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Tag Archives: Germany

Danke, Bayern!

Diese Wahl war eine der wichtigsten in der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik. Denn das, was die CSU den Wählerinnen und Wählern da zur Abstimmung vorgelegt hat, stellte nicht mehr und nicht weniger dar als den Abschied von wesentlichen Grundprinzipien unserer Demokratie.

Diese Partei hatte zwischenzeitlich das hetzerische Vokabular der AfD übernommen und damit den humanitären Minimalkonsens dieses Landes verlassen, sie hat mit dem Kreuzerlass die christliche Religion zum Instrument im Wahlkampf herabgewürdigt und damit die Trennung von Staat und Kirche aufgeweicht. Sie hat die Stabilität ihrer eigenen absoluten Mehrheit mit der Stabilität der Demokratie gleichgesetzt, sie hat in Gestalt von Horst Seehofer beim Masterplan Migration Staat und Partei in eins gesetzt und das eigene Mandat auf Zeit als hoheitliche Ermächtigung verstanden, sich über die im Grundgesetz verankerte Richtlinienkompetenz der Kanzlerin hinwegzusetzen.

https://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2018-10/landtagswahl-bayern-csu-gruene-konservatismus

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Posted by on October 23, 2018 in European Union

 

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Anarchy in the GDR

Burning Down the Haus, a new book by journalist Tim Mohr, details how a small group of East German teens kick-started a movement that contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The 1970s were oppressive years in the German Democratic Republic; there was no space, literal or philosophical, to live outside the system, let alone criticize it. Upon hearing The Clash and the Sex Pistols via forbidden British military-radio broadcasts, a handful of young people began to embrace the punk mentality, dressing differently, and shaking the foundations upon which authority had been built. And despite the best efforts of the East German secret police, aka the Stasi, the movement grew throughout the 1980s, as punks developed their own little world, disconnected from society. Punk was the soundtrack to the million-person demonstration on November 4, 1989. A few days later, the Wall came down.

https://www.thenation.com/article/anarchy-in-the-gdr/

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2018 in Reportages

 

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Germany’s crisis means uncertainty for Europe. But it won’t be fatal

The collapse of Germany’s coalition talks is the latest shock to hit Europe. No one saw it coming. Of course the blow is of a different nature from the banking crisis, the war in Ukraine, the refugee crisis, Brexit, Trump, Poland and Hungary’s democratic backsliding, or Catalan secessionism. Germany’s politics look upended but the fundamentals are still in place: the postwar democratic set-up is hardly under threat. Still, this is rattling stuff. Europe’s powerhouse is in unknown political territory at a time when so much remains unresolved across the continent. And Germany’s political uncertainty means yet more uncertainty for the EU. Yet doomsayers shouldn’t assume that this crisis has to be fatal.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/21/germany-political-crisis-uncertainty-europe-macron

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in European Union

 

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The End of the End of History

Sometimes we in the West forget that our view of the world is just one among many that are possible. And that neither our understanding of human rights nor our adherence to liberal democracy are attractive across the globe. Is the Western way of life morally superior? And even if it were, is it the most constructive or effective way of organizing human societies?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-coalition-talks-against-backdrop-of-history-a-1179807.html

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in European Union

 

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AfD im Bundestag – Heulen ändert nichts

Der Wahlsonntag zeigt: Es war und ist nicht damit getan, dass ein Bundespräsident – es war vor 32 Jahren Richard von Weizsäcker – den Tag des Endes des Zweiten Weltkriegs zum “Tag der Befreiung” erklärt. Die Befreiung von der Gesinnung, die vor achtzig Jahren in die Katastrophe geführt hat, ist nicht Aufgabe eines Tages, sondern Daueraufgabe. Sie ist ein Auftrag, kein Ritual. Und der Befreiungsauftrag darf nicht, wie das die AfD tut, umgedeutet werden in eine Befreiung von der Befreiung.Der Einzug der AfD als drittstärkste Kraft in den Bundestag ist ein historischer Rückschritt für die deutsche Gesellschaft. Sie kommt nach Auszählung aller Wahlkreise auf 12,6 Prozent. Bitter für die demokratische Kultur; ein Schlag gegen Artikel 1 Grundgesetz, der die Würde aller Menschen schützt, auch die der Flüchtlinge. Gewiss: Die große Mehrheit der Wähler steht anderswo, hat nicht AfD gewählt. Gleichwohl sind die AfD-Stimmen eine Niederlage für die Zivilität des Gemeinwesens.

