German Of The Day: Wiederaufbaufonds

That means reconstruction bonds. Or Eurobonds/Coronabonds light. Or Germany breaking a taboo and knuckling under to France to share debt with other EU countries, if you prefer.

Merkel

It’s hard to keep up with them. Politicians just can’t burn money fast enough these days.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke with her country’s longstanding opposition to raising money together with other – often poorer – EU countries. But the proposal made with French President Emmanuel Macron is limited in scale and duration, which could help her sell it to skeptics back home.

It consists of 500 billion euros ($550 billion) in loans and grants to help countries through the recession, and is viewed by some as a step toward stronger EU ties as the 27-country union faces challenges not just from the virus crisis, but from populist forces in member countries Hungary and Poland who want to loosen the bloc’s ties.

Werteunion ruft zu Widerstand gegen Merkel auf.

Easy Money

A government program that’s easy to scam? Wow. That’s never happened before.

COVID

It’s not the government’s money in the end anyway so who cares, right? Money for nothing and the click’s for free.

The government of North Rhine-Westphalia, a province in western Germany, is believed to have lost tens of millions of euros after it failed to build a secure website for distributing coronavirus emergency aid funding.

The funds were lost following a classic phishing operation.

Cybercriminals created copies of an official website that the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs had set up to distribute COVID-19 financial aid.

Crooks distributed links to their sites using email campaigns, lured users on the sites, and collected details from locals. They then filed requests for government aid on behalf of the real users but they replaced the bank account where funds were to be wired.

Smart Move

I guess. German city introduces face masks for shoppers as corona cases rise.

Jena

It’s just that the German government doesn’t have any face masks for the population. Nor does German industry. They shipped them all off to China as the pandemic began. No joke. Now Germans are forced to either make their face masks themselves or pay ridiculous prices for the few that are available until industrial production gets back up to speed again. Thank goodness for government planning.

The city of Jena in eastern Germany has decided to make people wear face masks when shopping or traveling by public transport, stepping up efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus and becoming the first city in the country to introduce the measure.

But Where Does All This CO2 Keep Coming From?

We’ve shut down practically all of our nuclear power plants already.

Plant

Of course, we had to replace them with dirty coal-firing ones but we’ll be shutting those down soon too. Unfortunately, the renewable utopia we ordained those many years ago still isn’t working yet for some odd reason nor does it look like it will anytime soon. But still. At least the energy prices German consumers have to pay keep climbing and climbing to ever ridiculously high and higher levels. Maybe we could start cutting off power in German homes and industries for a few hours every day and get the populace to stop making so much CO2 that way – and spend more time out in “nature.” It would only be for their own good. Then the rest of the world would admire us yet again for the fine example we have set and start emulating us with gratitude (we are the Big Green and Moral Superpower, after all). Then Planet Earth and Planet Germany would be rescued in no time.

Germany shuts down atomic plant as nuclear phase-out enters final stretch – The Philippsburg power station is one of the only plants still operating in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg. Germany has vowed to start decommissioning every nuclear power facility by the end of 2022.

Angela Merkel’s blunder of the decade that’s taboo in Germany (he means before her blunder in 2015).

The EU Needs More Money From Germany

That’s a shocker. Gee. I wonder why?

EU

It’s not like the arrogance and hubris of EU technocrats let the second biggest contributor to their budget walk away from their, well, generous redistribution system or anything. No, not at all. It’s… What is it, anyway? Is this still the Europe you want, Germany?

The U.K. was a strong proponent of free-trade, EU enlargement and pragmatic cooperation to tackle security threats. It opposed a “fortress Europe” approach, pushing for a competitive and open economy.

Britain also became in recent years the EU’s second-biggest net funder. EU officials say the U.K.’s departure will leave an estimated €84 billion ($93 billion) hole in the bloc’s next seven-year budget.

