If Only The United States Could Do Everything Right Too

Remember: Corona only spikes in the United States because, well, we do everything wrong.

Light

Not so in ze Europe. Take Germany, for example. They’ve done everything right so far (face masks, social distancing, strict restrictions, etc). The Germans even did a big lockdown already, just a few months back. And now, because the first lockdown worked so well and was so much fun, I guess, Germany is going to lockdown again. Only this time they refer to it as a “lockdown light.” Light as in restaurants, bars, hotels, gyms etc. will no longer have any guests and professional sports events will be held without spectators. And everybody stays home, of course. Sound vaguely familiar? It should. It is. But maybe this light lockdown will be more effective than that heavy one they did first. It’s all a question of having a positive attitude. Something Germans are world famous for.

Germany to go into circuit-break lockdown as coronavirus surges – Germany will impose an emergency month-long lockdown that includes the closure of restaurants, gyms and theatres to reverse a spike in coronavirus cases that risks overwhelming hospitals, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

 

If Only The United States Could Get Covid Under Control Like The Europeans Have

Not, I mean. Take Germany, for example. Please.

Covid

Despite doing everything right (just ask the government, they’ll tell you they have) Angela Merkel is now considering a “lockdown light.”

Global report: Merkel says Germany faces ‘difficult months ahead’ in Covid fight – Chancellor says country is on verge of losing control as Europe death toll passes 250k.

“We are seeing very, very high positivity rates and an increasing lack of capacity to do any effective form of contact tracing, which is going to further drive the disease into darkness.”

Time To Start The Next Berlin Airlift

Only this time it will be migrants flown directly to Berlin – where they could be evenly distrubuted among needy, migrant-free German families all accross the country. It’s just a plan of mine, I admint, but still.

Guilt

More going it alone (again) is the way to go, Germany. We get it. You can’t help it. And it’s not like anyone else in Europe is interested in your guilt neurosis. My plan would solve everybody’s problems. Whoever wants to come to Europe gets a free ride to Germany for a free lunch German life later and the German guilt obsession would be cured for good. Not.

Thousands of people demonstrated Sunday in Berlin and other German cities, urging the European Union to take in migrants left without shelter after a fire destroyed their biggest camp in Greece. The EU is set to unveil proposals this week on how to help the 12,000 people left without shelter.

“We have space.”

Of All The Words Of Mice And Men

And German chancellors, the saddest are “We can do this!”

Merkel

Just kidding. They’re actually “What the hell were you thinking?”

And if you believe those numbers up there (another state-run agency), you can’t be helped either.

“We can do this!” — Merkel’s famous words five years on – It’s five years to the day since German Chancellor Angela Merkel uttered her famous quote about taking in refugees. Today the numbers show that integration has made progress, though skepticism persists.

Numbers, Numbers Everywhere

And not a drop to drink. I mean think. Absolute numbers can be absolutely worthless. But who’s counting?

Covid-19

Read an interesting observation yesterday while going through an article by journalist Jürgen Kunze at the Swiss nzz.

Is the USA going to get the pandemic under control? Looking at absolute numbers can be spectacular but being that it was the expected number of deaths that got politicians to act we must concentrate on that: Per 100,000 inhabitants, the death rate list is led by Belgium with 86, followed by Great Britain with 70, then Peru 67, Spain 61, Italy 58, Sweden 56, Chile 54, USA 50, Brazil 48, France 46. Germany lands at place 36 with 11. Consequently, the USA is in the upper middle range. Shouldn’t one be asking why Belgium can’t get the pandemic under control!

Bekommen die USA die Seuche nicht in den Griff? Der Blick auf absolute Zahlen kann spektakulär sein, aber da ja die erwarteten Sterbefälle die Politik zum Handeln zwang, müssen wir auch dabei bleiben: Pro 100000 Einwohner führt die Todesratenliste (alles gerundet) Belgien mit 86 Toten an, gefolgt von Großbritannien mit 70, dann Peru 67, Spanien 61, Italien 58, Schweden 56, Chile 54, USA 50, Brasilien 48, Frankreich 46 und an 36. Stelle Deutschland mit 11 Verstorbenen. Somit befinden sich die USA noch im oberen Mittelfeld. Man müsste eigentlich fragen, warum Belgien die Seuche nicht richtig in den Griff bekommen hat!

