In Germany These Days

In fact, any kind of deportees are hard to find in Germany these days.

Deportees

But at least we know that they are here in Germany, authorities assure the worried public. What other country would put up with this madness?

A German federal police report says that deportation orders were up 17 percent, but that actual deportations were down 4 percent. Meanwhile, the labor minister argues that some of those being deported shouldn’t be.

More than half of the ordered migrant deportations failed to be carried out through May, in almost all cases because the individual could not be located, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

Through the first five months of the year nearly 24,000 people were ordered to be returned to their home country but only about 11,000 deportations were completed, according to an internal report by the federal police that was first reported by the Welt am Sonntag.

“How we deal with the migration issue will determine whether Europe will last.”

When Had We Left The Jungle?

I wasn’t aware that we had.

Jungle

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump -U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights squarely on the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Even its critics are worried that without the organization, the world of trade would revert to the law of the jungle.

The U.S. and other industrialized nations made several concessions to developing economies when the WTO was founded in 1995 and significantly reduced their tariffs. In return, they were able to push through stronger protections for intellectual property. They hoped that the strategy would help slow China’s rise.

But from the U.S. perspective, the system has not been beneficial. And once China joined the WTO in 2001, that dissatisfaction only grew, partly because the Chinese proved adept at taking advantage of the rules. Even today, there is significant dissent within the WTO because the economic superpower China is still classified as a “developing nation” by the organization, which gives it certain privileges. On the other hand, China is fighting for recognition as a market economy, to which both the U.S. and the European Union are opposed because it would mean they could no longer defend themselves against state-subsidized Chinese exports with anti-dumping duties.

On top of all that, the WTO is facing a more fundamental problem: its size and its sluggishness. Negotiating rounds focused on removing tariffs have become increasingly complex. And because everything is up for negotiation at the same time, every member state can paralyze the process by simply exercising its veto. The Doha Round, launched in 2001, is a perfect example: It never achieved any results and has become symbolic of the WTO’s failure.

“The problems are coming from the behavior of a single country that would like to return to the jungle.”

We Can Do It

Sure we can. As in you can. At least that’s what she said. But she never said how long it would take.

Wir schaffen das“: we can do it. That was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mantra three years ago, when Germany welcomed more than a million asylum seekers. This week, she was forced to find a compromise that included strengthening borders and promising to send migrants back. Hundreds of thousands of cases are currently before the courts. At one Berlin courthouse, two-thirds of procedures involve asylum seekers and the workload has increased significantly. Our correspondents report.

Wir schaffen das.

It’s not like you have any choice. Nobody gave you one.

Yet Another Multicultural Exchange

After the rejection of his asylum application. Just chillin’, while appealing. That’s how this works in Merkel’s Germany.

Exchange

German authorities said Thursday they are seeking a fugitive Iraqi asylum-seeker and have arrested a Turkish citizen over the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl who went missing more than two weeks ago…

Police said the Iraqi man, whom they identified as Ali Basar, appears to have left abruptly with his family last week, flying to Iraq via Istanbul. He was a suspect in a string of previous offenses in the area, including a robbery at knifepoint.

He is believed to have arrived in Germany in October 2015, at the height of the migrant influx to Germany, and was appealing against the rejection of his asylum application.

Eine DNA-Analyse habe ergeben, dass es sich “zweifelsfrei” um Susanna handle, sagte der Leiter der Staatsanwaltschaft Wiesbaden, Achim Thoma. Sie sei durch “Gewalteinwirkung auf den Hals” getötet worden.

It Won’t Stop Here

After the “mistakes” the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) made in its rulings. The truth has a way of raising its ugly little head and there will soon be more to follow, I’m sure.

Migrants

An internal review by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) of 4,568 asylum rulings had found that the Bremen branch knowingly and regularly disregarded legal regulations and internal rules, the Interior Ministry said…

More than 1.6 million migrants, many from the Middle East, have arrived in Germany since 2014, becoming a hot political issue which helped propel the far-right Alternative for Germany into parliament for the first time in last year’s election.

It’s alleged that the Bremen branch of the Office for Migrants and Refugees (BAMF), which is subordinate to the Interior Ministry, simply admitted more than 1,200 refugees to Germany without properly reviewing their cases. Bremen prosecutors are currently investigating whether bribes changed hands, and questions have been asked whether BAMF head Jutta Cordt kept herself adequately informed, and if she did enough to investigate the possible irregularities.

