Wednesday, June 21, 2017

German News, Thursday Morning

Kohl bad blood scene:  It's been known for several years that after Helmet Kohl remarried....the sons of Helmet didn't exactly feel that happy over the situation.  From two days ago, Focus covered the event when Walter Kohl came to the Kohl house to pay his respects.  The widow didn't open the door and requested the police to send them away.  The memorial service?  It's hard to say if Walter will show up for that.  One might also note that the speaker for the memorial service will end up being Viktor Orban (PM of Hungary), and not a high-ranking member of the CDU.  That in itself says a good bit over inner-relationships between Kohl and the CDU in recent years.

"Miserably little": Focus wrote a piece and quoted a number of news media stories on the Helmet Kohl death.  In their humble opinion, here was one of the most dynamic Germans out of the 1980s and 1990s.....with very little really being said over his career by the news media.  Part of this is in comparison with Schmidt or Brandt passing. I might make the observation that after the secret political slush fund was discovered in the late 1990s....Kohl's 'star' dimmed slightly and some older Germans still remember that particular episode.  But no one over the past week has mentioned this episode at all.

Lesser participants:  Focus put up an article talking over the German TV/media tax.  The gov't reports that almost ten-percent of German residences refused to pay the tax (a growing trend).  It's double what it was three years ago (2014).  Because of the structure of the law, it's difficult to option out of the media tax (even if you don't own a radio or TV, you might still have an internet connection and that hooks you to the monthly tax).  The networks (in charge of collection) have started going to collection-agencies to get their money.  Frankly, it'll just aggravate the public more and trigger confrontations.  Roughly 40-million contributors pay into the public-TV pot.  One might expect this to become a top-three political topic three to five years down the road.

Summer heat:  HR covered what is a yearly topic.....summer heat affect upon autobahn pavement.  Once you have several days of plus-30-C have pavement that 'explodes' and making high-speed driving somewhat risky.

Erdogan denial:  There had been some attempts to go and rent another arena and have more appearances by Turkey's Erdogan.  Well, as WDR reports it.....most of the large hall-structures are saying 'no'.  They are rejecting reservations.  It's anyone's guess how this will go.....maybe an open-air situation and avoid the arenas.

VW moves to next level:  The head of the Bundestag received the final 'truth-commission' report on the VW-diesel affair.  What the opposition parties (Greens and Linke Party) are saying is that 'state-failure' has occurred.  It is true that both the SPD and CDU are limiting negativity talk on the VW-diesel topic.  The general accusation is that stringent oversight of VW should have been done in the previous years, and that the government has failed on that matter.

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