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Germany Watch Thread

Germany Angela Merkel European Union Austerity Neo-Nazi Christian Democrat Social Democratic Party

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#21
Sciencerocks

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Big win for human rights! Now let us hope we can stop the slide backwards here in America.


To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#22
Yuli Ban

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U.S. no longer a 'friend' in Merkel election program

In their campaign program for the German election, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives have dropped the term "friend" in describing the relationship with the United States.
 
Four years ago, the joint program of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), referred to the United States as Germany's "most important friend" outside of Europe.
 
The 2013 program also described the "friendship" with Washington as a "cornerstone" of Germany's international relations and talked about strengthening transatlantic economic ties through the removal of trade barriers.
 
But the words "friend" and "friendship" are missing from the latest election program - entitled "For a Germany in which we live well and happily" - which Merkel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer presented on Monday ahead of a Sept. 24 election.
 
Instead, the United States is described as Germany's "most important partner" outside of Europe. CDU officials were not immediately available to comment on the change in wording.


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Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#23
caltrek

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Germany's Federal Crime Office says it has Panama Papers

 

http://www.msn.com/e...ID=ansmsnnews11

 

Introduction:

 

Germany's Federal Crime Office(BKA) said on Tuesday it had obtained a copy of the leaked data known as the Panama Papers that last year revealed how offshore firms are used to stash the wealth of the world's rich and powerful.

 

Some 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were leaked to a German newspaper in 2016 and reports were published in cooperation with the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

 

"These data are being looked into and evaluated with Hesse state's tax authorities to pursue criminal and fiscal offences," the BKA said in a joint statement with Hesse's finance ministry and the public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt.

 

The BKA declined to comment when asked whether it was in possession of all the data revealed in the Panama leaks.

 

Bild newspaper had earlier reported that the BKA had purchased the Panama Papers. The BKA declined to comment on that report.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#24
caltrek

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Celebrating Roma: New Cultural and Arts Center Opens in Germany

 

https://nonprofitqua...-opens-germany/

 

Introduction:

 

After hundreds of years living in Europe with no country to call their own, the Romani people have won a small piece of territory: the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) in Berlin. Thanks to funding from a coalition that includes the Council of Europe and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the institute will open in September, celebrating Romani history and culture.

 

The institute’s mission falls in line with Soros’ earlier recommendations to support the Roma, which NPQ reported, including, “Ensure that the Roma who do get a good education ‘don’t forget where they came from’ and ‘embrace their heritage and retain their identity.’” In a letter on the Open Society Foundations page, Soros and Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, explained why they support the formation of a Roma cultural institution.

 

“First, it would have the power to educate, chipping away at the negative stereotypes which still pervade across the continent,” they wrote. “Second, a fully fledged European Roma Institute would, we believe, become a powerful source of self-esteem. It would act as an important symbol—and symbols are important, as is the ability to tell one’s story in one’s own voice.”

 

The museum will feature the work of visual artists, thinkers, and performers. “What made us carry on is the basic proposition that a story of who we are should be told by us—that the power of defining who we are lies in our own hands. Today this proposition is the founding principle of the ERIAC ,” said Zeljko Jovanovic, chairman of the board.

 

The Roma, or Romani, people, now estimated at 12 million strong, have been in Europe for centuries, living as nomadic and often stigmatized people. “Every year, across Europe, thousands of Roma are forced from their homes—left homeless or relocated to camps or informal settlements with no heating, water or sanitation,” reports Amnesty International.

dancers.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#25
Yuli Ban

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German states send more police to Hamburg as G20 violence escalates

Fires burned across downtown Hamburg on Friday evening for the second day of clashes between anti-capitalist protesters and police while leaders of the world's 20 most powerful countries listened to Beethoven's 9th Symphony and dined in style.
Police said at least 196 officers were injured in the clashes, with 83 protesters temporarily detained at the scene and 19 taken into custody.
Protesters torched cars and lorries, looted retail stores, lit off firecrackers and blasted music from Jimi Hendrix in a vain bid to drown out the classical music playing at the Elbphilarmonie concert hall across the Elbe River.
Reinforcements poured in from across Germany but police were unable to prevent thousands of protesters from fanning out across the northern port city.
The protests marred a gathering that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had hoped would demonstrate her country's unshakeable commitment to freedom of speech and assembly.


