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Wulff gone

by DoDo Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:20:35 AM EST

German President Resigns: Wulff Announces He Will Step Down - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Following the announcement by prosecutors that they would seek to lift his immunity, German President Christian Wulff announced Friday morning he would resign as the country's head of state. The development follows weeks of reporting on allegations the president accepted favors during his tenure as governor of the state of Lower-Saxony. Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her "deep regret" over the resignation.

The announcement of the prosecutors was finally a reason for the Social Democrats, too, to call for Wullf's resignation. For the first month of the scandal, see Wulff thrown to the wolves; more allegations of gifts and help for 'friends' who gave gifts followed.

So now Germany has a domestic politics issue to focus on for some time (indeed Merkel cancelled her trip to Italy to meet PM Monti). Whether the resignation of the second Federal President chosen by Merkel will hurt her, will depend on who she chooses next, I guess.


Display:
A quick drive-by diary; I'm writing another.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:18:18 AM EST
I guess there's going to be giggling over the coffee in a number of EU capitals this morning.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:21:11 AM EST
To lose one president, Frau Merkel, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two ...
by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 06:31:06 AM EST
shame on you.

Fool me twice...

Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 07:12:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From Wulff to Wilde.
by rifek on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There will be a CDU/FDP/SPD/Grüne common candidate.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 08:55:40 AM EST
It narrows the comedy options considerably.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only if they will agree on a candidate; they could fail after all.

But I think there will be agreement and in less then thirty days there will be a new president.

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:14:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
those 30 days should be enough time to get Seehofer indicted.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:24:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But fathering bastards is not a crime anymore.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:26:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you sure he has never been bribed? After all he does hold an office. We should look into it.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You just want to discriminate against the bavarian culture. Bavarian politicians are obligated to have affairs and to be involved in (financial) affairs.

So no cultural imperialism, please!

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:37:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When we make colonies out of Greece and Portugal, because they can no longer be trusted to vote, we mustn't forget Bavaria: they could never be trusted to vote.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:53:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least they pay for Bremen.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:56:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After being on the receiving end of Länderfinanzausgleich for 32 years, remember. These lazy Bavarians exploited the north and industrialised themselves and now they've got to pay. Unfortunately we didn't demand they dismantle their late-feudal system in exchange for our money.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:04:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems contempt for idleness runs north to south in Europe (I certainly noticed it when I live in Germany.).  Are the folks in Svalbard the ones who ultimately get to pee on the rest of the continent on this issue?
by rifek on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they are idle, the polarbears eat them. Or so I have heard.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 04:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And being one never has been.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:28:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I say Joschka Fischer.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:06:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
was my first thought too, but for some reason he doesn't seem to be in the running.

Th stern, for example has a list:

http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/kandidaten-fuer-die-wulff-nachfolge-wer-soll-bundespraesiden t-werden-1788056.html

1. Gauck
2.Lammert

  1. Schäuble
  2. von der Leyen
  3. Klaus Töpfer

and so on. Of course that is just guessing too.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:10:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just personally, Schäuble's my best guess; Lammert never occurred to me, but he's plausible too.

OTOH, Merkel's probably still pissed off over the Gauck nomination last time, von der Leyen still has a political future and everyone's forgotten who Klaus Töpfer was.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:33:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Disagree about Töpfer. The idea is to have someone who is uncontroversial because they are not deep in party politics. Töpfer could probably manage that.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:38:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually I think Töpfer is quite plausible and he would have done it last time, if Merkel had agreed. He is the oldest of the candidates under discussion, though.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:40:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Better to have your appointee die in office than to have to resign due to scandal. Merkel could have a parade of octogenarians putting in final acts, if she could find ones that wouldn't embarrass.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:56:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about de Maizière? He was in the game a month ago.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:46:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still in the game.

As things develop, we will have results on sunday or so.

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:52:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD wouldn't like that. It would be a signal saying the next coalition is black/green...
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:10:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
then it's an exceedingly poor way to select a head of state.

But we already knew that...

Schaüble for fuck's sake?? Or is this another Schaüble I don't know about?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:13:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that Schäuble, he was already serious in the running once. On the other hand Merkel needs him as minister.

 "If it's all about party politics
 then it's an exceedingly poor way to select a head of state."

