German Of The Day: Zusage

That means pledge – like the one Germany just made (increase in defense spending to 2% by 2024 instead of 2028 or 2030).

Zusage

President Donald Trump appeared to declare victory on Thursday in his battle with America’s closest allies to get them to contribute more money to the NATO alliance. Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had taken a tough stance with his European counterparts, demanding they contribute more of their national budgets to defense and saying after Thursday’s meetings, “they upped their commitments and I am very happy…”  

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

Auch Deutschland habe große Zusagen gemacht – das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel solle nun wesentlich früher erreicht werden als ursprünglich geplant – laut Trump nicht erst 2028 oder 2030, sondern schon 2024.

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German Of The Day: Geschröpft

That means fleeced. Or clobbered, if you prefer.

Trump

As in… We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on trade.

„Deutschland zahlt ein Prozent des Bruttoinlandsproduktes (langsam) in Richtung Nato, während wir vier Prozent von einer weit größeren Bruttoinlandsprodukt zahlen. Glaubt irgendjemand, dass das Sinn macht?“

What’s Wrong With The SPD?

First they roll out a foreign minister who talks tough to Russia and then they provide a finance minister who has trouble spending other people’s money.

Scholz

Damn. Maybe I could become a social democrat (bourgeois socialist), too.

Germany’s new Social Democrat finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is frustrating both key ally France and his own struggling center-left party by adopting the same fiscal rigor as his conservative predecessor, Wolfgang Schaeuble.

During his first two months as treasury chief of Europe’s largest economy, Scholz has committed to a continued goal of no new debt and limited public spending.

“We act pragmatically and properly – and do not worship a fetish (of fiscal conservatism).”

This Is Chump Change

With the emphasis on chump. What’s a mere 78 billion euros of migration-related spending through 2022 for Germany? Especially when everybody here knows that the amount will probably be three to five times higher?

Migration

It’s not like Germany needs this money to improve its rotten education system and schools, fix its backward digital infrastructure or spend more on defense, to name just a very few. No, German “leadership” knows where to set its priorities: To throw money helplessly at a crisis that she, I mean they, created.

Germany expects to spend around 78 billion euros on migration-related issues through 2022, including 31 billion euros to combat the root causes driving people to leave their homes and head to Europe, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday…

German is working to integrate over a million migrants who entered the country in 2015 and 2016 after a key decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that has hit her popularity.

PS: German of the day: “Frau am Steuer, das wird teuer.” There’s a woman behind the wheel, that’s going to cost you (only it rhymes).

4 Out Of 128 Ain’t Bad

It’s past bad. It’s hilarious.

Four

Only 4 of the Bundeswehr’s 128 Tornadoes are operational.

Maybe that’s why Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen wants 12 billion euros “more for the German army than current budget plans foresee.” That won’t do it even if she gets it, of course. And to get anywhere near the 2 percent of GDP spending Germany has committed itself to spend you’d need more along the lines of 30 to 40 billion euros. But who’s counting?

Nur 4 von 128 Eurofightern kampfbereit: „Im Ernstfall kann man nur beten.”

German Of The Day: Bedingt

That means partly. You know, as in “Waffensysteme nur bedingt einsatzbereit” (weapons systems are only partly ready for action)?

Bedingt

Partly ready for action? Isn’t that like being kind of pregnant? Anyway, here are just a few things that don’t seem to be working in the Bundeswehr at the moment (this list changes continually, however – as in keeps getting longer):

Only 39 Of Germany’s 128 Eurofighters were able to get off the ground last year.

Only 26 of the older Tornado fighters were operational.

A full 16 of the 72 CH 53 transport helicopters were working.

Similarly, of the 15 Airbus A400M transport aircraft only three were operational.

One (1) Class 212 A submarine was ready, willing and able.

And of Germany’s 244 Leopard 2 tanks, only 105 were tanked up and ready to go. Tanks for nothing, guys.

