More Debt Is The New Normal

In Germany too.

Schulden

The govenment might not directly admit it but the days when they at least strove to reach a balanced budget (black zero) are over.

Germany’s spending to counter the coronavirus crisis and modernize its economy means the country shouldn’t return to a balanced budget anytime soon, according to a senior Finance Ministry official…

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government abandoned its balanced-budget policy this year and is set to borrow about 218 billion euros ($258 billion). A deficit of more than 80 billion euros is set for next year to fight the fallout from the pandemic, people familiar with the matter have said…

Germany’s constitutional debt brake obliges the government to keep debt under control. In good times, the rule allows for a structural deficit of 0.35% of gross domestic product. In times of recession, new borrowing can go up in proportion with the economic decline.

“A balanced budget isn’t obligatory.”

German Of The Day: Bußgeld

That means fine. As in money. As in Corona money.

Fine

Most of Germany imposes $59 fine for mask-wearing breaches – German Chancellor Angela Merkel says most of her country’s states have agreed to impose a minimum fine of 50 euros ($59) for breaching mask-wearing rules as coronavirus infections rise again

Hmmm. In theory, Germany is a federal Government and this should be left up to state governments to decide but the times, as we can see, they are a changin’.

In decentralized Germany, imposing and loosening virus-related restrictions is a matter for the 16 state governments, so a patchwork of rules has emerged in recent months. Some areas have imposed no punishment for people who don’t wear masks as required in public transport, shops and elsewhere while others have imposed high fines.

The Regulator Failed?

Well, then let’s give the regulator more money and personnel.

Wirecard

To ensure that they keep on failing in the future? Government in action, folks. If it’s not too big to fail it’s too much of a failure to fail, I guess.

Germany to overhaul regulator after Wirecard scandal – Germany’s finance minister wants to beef up the nation’s financial regulator in the wake of the Wirecard scandal. The finance watchdog admitted its ineffectiveness in preventing the auditing disaster.

“If we come to the conclusion that BaFin needs more money, more jobs and more competency, I will make every effort to ensure that this happens.”

Inexpensive Meat?

We’ll fix that for you real quick. For your own good, of course.

Meat

Germany: ‘Meat tax’ on the table to protect the climate – meat is relatively cheap for consumers in Germany. But that could all be about to change as lawmakers from across the political spectrum back proposals aimed at climate protection and animal welfare.

German politicians from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens on Wednesday proposed raising the value added tax (VAT) on meat to the standard rate of 19%. Currently, meat is taxed at a reduced rate of 7% like most foodstuffs.

“A meat tax, such as increasing the VAT to 19%, could be a way forward.”

PS: German Oddity 10. Germans have more words for taxation than Eskimos have for snow.

But The Next Time ISIS Starts A War…

Watch out! Dual-nationals who fight for them will lose their German citizenship!

ISIS

This is how Germany kind of sort of works. It’s always too little, too late and heartfelt half-ass. And then everybody congratulates one another for having reached a compromise. It would be funny as hell if it weren’t so sad.

Germany is to introduce new legislation to remove citizenship from dual-nationals who fight for the self-styled Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups.

To date, German nationals could only have their citizenship stripped if they joined foreign armed forces without the government’s permission. Now the German government has decided to extend the legislation to cover German citizens who travel to fight on behalf of a terror militia.

Meanwhile, in Syria… “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 Isis fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.” 

Needless to say, the Germans don’t want them. Nor do they wish to try them. Is Guantanamo still in operation?

So ein Sinnlos-Gesetz kann sich wirklich nur die GroKo ausdenken.

German Of The Day: Nichts klappt

That means nothing works. Or how about “failed State?” That means failed state. You know, like the failed city-state of Berlin?

Palmer

When the prominent Mayor of Tübingen Boris Palmer (Greens) has to come to Berlin for business he says to himself “Watch out, you are now leaving the functioning part of Germany.” He just can’t deal with the mix of crime, drug dealing and bitter poverty confronting him here on the street. “I don’t want to have these conditions in Tübingen,” he says.

Don’t worry. You never will. And you’re right, of course. Nothing works here in Berlin. But isn’t that the point? Oddly, for whatever the reason (decades of SPD-Green-Left Party mismanagement at city hall? Half the population being on welfare?) nobody in Berlin seems to care. And sheesh. In all fairness, this guy has clearly never been to an American city.

Berlin, ein „failed State“? Irgendwie schon, so Tübingens Oberbürgermeister Boris Palmer. Die Mischung aus Kriminalität, Drogenhandel und bitterer Armut auf der Straße verunsichere ihn als Baden-Württemberger nachhaltig.

It Won’t Stop Here

After the “mistakes” the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) made in its rulings. The truth has a way of raising its ugly little head and there will soon be more to follow, I’m sure.

Migrants

An internal review by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) of 4,568 asylum rulings had found that the Bremen branch knowingly and regularly disregarded legal regulations and internal rules, the Interior Ministry said…

More than 1.6 million migrants, many from the Middle East, have arrived in Germany since 2014, becoming a hot political issue which helped propel the far-right Alternative for Germany into parliament for the first time in last year’s election.

It’s alleged that the Bremen branch of the Office for Migrants and Refugees (BAMF), which is subordinate to the Interior Ministry, simply admitted more than 1,200 refugees to Germany without properly reviewing their cases. Bremen prosecutors are currently investigating whether bribes changed hands, and questions have been asked whether BAMF head Jutta Cordt kept herself adequately informed, and if she did enough to investigate the possible irregularities.

German Of The Day: Länderfinanzausgleich

That’s a beauty, isn’t it? And it means “German Länder fiscal equalization scam.” I mean scheme.

Länderfinanzausgleich

And THAT means.. Well, think Robin Hood. The rich and therefore “bad” German states (the ones on the left in the image) must be punished for this and therefore the Robin Hoodlums in the Bundestag take some of their money and give it to the poor and therefore “good” German states (on the right side of the image). Berlin, on top, is actually on bottom, so-to-speak, being the poorest of the poor. The Robin Hoods and the Bundestag are located in Berlin, by the way. But that’s just a coincidence, of course.

The theory being, I’m assuming here, is that this kind of completely unjust robbery and redistribution will encourage the poor “good” German states to finally get their acts together already so the rich “bad” German states don’t have to pay their bills anymore. That’s just a theory, like I said, of mine. I must say, though, this redistribution initiative has certainly had a positive effect here in Berlin these past thirty, forty, fifty years. Once you ignore the fact that not a thing has changed.

Berlin Schlusslicht, Bayern Zahlmeister.

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

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

Groko

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.

We’ll Miss You

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

Gabriel

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.