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#26
Yuli Ban

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Germany made more than €1bn out of Greek crisis

Between its loans to Athens and its debt buying programmes, Germany has cashed in to the tune of €1.34bn since the beginning of the Greek crisis. EURACTIV’s partner La Tribune reports.
Germany’s finance ministry has published details of the profits it has made on loans to Greece: €1.34bn since 2009, according to reports by German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
A dig into the detail revealed that the German development bank KfW has taken some €393m in interest payments on a loan of €15.2bn that it made to Athens in 2010. Between 2010 and 2012, a state debt-buying scheme by the eurozone’s central banks brought the Bundesbank a profit of €952m.
The other eurozone members had agreed to hand any profits back to the Greek central bank. But the pay-back operation was brought to a halt in 2015 for political reasons, according to French paper Les Echos, particularly because of tensions between Alexis Tsipras’ freshly elected government and the Troika.


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#27
Yuli Ban

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New Russia Sanctions 'Illegal' Says Germany, Urging Europe to Retaliate Against U.S.

Speaking to a German newspaper group in an interview published Monday, Germany’s Minister for Economics and Energy Brigitte Zypries said that “we see [the sanctions] as being against international law, plain and simple,” The Local reported.
“The Americans can’t punish German companies because they have business interests in another country,” Zypries said.
Zypries added that the EU should consider countermeasures in retaliation. Germany had, she said, repeatedly asked Washington not to move away from common anti-Russia sanctions policy.
“Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are doing. That means that it is right that the European Commission now considers countermeasures...Europe is ready to adopt short-term countermeasures in other parts of the world, too,” Zypries warned.


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#28
Yuli Ban

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Intelligence Report: Saudi, Gulf Monarchies Support Al Qaeda and ISIS In Europe To Destabilize Germany

German news outlets are reporting that support for fundamentalist Salafi groups in the country has increased, indicating that there are at least 10,000 adherents to the strict Islamic doctrine in the northern European country. Berlin’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), are pointing the blame at Gulf counties who they accuse of funding religious groups, mosques, conversion groups and hardline imams. A report drafted by the agencies noted that missionary groups including the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association and the Saudi Muslim World League were also a part of a "long-running strategy to exert influence" by Gulf nations. The report also named the Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), an NGO banned by Moscow and Washington for alleged ties to Al-Qaeda. The Belfast Telegraph quoted the report, saying the named organizations are "closely connected with government offices in their home countries."

About as well kept of a secret as Israel's nukes.


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#29
BasilBerylium

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#30
tierbook

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Intelligence Report: Saudi, Gulf Monarchies Support Al Qaeda and ISIS In Europe To Destabilize Germany

German news outlets are reporting that support for fundamentalist Salafi groups in the country has increased, indicating that there are at least 10,000 adherents to the strict Islamic doctrine in the northern European country. Berlin’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), are pointing the blame at Gulf counties who they accuse of funding religious groups, mosques, conversion groups and hardline imams. A report drafted by the agencies noted that missionary groups including the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association and the Saudi Muslim World League were also a part of a "long-running strategy to exert influence" by Gulf nations. The report also named the Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), an NGO banned by Moscow and Washington for alleged ties to Al-Qaeda. The Belfast Telegraph quoted the report, saying the named organizations are "closely connected with government offices in their home countries."

About as well kept of a secret as Israel's nukes.

 

I'm still confused as to how the US giving Israel nukes isn't incredibly well known it wasn't exactly a secret.....



#31
rennerpetey

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Polls dip for Merkel weeks before election

 

 

 

 

She will still probably win, but you never know


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Pope Francis said that atheists are still eligible to go to heaven, to return the favor, atheists said that popes are still eligible to go into a void of nothingness.


#32
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Germany achieves near record budget surplus of €18.3bn

Germany achieved a near record budget surplus of €18.3bn (£16.8bn) in the first half of 2017, according to government figures released on Friday.
The timing of the figures could not be better for Angela Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term as chancellor in elections next month.
The surplus is the second largest Germany has recorded since reunification in 1990. The country recorded an even bigger surplus of  €28.8bn in the second half of 2000, but that was boosted by a government windall from the sale of mobile phone licenses.
By contrast, the surplus for the first half of 2017 was fuelled by higher tax revenues than expected, as the German economy continues perform strongly.