Yes. Could never happen in other countries.

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:17:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In most countries (I'm open to counter-examples) a president is expected to be above the fray of party politics. If picking a sitting minister is a serious possibility, then it's clearly not a consideration in Germany.

And I have no idea why the SPD or Grünen would contribute to electing a CDU partisan.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]

In most countries (I'm open to counter-examples) a president is expected to be above the fray of party politics. If picking a sitting minister is a serious possibility, then it's clearly not a consideration in Germany

We would expect them to switch to presidential mode the moment they are elected. If they don't manage that, we could try to force them to resign. By the way, all our presidents with only one exception were catastrophes.

And I have no idea why the SPD or Grünen would contribute to electing a CDU partisan

Because they can't dream of a majority without Die Linke. And a coalition with Die Linke is impossible because all members of that party are dirty and stink, and are stalinists, and eat babies for breakfast. So, Greens OR SPD can form a coalition with the CDU but not with each other.

by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:46:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, all our presidents with only one exception were catastrophes.

That would be Heinemann?

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:50:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:06:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What about Richard von Weizsäcker?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:33:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Weizsäcker is a typical representative of his generation that never knew anything, for instance what his regiment did in Russia. He didn't know. Later he didn't know that the US made Agent Orange from the chemicals he sold them.  
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 12:21:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like his father, Nazi, Reich Foreign Secretary before becoming ambassador to the Vatican, who said at his trial he didn't know Jews were being killed at Auschwitz. Richard von W, then a law student, was assistant counsel to his father at that trial.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I don't blame anyone for what their parents did, and I don't blame defence counsels for doing their job.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:24:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that Richard von W was defending his own father and associating with him in the supposed ignorance of what happened to Jews deported to the East.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was a law student and defending his own father. Nothing wrong with that. He associated with his father in regard to the father's guilt. Well, it was his father. This did not make the son guilty (though probably naïve). I blame Richard v.W. for his intentional amnesia concerning his own role in the holocaust and the cruelties against Russians.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:54:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I see it as also associated with his father's amnesia. Not that it changes the case.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:57:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't you see a difference between not wishing to believe in the guilt of a loved one and shirking responsibility for own deeds?
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand the difference, but in this case I suggest there might be a link.

On the other hand, I have no idea if the amnesia of both father and son was a deliberate ploy, or a shared state of denial.

When I say it makes no difference to the case, I meant the case whether Richard von W should be president again. He shouldn't (quite apart from his advanced age).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:49:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"In most countries (I'm open to counter-examples) a president is expected to be above the fray of party politics. "

In most countries a president is picked put of a number of party politicians with a long political career. It is true that the politician is then supposed to be able to rise about party politics.

"If picking a sitting minister is a serious possibility, then it's clearly not a consideration in Germany."

Mostly partisan alingment and fitness to act as above parties are both taken into consideration. Scheel did go directly from minister to president, Weizsäcker from state prime minister to president. Others like Rau had some time without office, but that is not considered as necessary.

 "And I have no idea why the SPD or Grünen would contribute to electing a CDU partisan."

Because they have no majority of their own in the assembly electing the president.

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:48:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:18:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Schäuble or von der Leyen can do much less damage as president than as ministers.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
at least von der Leyen can still dream of make it to chancellor.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:26:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
God forbid
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:33:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"It's all about coalition politics" would be more like it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:59:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If she wants it, she will get it: Margot Käßmann, former bishop of the church in Hannover, Germany.

2 years to go !
by pi (etrib@opsec.eu) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're not referring to Ms. Sobriety, are you?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 04:32:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the comedy options there will hopefully be Georg Schramm (creator of the political cabaret Neues aus der Anstalt). The Greens are too serious people to nominate him, the Left Party possesses too little humour. There will be two Pirate Party delegates in the Bundesversammlung, though...
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:34:01 AM EST



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 12:59:22 PM EST
they just said the coalition (CDU/CSU/FDP) is talking among themselves just now and hopes to present SPD and greens with one or two candidates on the weekend.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:15:56 PM EST
My hasty projection that everything would be over be the weekend turns out to be wrong. Several candidates have said no and real talks between opposition and governing coalition will only start next week, after the start of lent.
by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 01:01:02 PM EST
Yeah, and Otto Rehhagel signed with Hertha, so he can't be both König and Präsident.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it was quick in the end: SDP/CDU/FDP/Grüne will vote for Joachim Gauck.
by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:24:36 PM EST
Yeah, a staunch neoliberal. And racist, who supports Sarrazin. And hater of freedom, who supports data retention. I despair.
by Katrin on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not a CDU party hack; and he hasn't suggested ending democracy in Greece.

