Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Top Ten National Issues of Germany?

With the national election about fifteen months away.....this is my general list, in no order, of the public's top ten issues.  Note, political folks may come and go....with various fake agenda items and try to reset the public frustrations, but this 2017 election will reflect some hostility and anger from the German public.

- Crime.  Murder and assault are remarkably down....compared to two decades ago.  Robbery and theft....are way up.  Lack of action by the NRW state legal apparatus in convictions from the New Year's Eve sexual assaults are apparent and will make some from the region frustrated with safety.

- German-Turks, with dual nationality.  It was all positive in 2014 when this dual nationality thing went into effect.  People are asking questions now and see the pro-Erdogan Turks in Germany as a future problem.

- The TV-media-tax.  There's talk of it going up after 2020.  Generally, if you are under the age of 30.....you watch little to no state-run TV.  It's getting harder and harder to convince the younger generation to go along and pay the 17.50 Euro a month on the TV tax.

- Asylum, immigration and migrants.  On average, for well over 20 years.....Germany handled 250,000 incoming folks a year and few complaints.  The 450,000 from 2014 and 1.1 million from 2015....started some friction with the public.  Limited audience believes jobs exist.  Most Germans think that welfare and support costs will be a burden for the state.  A lot less for 2016 (may end up being in the 300,000 range).  A small number of Germans think the Basic Law (the Constitution)....ought to be rewritten in some way....to lessen the right to immigration.

- Integration failures.  If you ask a hundred Germans.....probably around 60-percent will say that integration has not been a success story.  State-run news has tried to tell a positive story.  Mixed reviews.

- Islam.  Basically, after you throw the Burkas, Sharia law talk, radicals, terrorism, and pro-Erdogan Mosque operations into the center of discussion.....there's a hefty number of Germans who just aren't happy about the topics in the discussion.  None of the political parties really want to talk over this and its's the AfD that seems to be ones sitting at the table who have some opinion.

- Solidarity Tax.  It's supposed to end in 2019.  The public wants it to end on schedule.  You can't find any of the parties currently in the Bundestag who want it to end.  No matter how you shuffle this around.....the billions are a part of the German budget that can't easily be dismissed.  It's been sued for two decades for rebuilding DDR (the eastern side of the country) and had a time limit built into it.

- Retirement age.  There's actually talk of making the national retirement age 69.  You can imagine the hostility brewing over that idea.

- Germany-Turkey relations.  You have the asylum deal in the balance, with the fake coup deal from Turkey, and a difficult relationship with Erdogan.  Most every German has an opinion now, and it's going against Erdogan.

- Increasing health insurance cost.  There's talk of expanded costs being passed down to the consumer in several different ways.  Some political folks think that the Germans at the lower end of the pay-scale should not be forced to pay, and that the wealthy should be a more hefty amount.  None of this will sit well in a public debate.

Those are my ten.  Note.....I don't see how a Trump administration really does much negative or positive for Germany, but I'm sure some German political idiot will invent a crisis and make this near the top three issues of the German election in 2017.  Oddly, BREXIT ought to be talked about.....along with the US trade agreement on the table.  And you can figure that right-wing results from various elections prior to the 2017 German election.....will enter the topics sooner or later. Nuke power?  For thirty years, it was always the big bad negative to drag into an election.....now? Almost a non-topic because it's dissolving as a energy source in Germany.

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