Agreeing on the size and makeup of that €1 trillion-plus budget will be the first major post-Brexit fight. Efforts to cut the amount of money spent on the EU’s newer members in Central and Eastern Europe risk further embittering the bloc’s east-west relations, already scarred by fights over migration and democratic norms.

Germany To Repay Customers Of Insolvent Thomas Cook

How nice of Germany to do that. But where does Germany get the money to repay them?

Germany

It’s no Kunststück (slight of hand), folks. I could repay customers of insolvent companies all day long too as long as I had somebody else’s money to repay them with. Just milk the taxpayer again, in other words.

Germany will give financial assistance to customers hit by the insolvency of Thomas Cook because the tour operator’s insurance cover has proved insufficient, it said on Wednesday…

Insurer Zurich’s (ZURN.S) liability is capped at 110 million euros ($121 million) but it has already registered claims worth 250 million and experts estimate total claims will reach 300 million to 500 million euros, ARD said.

A legal opinion commissioned by Zurich concluded that state liability is possible because the German government inadequately implemented a 2015 EU directive meant to ensure customers get their money back in the case of the insolvency of a tour operator, the report said.

“Damages that are not compensated by other parties will be settled by the federal government.”

German Of The Day: Transaktionssteuer

That means financial transactions tax.

Tax

And that means, as usual, taxing the little guy tying to get ahead while letting the big time speculators off the hook. All in the name of Social Justice. Or Social Democracy (SPD), if you prefer.

Germany Pushes Forward on European Financial Transactions Tax – Under a new blueprint for the tax, sent by Germany Finance Minister Olaf Scholz to the other governments on Monday and seen by The Wall Street Journal, anyone buying shares in large companies domiciled in those countries and with a market value of over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) will have to pay a minimum 0.2% tax over the transaction value…

Germany is under some time pressure to deliver an agreement since the government has already earmarked the expected proceeds to pay for higher state pensions for the poor starting in 2021. It expects revenues of about €1.5 billion a year from the tax.

Germans have more words for taxation than Eskimos have for snow.

German Of The Day: Hartz IV Und Der Tag Gehört Dir

That means: Get on welfare (Hartz IV) and the day belongs to you.

Welfare

Jeden Tag Pizza und Bier – Pizza and beer every day!

In a verdict Tuesday, the Federal Constitutional Court found that monthslong slashes to welfare benefits known as Hartz IV for “breaches of duty” are unlawful.

Under current legislation, recipients of the benefit can have their payments reduced by 30% for a period of three months if they don’t fulfill certain conditions. The amount can also be cut further — by 60% — or even completely, if a job center adviser deems they have failed to cooperate. The rules are stricter for people under the age of 25.

“It hardly makes any sense to go to work.”

This Just In: Poor People Have It Tougher Than Those Who Aren’t Poor

Poverty, unemployment and poor education in Germany lead to tougher lives and shorter life spans.

Arbeit

Wow. Who would have thought that? I’m sure thankful that researchers up at the Max Planck Institute in Rostock were able to finally make this major scientific breakthrough. The tons of German taxpayer money that went into this study were certainly well spent. Now maybe something will finally be done to stop poverty here. Apparently no one has been doing anything about it up until now. Thumbs up to you, researchers!

In a related story (see the link at the bottom of the same article), it has also been determined that the older the human body gets the more it weakens and – now get this – that this decline is inevitable.

Armut, Arbeitslosigkeit und schlechte Bildung gehen in Deutschland mit einer deutlich verkürzten Lebenserwartung einher.

Spend More Like We Do

Says the EU. We don’t always know what we’re spending it on but we sure know how to do it.

Waste

As “German industrial orders fell more than expected in August on weaker domestic demand, adding to signs that a manufacturing slump is pushing Europe’s largest economy into recession,” the EU Commission advises Germany to spend more.

And EU knows all about spending other people’s money. It spent nearly four billion euros last year alone on things it can’t even account for – and most of the things it can account for are wasteful enough.

Konjunkturschocks“ – EU-Kommission drängt Deutschland zu mehr Ausgaben