On the other hand, if he makes racist statements after his election, that would be amusing.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 06:03:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WENDIGER PASTOR: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Gauck -- Der Freitag necessarily PASTOR: Goodbye, Mr. Gauck% u2014 The Friday
Hauptmann Terpe schloss den Operativen Vorgang, nachdem die Stasi zu Gauck ein "gutes Verhältnis" hergestellt und seine Bereitschaft zur weiteren engen Mitarbeit festgestellt hatte. Der MfS-Hauptmann schlug vor, einen IM-Vorlauf über Gauck anzulegen. Dazu stellt der § 1 (Grundsätze) der 1. Durchführungsbestimmung zur erwähnten Richtlinie Nr. 1/79 fest: Personen, die als IM-Kandidaten ausgewählt werden, sind IM-Vorläufe. Pastor Gauck, der sich als Widerständler und Bürgerrechtler feiern lässt, ein IM-Kandidat der Stasi!Hauptmann Terpe closed the operating procedure according to which the Stasi initiated a "good relationship" to Gauck and found him willing to continue close cooperation. The Stasi captain proposed the creation of an IM-Vorlauf. [According to regulations] Persons who are selected as candidates for informal cooperation are IM-Vorläufe. Pastor Gauck, celebrating himself as a resistance fighter and civil rights activist, was an IM candidate of the Stasi!
by generic on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 08:27:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Going completely off-topic: is there any chance you could write a short diary on the Ball der Burschenschafter affair and the award not given to Strache (in particular how the Faymann government first got to nominate him for the award)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:04:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know next to nothing about the whole affair, but the award in question is routinely granted for 10 years service in Parliament.

See:Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich - Wikipedia

Leitende Beamte eines Ministeriums (z.B. Sektionschef) bzw. einer Landesregierung (z.B. Landesamtsdirektor) werden meist mit dem Großen Goldenen oder Silbernen Ehrenzeichen mit dem Stern sowie mit dem Großen Goldenen oder Silbernen Ehrenzeichen ausgezeichnet. Üblich ist es, an Abgeordnete zum Nationalrat nach zehnjähriger Amtszeit das Große Goldene Ehrenzeichen zu vergeben, auch an Nicht-Beamte werden solche Dekorationen verliehen, so erhielt z. B. der Architekt Hans Hollein zum 75. Geburtstag das Große Goldene Ehrenzeichen.

The demonstrators were somewhat successful at disrupting the guests arrival and the opening commenced with an hours delay.
Apparently Strache had to voice his feelings of victimization by declaring "We are the new Jews" and comparing the actions of the protesters to the Reichskristallnacht.

That caused one of the periodic bouts of outrage over FPÖ leaders belittling NAZI crimes and led to the Bundespresident canceling the award.

by generic on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And now there is yet another Strache scandal: his Facebook page hosted a paper by a far-right think-tank with discredited numbers about how much money a refugee family in Austria receives.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 01:42:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A (repeated) nitpick, but neoliberals aren't the only anti-anti-capitalists.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:17:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but this bugger fits the description well. And we have a saying here: "Put all of them into the same sack and beat it".
by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:30:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think he fits the description well at all. None of his arguments go back to love of the free market, all of them go back and explicitly reference a classic conservative interpretation of features of former East Germany.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:34:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He finds the occupy movement simply silly because for him opposition against the rule of the free market is the same as opposition against the force of gravity or so.
by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:40:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he finds it stupid because he thinks people ignore that East Germany had publicly owned banks and that that didn't function well either. Which is a stupid argument itself on so many levels (false dichotomy and the lack of speculation and financial crashes in East Germany being two of them), but not neoliberalism.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If your interpretation is right, no he is not. I am interpreting his attitude differently, but I believe you don't object to the idea with the sack, right?
by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 05:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mmmmph, thinking about it, I think more differentiated attacks would be more in place, because Gauck the evangelical pastor would deserve to be attacked for not emphasizing and contradicting the social message of the New Testament, and his GDR palallels need to be trashed. The sack you put the likes of Merz or Niebel into would deserve a different treatment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:09:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sometimes one can exaggerate all that differentiation.

