Germans Not Sure Who They Can Spy On Anymore

They can’t hardly spy on Germans anymore, at home and abroad. With foreigners here it’s not much better. And now…

Spies

German intelligence can’t spy on foreigners outside Germany – Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that monitoring the internet traffic of foreign nationals abroad by the BND intelligence agency partly breaches the constitution.

Sheesh. A lot of German spies are going to need therapy. And worst of all, it doesn’t really matter whether Germans do any spying or not, and they know it. Whenever anything real goes down the tip-offs always come from a “befreundeten Nachrichtendienst” (allied intelligence service) anyway. They never say who this service is because everybody already knows and they’d rather not talk about it.

“A secret service that wants to protect democracy cannot trample on important democratic freedoms.”

“Incomprehensible” And “Meaningless”

Are the previous court decisions ruling that the European Court of Justice can have primacy over national law in Germany. It’s also “incomprehensible” that it took so long for everybody to figure this out. I sure hope that this latest ruling won’t be ruled out as “meaningless” later but I’ve had my hopes dashed before.

Judge

Germany’s constitutional court sent shockwaves through Europe last week by ruling that the German government and the EU’s top judges failed to properly scrutinise the European Central Bank’s bond-buying programme.

The judgment threatens to turn the European Commission against Germany, the EU’s biggest member state. It raises doubts over the primacy of the European Court of Justice over national law. It also risks driving a wedge between the ECB and its biggest shareholder, the Bundesbank.

Germany’s highest court dismissed an earlier ECJ ruling in ECB’s favour as “incomprehensible” and “meaningless”. That bombshell decision opened the door to potential legal challenges against the EU from other countries, such as Poland and Hungary, whose authoritarian governments are already at odds with Brussels.

I Got Your Quantitative Easing For You Right Here, Pal

Imagine that. A nation state (member state) ought to have a say in how its money is spent. What a radical new concept.

Court

Germany’s top court has ruled that the European Central Bank’s mass bond-buying to stabilise the eurozone partly violates the German constitution.

The ruling relates to government debt worth €2.1 trillion (£2tn; $2.3tn) bought by the ECB since 2015, but not purchases in the coronavirus crisis.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe says there is not enough German political oversight in the purchases…

The plaintiffs are a group of German academics, including a former leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Bernd Lucke. They argue that the purchases violate the EU ban on one eurozone member subsidising the debts of another.

It is now up to the ECB to explain how its mass bond-buying programme is “proportionate”. The Bundesbank could pull out if it is not satisfied, in three months’ time – which would be a big blow to the eurozone.

“Complete Neutrality Outweighs Religious Freedom”

Uh-oh. The Brain Police let this one get through. We’re going to get letters.

Scarves

Muslim law clerks CAN be ordered to remove head scarfs in court because ‘complete neutrality’ outweighs religious freedom, German judges rule – Judges in Germany have told a Muslim law clerk that she can be prevented from wearing a head scarf during court proceedings.

Germany’s highest bench, the Federal Constitutional Court, ruled that the judiciary’s obligation to complete neutrality outweighed her freedom of religion rights…

Civil servants and police officers have already been banned from wearing the niqab, burka or hijab or any religious symbol, but this has not previously extended to members of the public.

Kopftuchverbot für Rechtsreferendarinnen ist verfassungsgemäß.

Business Will Soon Be Booming

Germany’s top court backs legalizing assisted suicide – In a landmark ruling, Germany’s highest court has overturned a section of the criminal code forbidding assisted suicide.

Suicide

Paragraph 217 of Germany’s criminal code had prohibited assisted suicide. The law was adopted in 2015 by Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, to prevent associations or individuals from turning suicide into a kind of business. Specifically, the law states that “anyone who, with the intention of assisting another person to commit suicide, provides, procures or arranges the opportunity for that person to do so and whose actions are intended as a recurring pursuit incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine.”

Sterbehilfe-Vereine lassen sich ihre Dienste meist bezahlen. Bei der assistierten Sterbehilfe wird das tödliche Medikament nur zur Verfügung gestellt, der Patient nimmt es aber selbst ein.

$33 Billion And Counting

In fines. Up until now.

VW

But would it matter if Volkswagen paid another 30+ billion to German customers too? Who would trust this company anymore, whatever they paid? What did Warren Buffet say? “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

VW to Sound Out Settlement in German Car-Owners’ Mass Lawsuit – Volkswagen AG and German consumer group VZBV agreed to settlement talks in a court case involving hundreds of thousands of drivers who claim that their diesel cars lost value in the wake of the emission-cheating scandal.

German Of The Day: Hartz IV Und Der Tag Gehört Dir

That means: Get on welfare (Hartz IV) and the day belongs to you.

Welfare

Jeden Tag Pizza und Bier – Pizza and beer every day!

In a verdict Tuesday, the Federal Constitutional Court found that monthslong slashes to welfare benefits known as Hartz IV for “breaches of duty” are unlawful.

Under current legislation, recipients of the benefit can have their payments reduced by 30% for a period of three months if they don’t fulfill certain conditions. The amount can also be cut further — by 60% — or even completely, if a job center adviser deems they have failed to cooperate. The rules are stricter for people under the age of 25.

“It hardly makes any sense to go to work.”

German Of The Day: Kater

That means tomcat. But it also means hangover.

Kater

And here you thought that the courts of the country you live in made wacky court decisions (and they do).

A German court has ruled that hangovers are an “illness”, in a timely judgement days after the annual Oktoberfest beer festival began in Munich.

The case landed before judges in Frankfurt when plaintiffs claimed a firm offering anti-hangover “shots” and drink powders to mix with water was making illegal health claims.

“Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property,” the sober ruling from the superior regional court on Monday said.

Ein Alkoholkater ist eine Krankheit. Hersteller von Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln dürfen daher nicht damit werben, dass ihr Produkt gegen den Kater hilft oder ihm vorbeugt, wie das Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt am Main in einem am Montag veröffentlichten Urteil entschied.

Just In Time For Summer!

No creeping multicultural parallel societal infiltration going on here, folks.

Burkini

German court has lifted a city’s ban on the burkini, an all-encompassing swimsuit used by some Muslim women.

Wearing the garments in municipal pools in the western city of Koblenz was forbidden at the beginning of this year after the local council narrowly approved a ban. Officials argued that the suite makes it impossible to check whether wearers have open wounds or diseases.

The rules were challenged by a Syrian asylum-seeker, a pious Muslim who said doctors had recommended that she use a swimming pool to tackle pain caused by a back problem.

Das Burkini-Verbot in Koblenzer Schwimmbädern ist nicht rechtens. Es verstoße gegen das verfassungsrechtliche Gleichbehandlungsgebot, hat das Oberverwaltungsgericht Rheinland-Pfalz entschieden.

German Of The Day: Bildungsurlaub

That means educational or vocational training leave. You know, like that yoga course you took for your job?

Yoga

What? Your boss freaked out at the suggestion? Well, everybody does it here in Berlin. Yoga to go with the times, people.

A yoga course can be considered vocational training, a Berlin court has ruled, paving the way to doing the “Downward-facing Dog” or “Greet the Sun” on company time in Germany’s capital.

The state labour court for Berlin-Brandenburg has ruled a worker has the right to paid leave so they can attend a five-day adult education course entitled “Yoga I – successful and relaxed at work with yoga and meditation”.

The judge ruled that under Berlin’s Educational Leave Act, even a yoga course fulfills the far-reaching criteria of “professional development” which would promote an individual’s “adaptability and self-assertion”.

“Yoga I – erfolgreich und entspannt im Beruf mit Yoga und Meditation.”