German Of The Day: BAMF

That stands for Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, which means the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. It turns out they should have translated that as the Bureau for Asylum and Migrant Fraud, however.

BAMF

This is one of those tip of the iceberg stories, folks. Employees at Bremen’s BAMF have been accused of improperly granting asylum in 1,200 cases between 2013 and 2017 and now an investigation has been launched in which 18,000 additional successful asylum applications will be reviewed. In the meantime irregularities at other BAMF offices have come to light.

Internal email correspondence at the Bremen office has emerged in which an upper-level manager appears to be aware of this systemic problem but asks that an internal investigation be carried out in a “noiseless” manner.  Nor should “everything be examined down to the last detail.”

Same old same old, isn’t it? We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

Angeschrieben wegen möglicher Unregelmäßigkeiten in den Bremer Asylverfahren, habe der zuständige Abteilungsleiter des Bundesamts im Februar 2017 zwar eine Prüfung angeordnet, zugleich aber verfügt, dass diese „geräuschlos“ geschehen solle. Er wolle nicht, heiße es in seiner E-Mail, „dass alles bis ins Detail geprüft wird.”

Germans Need To Become Better Integrated

In Germany. That makes sense. Sort of. Well, if you’re the head of Germany’s Federal Immigration and Integration Council it does.

Germans

I mean, think about it. They are already doing such a smash-up job integrating the millions of non-Germans out there that this phase of integration will soon be over with and then what are the folks who work over at Federal Immigration and Integration Council going to do? Get integrated back into the labor market (for real jobs)? Hardly.

And I have noticed, I must say, that more and more Germans just don’t really fit in here anymore. Worse still, many of these non-integrated Germans aren’t even open to the idea of letting themselves become properly integrated and even get downright hostile whenever you suggest that they do so. Not that I ever would, of course. I believe in cultural diversity. “Andere Länder, andere Sitten,” as the Germans say. Other countries, other manners. Live and let live, that’s my motto. Although I do wish that some of these non-integrated Germans would at least try to become more integrated in Germany society now and then. This parallel society nonsense ain’t cutting it, either.

“Viele Einheimische sind mit unserem politischen System unzufrieden oder finden ihren Platz in der deutschen Gesellschaft nicht.”

You Must Have Your Papers

This is Germany, after all. You can’t just leave the country without the proper paperwork.

Papers

That is why there are some 65,000 asylum seekers in Germany at the moment (this number will climb, of course) who have been turned down but who are nevertheless geduldet (tolerated, permitted to stay), can’t be deported because they don’t have the passports or travel documents needed to to be sent back home again – often enough to countries that don’t even want them back. What a mess.

This is Germany, like I said. The same 65,000+ didn’t need any paperwork to enter the country but they sure the hell better have some on their way out. Otherwise they’re in big trouble. And the Germans will make them stay. If I made this stuff up no one would believe me.

Die Zahl abgelehnter Asylbewerber und Migranten ohne Aufenthaltsrecht, die wegen fehlender Papiere nicht abgeschoben werden können, ist einem Medienbericht zufolge im vergangenen Jahr deutlich gestiegen.

Somebody Call The Tradition Commission!

Oh, they’ve contacted you already? Good. Whew.

Lead

Tradition can be a dangerous thing, folks. Just look at the old German New Year’s Eve custom of Bleigießen – telling fortunes by the shapes made when molten lead is dropped into cold water. Awful. As you can well imagine, countless millions have been maimed or died in the process. And did you know that they actually do this without proper supervision in the privacy of their own homes?

Thank goodness the EU is here to help. A new European Union directive has finally been enacted that prohibits this dangerous practice once and for all. Tonight will be the last time Germans will be allowed to recklessly place their lives and the lives of their children in danger.

This kind of stuff gets me right here. I really get emotional. Today the lead, tomorrow Santa Claus. The EU marches on.

Happy New Year!

Bye, bye, Blei: Im Zuge der neuen Chemikalienverordnung der EU müssen die Deutschen ab 2018 auf das Bleigießen an Silvester verzichten.

PS: Remember to be extra careful with those Polish firecrackers tonight, people.