They Still Don’t Feel Anything

They’re still numb. And if they’re honest, they’ll admit it. Germany’s Willkommenskultur has always been a myth.

Feel

We asked Germans what they really felt after Angela Merkel opened the borders to refugees in 2015.

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2015 to keep her country’s borders open and give shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees was praised by commentators and leaders around the world. Her decision was also approved of by thousands of German citizens who welcomed refugees and provided clothes, food, and other support.

The term welcome culture, or Willkommenskultur, was frequently used in political debates and the media to describe the events of autumn 2015.

But a year later, the picture had changed dramatically. By the end of 2016, the public debate had shifted to focus on the so-called refugee crisis, or Flüchtlingskrise, alongside the religion of refugees and migrants, and limits to Germany’s capacity to integrate them. The change of perspective was reflected in discussions about upper limits – Obergrenzen — of the numbers of refugees that should be allowed to enter the country.

Our recently published research suggests that welcome culture has never been as widely embedded in German society as public debates in 2015 would make us believe.

Advertisements

Despair Is In The Air

But there ain’t nothing new about it.

Despair

Germany’s New Politics of Cultural Despair – The Authoritarian Revolt: The New Right and the Decline of the West (a book by Volker Weiss).

Nothing against new takes about how the West is in decline (again? still?) but the West has been in decline for as long as anyone alive can remember, not to mention for as long as a whole bunch of folks who are no longer with us could.

Take Oswald Spengler and his The Decline of the West, for instance – from 1922! Nothing against declination, folks, but how much longer is this decline of the West going to last? As a wise man once said: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

In modern times, fears of social change and spiritual impoverishment can always tempt the malcontented to imagine that the present is an interregnum destined to yield to a new age of faith and wholeness.

European Data Security Just Got More Secure

So secure that not even your mailman, friends or family will be able to find you anymore.

Datenschutz

Europeans want secure data. So you can imagine how thrilled everybody is about this latest development.

The city of Vienna has determined that name tags in apartment houses are a violation of the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). After a renter complained about the lack of proper data security, some 220,000 renters will lose the name tags next to their doorbells.

In Wien verlieren etwa 220.000 Mieterinnen und Mieter die Namensschilder an ihren Türklingeln, weil ein Bewohner sich über mangelnden Datenschutz beklagt hatte.

Another German Initiative Bites The Dust

Although they moan the loudest about it, Germans and other vocal continental moaners have finally succeeded in doing away with that awful, terrible and truly horrible daylight savings time nonsense – an idea that they introduced in the first place.

Time

The German Empire and Austria-Hungary organized the first nationwide implementation, starting on April 30, 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

A European Union online survey has concluded that a vast majority of the bloc’s citizens are against switching between summer and winter time. All signs point towards the EU now putting a stop to changing the clocks.

More than 80% of respondents to the largest online survey in EU history are in favour of abolishing changing the clocks in summer and winter, German newspaper Westfalenpost reports, citing well-informed sources in Brussels.

Es wäre sinnlos, die Bevölkerung erst zu einem Thema zu befragen, und dann, wenn es einem nicht passe, dem nicht zu folgen.

PS: Of the roughly five million Europeans who actually took part on the online survey over three million of them were German.

Tourists Can’t Destroy Berlin

“How Tourists Are Destroying the Places They Love,” a recent Spiegel article title goes. Well, if they love Berlin they’re in for a way big disappointment. Everything here is already kaputt.

Tourists

Nothing like putting a refreshing, positive German spin on things, I always say. Go Spiegel! And I guarantee you: The average Spiegel employee goes on vacation three times a year.

Predatory Modern Tourism…

The travel industry has begun recognizing that its own success is increasingly undermining the foundation of its business model. “Overtourism” is the buzzword currently dominating industry conferences. Discussions are taking place about how tourist flows can be directed such that they will no longer be perceived as a threat.

“Tourist Go Home!”

German Of The Day: Vergewaltigung

That means rape. And three in a row popped up in the news today

Rape

Strange, they never used to be in the news this much. Now hardly a day goes by without a report or two. It’s been, I dunno, two or three years now. Times seem to have gotten a little rougher here in Germany – and elsewhere in Europe – for some reason.

Nach Vergewaltigung in Hamburg Politiker fordern Aufklärung – und Härte… Der Verdächtige ist vorbestraft und sein Asylantrag abgelehnt.

Agreement Kind Of Reached About Actually Sort Of Enforcing A Law That Has Already Been In Effect For Years

Remember when laws used to have to be followed? Me, neither.

Spain

Berlin and Madrid are demonstrating unity with a joint agreement on returning migrants from Germany to Spain. Now Germany wants to seal similar deals with other countries…

Isn’t this already determined by the Dublin Regulation?

Yes, in principle it is. According to the Dublin Regulation, a migrant is supposed to become the responsibility of the country where he or she is first registered. As a rule, it should be the country where they first set foot on European soil. If a refugee comes to Germany and it turns out that he’s already registered in Italy, the German government could send him back there. However, European law also requires it to consider whether it makes more sense for a refugee to stay in Germany — if, for example, they have relatives living here…

Many EU countries consider the Dublin Regulation impracticable. The transfer of migrants from one country to another is extremely time-consuming. Furthermore, many migrants are not even registered at the point when they first set foot on European soil. During her visit to Spain, Merkel too described the Dublin Regulation as “unworkable.”

One Small Step For Europe

One giant leap for Europe-kind?

Migrants

An operation in which an Italian towboat rescued more than 100 people in the Mediterranean and returned them to Libya may have been in breach of international law, the United Nations has said.

According to the Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, the Asso 28, an oil rig support vessel, rescued 108 people from international waters on Monday and took them to Libya, their country of departure.

Die “Asso 28” hat Migranten in Seenot an Bord genommen – und nicht nach Italien gebracht, sondern zurück nach Libyen. Die Regierung in Rom jubelt, doch die Aktion war vermutlich illegal.

Soyprise Soyprise

Just when you thought they soyrendered… The trade relationship between the United States and Europe is improving, German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said on Saturday, but there is no guarantee the bloc will buy the quantity of soybeans that Washington expects.

Soy

U.S. President Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, struck a surprise deal on Wednesday that ended the risk of an immediate trade war between the two powers.

After the talks, Trump highlighted benefits for U.S. farmers. “The European Union is going to start, almost immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans,” he told reporters.

Kloeckner, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, said the amount of soy Europe will import is yet to be determined.

“Will we be able to do whatever President Trump wishes for? I don’t know. Let’s see whether this will be the case or not,” she said.

Soy its back to the drawing board, folks. We’ve got another European insoyrection on our hands. Yup, another resoygence of European protectionism. But if they want a trade war then their destruction is assoyed. We’ll see who has the better chance of soyvival.

Europeans Submerge Emerging Technology

Yet again. Just in case. You never know. Better safe than sorry. This wasn’t developed here in Europe, after all…

Genfood

The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering, as we all know, is a very, very, very bad thing. We don’t know WHY that is but we do know THAT it is because that is what we have been fed. No, not the genetically modified foods, the media-modified information. Or disinformation, if you prefer. Turn on your local state TV channel if you don’t believe me. They’ll show you. Sort of.

Scientists hope this emerging technology could be used, for example, to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, or that produce large yields under challenging climatic conditions. They are also hoping to use it to correct genetic diseases in humans.

“The classification of genome-edited organisms as falling under the GMO Directive could slam the door shut on this revolutionary technology. This is a backward step, not progress.”