Misik has an interesting piece today that chimes with your observation of Gauck being a pastor who disregards the social message of the New Testament (I agree). Misik says that it is hysterical to claim Gauck was a Sarrazin fan, but that he was peculiarly indifferent to the injury Sarrazin caused to Germans with foreign roots. I think this indifference is an important facet of Gauck's character.

by Katrin on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 03:58:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's also not so keen on some aspects of the Old Testament either, in particular the bit about adultery. Norbert Geis of the CSU has already expressed some reservations on that account, while Klaus Ernst of the Linke said
"Was für eine mittelalterliche Debatte! Es gibt viel, was gegen Gauck als Präsident spricht, seine Lebensverhältnisse gehören nicht dazu."
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 02:24:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's quite a problem for the Bavarians and it reminds them that there is no longer confessional and regional balance. The CDU used to take pains to observe this balance.
by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD's morning show grilled CSU secretary Alexander Dobrindt over this, it was fun to see how he justifies alternatives to the sacral marriage, holds back criticism for lack of Bavarian and Catholic influence, and of the FDP. (BTW I realised that I have seen Dobrindt in so many reports but this was the first time I saw his 1950s glasses... what a phony.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:42:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IOW here is a man who for a decade supposedly had the job of coming to terms with the past but never mentally got beyond the GDR.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:41:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For once the leaders of the SPD (who publicly declared that they launch a candidate of their own if Merkel tries her usual trick of claiming to want a 'consensus candidate' but then presenting them with one already agreed upon by the coalition) and the FDP (who pre-empted Merkel's Black-Green coalition poker by declaring support for Gauck) out-manoeuvred Merkel. It's a shame they did so for such a crap candidate, but the writing was on the wall (no way a serious do-gooder would have passed all three of the coalition parties, and even the Greens prefer the cheap points of crowing about Merkel accepting their top-of-the-polls candidate from two years ago to a critical look at Gauck's comments on Sarrazin, the Occupy movement, and data retention in the past two years).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:16:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a hard-hitting op-ed on taz from the pen of Deniz Yücel (who came to (in)fame with his Bild-spoofing World Cup commentary in 2010), which not only trashes Gauck's eighties-nineties record and lists a lot more objectionable offerings from Gauck, but criticises the public attitudes towards people from outside party politics (who paradoxically get away with much more than party politicians) and argues that consensus is actually a sign of a problem.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:27:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried to track down the context of some of the more egregious Gauck quotes in Yücel's piece. I found that the one on the over-emphasis of the Holocaust was indeed out of context, but the context, a speech in 2006, doesn't help Gauck at all. Altough the general thrust of his argument is one I made too (namely that arguing over the uniqueness of the Holocaust can bar discussion of the non-unique social trends that led to it and which have to be battled today too), the paragraph containing that passage is not really about the Holcaust but about dissing atheists. His 'thesis' is that the Holocaust is an ersatz God for secular people who are longing for the missing Absolute. So I must say Yücel was right, the SPD and Greens should have known in 2010 already that Gauck is a reactionary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:54:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly, they should have known that. In 2010 this wasn't debated, but it is now: a good sign.
by Katrin on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 03:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised at the vehemence of the Gauck-promoting media in defending the candidate. For example, the SPIEGEL article on Sarrazin's praise for Gauck doesn't omit the quoting of the saving grace parts in Gauck's 2010 interview with SZ (see downthread) – and none of the problematic parts or those exposing him for mouthing off uninformed.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, some criticism gets through – see SZ op-ed by Francziska Augstein, which disses Gauck's recent book and stresses that he enjoys the image of East German civil rights fighter without merit.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:55:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There you see how polarising he already is. And it's only starting! There is a lot of time until 18th March.  
by Katrin on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:28:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now if only the on-line Gauck shitstorm would be followed by an on-line shitstorm over the Merkel and Schäuble (and Bild and and and) lies regarding Greece.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:45:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow! Yücel was attacked for citing the passage on the Holocaust out of context, but he strikes back with another op-ed that quotes and analyes the wider context and takes Gauck's actual words to pieces well beyond what I wrote.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 04:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The FDP blocked all not Gauck candidates. Or we would have got someone like Töpfer.
by IM on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 08:56:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD really needs to learn how to stop participating in the kind of farce faux-negotiations that lets an extremist joke party like the FDP pick the candidate for prominent positions.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:17:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To contradict both of you a bit, if I remember correctly, SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel declared that Gauck is the SPD's favourite before the FDP turned on Merkel.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 01:37:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then the SPD needs to stop backing embarrassments and reactionaries that might as well have been picked unilaterally by the FDP.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 05:31:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What this tells us is that the SPD is still primarily concerned with not being seen with those dirty communists.
by generic on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 07:39:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly
by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 08:16:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To lift an enlightening comment of Katrin's from the Salon:

