Friday, July 19, 2013

The Week in German News

It's summer and news events are fairly limited.  Journalists are likely on vacation and the political folks are quietly developing their fall strategy.

So for this week?

The Greeks got back into the news.  They are upset over the austerity business, and would like some "relief" (money, is the real word).  The Germans have kinda grinned, and said that they've given out enough relief, and there just won't be much more.  To be honest, with elections only months away.....the German government can't afford to upset German voters much at this point in time.  So this Greek hostility is just a mild event on the German perception of things.

The NSA business?  Well....some journalists are trying to keep it in the public eye and ask more questions.  The average German doesn't have much of an opinion on this.....as far as they are concerned....there's not much you can get out of their emails or telephone conversations.  The more intellectual Germans?  Well....they really don't like this spy business.  Would this disturb the fall election?  Probably not.  On a German's list of the top fifty election topics.....this might actually fall to around number forty.  At some point, some German will point out to the journalists that previous SPD governments were just as much in the NSA bed, as the CDU-CSU folks, and the topic will start to decline a bit.

This Bushido talk in Berlin?  The entertainer is just cruising along, and various political folks are trying to get some traction and legal talk going.  On one side, you have this progressive Muslim rapper guy talking up anti-gay commentary in his rap, and on the other side.....some folks angry that rap might be used in such a public forum and it's just not right.  Again, the average German doesn't know much about Bushido or know any rap songs, or really care.  Other than getting nightly attention, it's a story of zero value.

Germany has quietly agreed to "host" 5,000 Syrian refugees.  The odds of them staying permanently?  Well....it's best not to suggest that.  It's generally out of the kindness of the German government that they offered this deal, and I doubt if they'd ever agree to take anymore.  Where do they settle?  That's a quiet topic that hasn't been mentioned much.  I'm guessing it'll be a more rural community and integration classes will be mentioned fifty times as the Syrians in-process through the system.  If I were a betting man, I'd bet on the bulk of the Syrians staying....for a mighty long time.

Over in Wiesbaden, the locals are getting upset over 'sleep-terror', in referring to the US Army's night training with helicopters.  The mayor has gotten involved, and the court will likely issue some directive.  What makes little sense about this is that the US Army could have located the bulk of their operation down in the Graffenwoehr region, where the low population density would have been more in their favor.  Having the unit deployed up into a high-urban area like Wiesbaden?  It just doesn't make sense.

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