German Of The Day: Aneinander vorbeireden

That means to talk at cross purposes. In this case when German politicians use the same word in different ways – gehören (meaning both to belong to and ought to belong to).


In an interview with the German newspaper BILD Seehofer said: “Islam is not a part of Germany. Germany has been influenced by Christianity. This includes free Sundays, church holidays and rituals such as Easter, Pentecost and Christmas. However, the Muslims living in Germany obviously do belong to Germany.”

This statement conflicted with the position of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel said, even though Germany has been influenced mainly by Christianity and Judaism, there are more than four million Muslims in the country, they “belong to Germany and so does their religion.”

Hey, depending upon how you look at it, Germany does not belong to Germany. Neither does Christianity belong to Germany. Let’s not even start with Judaism. So I think Horst Seehofer is right on the money when he says that Islam does not belong to Germany, either. What’s the big deal? We’re all not in this together, folks.

Da muss man schon präzise sagen, was mit dem Ausdruck “gehört” eigentlich gemeint sein soll. Das kann man ja als schlichte Bestandsaufnahme oder Feststellung meinen: Man gehört zu einer bestimmten Familie oder einem Verein an. Man kann es aber auch so verstehen wie bei der Formulierung: Kinder gehören zeitig ins Bett. Dann bekommt die Aussage eine Sollens-Komponente und erhält eine ganz andere Bedeutung. Und drittens könnte die Frage angesprochen sein, ob der Islam die Bundesrepublik Deutschland in ähnlicher Weise geprägt hat wie das Christentum. Je nachdem, mit welchem Akzent man das Wort “gehört” verwendet, bekommt dieser Satz einen anderen Sinn. Diese Unterschiede werden in der politischen Diskussion leider nicht beachtet, und deswegen redet man munter aneinander vorbei. Das ist vorhersehbar und langweilig.


“Trump is awful but…”

“He’s right.”


Uh-oh. All bets are off now. I may have found a German economist who is willing to take an unpopular stand and defend certain aspects of the Trump administration’s policy. Unpopular? Sacrilegious is more like it, right?

“On one side there’s the EU with a trade surplus that is mostly supplied by the huge German surplus. On the other side is the USA that has been living with deficits for 30 years. Germany is the world’s largest surplus country and the USA is the world’s largest deficit country. The trade practiced between these two national economies may be free but it is not efficient. This criticism of the German undervaluation strategy – that is, the relatively weak salary increases combined with a weak euro – has been around since presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Politicians in Congress have warned about making trade deals with notorious surplus countries. Trump is just the first one to do anything about it.”

“Every country can do whatever it wants – but not when it is part of a currency union in which there are no exchange rates that could be adjusted. Germany procures an advantage in global trade not just due to the quality of its products vis-a-vis its EU partners, the USA and other countries. In the past 15 years salaries in Germany have remained far behind productivity. We gain advantages over other national economies through wage dumping.”

“Will the punitive tariffs have a real effect on the German economy? Not so quickly. They have just been little needle pricks up until now. But if the EU now pursues the loud-mouth announcements made by Commission President Jean-Claud Juncker and reacts with its own punitive tariffs it is possible that the USA’s reaction will be more massive. Yet Trump is merely following a very simple rule here that no one in Germany wants to believe: The losers in such a trade conflict will be the trade surplus countries and the winners will be the deficit countries.”

Aber wenn die EU jetzt den großmäuligen Ankündigungen des EU-Kommissionspräsidenten Jean-Claude Juncker folgt und mit eigenen Strafzöllen reagiert, kann es sein, dass die USA noch massiver reagieren. Trump folgt doch einer einfachen Regel, die in Deutschland niemand wahr haben will: Verlieren werden in einem solchen Handelskonflikt die Handelsüberschussländer und gewinnen werden die Defizitländer.

Speaking Of Tanks…

Tanks for nothing, Germany.


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.



Beautiful German weapon sales of the week.


Because somebody has to admire them.

But when it comes to SPENDING money for defense in Germany, well… German officials are scrambling to make sense of the latest twist in the brewing war over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, which could see Washington dole out exemptions based on allies’ defense-spending levels.


German Of The Day: Verliererin

That means loser. In feminine form.


A German federal court has rejected a customer’s demand for her bank to include the feminine form of words such as “account holder” on official forms.

The Federal Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that plaintiff Marlies Kraemer hadn’t suffered any discrimination under German law from her bank’s use of the “generic masculine” on forms, a common practice. The German language adds a suffix to turn nouns into feminine form. In the case of account holder, “Kontoinhaber” becomes “Kontoinhaberin.”

Kundin bleibt Kunde: Klägerin unterliegt im Formularstreit.


Did You Notice That Germany Didn’t Have A Government For The Past 169 Days?

Me, neither. Nobody else over here did, either.


That just goes to show you how, uh, desperately needed this latest GroKo government is.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her partners met to formally sign their agreement on a new “grand coalition” government on Monday and admitted it was a political necessity, not a “love match”.

„Wir haben uns sehr viel vorgenommen und es ist Zeit auch mit der Arbeit zu beginnen.”

PS: I think I’ve finally figured out why Angela Merkel has been behaving so strangely these past few years. She smokes fish. And with Vlad Putin, of all people.


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.


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: Gruselkabinett

That means chamber of horrors – although cabinet of horrors is also possible here and is definitely more appropriate in this case.


Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) on Friday officially unveiled the six members bestowed with a ministerial post in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new coalition government.

After suffering record losses in the last election — scoring its worst results since World War II — the SPD is vying to renew its fortunes by bringing some fresh, dynamic figures into the cabinet.

Vast majority of German voters think SPD is unfit for government.


We’ll Miss You

Not. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has been informed that his services will no longer be needed in the next awful German coalition government. They will manage to be awful enough without him.

The reason for this being the replacement of this annoying whiner by a comrade of his who whines even better, or penetranter (more overpoweringly), as the Germans like to say; Heiko Maas. This guy is a natural born wonder-whiner whose whining has even been know to shatter whine glasses. He’s wearing a pair of whine glasses right now, by the way.

So, in other words, he’s the perfect pick to be Germany’s Foreign Minister. Nice work if you can get it, I guess. It’s not like you ever actually have to do anything. Other than a little whining, I mean.

Der bisherige Justiziminister Heiko Maas wird offenbar Außenminister in der nächsten Regierung unter Kanzlerin Merkel.



Where’s the enthusiasm? That’s what Spiegel Online asks regarding Germany’s next coming grand coalition government.


I know that’s not a serious question but how could there possibly be any enthusiasm for the forming of a government that the electorate expressly voted out of office just a few months previously? Everybody but Merkel & Co. are depressed about this depressing matter and are going to stay that way until the new GroKo government – that isn’t even in power yet – finally exits the political stage  for good.

Imagine that. You aren’t even in office yet and everybody already hates you. That’s never happened before, right?

With the Social Democrats having approved a new coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany finally has a government. Despite the breakthrough, however, enthusiasm is in short supply in Berlin.