German Of The Day: Die Mannschaft

The advertising marriage of VW and “Die Mannschaft”, as Germans call their team, starts on January 1, 2019 and runs until July 31, 2024.

Mannschaft

No financial details were released, but German media said Wolfsburg-based VW would pay the German Football Association DFB 25 million to 30 million euros ($28-34 million) a year, far more than Daimler has paid.

Volkswagen, Audi, Daimler…

There seems to be a connection here somewhere but I just can’t find it.

Daimler

Oh, yeah. Now I know: Diesel.

A German media research consortium reported Wednesday that German automaker Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, had for almost 10 years cheated emissions tests on two of its lines of engines. The allegations prompted a series of raids carried by German authorities on a number of Daimler locations back in May.

And all of this was financed by the Deutsche Bank, right?

“Wir kooperieren vollumfänglich mit den Behörden. Spekulationen kommentieren wir nicht.”

German Of The Day: Deutsche Bank

That means German Bank.

Deutsche Bank

And it’s getting hard to find a financial scandal that this bank is not involved in. When it comes to corruption and criminal activity, it’s the Volkswagen among the banks, you could say. Or the Audi, if you prefer.

Today’s criminal activity: U.S. authorities have tried to seize millions of dollars associated with several companies that deal with North Korea, including the country’s military, from eight large international banks, according to court filings made public on Thursday. Deutsche Bank is among them.

Some of the transactions were processed for Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Material Co and four affiliated “front” companies that prosecutors said tried to evade sanctions through transactions that would benefit North Korean entities, “including the North Korea military and North Korea weapons programs,” according to the filings.

Amerikanische Staatsanwälte haben die Deutsche Bank und sieben weitere Banken im Visier. Der Grund: Sie sollen Geschäfte mit nordkoreanischen Tarnfirmen gemacht haben.

City Of Berlin Files Criminal Complaint Against City of Berlin’s Police Department

Just another example of how Berlin works. Or doesn’t work, I should say.

Amri

German authorities are investigating explosive new allegations of a police cover-up over Anis Amri, the Berlin Christmas market attacker. The Berlin regional government has filed criminal charges against two of its own police officers alleging they falsified documents to cover up a missed opportunity to arrest Amri more than a month before the attack.

But seeing how absolutely nothing ever works here, there will be some legal technicality or something else along those lines that will screw up these criminal charges. But not to worry. Because seeing how absolutely nothing ever works here, the alleged cover-up will not have properly covered up what they were trying to cover up, either. The truth always raises its ugly little head. Even in Berlin.

“Es gibt keine Garantie, dass er auch in Haft gekommen wäre.”

Rent A Sozi?

As in rent a social democrat? Sure, OK. But who would want to do that?

SPD

I always thought that “social” was code for “here’s something for free.”

According to a German media report, the social democratic SPD party is granting access to ministers and officials in exchange for payments of up to 7,000 euros. Experts say this may violate the law on political parties.

Eine erste Konsequenz hat man bereits beschlossen: “‘Vorwärts-Gespräche’ – ob mit oder ohne Sponsoring – wird es in Zukunft nicht mehr geben.”

Asylum Seekers Go On Vacation In The Land Of Their Persecution

No, not in Germany. Germany is the place where they get the dough to do that.

Vacation

Then they go back to the land of their persecution to vacation. That’s why they were granted asylum here in the first place. No, not to go on vacation in the land of their persecution. To escape the land of their persecution. Is that so hard to understand? They were being persecuted, see? That’s why they came to Germany. To get the asylum. Then, after they get the dough from the Arbeitsagentur, they go back to the land of their persecution. Or some of them do. But only for a short vacation. That’s allowed or something. Or maybe it isn’t. Hard to say for sure.

Do you get it now? No.  I’m not going to repeat that again. And hell no. Of course I didn’t make any of this up. I don’t have to. Are you persecuting me or something?

Asylberechtigte kehren zu Urlaubszwecken vorübergehend in jenes Land zurück, aus dem sie offiziell geflüchtet sind. Die Bundesagentur für Arbeit bestätigte: „Es gibt solche Fälle.“ Offizielle Erhebungen lägen dazu aber nicht vor.

German Olympic Chief Shocked That Russian Athletes Dope

Systematically, I mean.

A German broadcast alleging the Russian state helped cover-up sports doping has been described as “shocking” by German Olympic sports head Michael Vesper.

Dope

In all fairness, however, it should be noted that Mr. Vesper was also shocked to find out that Bill Gates is rich, the Pope is a Catholic and bears shit in the woods. Like, uh, what kind of dope is this guy on? And where can I get some?

“Ich finde den Film schockierend. Er zeigt: Doping zerstört das Ansehen des Sports, das Vertrauen in den Sport, die Werte des Sports und die Sportler, die es nehmen.”

Money Doesn’t Stink In Germany

That’s because it gets laundered here so much. Get it?

Laundering

Over 100 billion euros gets processed here every year. They even call it Geldwäsche (money washing). That sounds a lot more, I dunno, cleaner than laundering does, don’t you think?

Germany is considered an El Dorado for criminals who want to launder their money, a study for the Finance Ministry has found.

Money laundering deals that take place outside of the finance sector go largely undetected in Germany – meaning a large proportion of all illegal business is never found, the report claims.

So like why go to the trouble of opening some fake offshore company in Panama?

Nur Bares ist Wahres?

The German Reputation For Efficiency?

Is that anything like the German reputation for moral integrity (see VW’s Dieselgate, Deutsche Bank’s countless crooked dealings, the ADAC “Gelber Engel” fraud, the purchase of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, to name just a few)?

Refugees

So what’s all this talk about “Berlin’s refugee chaos eroding the German reputation for efficiency” here? You can say what you want about the city of Berlin, pal, but at least we Berliners are consistent. Nothing ever works here and the people of this less than fair city are damned proud of it, too (see the Airport fiasco, the S-Bahn, the city’s finances (ha, ha!), to name just a few). Just go and try, for instance, as a “normal” citizen here, to get an appointment at your local Behörde (public authority) for some important paperwork to be processed. You will have to wait months – unless, of course, you “buy” an earlier appointment online from one of the many enterprising entrepreneurs active in the Internet these days (I’m not making this up, folks). I think this is how they do it in Baghdad, too.

Why on earth then should anyone expect that the 73,000 refugees who have arrived in Berlin during these past months be treated any differently? You can expect it if you want to but your expectations will most definitely be disappointed. Welcome to poor but sexy land, people.

At least Hertha BSC seems to be working at the moment. Enjoy it while it lasts, my fellow Berliners.

Berlin’s State Office for Health and Social Affairs is the gateway to life in the German capital for thousands of asylum seekers. Refugees must register here for access to healthcare, housing and welfare support; the wait is measured in days rather than hours. But in a country that prides itself on its orderliness and moral integrity, the chaotic scenes outside this office block have proved deeply humiliating.