View Full Version : Is there hope for Germany?

23rd May 2005, 23:04
Something was repudiated in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia state election.

Was it the 12 % unemployment rate?

The America-bashing strategy of the Social Dem/Greens?

Was it anti-capitalism?

Was it the EU?

Was it socialism in general?

Schroeder looks pretty weak, the Christian Democrats look pretty strong.

24th May 2005, 00:54
Ay lad, its so, so sad.:(

I well remember't good owld days, when we were treated to nightly lectures on't BBC by German politicians and economists - telling us what was wrong with the British economy, the British Volk, the British culture and so on. Geordie construction workers, fleeced of their savings by the dastrdly T Dan Smith, flocked to Germany to replenish their beer funds with Deutsche Marks. 'Twere hard to swallow, that bitter pill - but they were right, we learned our lesson and dragged ourselves out of the mire.

So, do we have enough German speaking politicians and economists to give them a taste of their own medicine? Or are they doomed to accept help from America's "World Bank"?

24th May 2005, 02:28
Is the end of 'Auf Wiedersehen, Pet' ?

tom de luxe
24th May 2005, 06:11
Lots of Germans around here (migrant workers escaping a failed economy :E ), and from what they tell me, that Schroder guy must have some kind of death wish. Looks like he can't control (let alone motivate) his own party, never mind the country as a whole, so he's been looking for a really high bridge to jump down from. ("Der Spiegel" online edition came up with the headline "We're afraid of death, let's commit suicide", which the Germans I spoke to assure me sums it all up really.)

On the other hand, I have rarely heard a politician saying that he would rather have early elections - which he is more than likely to lose, and by a margin - than having the country "lose another year" (i.e. until autumn 2006, when general elections were due anyway). Quite statesmanlike, really.:ok:

24th May 2005, 09:46
Is there hope for Germany?

In a word... I'm afraid, no!

The problem is:
Schroeder's SPD is really bad.
And Frau Merkel's CDU is (and will remain, after they (probably) win the next federal election in autum)) even worse.

24th May 2005, 09:48
I wouldn't quite equate Germany with France and the "failed" socialist system there. This is more the result of a decision to swop 1 Ostmark for 1 Westmark when the country reunited - West Germans now see this in hindsight as a very stupid move, and are sick of paying reunification taxes since then. Whoever wins the elections will still have to live with this.

24th May 2005, 13:55
Most of the Germans and the Unions (Gewerkschaften) think they still live in a Wirtschatfswunder. This has long been gone since the Vereinigung. Again where a single statesman's (Kohl) vision can cripple a whole Nation and employees, Unions and Germany Inc hold eachother in a deathly embrace not facing the ugly truth and accepting a less high standard of living.

Schröder's move for new elections is very clever, now the opposition has to take position which may hurt them...

24th May 2005, 15:06
So what happens now? How about this predictable pattern?

Merkel, the neo-Iron Lady, sweeps to power, tames the unions, lowers taxes, revitalizes the economy, and a new German juggernaut emerges to economically dominate the EU.

24th May 2005, 17:10
I don't think that Andrea Merkel compares favourably with Lady Thatcher as an iron lady. Bear in mind that the political mindset in Germany centres around where the LibDems are in Britain (that is, further to the Left of Labour).

This is a country where I had to obtain permission from the Betriebsrat to work on a Sunday - as a contractor! Where they fine you for not taking the dole! Where they fined a hairdresser for working at night!

It is a great pity that the integration of the East has not been more successful. So many of the ungrateful so-and-sos vote PDS it's quite the joke that the reunification funds should be spent on bricks and barbed wire.


24th May 2005, 20:13

As the Two Ronnies would say!

Even the people in Tarrifa see a declining market and have increased the prices of basic food and drink to the ones that remain.

25th May 2005, 07:53
So what happens now? How about this predictable pattern? If I knew I would be the next Bundeskanzler...

Fact is that Germany did not have a Maggie Tatcher who dealt with the Unions to get the Nation going or a Dutch "Wassenaar Concensus". Still too much old fashioned Left and Right, unlike current New Labor of Tony Blair.

Buster Hyman
25th May 2005, 08:12
Well, if they could get Beckenbaur(?) out of retirement & bolster their defence, then yes, I think there's hope.

25th May 2005, 10:36
Capt.KAOS makes an interesting point about old-fashioned right and left. If you take Ireland as an example, there really is no left vote there - never has been, as both majority parties are centre-right. The government in Ireland for many years has also been a coalition with a smaller very right-leaning party (and I mean right, as opposed to the racist ignoramuses that you can find in the rest of Europe). This is highly unusual in the EU - the vast majority of the countries have left or left-leaning governments, some of who are now just about starting to wake up and smell the coffee and see the state of their economies. Equally, in the UK, the supposed leftist Labour party in power has stolen the Conservative Party's right-wing clothes, and their economy is doing quite well. In fact, the real problem for Ireland at the minute is that as part of the Eurozone, the economy is being damaged badly by the very low interest rates dictated by the sick main EU countries economies.

I'm not slagging off socialism, or suggesting it's a failed experiment, but there is something wrong with the EU economy at the minute, and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to see some of the obvious reasons for it - someone said long ago that too much of something is a bad thing, and some more centrist policies wouldn't do any harm in the EU at the minute!

25th May 2005, 21:24
Perhaps if they annex the Sudetenland, and then... :ooh:

Onan the Clumsy
25th May 2005, 21:28
I think they should bring in a socialist system, but nationally, not just regionally. :E

tony draper
25th May 2005, 21:58
Germans should go back to being Germans,Frenchmen go back to being Frenchmen Dutchmen go back to being Dutchmen ect ect, instead of this daft European thingy,IMHO.
We might just see the begining of that this Sunday, if our French chums do the right thing.

henry crun
25th May 2005, 22:12
That is a naughty suggestion Onan :)

West Coast
25th May 2005, 22:22
"Perhaps if they annex the Sudetenland, and then..."

While a smart ass comment, it should be viewed within some historical context, looking for parallels. Not perhaps the politics, but the smoke screen value.