 

German Of The Day: Tiefer Fall

That means a steep fall. Very steep in this case. Really, really, really steep already.

Fall

You would have to back in history some ninety years to find a comparable peacetime decline in German economic activity.

But why would anybody want to do that?

Germany’s Economic Slump Shows Scale of Europe’s Challenge – The 10.1% drop in output in the region’s largest economy is a harbinger of worse figures elsewhere. Spain, France and Italy will probably report even deeper contractions on Friday, reflecting a recession that prompted an unprecedented policy response from governments.

Man wird in der Geschichte bis zur Weltwirtschaftskrise vor rund neunzig Jahren zurückgehen müssen, um in Friedenszeiten einen vergleichbaren Sturz der wirtschaftlichen Tätigkeit in Deutschland zu entdecken.

That’s Not What Angie Led The Germans To Believe

Angela Merkel’s European border opening festival of love back in 2015 was just a temporary, humanitarian, emergency-type measure, Germans were told. All of those Syrian refugee doctors, lawyers, engineers etc. streaming into Germany (the minority of the refugees who came to Germany actually came from Syria, by the way) would be going back to Syria just as soon as they were able.

Well, who would have expected this? It turned out differently than she said. It’s almost as if she wasn’t telling the truth or something.

Syrians

A large portion of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who arrived in Germany in 2015 are planning to stay in the country for good.

Syrians now represent the largest Muslim minority in Germany after Turks. Since 2010, their numbers in the country have risen from around 30,000 to almost 800,000. Most arrived as refugees after the outbreak of the civil war, and they are reshaping the country, much like Turkish migrants did for decades.

Between 2015 and 2018, Syrian women in Germany gave birth to over 65,000 babies. But the Syrian community will continue to grow in the country for other reasons as well. In the past year, around 40,000 Syrians applied for asylum, a small number compared to 2015, when the large wave of refugees came to Germany.

“We Muslims are a part of this society. It is becoming more and more normal. But for that, we have to become more visible.”

Isn’t It The Other Way Around?

Isn’t Europe doomed to be led by Germany?

Germany

Germany is doomed to lead Europe – The EU’s biggest member is in charge, whether Germans like it or not.

Walk into any meeting in Brussels and, most likely, a German will be leading it. In the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the former German defence minister, is in charge. For the next six months, German ministers will be cajoling their peers into signing off legislation as the country takes over the EU’s rotating presidency. In the European Council, where the bloc’s leaders butt heads, it might technically be Charles Michel, the former prime minister of Belgium, heading it. But it is Angela Merkel—longer in post than the leaders of France, Spain, Italy and Poland combined—who is the undisputed top dog. The EU’s main response to the covid-19 crisis—a flagship €750bn recovery fund paid for with debt issued collectively by the EU—is based on a plan cooked up in Berlin and Paris. The Germans are running the show.

How did Henry Kissinger put it? “Poor old Germany. Too big for Europe, too small for the world.”

PS: German oddity 5. Young adults in Germany have never known another chancellor other than Angela Merkel. She has been in office since 2005.

How To Avoid Getting Scolded By A German?

That’s easy. Practice very aggressive social distancing. You know. Like, move to France?

Scold

Have you ever walked on the bicycle lane? Put a refundable bottle into a regular bin? Asked a bus driver how much the ride costs? In Germany, these beginners’ mistakes might earn you a good scold. Here’s how to avoid it…

“The point is not whether they are right or not, it’s that anyone here thinks they’re allowed to educate you.”

German Oddity 177. Germany is what you might call a correcting culture. It is not uncommon for perfect strangers to publically reprimand you here if you do not abide by what is considered the societal norm. Newcomers are usually shocked when discovering that others have no qualms about telling you that you’re doing something wrong, as if you were a small child. If they don’t tell you outright there will at least be a display of disapproving headshaking.

What’s An Increase Of 42% Among Friends?

Somebody just slammed Germany in the face with a brick. I mean a Brexit.

EU

Germany to contribute 42% more to EU budget: report – The European Commission would like to see €13 billion more per year from Europe’s largest economy. EU leaders, including Angela Merkel, are meeting Friday to discuss the bloc’s future budget.

Germany currently contributes an average of €31 billion a year to the EU budget. The proposal for the new budget would raise that contribution to €44 billion — an increase of 42%.