German Of The Day: PESCO

That’s actually English and stands for Permanently Stalled Cooperation, I think. It is the EU’s attempt to move closer to having permanent joint European armed forces.

PESCO

But they’ll never manage this, of course. Most European nations don’t even live up to their NATO obligations right now.

Seit vielen Jahren ringen die Europäer um eine gemeinsame Verteidigungspolitik, der Erfolg war bisher äußerst überschaubar. Das aber könnte sich nun ändern: Am Montag haben die Außen- und Verteidigungsminister von 23 der 28 EU-Staaten dem Europäischen Rat mitgeteilt, in der Verteidigung künftig gemeinsame Wege zu gehen. Zumindest vorerst nicht dabei: Dänemark, Irland, Portugal, Malta – und natürlich Großbritannien, das ohnehin die EU verlassen will.

PS: Is she sexually harassing those guys up there?

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“The Slow Death Of Europe’s Social Democrats?”

How ya figure? They’ve been dead for years already, Spiegel Online. Don’t any of you over there ever read the papers?

SPD

I would even ALMOST venture to say that it’s ALMOST time for a social democratic walking dead rennaisance. But the key word here is ALMOST. It won’t be anytime soon. They’re going to get annihilated in this election on Sunday. Again.

In 2000, social democrats or socialists were part of the government in 10 out of the 15 countries that made up the European Union at the time. These days, though, the picture is a drastically different one. There is a real chance that German Social Democrats will no longer be part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition following Sunday’s vote and the same could happen in Italy after voters there go to the polls next spring. Were that to happen, center-left parties would only be part of six EU governments out of 28 member states, all of them on the European periphery: Malta, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

 

Refugee Perfectly Integrated In Germany

Just like the Germans all around him, he no longer feels secure here.

Refugee

The word is... Germany should brace for further attacks given growing numbers of potential Islamist militants, top security officials warned on Tuesday, vowing to step up efforts to prosecute, convict and deport suspects.

Germany was hit by five Islamist attacks in 2016, including a December attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people, while an additional seven attacks failed or were thwarted, Hans-Georg Maassen, president of Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency, told reporters.

“We must expect further attacks by individuals or terror groups.”

PS: Smart computer guy’s calculation warns that Germany’s open door policy to migrants will overwhelm Europe. And he isn’t even a rocket scientist.

The Temporary Border Controls That Last And Last And Last

Germany will keep up its temporary border controls, thank you (they finally got it last year). And this despite Brussels ordering EU member states to do away with them.

Control

Things are so much better now on Europe’s southern borders, these Eurocrats hiding in Belgian bunkers say, so drop your defenses already. We will give you six more months before you have to get rid of those awful things. Or else. Or else another six months, right?

Die EU-Kommission hat Deutschland erlaubt, die wegen der Flüchtlingskrise eingeführten Grenzkontrollen bis Ende November fortzuführen. Nach Angaben von EU-Innenkommissar Dimitri Avramapoulos erhielten Deutschland, Österreich, Dänemark, Schweden und Norwegen “ein letztes Mal” eine Frist sechs Monaten.

Germans Puzzled By Scandinavia’s Innovative New “Identity Checks”

After Sweden moved to introduce so-called “identity checks” for all passengers arriving from Denmark, Denmark, too, has now imposed controls on its southern border with Germany in an attempt to stem the flow of migrants advancing unremittingly from the south.

Denmark

“What do you mean?” asked one baffled and highly underemployed German border authority when told of this. “They like actually demand to see a passport or an ID from every person who wants to enter their country and can even refuse them entry if like, say, they don’t have one? I don’t get it. What would be the point of that?”

“A step in the right direction. Schengen has collapsed. The illusion of external borders has burst. Why does it take such a long time to recognise this?”

German Of The Day: Wutbürger

That means outraged citizens. And although they’ve always been around (Germans are always empört/outraged about something), Angela Merkel’s ongoing open-arms refugee policy seems to be generating more and more of them all the time.

Wutbürger

And whoopee! 2016 just happens to be a big regional election year. Unless things start to change real fast (ha, ha, ha), I wonder who’s going to be getting all these votes? Not.

Originally founded as a eurosceptic movement a few years ago, the party Alternative for Germany (AfD) came close to its demise – until it split in two. Now, it has experienced a surge in public opinion. Euroscepticism is barely mentioned any more; the new party is acting as an anti-refugee party. If elections were to take place today, the AfD would probably enter parliament with a double-digit election result.

German Of The Day: Heulsuse

A “howling Susie” is a crybaby here. You know, like that Palestinian refugee girl who just got granted a three-year residence permit for herself and her family for being one?

Cry

In a related story, hundreds of thousands of refugees all across Germany have suddenly broken out in a spontaneous public fit of sobbing, bawling and bewailing, the likes of which have never ever been seen or heard before in this country (Germans prefer to spontaneously moan, gripe, grumble and lament loudly in public).

Bei einer Veranstaltung mit Kanzlerin Angela Merkel (61, CDU) im Juli brach sie vor laufender Kamera in Tränen aus: Merkel hatte ihr erklärt, dass Deutschland Flüchtlinge zurückschicken müsse, wenn sie keinen Anspruch auf Bleiben hätten. Auch Reems Fall werde ganz normal geprüft und könne so enden.

Is Bild Without Bild Still Bild?

Germany’s best-selling newspaper has removed all pictures from its print edition and website in response to complaints about its decision to publish images of the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned trying to reach Greece.

Bild

The decision to remove pictures in print and online comes less than a week after the newspaper dedicated its whole back page to the distressing image of Alan lying face down on the beach in Bodrum, surrounded by a black background and a plea for action from Europe.

The Problem With European Immigration Policy…

Is that there is no European immigration policy.

Refugees

There is a mish-mash of national policies, a patchwork of systems and criteria which are contradictory, incoherent, fragmented. Italy is very far way from Finland, not only geographically, but when it comes to immigration and asylum. France and Germany have quite different historical approaches to integrating newcomers. Sweden and Denmark are neighbours with a close shared history, but their immigration policies are chalk and cheese.

The seven countries of central Europe and the Baltic are being asked to take fewer than 30,000. It should not be a problem for big international cities such as Warsaw, Prague and Budapest. But the east Europeans are retreating into parochialism, digging into their national bunkers while nursing resentment at what they perceive to be German bullying.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is the cheerleader of the “Europe is useless” chorus, but Robert Fico, the Slovakian premier, and President Milos Zeman in Prague are not far behind. Ewa Kopacz, the prime minister of Poland, sounds more moderate, but she looks likely to lose an election next month to the nationalist right. Her hands are tied.

I wouldn’t worry about any of this, however. Think Greece: Europe always manages to get together in the end, when stalling for time is no longer possible, to not solve a problem by doing almost just enough to put it off until it does not go away by itself.

“If this is Europe, you can keep it.”

Not Bright To Call Germany Dark

It is weder (neither) dark noch (nor) bright.

Personally, I like to think of it as being more of a Wehrmacht gray. No, wait. Leave that Wehrmacht part out. Gray like all cats are in the dark, I mean. When it’s not light out there in Dark Germany.

Refugees

And being that it’s always darkest before the dawn and there is no darkness but ignorance and out of darkness comes creation, well, let’s all lighten up and Schluss (enough) with these all of these dark thoughts already.

Which Germany will prevail? The Germany of racist chants from the roadside? The Germany of rioters and drunken rock-throwers? “Dark Germany,” as President Joachim Gauck calls it? Or will it be the new, bright Germany, represented by the young policeman with his roots in Afghanistan?