But think of it this way: If the potential enemy doesn’t know which one of these war machines is actually working, wouldn’t that confuse the hell out of him? It’s kind of clever if you stop to think about it. So that must surely be why Angela Merkel will be keeping on her Gal Friday Ursula von der Leyen as Germany’s Defense Minister in the next great and grand coalition government coming our way. Girls are more tricky at this kind of stuff. I guess they have to be.

“Eurofighter” bleiben am Boden, U-Boote können nicht tauchen, Militärs zeigen sich genervt: Der Zustandsbericht über die Bundeswehr stellt Verteidigungsministerin von der Leyen erneut ein mieses Zeugnis aus.

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Before you’re out of the picture altogether. The SPD’s “popularity” rating has now dropped to 17%. They used to say anything under 20% for a so-called Volkspartei and you’re dead. Now they’re happy to have even that.

Nahesl

And their fearless leaders are dropping like flies, too. First of all the savior guy from a year ago, Martin Schulz, who has now met his political end. Next, with any luck, the super Sozi Andreas Nahles herself. She has already elected herself to take over for him and be the head of the party, even if it’s only temporary, but the party is so beat up and bleeding and tired of the leadership’s mismanagement that they may just tell her no.

And this would be a shocker. She has the best SPD credentials you can possibly have: She studied for ten or twenty years and has never worked a day in her life. She has had years of experience, however, being head social democrat what’s in charge of redistributing other people’s money and seeing to it that future generations pay for her over-the-top spending. I’d hate to see her go but I’d get over it. That means she would finally have to get a real job and see what it’s like to earn that money herself. Oops. I forgot. As a top dog civil servant her big fat retirement is waiting for her now.

Sie ist zwar keine Partei-Vize, doch der SPD-Vorstand überlegt dennoch, Andrea Nahles kommissarisch den Parteivorsitz zu übergeben. Mehrere Landesverbände lehnen das ab.

Can Somebody Pick Up The German Army In Mali?

I mean, if it’s on your way and not too much of an inconvenience? They want to come home now but their airplane is broken.

Mali

The Bundeswehr, one of NATO’s largest militaries, is now a steady source of news about planes that can’t fly, tanks that break down and troops that admire the Nazis. So what exactly has gone wrong in Germany’s army?

Quite simple, really. These are soldiers who are not allowed to be soldiers in an army that is not allowed to be an army – other than to serve as an excuse for being able to export lots of way cool and expensive military equipment that works fine everywhere else but here. There’s a lack of culture in Germany regarding its military and its responsibility as a partner, in other words.

Insgesamt 89 in Mali eingesetzte deutsche Soldaten warten seit Tagen auf eine Rückflugmöglichkeit aus dem westafrikanischen Krisenstaat in den Heimaturlaub.

Why Are Germany’s Public Broadcasters Raising Their Mandatory Fee?

Because they can.

TV

It will be going up soon enough from 17.50 euros to 21 euros. Whether you even own a TV or not. The excuse this time: They are having trouble cutting costs within the time frame they had promised. There you have it; a state-run monopoly financed with mandatory fees from a public that is never asked if it wants to watch its party line programming or not. I don’t get it, either. How could an institution like that ever have trouble cutting costs?

Bis 2029 sollen die Rundfunkbeiträge von heute 17,50 Euro auf 21 Euro steigen. So jedenfalls wollen es ARD, ZDF und Deutschland-Radio. Und begründen das ausgerechnet damit, ihr Einsparvolumen bis 2024 sonst nicht erreichen zu können.

German Of The Day: Sozialabgaben

That means social welfare contributions. And that comes out to be some 900 billion euros in Germany annually. These are not voluntary contributions either, folks.

Sozialabgaben

This is 29.3 percent of Germany’s GDP. GDP here standing for Grotesque and Deranged Payments, by the way.

Diese Leistungen entsprechen den Angaben zufolge 29,3 Prozent vom Bruttoinlandsprodukt (BIP/2015: 29,2). Nach einer Prognose wird Ende kommender Legislaturperiode die Billionen Grenze überschritten. Die Sozialausgaben werden dann bei 1,1 Billionen Euro liegen.

PS: The word “social” is a code word for “here’s something for free” over here, too. Just in case you were wondering.