german chancellor angela merkel compared the 3 rounds of voting needed to elect christian wulff as president of germany in terms of the world cup tournament. according to the wall street journal, she said ‘We’ve just had the (unsuccessful) game against Serbia. Now for the (triumphant) game against England.’
Archive for the ‘angela merkel’ Category
since even before angela merkel became chancellor of germany, the german media has always insisted that the so-called princes (governors) of the various states in germany would one day bind together and push her out. but over the past 10 years she has been adept at picking them off one-by-one. with roland koch being the latest victim.
despite having a woman with a PhD in physics as the head of state, the average german girl (aka das maedchen) dreams of becoming a secretary, a sales clerk in department store or a hairdresser.
should this be a headline? nobody else seems to be writing it. guido westerwelle, PhD, the head of the FDP party in germany will form a government with angela merkel’s CDU (which always partners with its sister party the bavaria based CSU party). the government will be a majority minority government, with the parties having won only 48% of the vote.
the FDP is essentially a pro-business, center-right, non-ideological party. which might be why many gay publications or the mainstream international media have not taken notice of him. he’s a pretty low-key guy whose primary focus is cutting taxes and bureaucracy and through that. making germany more business friendly. if all goes as usual, westerwelle will be vice chancellor and possibly also foreign minister of germany.
but what does this election mean? the center-right will form a government, the center-left party, the SPD is out and the election also saw the left party (die linke) led by gregor gysi and oskar lafontaine (aka, red oskar) put in their best showing since their formation in 2005, by soring past the 10% mark. the SPD had its worst showing since world war 2, having lost 11% of their voters since the 2005 election.
edit: we have found one paper, the financial times, which provides more detailed information (in english) about westerwelle.
on sunday, angela merkel announced that the german government is insuring 100% of bank deposits which covers existing and future accounts. formerly, the government only guaranteed 90% of all bank deposits up to 20,000 euros per account. germany is a very liquid country. people are leery of credit cards and shy away from debt. it’s one reason why just under 42% of germans own property. most prefer to rent. as of 2004, the savings rate per household income in germany as a percentage of disposable income was 10.4%. while in the uk, the rate is 6.0 and in the u.s. 4.7.
according to the federal reserve bank of san francisco, “from 1980 through 1994, the U.S. saving rate averaged 8%; thereafter, it fell steeply, and since mid-2000, with allowance made for the tax rebates that boosted household saving in the months of July, August, and September 2001, it has averaged approximately 1%.” while in terms of japan, germany, the u.s. and the uk, “by contrast, the personal saving rates from 1980 through 2001 averaged 13% in Japan, 12% in Germany, and 15% in France, with no steep declines after 1994; in fact, in France, the saving rate rose slightly. For the United Kingdom, the personal saving rate was close to the U.S. rate during the 1980 to 1994 period, averaging 9%, but it has since declined only modestly to an average of 7%.”
which might explain why the german government is more inclined to insure 100% of deposits than other countries.
been working out this concept–this theme, called accelerated media. it used to be, at least in the case of politics, when one trailblazer went down, those standing in the rafters had about 2 – 4 years to take the experiences of the pioneer (both bad and good) and turn it to their own advantage.
now that sarah palin has been picked by john mccain to be the first female on a republican ticket, and quite possibly the first woman vice president of the united states, we see that the republican ticket and palin herself have the luxury of rolling through an endless sea of information on how a woman can or cannot win a national campaign because hillary has already conducted their market research. now they know, frumpy and scary does not work. but kazuo kawasaki designer glasses do. although frumpy does seem to work for angela merkel in germany. but what does this tell us about deutschland?
seems like every german politician wants to get close to barack obama. from head of state, the well-respected yet dowdy angela merkel, to the dour yet popular frank-walter steinmeier, the present foreign minister, to the gay mayor of berlin, klaus wowereit.
barack obama, in his reported quest to speak at the brandenburg gate, where ronald reagan famously demanded, in an alzeheimer induced haze, that gorbi ‘tear down this wall,’ has sparked a diplomatic fight. the mayor of berlin is anxious to one day become the first homosexual chancellor of germany, although one might argue he would be the second, while angela merkel is anxious to win re-election and increase her party’s national standing.
in germany, it’s all about percentages. and right now, steinmeier and wowereit, members of the SPD (social democratic party), have watched their party’s percentage quickly erode over the past 3 years and increasingly so over the last 12 months. the present SPD candidate for president, gesine schwan is currently polling at 17%. a photo op with obama, who 72% of germans apparently like, would be a big boost to the local politicians.
it would make more sense for obama to touch down in london, ireland, and perhaps poland or denmark. all of which are countries involved in the iraq war.
is it that big of a deal? no, not really. but is this the headline barack obama wants to see in kansas city, kansas? or lincoln, nebraska? following the ill advised long-playing interview with his kids malia and sasha obama on access hollywood. well, that’s the headline he just might get, at least in the blogospher, after he touches down in berlin, germany. the mayor, klaus wowereit, who has also in the past extended an official welcome to a controversial international sex festival is anxious to roll out the red carpet for obama as well. perhaps he should speak with jesse jackson about that one. obama would most likely love to be seen with angela merkel, the present head-of-state of the european union’s largest member.
hillary clinton was politically minded enough to blow off the ex-german foreign minister, joschka fischer at a new yorker party last year, so she wouldn’t have to live down being photographed with the ultra-liberal, ex-street fighter who caused a lot of left-wing ruckus in germany in the 70s and 80s and whom some believe helped sew the seeds of anti-americanism in europe.
angela merkel got caught on camera in oslo at the opera dressed more like a bavarian than the former frumpy minister she used to be when she clung to her straight out of east germany, pageboy haircut. but the real question is, why is this a story. is this just a downtime for german rags? isn’t there a war going on somewhere?