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#33
caltrek

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German Foreign Minister Says European Unity Key to Future

 

https://www.courthou...ity-key-future/

 

Introduction:

 

PARIS (AP) — Germany’s foreign minister said Wednesday that Europe must stand together if it wants to stay relevant as its population shrinks, the U.S. focuses more on Asia, and China’s influence expands.

 

Sigmar Gabriel warned against retreating into survival-of-the-fittest nationalism and urged a more vigorous European role on the world stage — especially important as Britain’s pending exit from the European Union threatens the bloc’s international standing and future viability.

 

Gabriel picked a symbolic place for Wednesday’s appeal: the center of Paris, where he attended a French Cabinet meeting and stood with his French counterpart to try to reinvigorate European unity in an address to a gathering of French ambassadors.

 

“If our children or grandchildren want to have a voice in the world … it will be a common European voice,” said Gabriel, a Social Democrat who also serves as Germany’s vice chancellor.

 

In future crises, Europe may not always be able to “wait on the U.S. and Russian foreign ministers to come up with a road map” and then see that translated into a cease-fire, he said.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#34
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Last 10 days before the election...
 

Germany Is About to Choose a Leader. Here's the Situation

Germans will head to the polls on Sept. 24, following a year of dramatic elections in Europe. The NetherlandsFrance, and Britain all held big, noisy votes that underscored the political volatility now infusing politics across the European Union. The German vote is effectively a referendum on Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is running for a fourth term. It is also critical because of Germany’s role as the economic and political leader of the Continent.
What follows is a guide to New York Times coverage of Ms. Merkel, Germany and Europe that can help you catch up on the election and the issues that have been roiling the region.


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#35
Mike the average

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How politics should be. A boring battle which takes place around centrist politics.

Play on Angela Merkel. Longest serving leader in the west.
'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#36
caltrek

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Asylum Policy Crucial in German Election

 

http://worldpress.or...n-election.ashx

 

Introduction:

 

COLOGNE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel adopted a mantra when citizens questioned her decision to open the country to refugees fleeing wars: “We’ll manage.” She kept repeating it as the lines at immigration offices circled city blocks, school gyms turned into temporary housing and the questions devolved into angry criticism.But as Merkel campaigns for a fourth term, the German obsession with “Ordnung” (order) looks to have been assuaged. Most of the 890,000 asylum-seekers who entered Germany two years ago are in language and job training courses. Students are again playing sports in the gyms. Rejected asylum applicants are being deported.

 

A national election Sunday could show how well voters think Merkel’s government managed the refugee influx.

 

For the chancellor and her Christian Democrats, the signs are promising. The far-right Alternative for Germany party has struggled to make immigration a major election issue. While the party is expected to win seats in parliament for the first time, the support it drew when thousands of newcomers were arriving daily has fallen along with the number of migrants trying to enter the country.

 

At the same time, Merkel has changed her rhetoric. Along with working to streamline and improve services for new arrivals, she now emphasizes that migrants not deserving asylum will be sent home and that other European nations need to share the work of assisting eligible refugees.

 

“Merkel’s government started a highly risky maneuver with its policy of the absolute opening of the borders,” University of Heidelberg political scientist Manfred Schmidt said. “It led to a loss of control which was interpreted as a big, big problem by the people. However, the politicians realized themselves that they had a huge problem and started facing the issues.”

642893_img650x420_img650x420_crop.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#37
caltrek

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There is Meddling in Germany's Election - by U.S. Right Wing

 

https://www.usatoday...wing/676142001/

 

Extract:

 

An alliance of mostly anonymous online trolls and extremist agitators are meddling in Germany's election, but researchers say Russians aren’t to blame.

 

Instead, they say, right-wing groups in the United States are behind materials popping up on YouTube, messaging board sites like 4chan and reddit and texting service Gab.ai.

 

The evidence comes less than a week before Sunday's vote that is likely to hand German Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term. 

 

"So far we have not been able to track down any specific Russian activity," said Simon Hegelich," a professor of political science data at the Technical University of Munich who has advised the German government about the threat of hacking and false information.  