Katrin:

On the federal level: well, so far Merkel has not resigned. The next government will be a grand coalition or black and green, I think. We won't be rid of the CDU and the opposition is no opposition, because they think of their chances of a coalition with the CDU. This is why nobody attacks Merkel.

This was after I noted that with the current federal polls FDP would be out, Piraten would be in, SDP+Greens would not gain a mayority, which apparently makes the coalition list:

  1. CDU+Greens
  2. CDU+SDP
  3. nothing

As both Piraten and Linke are considered uncoalitionable.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:07:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As both Piraten and Linke are considered uncoalitionable

If we want dynamic in the system, this is the only point where to start. Piraten and Linke must become coalitionable, but not in the way the Greens managed that. The SPD must move, not  Die Linke (or Piraten).

by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:20:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Pirates are sailing very much in deep fog, so it hard to reach their position. There is the persistent rumour they don't know their themselves...
by IM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:32:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they must grow up quickly, or else they will be gone.
by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How hard is the demand for mayority government? With Swedish rules we would see a minority SDP+Greens government making deals on a case-by-case basis, being free to seek support on the right or the left.

But then in Sweden a government is elected if the chairman of parliament proposes it and no mayority is formed against and the budget is passed if it is the most popular budget proposal. So the rules are very tolerant of minority governments.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 10:36:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Impossible. Our rules don't favour it either: governments often need majorities. Die Linke has occasionally tried it on state level: promised to elect a minority government if some conditions are met, but without forming a coalition. Even that is too close contact for the SPD. Nobody can accuse them of cuddling with commies.
by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 11:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is the red-green minority government in NRW. But even on the stat level minority governments are rare. And there you only need to elect a government and pass a budget. (Not a lot legislative power left on the state level). But even here the political culture doesn't favor minority governments.

On the federal level apart from the political culture the rules makes governing without a absolute majority of the seats much more difficult.

by IM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 11:14:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You probably need a party system with steadily more than five parties for minority government culture to develop.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:27:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. But we can be reasonably sure that if the CDU had said not, they would have accepted Töpfer. Or Huber etc.

The FDP then enforced for whatever reasons Gauck and SPD and greens could hardly go back. Even if the wanted.

At the press conference Özdemir underlined the imprtance of integration (of immigrants) for the next president. A little reservatio mentalis here.

by IM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:00:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The FDP then enforced for whatever reasons Gauck and SPD and greens could hardly go back.

Not that the SPD wanted to go back. Short-time tactical benefit and all.

Protokoll des Machtkampfs - Rösler bleibt standhaft - Politik - sueddeutsche.de

n einer SPD-Schaltkonferenz gegen 17 Uhr war die Stimmung dagegen umso besser. Die Sozialdemokraten beschlossen, am Kandidaten Gauck festzuhalten. Sollte die Koalition sehen, wie sie ihre Probleme löste.

Entweder die FDP fiele wieder um, dann würde man eben weiter verhandeln. Oder aber die Liberalen blieben hart, dann stünde die Kanzlerin alleine da. Würde sie es hinnehmen, dass SPD, Grüne und FDP Gauck zum Bundespräsidenten machten? Einen Koalitionsbruch konnte sie dafür jedenfalls nicht riskieren.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 10:37:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. Now there's a No Gauck! on Twitter. And as reaction, newspaper articles analysing Gauck1s past comments like the one on Süddeutsche, which claims that Gauck's comments on Sarrazin and data retention weren't all that clear-cut and the rest had various motivations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:53:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beautiful attempts to explain away what Gauck said! And they don't mention Gauck's complaint about evil communists who accepted the Oder-Neiße-line as Polish-German border.  

