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.

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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.

Enthusiasm?

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

Enthusiasm

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.

“Muttiland” Does Have A Nicer Ring To It

But not even Mutti wants to remove Vaterland (fatherland) from the German national anthem. And if Mutti don’t want it, ain’t nothing going to happen. “Equality czar” or not.

Muttiland

Equality czar? What is that? Why don’t they introduce a common sense czar instead? They could call him the sense czar. And he could get rid of all this nonsensical sense-czar-ship going around here these days.

Germany’s equality czar wants to remove words like“fatherland” and “brotherly” from the country’s national anthem, following Canada and Austria in adopting gender neutral phrases.

Kristin Rose-Moehring, equality commissioner since 2001, made the proposal to strike male-specific references from the anthem in a letter to staff at Germany’s family ministry ahead of International Women’s Day, German media reported on Sunday.

Ahead of Women’s Day? How you figure? Every day is Women’s Day over here.

Die Kanzlerin sehe “keinen Bedarf einer Änderung.”

PS: I’m going to ask this woman to look into “mother nature” while she’s at it. It irks the hell out of me every time I hear somebody use that term. The nerve. Person nature will do just fine, thank you.

Acute Threat Now Just A Cute Threat

A senior German politician has confirmed today that hackers have been able to collect confidential information from Germany’s government network.

Cyberattack

He quickly stressed, however, that this information was expressly labeled confidential and he is therefore quite confident that the hackers won’t read it.

“Confidential means in confidence, after all,” he said. “So when one indicates confidentiality it imparts that this information is a private, even a secret matter. Intimate even, although we certainly don’t have any of that kind of material in our network. Strictly forbidden, you know. So why would one who is not in confidence read confidential information? Would you? Of course not. I wouldn’t, either. I just wouldn’t have the confidence to do so. Well, it’s been a long week everybody. Have a nicer weekend!”

According to reports in German media, the hackers focused their attack on the foreign ministry, which in the view of some lawmakers would suggest a foreign intelligence agency as the orchestrator of the hacking operation.

More Government In Action

Universal law: Ever notice how when the government employees who are paid to do the job that they are paid to do are eventually asked to finally do the job they are paid to do suddenly have great and nearly insurmountable problems actually doing it – primarily because they are chronically understaffed? Or claim to be?

Government

Well, it’s not just where you live, wherever that might live. Take Berlin’s civil servants, for instance. Please. Remember the Anis Amri case?

The latest here is that the police director of Berlin’s Islamism Department (no, they don’t support Islamism, they combat it – or are at least supposed to) had time enough to pursue private sideline jobs while loudly and officially complaining about how he and his department were completely overstretched on the case.

See how it works? Everywhere? So the next time somebody comes along in your city/state/national capital wanting to cut costs by firing some of these chronically understaffed people, please keep this in mind.

Während seine Mitarbeiter hoffnungslos überlastet waren, hatte der Leiter des Berliner Islamismus-Dezernats offenbar trotzdem Zeit für private Nebenjobs.

Operation Valkyrie 2.0?

‘We don’t have much time’ Angela Merkel’s youth wing plots to OUST her as popularity drops.

Merkel

Worried that the tiny little bit that is left of the CDU could soon evaporate altogether after Chancellor Merkel’s breathtakingly poor negotiation results in forming the latest grand coalition (the CDU has, in essence, become the SPD – the tail will soon be wagging the dog), a small group of fanatical CDU youth is preparing to implement an emergency continuity of CDU government operations plan as soon as they can figure out a way to bump off the old bag. Politically speaking, of course.

Insiders speculate that incriminating photos of a drugged Chancellor in bed with an even more drugged Martin Schulz ought to do the trick.  Outsiders speculate that there are not enough drugs out there strong enough to enable anybody to look at photos like that.

“Merkel has yielded critical levers in order to buy herself another four years in the country’s top office. Now these SPD politicos, most of whom are relatively unknown outside Berlin, will be the ones to shape the politics of Europe and Germany, the EU’s mightiest member, in the years to come.”

Back To Black

Oh boy. The one thing that nobody wants in this country is precisely what this country is about to get. Another GroKo (don’t ask what it is, just listen to the way it sounds).

Black

Angela Merkel’s conservatives have made a deal with the Social Democrats for a new coalition contract in Germany. Let’s whip out the music and celebrate or something.

The only thing that could stop it now is a vote by SPD members in a week or two on whether to accept the coalition agreement or not. And you can always count on the SPD to let you down.

Going, Going…

Gone.

CO2

Here’s another one of those well-intentioned-do-gooder-mandates-from-above-meeting-reality kind of things. Why is it that reality is always popping up its ugly little head all the time, anyway?

The two parties likely to form the next coalition government in Germany have agreed to give up on the country’s climate targets for 2020. The goal was to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels. In 2016, Germany’s had only reduced emissions by 28% versus the baseline (pdf), so the plan is now unrealistic.

There are two ways to interpret the announcement.

A charitable response would be that the news isn’t a surprise. Although Germany has made heavy investments in renewable energy, it has also been shuttering zero-carbon nuclear power plants since 2011. Giving up on the 2020 climate goals makes sense, especially if the coalition maintains the 2030 target of a 55% emissions reduction versus 1990 levels.

A harsher response would be that the news is devastating. “This damages the credibility of Germany but it also damages the whole international climate process,” Tobias Austrup, an energy expert at Greenpeace told the Financial Times. “Why should other countries stick to their climate goals if we don’t?”