In A Word: Yes

Is Germany Protecting Russia’s Gazprom From Latest Anti-Trust Discovery?

Gazprom

German companies like BASF and Wintershall may be successful at lobbying their government to keep the new Russian pipeline going, despite opposition from Washington. Such are the worries being made behind closed doors within the state owned Central and East European (CEE) gas companies that are no fans of Russia’s Gazprom.

On April 10, someone leaked the Statement of Objections against Gazprom from the European Union’s competition authority known as the Directorate-General for Competition (DG Comp). The leaked document was a 270-page report of abuse cases filed by nearly every Gazprom partner in eastern Europe, including Poland where the news first broke last week…

As Gazprom is responsible for nearly a third of all of Germany’s foreign gas supply, and because Germany has two big companies with money on the line with Gazprom projects, some believe Brussels is ready to let Gazprom off the hook from disputes with at least five countries.

“DG Comp is said to be pressured by some high-ranking German officials to make a soft deal with Gazprom so they can start building the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”

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German Of The Day: Oligarch

That means oligarch. Take former chancellor Gerhard “Gazprom Gerd” Schroeder, for instance. Please.

Gerd

Sanctions aimed at key individuals can be surprisingly effective, it turns out. They help to undermine internal support for the regime or at least its most unattractive policies.

One oligarch, though, remains overlooked. Arguably he is the most important of all. That’s former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

Mr. Schroeder has been a one-man Trojan horse against every European Union commitment to curb Russian energy leverage and improve the competitiveness of its gas market. Notice that the alternative was never to shut Russian gas out of Germany. It was simply for Germany, at every step, to stop lending itself to the enhancement of Russia’s energy power, with Mr. Schroeder leading the influence brigades.

Schröders Engagement in Russland und Nähe zu Putin, den er einen Freund nennt, stößt seit Jahren auf Argwohn. Im vergangenen September ließ sich der Altkanzler allen Einwänden zum Trotz zum Aufsichtsratsvorsitzenden des halbstaatlichen russischen Ölkonzerns Rosneft wählen.

Gazprom Gerd Gets A Raise

You’ve got to have principles. As many as possible. For all eventualities. Take former German chancellor Gazprom Gerhard Schroeder (SPD), for instance. Please.

Gerd

His nomination to the board of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company – majority-owned by the Russian government – is breathtaking in its brazenness. You can’t really call it a sell-out, however. This guy sold out long ago.

Rosneft is under Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. By pure coincidence, Schroeder, who calls Vladimir Putin his friend, has regularly criticized any moves to impose sanctions on Russia.

I know it’s hard to take an unpopular stand sometimes, especially when it is unethical, mercenary and just plain wrong, but he certainly is consistent here, at least.

“Schröder macht sich zum russischen Söldner.”

PS: Germany is predictably outraged about this (not) (or not particularly). But rest assured that if this had been a US-Amerkan oil company there would have been hell to pay.

VW Too Big To Fail?

Then it’s too big. Think GM (Government Motors). Only different. As in much worse.

VW

At Volkswagen AG, political connections come already fitted.

When it comes to Volkswagen, German chancellors don’t intervene in company decisions. But the unique arrangement in Lower Saxony (it holds 20 percent of the company) has spawned alumni in high places with an interest in the boardroom, including Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. Schroeder, who sat on VW’s supervisory board for eight years as state premier, was known as the “auto chancellor” when he led Germany from 1998 to 2005 because of his perceived closeness to the car industry.

Following him to Berlin after serving at his side in Lower Saxony was Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now in his second stint as Merkel’s foreign minister. Sigmar Gabriel, who succeeded Schroeder as state premier — and VW board member — is now vice chancellor and economy minister. He also heads the Social Democratic Party, Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Christian Wulff, a Christian Democrat like Merkel who succeeded Gabriel in the state capital Hanover, made it all the way to the German presidency, before resigning in 2012 amid a legal probe.

Im Abgas-Skandal, dessen Auswirkungen noch unübersehbar sind, rückt die Frage nach der Mitverantwortung der deutschen Politik in den Fokus. Und weil die politischen Spitzen der Republik wie geschockt schweigen und selbst die sonst geliebten Talkshows meiden, werden Vorwürfe laut, die Bundesregierung habe mit Volkswagen gekungelt und möglicherweise sogar von den Manipulationen gewusst.

Coffee From Togo To Be Heavily Taxed

At last count, Germans who purchase coffee from Togo toss some 3 billion of the disposable cups used to temporarily carry it in each and every year.

Togo

Predictably outraged by this, German green shirts have predictably outraged German coffee vendors by suggesting that a 20-cent tax be placed on this luxury drink to encourage coffee Togo connoisseurs to bring along their reusable and occasionally re-washable coffee Togo coffee cups with them, preferably hanging on the environmentally friendly coffee Togo belt loop hangers attached to their biodegradable pants.

Should this prove to be too impractical for some customers, the ecological crusaders suggest, vendors should offer them a discount option (taxpayer subsidized) of drinking the invigorating beverage directly from their trembling cupped hands.

“Nehmen Sie sich ein wenig Zeit und trinken Ihren Kaffee vor Ort – aus einer Tasse.”

Gerd Knows Best

Ex-chancellor “Gazprom-Gerd” Schröder just can’t seem to sit still these days and has fired yet another salvo in his one-man undeclared unsolicited advice offensive.

Schroeder

He has now advised current chancellor Angela Merkel to leave office in a timely manner. For her own good, of course. And I, for one, certainly hope that she takes this advice to heart. If anybody out there knows about not having left office in a timely manner it’s this guy. In fact I think he should have left office a few days after having been elected. The first time, I mean. It would have only been for his own good, of course.

Gerhard Schröder—the former German chancellor, a man who said the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev appeared more intent on peace than the Americans, and who since 2006 has been a Gazprom executive and Vladimir Putin’s chief shill among the countries of the European Union—has come up with a prescription for masking Moscow’s refusal to let Ukraine (or anyone else) leave Russia’s control and form an organic relationship with the West.

German Car Club Mafia Terrorists Apologize Nineteen Million Times

For rigging the prestigious (yawn) “car the year” award competition, I mean.

ADAC

Mr. Ramstetter, 60, admitted to Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung that he had increased the number of ADAC member votes tenfold for this year’s “Golden Angel” award which went to the Volkswagen Golf.

Although the ADAC did not admit it, there were suspicions that its executives may have taken sizeable backhanders from Germany’s powerful car manufacturers in exchange for manipulating the figures.

One Million Dollars!

Unlike in Germany, where at least fifty percent of all German politicians stem from working-class families, where none are susceptible to bribery or lobbying influence and most can just barely make ends meet on the meager remuneration they receive (or so I must assume, to judge by the outrage here), word is out that more than half of Amerika’s lawmakers are now “worth at least $1 million” (although I personally have always held them all to be priceless).

Dollars

This is a scandal or something. This has never ever been the case before because American politicians, gosh darn it, up until now anyways, never ever used to enter politics just to obtain money and/or power. In the past, I mean. Something bad has now apparently happened. Or something. That is why we must look to Germany for the answer, as usual.

Everything here in Germany works better, you see. This is because Germany is a so-called “classless” society. But with class. Just go and ask the folks here who run the country. They’ll tell you.

In Deutschland ist die “Millionärswahl” eine TV-Show, in den USA Realität.