There Are Still A Few Grown-Ups Around

Not many, granted, but there still appear to be a few left. In this case high court judges.

I wish I could say that about the Banana Republic.

Berlin rent cap oveerturned by Germany’s top court – Germany’s constitutional court has decided that the Berlin rent cap violates Germany’s constitution. The cap was one of the most-debated laws in the country.

German Of The Day: Unter einer Decke stecken

Literally, to be under a blanket together. That is, to be in cahoots with, to collude.

Merkel

No connection between Germany’s state television (which most Germans refuse to call state television) and the German government here, folks. Move along. Nothing to see.

An independent journalist wanted to know about Angela Merkel’s routine secret meetings (Hintergrundgespräche – “background meetings”) with said state TV journalists and took it to court when Merkel refused to cooperate. The courts sided with the government and said the public did not need to know about these meetings in detail. The courts again. Sound familiar?

Does China Joe meet with CNN & Co. directly back home in the Banana Republic or does he have middlemen?

“Erst Flüchtlings-, dann Coronakrise: Erneut wird der Vorwurf erhoben, vielen Journalisten ginge es um Gesinnung statt um Aufklärung.” – “First the migrant crisis then the corona crisis: The allegation is being made once again that many journalists are more interested in political conviction than in journalistic clarification.

 

Give Me Your 30,000 Jobs Or I Crush You!

Tesla’s German gigafactory held up by sand lizard – Court halts work cutting down trees because of conservation fears for the protected species.

Gorn

This is how Germany works, folks. Or doesn’t work. Take your pick it’s both.

Some commentators have warned that the court decision to stop the forest clearance was a bad omen. Marcel Fratzscher, head of the DIW, a think-tank, said it highlighted the “heavy bureaucratic burden and high regulatory uncertainty, which make it costly and time-consuming for companies to realise investment projects” in Germany.

“German law is too often held hostage by vested interests so that Germany is at risk of becoming less attractive as a location for businesses,” he said.

“Like most Humans,” said Captain Kirk. “I seem to have an instinctive revulsion to reptiles. I must fight to remember that this is an intelligent, highly advanced individual, the captain of a starship like myself.”

 

Not Just The Italian Mafia

Any kind of international crime organization you want sees Germany’s justice system as a joke.

Mafia

Italian mafia sees German justice system as ‘a joke’ – The Italian mafia has hundreds of members in Germany pulling strings in the international drug trade. The latest major trial shows how lengthy legal procedures and lenient verdicts are no match for organized crime.

“Our prosecution system is a joke for mafia groups. In the mafia, they price this in — they expect to face trials and even convictions. But the penalties threatened in Germany are laughably mild. They’re not a deterrent. The mafia isn’t bothered by them.”

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.