German Of The Day: Jamaika-Aus

That means, sadly, the collapse of the Jamaica talks to form a CDU/CSU/FDP/Green government. And is, coincidentally, Germany’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Jamaica

Sadly because the SPD has now been given the chance to come out of its we’re-absolutely-positively-never-ever-going-to-come-out-of-opposition pout after getting creamed during this year’s election. The SPD can do this kind of 180 degree turn stuff. Nobody cares. Just like nobody cares about who the chancellor is, apparently.

Denoting the ongoing failure to form a governing majority in German, Jamaica Out was one of several political neologisms chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) on Friday for its Word of the Year, which has been awarded since 2009.

PS: This kind of stuff gives me a hangover. I think I’ll drive over to the new Denny’s in Hanover and order me some pancakes or something (this article says Denny’s is where you go in US-Amerika for your hangover breakfast).

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Promise?

Do you promise that “relations with the US will never be the same after Trump?”

Gabriel

Because that would be great if you made sure that was the case, German Foreign Minister Gabriel (SPD). And I couldn’t agree more with what you just said in that context; that Germany needs to be more confident about defending it’s own interests and draw red lines where it needs to draw red lines. Germany first? By all means. It’s not the most original idea but we can all see where you’re coming from. Stay tuned, everyone.

Deutschland müsse künftig selbstbewusster seine Interessen vertreten, verlangt Gabriel. “Wir müssen selbst unsere Positionen beschreiben und notfalls rote Linien ziehen – unter Partnern, aber an unseren eigenen Interessen orientiert.”

A Little Paralysis Never Hurt Anybody

If this is Germany’s acting government they sure are pretty lousy actors.

Merkel

On Thursday, the German chancellor spent two hours at the German president’s office in Bellevue Palace with the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz, and the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer. The president wants to prevent new elections and has urged the SPD and the CSU, the conservative alliance partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to start afresh with the unpopular grand coalition, despite all past disappointments.

It will likely come to that, as the SPD is now ready for talks, even if it is still keeping its options open, including tolerating a CDU/CSU minority government. But it may take a while until a government is formed — some observers suspect the country could have to wait until March for a government to emerge from September’s election. After all, just a few weeks ago, the SPD was fiercely determined to reposition itself in the opposition.

But honestly, who really cares about any of this, anyway? As long as people here can still concentrate on the really dangerous governments out there chances are that nobody else will even notice that Germany doesn’t have one.

Give Us More Of What We Just Voted Out Of Office

The city of Berlin isn’t the only thing that is dysfunctional in Germany these days.

Merkel

Maybe the Germans ought to consider fixing their parliamentarian system, too. I mean, the one thing that voters made perfectly clear just a few weeks back is that they do NOT want a continuation of the so-called GroKo (grand coalition government of CDU/CSU and SPD). But after Empress Merkel failed miserably during the Jamaica exploratory talks by going greener and green and letting the FDP get away, new talks are beginning to go for that very thing.

She doesn’t want to go with a minority CDU/CSU government, you see, because than her majesty’s government would have to explain everything to parliamentarians first before getting a majority to pass any legislation. She can explain things just fine, it’s just that fewer and fewer Germans agree with her explanations anymore. But a minority government is what she must go with, I find, until new elections are held. This, too, being something that nobody wants.

So, German voters got what they voted for, I guess: Nothing that they wanted.

Deputy SPD head Olaf Scholz said recently that a rebirth of the grand coalition would “have negative consequences for our democracy.” It would also mean that the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) would be the strongest party in opposition. That means it would always have the privilege in parliament of delivering the first rebuttal to Merkel’s speeches.

Who Will Be Brave Enough?

To just get it over with and close down Berlin’s new non-existent airport before it ever not opens, I mean.

BER

Nobody will be brave enoug, of course.. Not even after this latest (coming) delay. Can you still call them delays when you get to the ten-year mark?

The latest setback is reportedly due to problems with fire protection. Other errors over the years include badly installed cables, escalators that were too short and a roof that was too heavy.

Corruption is also a factor – last year one former airport employee was sentenced to prison for taking bribes and dozens of others have been fined.

Collateral damage includes construction companies, retail outlets and taxi firms forced into bankruptcy and one former Berlin mayor (SPD) forced out of his job.

Zu Tagesspiegel-Erkenntnissen, denen zufolge eine BER-Eröffnung vor 2021 durch die neuen Informationen zunehmend unwahrscheinlich wird, äußert sich die Flughafengesellschaft nicht direkt.

