Only In Germany

I don’t make this stuff up, people.

Sami

As reported earlier, after finally deporting Osama bin Laden’s freeloading bodyguard (he and his family received welfare payments for years/decades while he worked as an Islamist hate preacher), German authorities have now realized that the other German authorities who did the deporting did not deport Sami A in the proper German legalese fashion so… Now they want him back. In order to deport him again. Only this time gründlich (thoroughly). Without any Pfusch (botching it).

It’s times like these I think there really is something to this old Oswald Spengler stuff.

Germany suspects 42-year-old Sami A. of working as a bodyguard to late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. A German court wants him to return from Tunisia after ruling his deportation was illegal.

Anwältin: Sami A. soll mit Visum nach Deutschland.

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Germany Quick To Deport Osama Bin Laden’s Bodyguard

Relatively quick. For Germany, at least. He’s only been living in and off the country since 1997.

Sami

Sami A. was considered a security risk while living in the western city of Bochum, where he was receiving €1,168 (£1,022) a month in welfare payments. His asylum application was rejected in 2007.

“I can confirm that Sami A was sent back to Tunisia this morning and handed over to Tunisian authorities.”

German Of The Day: Zusage

That means pledge – like the one Germany just made (increase in defense spending to 2% by 2024 instead of 2028 or 2030).

Zusage

President Donald Trump appeared to declare victory on Thursday in his battle with America’s closest allies to get them to contribute more money to the NATO alliance. Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had taken a tough stance with his European counterparts, demanding they contribute more of their national budgets to defense and saying after Thursday’s meetings, “they upped their commitments and I am very happy…”  

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

Auch Deutschland habe große Zusagen gemacht – das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel solle nun wesentlich früher erreicht werden als ursprünglich geplant – laut Trump nicht erst 2028 oder 2030, sondern schon 2024.

The Berlin Airlift

No, not this one. This one.

Iran

Iranian Plan to ‘Airlift $350 Million’ From Germany to Tehran Sparks U.S. Anger

The U.S. ambassador to Germany has called on Berlin to block an Iranian plan to withdraw 300 million euros ($350 million) of cash from bank accounts in Germany to offset the effect of new U.S. financial sanctions imposed after Washington withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal.

This comes after Washington recently announced new sanctions on Iran and ordered all countries to stop buying Iranian oil by November and foreign firms to stop doing business there or face U.S. blacklists.

Der Iran will 300 Millionen Euro in Deutschland loseisen und per Flieger heimholen. Die USA und Israel sind nicht erfreut.

Robust Export Growth?

German exports rebounded in May, providing more evidence of a strengthening of the economy in the second quarter.

Export

Yeah, I guess that’s true. If you forget the exports last month to one particular country. Those have dropped 10% for some inexplicable reason. But I’m sure that will pick up again real soon, right?

Despite ongoing trade tensions, German exports did what they normally do: grow. In May exports increased by 1.8% MoM, from -0.3% in April. At the same time, imports increased by 0.7% MoM, from 2.6% MoM in April. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed somewhat, from EUR20.1bn to EUR19.7bn.

“Die Verunsicherung durch die Einführung von Importzöllen seitens der USA und die Gegenmaßnahmen der EU und Chinas machen sich direkt bei den Unternehmen bemerkbar.”

When Had We Left The Jungle?

I wasn’t aware that we had.

Jungle

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump -U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights squarely on the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Even its critics are worried that without the organization, the world of trade would revert to the law of the jungle.

The U.S. and other industrialized nations made several concessions to developing economies when the WTO was founded in 1995 and significantly reduced their tariffs. In return, they were able to push through stronger protections for intellectual property. They hoped that the strategy would help slow China’s rise.

But from the U.S. perspective, the system has not been beneficial. And once China joined the WTO in 2001, that dissatisfaction only grew, partly because the Chinese proved adept at taking advantage of the rules. Even today, there is significant dissent within the WTO because the economic superpower China is still classified as a “developing nation” by the organization, which gives it certain privileges. On the other hand, China is fighting for recognition as a market economy, to which both the U.S. and the European Union are opposed because it would mean they could no longer defend themselves against state-subsidized Chinese exports with anti-dumping duties.

On top of all that, the WTO is facing a more fundamental problem: its size and its sluggishness. Negotiating rounds focused on removing tariffs have become increasingly complex. And because everything is up for negotiation at the same time, every member state can paralyze the process by simply exercising its veto. The Doha Round, launched in 2001, is a perfect example: It never achieved any results and has become symbolic of the WTO’s failure.

“The problems are coming from the behavior of a single country that would like to return to the jungle.”

Social Democrats Using The F-Word Again

You know, Fascism? As in everybody I don’t agree with is Hitler?

Schulz

Whenever other folks see things differently than they do (this time it’s Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini who is hard on migration) the Enlighted Left get all excited and squirrly. German Social Democrats are no different here.

This time it was Martin Schulz (remember the Schulz Effect?) who did the name-calling, labelling Salvini’s views “near-Fascism.” Italians and Fascism fit particularly well together, see? Today’s Italian politicians, is the implication, are “radical authoritarian ultranationals, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.” Like breath in and out slowly a few times and take a chill pill already, Martin.

„Was wir erleben, ist eine Brutalisierung der politischen Sprache, bei der jede Form der Solidarität, des Respekts und der Würde zerstört wird. Das bedeutet das Ende der Demokratie.“

We Can Do It

Sure we can. As in you can. At least that’s what she said. But she never said how long it would take.

Wir schaffen das“: we can do it. That was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mantra three years ago, when Germany welcomed more than a million asylum seekers. This week, she was forced to find a compromise that included strengthening borders and promising to send migrants back. Hundreds of thousands of cases are currently before the courts. At one Berlin courthouse, two-thirds of procedures involve asylum seekers and the workload has increased significantly. Our correspondents report.

Wir schaffen das.

It’s not like you have any choice. Nobody gave you one.

German Of The Day: Nicht Mehr Tragbar

That means no longer tenable or sustainable.

NATO

As in “The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us.”

Donald Trump has reportedly sent sharply worded letters to several Nato member countries, urging them to spend more on their self-defence, in an escalation of the US president’s long-standing feud with the military alliance…

The Nato allies agreed in 2014 to spend more on their own national defence, aiming to eventually contribute two per cent of their GDP to the effort. Many members countries say they are still working towards that goal, and are frustrated by Mr Trump’s threats.

“Die Vereinigten Staaten geben nach wie vor mehr Mittel für die Verteidigung Europas aus, während es der Wirtschaft des Kontinents, einschließlich Deutschlands, gutgeht und die Sicherheitsherausforderungen vielfältig sind. Das ist für uns nicht mehr tragbar.”

PS: Happy 4th of July!

German Of The Day: Transitzentren

That means transit centers – for migrants entering Germany through Austria. And these transit centers are the price Angela Merkel (CDU) had to pay Horst Seehofer (CSU) to keep her government together, at least for a little longer.

Tranzitzentren

The CSU-CDU compromise:

1. A new border regime at the German-Austrian border that prevents asylum seekers from entering Germany if it is the responsibility of other EU countries to process their asylum claim.

2.  Transit centers from which asylum seekers are returned directly to the country where they first arrived in the EU (if that country agrees)

3. In cases of refusal by the country of first arrival to sign up to the deal with Germany, the rejected asylum seeker will be turned away at the  German-Austrian border under an agreement with Austria

Man hätte es fast nicht mehr für möglich gehalten. Aber Edmund Stoiber ist immer noch da. Oder wieder. Und er sieht noch mürrischer aus als er es früher oft getan hat.