 

Hegelich said proving connections among sympathizers is difficult and may never be conclusive. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#38
caltrek

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Who Are Germany's Far-Right AfD?

 

http://www.aljazeera...1080912611.html

 

Introduction:

 

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party looks set to become the first far right nationalist movement to enter the German parliament since the second world war.

Projected to win up to 12 percent of the vote during Germany's federal election on September 24, the AfD may gain as many as 50 of the Bundestag's 598 seats.

Dependent on their own, and others', results, they could even become the main party of opposition.

If recent polls are correct, and Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) combine with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), led by Martin Schulz, to form another grand coalition in this parliament, the AfD will become the leading non-government force in the Bundestag.

Such an outcome would signal a rising force in German politics, though not a new one

2013919152945925734_20.jpg

Alternative for Germany (AfD) could become the lead opposition if Chancellor Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz join forces in a coalition after Sunday's German elections

[Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#39
caltrek

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Schulz Fails to Make Headway Against Chancellor Merkel

 

http://www.aljazeera...0074421315.html

 

Introduction:

 

With just a few days to go before what is expected to be a comfortable victory for German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Sunday's elections, her main contender on the left is facing mounting criticism for his campaign.

 

Martin Schulz, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate, is stuck in polls of about 20 percent support, seemingly unable to make any headway against the CDU's Merkel.

 

"He is an extremely accoplished politician," Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from Karlsruhe, said, referring to Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament.

 

"And yet, at a time when many Germans are unsure about Angela Merkel, he has made precisely no progress against her."

 

Some supporters of the SPD have pointed out that there is little to distinguish their party leader from Merkel.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#40
caltrek

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Merkel Re-Elected as Right Wing Enters Parliament

 

http://www.spiegel.d...-a-1169587.html

 

 

Introduction:

 

For the past several months, it was clear that the German election wasn't going to be much of a cliffhanger. And that expectation was met in spades on Sunday as the first projections emerged soon after the polls closed at 6 p.m., with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives easily outpacing the center-left Social Democrats as the country's strongest party. The result will send Merkel to her fourth term in the Chancellery.

 

Nevertheless, Sunday's vote marks a significant shift in German politics, with initial projections showing the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party winning over 13 percent of the vote, thus becoming the first overtly right-wing party to win seats in the country's federal parliament in over half a century. The result slightly outpaces the most recent public polling data -- and is a far cry from the 7 percent the AfD had been polling at as recently as mid-summer -- and it means the party will send close to 90 deputies to the Bundestag, Germany's parliament.

 

Those deputies are almost certain to change the debate culture of the Bundestag. Lawmakers like Alexander Gauland, who has repeatedly made headlines for his racist comments targeting blacks and Turks, and Jens Maier, an extreme right-wing historical revisionist, will almost certainly ratchet up the rhetoric in what has long been a relatively staid if stodgy plenary. One of the key things to watch as the next parliament begins its work will be how the other parties choose to react.

 

An Historical Loss

 

The Social Democrats (SPD), meanwhile, appear to have fallen to their worst result since World War II, with initial projections indicating that under 21 percent of voters have cast ballots for the party. The result is particularly disappointing due to the party having been led in the campaign by Martin Schulz, the former president of European Parliament who is well-liked in the country, if not widely seen as inspiring. When Schulz initially announced his candidacy in January, the SPD immediately shot up in the polls, pulling almost even with Merkel's conservatives. But Sunday's result, if it holds, is even lower than the 23 percent the party won in 2009.

 

After polls closed on Sunday, Schulz ruled out a continuation of the grand coalition and said it was a "bitter day" for Social Democrats in Germany. He also said that he would like to continue on as head of the party and lead the SPD into opposition in the Bundestag. Regarding the AfD's result, he said: "It is a turning point and no democrat can simply ignore it."

 

 

The biggest problem emerging for Merkel here is the indication by the Social Democrats that they no longer want to be a part of the coalition governing the country.  I wonder if this will force Merkel to give them more of a role in her cabinet to entice them to change their mind?

 

Alternatively, as is pointed out in the linked article, she could make a coalition with the FDP and Green parties.  She would need both to clear the 50% threshold.  She has ruled out a coalition with the AfD party. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Germany, Angela Merkel, European Union, Austerity, Neo-Nazi, Christian Democrat, Social Democratic Party

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