Source: AfD im Bundestag – Heulen ändert nichts – Politik – Süddeutsche.de

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in European Union

 

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Who’s the world’s leading eco-vandal? It’s Angela Merkel

Which living person has done most to destroy the natural world and the future wellbeing of humanity? Donald Trump will soon be the correct answer, when the full force of his havoc has been felt. But for now I would place another name in the frame: Angela Merkel.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/19/world-leading-eco-vandal-angela-merkel-german-environmental

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2017 in European Union

 

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Germany Must Abandon Its Military Reluctance and Lead

We wanted to leave as soon as we heard the news. But back in that now impossibly distant era of fuel shortages, pointless regulations and bad roads, it was not so easy to drive a car from Warsaw to Berlin. By the time we arrived, it was the night of Nov. 10, 1989 — or rather, very early on the morning of the 11th. East Berlin was dark, lit only by eerie, orangey streetlights, and mostly silent. Without a map, we drove straight to the city center, through Checkpoint Charlie — the guard let us through, against the rules, after we shouted at him: “The Wall’s open, who cares about the rules?” — and arrived at the Brandenburg Gate.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in European Union

 

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Germany’s Russian gas pipeline smells funny to America

LIKE vinyl records and popped collars, rows between the United States and Europe over Russian energy are making a comeback. In the early 1980s Ronald Reagan’s attempts to thwart a Soviet pipeline that would bring Siberian gas to Europe irritated the West Germans and drove the French to proclaim the end of the transatlantic alliance. The cast of characters has shifted a little today, but many of the arguments are the same. In Nord Stream 2 (NS2), a proposed Russian gas pipeline, Germany sees a respectable project that will cut energy costs and lock in secure supplies. American politicians (and the ex-communist countries of eastern Europe) detect a Kremlin plot to deepen Europe’s addiction to cheap Russian gas. They decry German spinelessness.
http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21723822-angela-merkel-says-nord-stream-2-no-ones-business-germanys-germanys-russian-gas-pipeline

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in European Union

 

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Of productivity in France and in Germany

At the start of 2017, with the elections in France in the Spring and then in Germany in the Autumn, it may prove useful to return to one of the fundamental issues which plagues discussion at European level, that is the alleged economic asymmetry between Germany with its reputation as prosperous and France which is described as on the decline. I use the term ‘alleged’ because, as we shall see, the level of productivity of the German and French economies – as measured in terms of GDP per hour worked, which is by far most relevant indicator of economic performance – is almost identical. Furthermore it is at the highest world level, demonstrating incidentally that the European social model has a bright future, despite what the Brexiters and Trumpers of every hue might think. This will also enable me to return to several of the issues addressed in this blog in 2016 (in particular concerning the long European recession and the reconstruction of Europe) as well as in my December 2016 article « Basic income or fair wage?« .Let’s start with the most striking fact. If we calculate the average labour productivity by dividing the GDP (the Gross Domestic Product, that is the total value of goods and services produced in a country in one year) by the total number of hours worked (by both salaried and non-salaried employees), we then find that France is at practically the same level as the United States and Germany, with an average productivity of approximately 55 Euros per hour worked in 2015, or more than 25% higher than the United Kingdom or Italy (roughly 42 Euros) and almost three times higher than in 1970 (less than the equivalent of 20 Euros in 2015; all figures are expressed in purchasing power parity and in 2015 Euros, that is after taking into account inflation and price levels in the different countries).

Source: Of productivity in France and in Germany | Le blog de Thomas Piketty

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in European Union

 

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Trump as Nero: Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President

There are times in life that really do count. Times when a person’s character is revealed, when the important is separated from the unimportant. Soon decisions are taken that will determine the further path a person takes. With some, this can be tragic, and the moment comes too soon in their youth at a time when they aren’t mature enough yet to foresee all the potential consequences. They make the decisions cheerfully and they lead to either luck or bad luck. But countries and governments are seldom as innocent when it comes to their decisions.

Source: Trump as Nero: Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President – SPIEGEL ONLINE – International

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Europe, North America

 

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