The Bundespräsident's job description says he mustn't polarise. This one certainly will. And he must be able to receive foreign presidents without everyone feeling embarassed. The next Polish visit will be interesting!  

by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, did the SPD and Greens propose him deliberately to hurt Merkel?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, and that both in 2010 and 2012, but I don't think that they thought as far into the future as Gauck turning problematic once in office.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:12:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Will it be problematic for them or just for Merkel?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:18:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they vote for him they must own him, I guess. Merkel could even suggest that the candidate was forced on her...

OTOH not all hope is lost, candidates can grow into the office. At least a little. Say Wulff certainly did one good thing I didn't expect him to do with his exlamation on Islam now belonging to Germany. Though he squandered it all...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel is in this case the one who resisted longest. But it depends mostly on what he does when in office.
by IM on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:02:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At first they thought he was just a candidate to hurt Merkel with. In 2010 Gauck's views weren't embarassing for either of them, they were the dead norm of all serious people (only stalinist baby-eaters, aka Die Linke had a problem with him, but they don't count).

This has cracked a tiny bit. I don't think SPD and Greens would have nominated him today, at least not without controversy, but he was already nominated. I hope this nomination will some day falling back on their feet.

by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope not under circumstances that only benefit the CDU and/or Bild.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:29:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking the issue of the expellees may be the most contentious. After all, foreign relations are within the purview of the President, if only as a representative of the state.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unlikely, if it's for Gauck's views.
by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:32:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Tactical short-term thinking.
by IM on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 08:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well at least SZ accepts that criticism for praising Agenda 2010, even with the argument that Gauck did it with the aim to advocate long-term policies vs. short-term policies rather than for the abolition of the social state, has merit... My view is that, even if all of these quibbles are right (and I don't completely accept them at least in the Sarrazin case), they would show Gauck as a crap communicator who shall produce bloopers in series just like Köhler, and thus become the polariser you speak of whether he intends it or not.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:05:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
And they don't mention Gauck's complaint about evil communists who accepted the Oder-Neiße-line as Polish-German border.  

The Bundespräsident's job description says he mustn't polarise.

Sounds like he'll be Poles apart from the eastern neighbours :\

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 03:43:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The date of the Federal assembly is set, by the way: 18th March.
by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:52:31 PM EST
So web activists have one month to sway public opinion (and with that the electors of the currently supportive parties). Also, in the party sphere, the only-the-communists-hate-him rhetoric will have difficulties due to the Pirate Party, which is opposed due to Gauck's apparent support for data retention. Although I'm still not particularly optimistic, they already seem to have an effect at the Greens: left-wing leading voice Hans-Christian Ströbele, former East German civil rights activist Friedrich Schorlemmer and federal parliamentary faction speaker on integration issues, Memet Kilic each criticised Gauck and indicated votes against. Ströbele in particular called on Gauck to explain himself over the three main bones of contention, which, if Gauck does answer, is an opportunity for more bloopers.

In the Sarrazin affair, Gauck would have a way to spin his past idiotic comments in a positive way in reply to Ströbele, would he have the courage to come out against Sarrazin today. His second 2010 interview on Sarrazin, the one in SZ, consists of a lot of bullshitting (including an admission that he never read and indications that he didn't knew the details of Sarrazin's book, and was just mouthing off). But, in the middle of it, Gauck not only added a vague criticism for Sarrazin's attempt to explain the problem of integration "with a single biological key" (that after having been told about the biologisation by the interviewer), but relativised his repeated praise for Sarrazin's "courage" with the following ominous sentence:

Nicht mutig ist er, wenn er genau wusste, einen Punkt zu benennen, bei dem er sehr viel Zustimmung bekommen wird.He is not courageous if he knew exactly that he is making a point for which he will get much support.

Well, with all the media support drummed up for Gauck in face of the web criticism, I see the above sentence applying to Gauck himself...

