German Of The Day: Hinterzimmer

That means backroom.

Backroom

You know, like backroom deals? Like the way EU technocrats decide who runs the show despite what the electorate says? Why even hold European elections in the first place?

Von der Leyen nomination: Germans criticise ‘backroom deal’ – “What was the point of all that?” German critics are asking, after the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister, for the top EU job of Commission president.

There were TV debates. There were election rallies. Germany’s streets were plastered with posters showing the faces of candidates for the EU’s top jobs.

But Mrs von der Leyen’s face did not appear on any posters. Instead her nomination was suddenly announced after weeks of difficult, behind-the-scenes wrangling between EU leaders.

This is European, I mean EU democracy in action, people.

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The Natives Are Getting Restless

Nice spin, though: Europeans showed belief in the EU project, experts claimed Monday, despite long-dominant centrist parties losing ground to euroskeptic and nationalist opponents in the EU elections.

So, by voting for euroskeptic and nationalist parties you are actually voting for the EU? Uh, OK.

Are we having fake news yet?

“I think the voter turnout shows that people really still care about the EU and what the European Union is doing. It shows a trend that, rather than weakening, it’s going to strengthen.”

What A Horrifying Thought

I shudder to think of what could happen to Europe after this weekend’s big European Parliament elections. I mean, should the people actually choose to vote for parties that would, gulp, “elevate the sovereignty and economic interests of individual member-states over the collective interests of the EU.

Horror

The horror.

Salvini, who’s framed himself the de facto leader of this coalition, has embraced the slogan “Towards a Common Sense Europe.” Besides Le Pen’s National Rally and Wilders’s Party for Freedom, other far-right parties have joined the cause, including Germany’s Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) and Austria’s (currently scandal plagued) Freedom Party. Broadly, these leaders want to curtail immigration. They may want to reorient the EU’s priorities on the global stage, too.

But, mostly, they want to elevate the sovereignty and economic interests of individual member-states over the collective interests of the EU.

“There are no extremists, racists, or fascists in this square. Here you won’t find the far-right, but the politics of good sense. The extremists are those who have governed Europe for the past 20 years.”

PS: Isn’t that picture they chose to use for the article brilliant? No suggestive images here, folks.

Oh Great And Powerful Wahl-O-Mat…

Tell me who to vote for. But computer says no!

Wahl

It’s odd. Germans seem to really love this goofy computer program that tells them how to vote. Now they’re upset because a German court has shut it down (temporarily?) because smaller parties feel they are at a great disadvantage here (which they are anyway because they are smaller parties). The “Vote-O-Mat” only allows the user to select up to eight parties for comparison purposes and this hurts the really tiny and the really wacko ones.

And this before the big European elections next week! OMG who’s going to tell me who to vote for now?

Das Gericht begründete den Schritt damit, dass man auf der Seite seine politischen Auffassungen nur mit dem Programm von bis zu acht Parteien abgleichen könne. Das sei eine Benachteiligung kleinerer und unbekannterer Parteien.

Why Are These Eurosceptic Parties Winning?

The professional Europeans in Brussels made clear that they don’t want this to happen.

Alternative

So what do they do then? They do what they always do: Ignore what just happened and carry on with EU business as usual, whatever that is. Well, one thing we do know about EU business as usual in the meantime is that it is carried out by a Brussels political elite that Jane and Joe European simply does not understand nor feel represented by.

Not that anyone out there cares or anything, but the voter turnout for this latest round of European elections was absolutely pathetic and those who did vote voted in one-fifth of the new European Parliament’s seats to political parties critical of the EU’s previous policy, whatever that was. You would think that the elite would finally get the message here, right? Nope. It ain’t happening. And that’s why it ain’t happening with Europe.

I know. Why doesn’t Brussels consider acknowledging this overwhelming European apathy and start respecting how those Europeans who did vote have voted and slowly start the process of giving back competencies to the countries in question? You know, decentralize and let Europeans start deciding more for themselves at the local level again? Na. Wozu (what for)? If it wasn’t decided in Brussels, it didn’t happen.

Für den schlichten Normaleuropäer sei der schwierige Konsensfindungsprozess in der EU zu komplex. Der leider etwas beschränkte Bürger wisse gar nicht, wie gut die EU für ihn sei. So redet sich die „europäische Elite“ das Wahlergebnis schön und blendet die Tatsache der drastisch schwindenden Zustimmung aus.

PS: Speaking of winning, Tempelhof loses. I mean wins?

Yawn, another EU election

It’s Denkzettel (I’ll teach you) time in Germany again. 736 seats in the European parliament are up for grabs today and nobody really much cares here, or much understands it.

I got your vote for ya right here!

Well, that’s not quite true. Possibly 50 percent of eligible voters are expected to vote throughout Europe today. But those who do vote won’t be voting for parliamentarians so much as voting against the various political parties they’re pissed off at within their own respective countries. Now that’s democracy or something.

„In vielen Ländern dürften unzufriedene Wähler den Urnengang nutzen, um ihrer jeweiligen Regierung einen Denkzettel zu verpassen.“