What’s Wrong With The SPD?

First they roll out a foreign minister who talks tough to Russia and then they provide a finance minister who has trouble spending other people’s money.

Scholz

Damn. Maybe I could become a social democrat (bourgeois socialist), too.

Germany’s new Social Democrat finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is frustrating both key ally France and his own struggling center-left party by adopting the same fiscal rigor as his conservative predecessor, Wolfgang Schaeuble.

During his first two months as treasury chief of Europe’s largest economy, Scholz has committed to a continued goal of no new debt and limited public spending.

“We act pragmatically and properly – and do not worship a fetish (of fiscal conservatism).”

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Coming This Fall?

The Fall of the German Empire.

Empire

The third German empire is a different animal altogether. Repudiating both militarism and racist mysticism, it has been built slowly and painstakingly across three generations, in cooperation with other powers (including its old enemies the French), using a mix of democratic and bureaucratic means. Today Germany bestrides its Continent, but German power is wielded softly, indirectly, implicitly — and when the fist is required, it takes the form of fiscal ultimatums, not military bluster or racial irredentism.

But still the system is effectively imperial in many ways, with power brokers in Berlin and Brussels wielding not-exactly-democratic authority over a polyglot, multiethnic, multireligious sprawl of semi-sovereign nation-states. And thinking about the European Union this way, as a Germanic empire as well as a liberal-cosmopolitan project, is a helpful way of understanding how it might ultimately fall…

Sounds great. Stay tuned or something. Netflix, right?

A Life Sentence?

Nice try. A life sentence in Germany means fifteen years.

Shameful

This is rather, well, lasch, don’t you think? That means feeble, listless, lame. And shameful, too.

An asylum seeker has been jailed for life for the rape and murder of a woman in Germany in a case that fuelled tensions over the influx of migrants.

Hussein Khavari, who claimed to be Afghan, admitted to attacking student Maria Ladenburger, 19, in October 2016 in the south-western city of Freiburg.

After his arrest, it emerged that he had already been convicted to 10 years in jail in Greece in 2014 for attempted murder after pushing a woman off a cliff. But he was freed in October 2015 due to overcrowded prisons.

He fled via Austria to Germany, where he arrived with no documents a month later, claiming he was 17 years old… But during the trial evidence emerged suggesting that he was in fact from Iran and could be as old as 32.

Ein Urteil, das die Gesellschaft stabilisiert.

Speaking Of Tanks…

Tanks for nothing, Germany.

Tanks

The nerve of Donald Trump to come along and suddenly demand, like out of the blue already, that NATO countries start living up to what they promised to do way back when in that warm and cuddly Obama year of 2014 (that each NATO country spend two percent of its economic output on defense). Since when is an agreement that you agreed to an agreement you have to actually live up to?

Only three NATO countries (other than the US) have kept their word: Greece, Estonia and the United Kingdom. Germany only came up with 1.24 percent of its GDP in 2017.This is a vast improvement from the year before, however. Then it had only been 1.2 percent of its GDP (the number keeps getting bigger, see?).

Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know. And sometimes things get lost in translation. The German government has interpreted this agreement to mean “to move in the direction of two percent.” They’re heading there, folks. In fifty or sixty years you’ll see.

Er fordert, dass alle Bündnispartner spätestens ab 2024 jährlich mindestens zwei Prozent des BIP für Verteidigung ausgeben und verweist dabei auf einen Nato-Beschluss aus dem Jahr 2014.

What’s A Few 4500 Billion Euros These Days?

Give or take 1000 billion? Fur European taxpayers, I mean. When the financial system “Draghi crases” and burns after the interest rates start heading up again.

Drahgi

Bank expert Markus Krall shows in the book “The Draghi Crash” what drastic measures are needed to save Europe from the death of the financial system. Five measures are necessary – otherwise threatening costs up to 4500 billion euros.

The vast abuses in the banking sector hang like a sword of Damocles on Europe. “We are all trapped in the trap that the ECB has dug for itself and us with its Keynesian interest rate policy,” warns Markus Krall. The imbalances in the credit sector are so huge that even a small turnaround in interest rates could lead to a crash.

The problem: the Eurozone countries do not have the resources to deal with the consequences this time around. In Germany 3000 billion euros of national wealth are at stake. Krall estimates the total amount of defaulted loans in the European banking system to be at least 1000 billion euros. And when interest rates rose, an unprecedented wave of bankruptcies threatened Europe’s zombie companies. “That costs again up to 1500 billion euros,” said the consultant.

Staatsschulden, Lebensversicherungen, Bankbilanzen – Banken-Experte Markus Krall zeigt in dem Buch “Der Draghi-Crash”, welche drastischen Maßnahmen nötig sind, um Europa vor dem Exitus des Finanzsystems zu retten. Fünf Maßnahmen seien nötig – sonst drohen Kosten bis zu 4500 Milliarden Euro.

German Of The Day: Flüchtlingsverteilung

That means refugee distribution. A very German word.

Quota

And now Angela Merkel’s government (non-government?), slow learners that they are, has finally figured out that the rest of Europe is absolutely, positively not interested in this German word.

After years of trying to get its neighbors to take in quotas of the refugees Angela Merkel invited to Germany it has finally seen the light – that it ain’t never gonna happen – and has decided to abandon the plan “for now.”

Die Bundesregierung ist bereit, die Diskussion über eine gleichmäßigere Verteilung von Flüchtlingen in Europa vorerst auszusetzen.

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?

“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.