More widely, I see Sarrazin, Gauck, to some extent zu Googleberg, and the new Sarrazin of German-language climate change deniers, RWE manager (and SPD member...) Fritz Vahrenholt, as a line of fake rebels against common wisdom, who in reality are intellectually lazy members of the elite attacking not the powers-that-be but the weakest parts of society. They are the heroes of the Westerwelle generation (who now dominate mainstream media), in their nihilistic generational revolt against the soixante-huitards.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:06:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in the party sphere, the only-the-communists-hate-him rhetoric will have difficulties due to the Pirate Party, which is opposed due to Gauck's apparent support for data retention

Things get interesting: several Left Party leaders indicated that they are willing to support the candidate of the Pirates, comedian (or should I translate it as "cabaret artist"?) Georg Schramm.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the Greens are just finding out that Gauck favours nuclear power...

Georg Schramm would be exactly the president we need. Satire is dead.

by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 08:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He also had words about Stuttgart 21, Trittin was grilled by taz about that.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Atomic power or not is important but raising S21 into the rank of dogma - I don't know.
by IM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:45:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who makes S21 a dogma? Gauck's words about S21 were to diss the protests as an outbreak of NIMBYism resp. an expression of a German tendency for hysteria and fear. That after lauding the protests as public participation in democratic decisionmaking a few months earlier.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 10:18:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
S21 opponents, of course. At least the hard core. It is in the end just a railway station after all.
by IM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 10:22:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We were talking about the Greens and Gauck before. Do you not find his S21 comments objectionable, at least from the viewpoint of Greens, who do have public participation in decisionmaking as a dogma?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 10:35:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be more relevant if he opposed the referendum. But of course the S21 opponents not only wanted more public participation they also wanted to end the project. So a deflection to the general principle of public participation is obscuring the concrete question a bit.
Wondering why exactly opposition against S21 is that important should only be mildly disagreeable to the greens. And after all the greens in BW from Kretschmann down have now made their peace with the project too.
by IM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 11:05:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You managed to not comment on what Gauck said again, so I do so myself.

  • The charge of hysteria and fear may apply to some hardcore protesters, but tarring all of them is way off, and such reactions aren't a German speciality at all.
  • The charge of NIMBYism however is completely off; this would apply more to the protests against various sections of the Karlsruhe-Basel four-tracking project.
  • The reason the Gauck of 16 October 2011 (that's six weeks before the referendum) forgot that the Gauck of 30 December 2010 was for "citizens rising from their couches to participate in the democratic decision-making" likely had to do with the more conservative audience of the Die Zeit event he attended.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So in other words he did not oppose citizen participation, contrary to your claim.
by IM on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 10:24:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I did comment on what he said. Is it only a comment now if I share your opinion exactly? Like citizen participation is only participation with the desired result?
by IM on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 10:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You just put words in my mouth. And you were not commenting Gauck's pre-referendum words, you are channeling the SPD's post-referendum opinions and debating post-referendum S21 opponents.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 12:05:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And then you go on to put words in my mouth. I did nothing of that sort.

And you didn't say much about what he actually said either, instead generously speculating about his motives.

by IM on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 12:13:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least you did generalize skepticism of S21 opposition to a general negative attitude on democratic participation. And that was. I think, not warranted. And in the fragments I could find, he did not oppose the referendum. And that is important in the S21 context, whatever any others actors think about it.
by IM on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 12:18:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S21 is much more than a railway station: a corruption case, an example how decisions must not be made, and arrogance against the citizens who were furious. Besides it is the CDU giving their own conservative clientele away. And a railway station, yes, but this is unimportant.
by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 11:15:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also a real estate business (all the connecting tracks will be torn up too) and thus a city development issue, also four long connecting tunnels under the city, and also a major change for hundreds of thousands of commuters.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 02:57:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I summed up the first three items as "corruption case".
by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:02:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coalition struggle about the president leaves partners bruised

The power struggle between the liberal FDP and Angela Merkel's christian democrats has massively angered CDU and the Bavarian sister party, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. According to the paper the chancellor threatened at one point on Sunday afternoon to break up the caolition if FDP party chairman Philipp Rösler did not give up backing Joachim Gauck, who eventually got the job. But Gauck had received the backing of the entire FDP party leadership to be tough because it was seen as neccessary to confront the Christian Democrats in order to rebuild the credibility the party has lost since the elections 2009. Butt the Bavarian prime minister Horst Seehofer and Volker Kauder, the CDU's chief whip, both warned that there would be payback time for the liberals  and at the next conflict they would force their solution on them.

