Tag Archives: Germany

Germany: Coalition deal leaves Merkel’s fate in hands of Social Democrats

Source: Reuters

“Angela Merkel has survived as German chancellor but the coalition deal she clinched on Friday puts her fate in the hands of her Social Democrat (SPD) partners and risks eroding support from her close allies before the end of her fourth term. Europe’s pre-eminent leader for more than 12 years, Merkel’s star is waning as she pays for her 2015 decision to leave German borders open to over a million refugees, a move that cost her Christian Democrats votes and fueled the rise of the far-right. … Merkel’s immediate destiny now lies in the hands of rank-and-file Social Democrats whose party leaders will ask them on Jan. 21 to back Friday’s deal, a repeat of the grand coalition that governed from 2013 to 2017.” (01/12/18)


Germany: Merkel enters high-stakes talks in last chance to form a government


Source: CNBC

“Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered talks with a rival party in a last-ditch effort to form a coalition government after months of political uncertainty and deadlock in the euro zone’s largest economy. Merkel, the head of a conservative alliance made up of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister-party the Christian Social Union (CSU), will meet with Martin Schulz, the head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), for preliminary talks this week. They are set to discuss whether they can renew a governing coalition that has been in operation in recent years. The SPD had previously refused to enter into another coalition government given that its voters punished it in the last election for its previous alliance. But after coalition talks between Merkel and two other parties failed to find an agreement, the SPD has changed its stance.” (01/08/18)


When Washington assured Russia NATO would not expand

Source: The American Conservative
by Andrew J Bacevich

“By the end of 1989, the issue facing policymakers on both sides of the rapidly vanishing Iron Curtain was not whether reunification should occur, but where a reunited Germany would fit in a radically transformed political landscape. … For Washington, London, and Paris, the solution was obvious: keep the Germans in a warm but firm embrace. Ensuring that a united Germany remained part of NATO would reduce the likelihood of it choosing at some future date to strike an independent course. The challenge facing the Western allies was to persuade Gorbachev to see the wisdom of this proposition. After all, twice within memory, Germany had invaded Russia, inflicting almost unimaginable damage and suffering. That the Soviets might view with trepidation the prospect of a resurgent Germany remaining part of an explicitly anti-Soviet military alliance was not paranoia. It was prudence.” (12/20/17)


Germany: BfV says Chinese are spying on the west via LinkedIn

Source: Newsweek

“China has denied using LinkedIn to infiltrate political and business circles in Germany, following claims from German intelligence services that 10,000 of its citizens were targeted by Chinese spies. The German intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), made the allegations Sunday, suggesting that China was using fake profiles to connect with high-profile politicians and business leaders. The claims follow similar allegations of cyber espionage being undertaken by Russian spy agencies.” (12/11/17)


Germany: SPD to decide on “grand coalition” with Merkel at party convention

Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz apologized for his party’s historically poor election results on Thursday as his party was poised to vote on whether or not to enter into another ‘grand coalition’ with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU). … The SPD is expected to vote later on Thursday whether or not it wants to approach the CDU for preliminary coalition talks. … SPD has been under increasing pressure both domestically — and from European allies — to join the CDU in an effort to avoid fresh elections or a minority government.” (12/07/17)


Germany: Police say Potsdam explosive package not “terrorism”

Source: US News & World Report

“German authorities investigating the delivery of a package containing powerful firecrackers, wires and nails to a pharmacy near a Christmas market in the city of Potsdam said on Sunday it was criminal activity rather than ‘terrorism.’ Karl-Heinz Schroeter, interior minister of the state of Brandenburg where Potsdam is located, told a news conference criminals were behind the package which they had used to try to extort millions of euros from logistics firm DHL, which had delivered the package. Police said it was highly likely that the package could have exploded.” (12/03/17)


German politics: From boring and stable to unpredictable and volatile

Source: Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow

“In Germany, as elsewhere in Europe, the political center is collapsing. Four years ago Germany’s two main parties received nearly two-thirds of the votes. This time they barely gained half. Equally worrisome, ‘responsible’ conservatives no longer define the acceptable right of the German electorate. The AfD has emerged to the Right of the CDU/CSU. So far the populists are not dangerously extreme, but the AfD nevertheless remains a malign force. Yet ignoring and isolating the AfD is unlikely to defeat the movement. Especially if doing so makes it harder for Germany to create a stable government majority.” (11/28/17)


Germany: Merkel aide gives parties three weeks to find way out of crisis

Source: US News & World Report

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-hand man, Peter Altmaier, appealed to political parties on Tuesday to decide in the next three weeks whether they can form a stable government and drag Germany out of a political impasse. The collapse of talks between Merkel’s conservative bloc, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and environmentalist Greens has thrown Germany into political uncertainty and raised the prospect of new elections. It has also cast some doubt over whether Merkel, Europe’s most powerful leader after 12 years in office, will serve a fourth term after her conservatives won the most seats in a Sept. 24 election.” (11/21/17)


Germany: Regime bans kids’ smartwatches that can be used for eavesdropping

Source: TechCrunch

“A German regulator has banned domestic sales of children’s smartwatches that have a listening function — warning that parents have been using the devices to secretly eavesdrop on teachers at their kids’ school. In an announcement on Friday, the Federal Network Agency telecoms watchdog said it had already taken action against some online sellers. The target group for the smartwatches are children between the ages of 5 and 12 years. … The agency has instructed parents to destroy any devices they have bought, and asked schools to be on the look out for smartwatches being used by children — and to request destruction of listening devices they identify.” [editor’s note: Interesting, but the example sees poor to me. If a teacher objects to parents listening in to class, the parents need to get their kids the hell away from that teacher ASAP – TLK] (11/20/17)


Germany: Merkel’s fourth term in doubt after coalition talks collapse


Source: CNBC

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a three-way coalition government that would
secure her a fourth term hit a major setback on Sunday after a would-be coalition partner pulled out of exploratory talks, citing irreconcilable differences. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) unexpectedly walked out of the talks with Merkel’s conservatives and the Greens, saying that the three parties could not find compromises on key issues like immigration and the environment. Merkel could seek to form a minority government with the Greens, or new elections will be called.” (11/19/17)