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Grand Coalition Is A Grand Illusion

by hesk Wed Aug 10th, 2005 at 06:23:45 AM EST

Recent polls suggest that the Germans currently favor a grand coalition.  Deutsche Welle, a German news outlet akin to BBC World, has an opinion piece where the author argues that this is not such a great idea.

Germany's Collective Self-Delusion

"Grand coalition" is a phrase that sounds promising, productive and harmonious for many Germans, who still remember the time between 1966 and 1969, when the first and only alliance of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats ruled the country on the national level.

[...]

Back then, the grand coalition laid the foundation for Germany's societal liberalization, which was later completed by the coalition government of Social Democrats and Free Democrats that followed it. Black-red initiated a new policy approach towards the Eastern bloc and made first steps towards modernizing the country's system of government.

Unfortunately, we're not in the 60s anymore and the situation is very different now.  I'm not one who likes to sound pessimistic about Germany's future, but there are serious problems that need to be addressed: the high unemployment rate, the gap in the pension system and the fact, that we borrow more and more money to satisfy our budget.

More on the flip.

Read more... (20 comments, 939 words in story)

German Media: Yellow Press Buys TV Channel

by hesk Sat Aug 6th, 2005 at 04:15:21 PM EST

The BBC among others is reporting that the German newspaper group Axel Springer AG is buying Germany's largest TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG.

Springer buys top German TV firm

ProSiebenSat.1 is changing hands for the second time in three years. German newspaper group Axel Springer has agreed a complex takeover of the country's biggest TV broadcaster, worth 2.47bn euros ($3bn; £1.71bn).

Buying ProSiebenSat.1 Media will lift Axel Springer into second place in Germany's media market, behind TV and publishing giant Bertelsmann.

The deal will also give Axel Springer more clout with advertisers.

This move has prompted wide-spread criticism in Germany. Unfortunately, I haven't found it mentioned in the English press, so I'll document it below the flip.

Read more... (5 comments, 1105 words in story)

7/21 London Bombing Suspect Arrested

by hesk Wed Jul 27th, 2005 at 05:41:16 PM EST

The BBC reports that one of the named suspects in the aborted London bombing on July 21 has been arrested.

Tube bomb suspect held by police

Yasin Hassan Omar is being questioned in London over the failed July 21 attacks after his arrest in Birmingham, police have confirmed.

More on the flip

Read more... (209 words in story)

German Elections: Parliament dissolved, Election Campaigns In Full Swing

by hesk Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 07:54:40 AM EST

As has been widely expected, German President Köhler dissolved the Bundestag (German parliament) yesterday and scheduled early elections to take place on September 18, 2005.

At least two Members of the Bundestag and some smaller parties have announced that they will sue before the highest court in the next week alleging that early elections are unconstitutional.  However, in the current political climate it is very unlikely that they will be successful -- all major political parties support early elections as do 78% of the population.

While the election campaigns have been on the back-burner since May 22, yesterday's decision has officially kicked off the campaigns.  

Read more... (12 comments, 619 words in story)

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