(e-mail)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 03:28:05 AM EST
Angela Merkel 'bitterly opposed' Joachim Gauck appointment | World news | guardian.co.uk
MPs admit Merkel only agreed to back presidency candidate - who is a friend - to avert political fight within her government
 Joachim Gauck and Angela Merkel - despite their East German upbringings and friendship, the chancellor did not want to appoint the 'Stasi hunter' as the next president. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

The German chancellor Angela Merkel was bitterly opposed to the appointment of "Stasi hunter" Joachim Gauck to become the next president of Germany - even though the two are friends, having both grown up under the same communist dictatorship, it has emerged.

Members of Merkel's own government admitted on Monday that she only agreed to Gauck's candidacy in order to stop her government from collapsing, after coming under huge pressure from her young vice chancellor, Philipp Rösler, also the head of the Free Democrats (FDP), the junior party in her coalition.

Michael Kretschmer, an MP from Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, spoke of a "massive breach of trust" by the FDP that would have serious consequences for future co-operation. Bavarian finance minister Markus Söder of the CSU, Bavarian sister party to the CDU, accused the FDP of "extortion".

Gauck, a 72-year-old former pastor and human rights activist from East Germany who was instrumental in both the fall of the Berlin Wall and allowing members of the public to read their own secret police files, was unveiled as the joint presidential candidate by the German government and the two main opposition parties on Sunday evening.

His appointment means the two top jobs in Germany will soon belong to East Germans - a development state television ZDF described as "almost a political miracle" just 21 years after the country's painful reunification.

Rösler's determination for the government to propose Gauck was described on Monday as a rare "triumph" for the 38-year-old, who has been viewed as largely toothless since taking over as FDP boss in May last year.

Some commentators thought the affair left Merkel isolated. Christoph Schwennicke on Spiegel Online said the chancellor had suffered a "complete and utter failure" which amounted to "the biggest defeat of her time in office".

"The trust between the Soviet Union and United States during the darkest days of the cold war was greater than the trust between the CDU/CSU and the FDP right now," said Cem Özdemir, joint leader of the Green party.

"They were caught off guard when we came out for Gauck," a senior FDP source told Reuters.

"Merkel and others warned about 'consequences', which we all understood to mean a threat to end the coalition [and call new elections]."

Merkel's opposition to Gauck's appointment was "pure power politics", said Almut Möller from the German Council on Foreign Relations.

By accepting him, Merkel was acknowledging that she made a serious mistake in June 2010 by not giving him the job - instead pushing through a more obscure candidate, then state governor Christian Wulff, who on Friday resigned over a corruption scandal.

"Having to accept Gauck this time around is such an obvious defeat for her," said Möller, "and that matters to her. Because she is so elegant she is usually not portrayed that way, but power politics are very important to her."

I never really realised, but she is one sick puppy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 03:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean? This was entirely in character.

In her career this defeat indeed only compares to the coup against her before the 2002 elections, when she survived as CDU chairman by accepting CSU leader Stoiber as chancellor candidate. However, just because of that precedent, I wouldn't bury her, she is still the reckless power tactician who'll come out on top from every crisis. This weekend decision to accept Gauck also means that the issue will be out of the news cycle in a week, without much effect on public opinion. And I think any problems with Gauck will come back to haunt the FDP, the SPD and the Greens (especially if they make as twisted attempts at defending him as former environment minister Jürgen Trittin did in an interview with taz.)

BTW, an [ET Moderation Technologyô] reminder: please keep quotes from off-site articles short (see rules in the NUG).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, she also knows when to fold. And in few weeks all this will be forgotten.

I don't understand the FDP, using such force about a insignificant matter. But a party in panic is difficult to understand.

by IM on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:07:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope they make Schäuble viceroy of Greece.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 03:47:41 AM EST
He's already been shot once. I don't think he's particularly eager to repeat that experience. Particularly since the Greeks are less likely to miss.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:41:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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