PS: Happy Thanksgiving!

SPD Unsure About Which False Move To Make Next

As in being worst. False moves are the only kind of moves Germany’s SPD makes these days.

SPD

Now that the Jamaica negotiations went tango uniform….

Bloodied but proud and steeped in tradition and legacy, the SPD thought it had done the right thing after September’s devastating election result by announcing its desire to regroup as the main opposition party in the new German parliament…

But if the SPD sticks to its opposition role now, its detractors might accuse the party of leaving the country in the lurch and not doing its democratic duty to help ensure a working and stable government…

On the other hand, if the SPD comes out of its opposition shell and agrees to revisit a grand coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, it may well be accused of opportunism and lacking backbone.

The SPD doesn’t have any backbone, you see (that’s the FDP‘s job). So being accused of not having one is clearly out of the question. And if comes to new elections then? They get slammed even harder. Same personnel, same platform. Brilliant leadership there, Martin Schulz. I think we’ve got our German word for the day here and it doesn’t even need a translation: Kindergarten.

German Of The Day: Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz

That means… Beats the hell out of me. I think it means something like Internet Enforcement Law.

Mass

At any rate, it’s this really clever new law pushed through by German Justice Minister Heiko Mass (SPD) – a particularly lame duck because his party is now history after last week’s election – that forces Internet companies like Facebook to remove “obviously illegal” posts (whatever that means) within 24 hour or pay big fines. This takes care of “hate speech” forever, see? Brilliant.

Of course it will also take care of a lot of posts that will have nothing at all to do with hate speech but will be blocked anyway by these companies. Just in case, you know?

Free speech ist not quite as free as it used to be in Germany. But it’s worth it, right?

Kritiker bemängeln, dass die Rechtsdurchsetzung in private Hände gelegt wird, und sie fürchten ein “Overblocking“: Die Betreiber könnten im Zweifel lieber zu viele Inhalte entfernen, um nicht mit dem NetzDG in Konflikt zu geraten. Dadurch gerate die Meinungsfreiheit in Gefahr.

 

“The Slow Death Of Europe’s Social Democrats?”

How ya figure? They’ve been dead for years already, Spiegel Online. Don’t any of you over there ever read the papers?

SPD

I would even ALMOST venture to say that it’s ALMOST time for a social democratic walking dead rennaisance. But the key word here is ALMOST. It won’t be anytime soon. They’re going to get annihilated in this election on Sunday. Again.

In 2000, social democrats or socialists were part of the government in 10 out of the 15 countries that made up the European Union at the time. These days, though, the picture is a drastically different one. There is a real chance that German Social Democrats will no longer be part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition following Sunday’s vote and the same could happen in Italy after voters there go to the polls next spring. Were that to happen, center-left parties would only be part of six EU governments out of 28 member states, all of them on the European periphery: Malta, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

 

Let Us All Learn Together

And hold hands together. And show solidarity for one another. You know, all that kind of wonderful gooey fooey social activist stuff that “Social” Democrats do.

School

But even though I’m a big time SPD public school education advocate and multi-cultural integration cheerleader poster girl kinda woman – and former Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and current Minister President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – I still prefer to send my kid to a private school, if you don’t mind. Even if you do mind I’ll be sending my kid to a private school. There’s way less riff-raff there.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns Ministerpräsidentin Manuela Schwesig (SPD) steht wegen der Entscheidung, ihr älteres Kind, Sohn Julian (10), zum Schuljahresbeginn auf eine Privatschule zu schicken, in der Kritik. Nach Ansicht der Links-Opposition im Landtag offenbart der Schritt die Mängel und Lücken im staatlichen Schulsystem.

Martin Schulz Also To Demand End Of Cold War

Once he’s elected and has demanded that US-Amerika remove it’s nuclear armaments from German soil. All two or three of them (they’ve already kind of sort of been removed already, see?).

Schulz

It’s a brave move, as always, but the SPD’s Martin Schulz is known for taking those hard stands. It’s always about principle when it comes to the SPD.

Then, after ending the nuclear arms race and Cold War, he will demand that Germany’s invasion of Poland be nullified, Hitler’s rise to power cancelled and World War 1 be put off indefinetely. If that doesn’t get the vote this guy needs, nothing will.

“Trump wants nuclear armament. We are against this.”