Archive for the ‘germany’ Category

what’s happened to ireland

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

the country has an unemployment rate of 14%, while far lower than the 20% in spain, it’s seemingly struggling a bit more. in 2009, christopher caldwell, who alternately contributes to the financial times and the weekly standard, wrote a lengthy piece on the new irish troubles that still englightens.

prior to the big bust of 2008–the one no one dares refers to as a depression, almost 80% of people in ireland owned their own houses (or apartments–we here choose never to refer to an apartment as a house).

now germany, and presumably france, who unwillingly lined up to assist greece last spring by forking over 20B a piece–about 250 per taxpaper’s head just in time to usher in the summer, are about to open their pocket books again. –pocket books. antiquated word. we know.

now, santa has approached these countries once again, in search of a handout. presumably the netherlands and the other eu countries will chip in –minus the other places whose populations gorged themselves on apartments and houses they couldn’t afford and placed all their financial aid in construction (a thinly veiled reference to spain and portugal.)

cameron advocates turkey joining the eu

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

unlike germany’s chancellor, angela merkel or france’s president, nicholas sarkozy. cameron is pro-turkey, when it comes to the country joining the european union. considering that the country is growing at an annual rate of 7% per year (unlike germany, france, or currently the uk), one would think that the common market would welcome a country that is self-sustaining and is not in dire need of tens of billions of euros to bail out its bank and government. but is this postering? or is cameron really trying to move the tory party closer to the center so that he can one day rule independently of the liberal dems?

angela merkel uses football metaphors

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

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.’

german government wants to control the price of drugs

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

no, not street drugs, but those produced and sold by pharmaceutical companies. if we at a blog about whatever were socialists or commies, we’d say go for it, that’s a good thing. but perhaps these needs a more nuanced view than that. basically, if the german government were to push through the proposed legislation to control prices on patented drugs wouldn’t this be considered constraint of trade? normally such terms are applied to monopolists in anti-trust lawsuits. but could this term also be applied to a government or a government agency?

angela merkel and the cdu party she leads, are intent on putting a cap on the price of drugs in the germany market. and let’s say germany successfully passes its legislation. now what? well, we think that big pharma will say ‘screw you. we won’t sell our patented drugs in your market.’ because if big pharma were to agree to let the government set the ceiling on prices, then why can’t every one else? the whole snowball could end up decreasing the monster profits of the pharmaceutical companies, minimize the benefits of their patents, and decrease the motivation for companies to invest in the pricey process of research and development to invent new drugs and to create new diseases so that they can create new drugs so that they can market and sell them to the german government.

UPDATE: now we hear that the reason the government has proposed setting prices on drugs is because pharmaceutical companies (allegedly) charge neighboring countries such as denmark and sweden far lower prices for drugs (no, not those kinda drugs!) than they do germany.