Monday, June 19, 2017

German News, Tuesday Morning

SPD new tax policy:  Schulz came out yesterday with the new plan on tax relief for the public.  Basically, the solidarity tax....which must end in 2019....would go, but you'd have a new tax just on the wealthy of Germany.  Roughly, for those who make over 250,000 Euro a'd have to pay 48-percent of your income toward the government.  The end of the solidarity tax?  It'd return 15 billion Euro to the lower and middle tax bracket.  Negative?  There are some programs which the SPD wants to run, and there's some hint that the wealth-tax would cover this....but you have to wonder, did they really run the numbers through or is it a guess, and a new tax has to come in two years to pay for the program requirements?  Also.....might the wealthy folks just go and hide more of their money (entirely possible)?

NSA truth commission wrapping up:  According to ARD, the German truth commission over the NSA business is near a finishing point.....400 to 500 pages long.  Yes, there is an accusation by the Greens and Linke Party over the report and the behavior of the government over the past 15 years.  Will this trigger some fall-out?  I would doubt it.  Will the NSA be pushed out of intelligence sharing?  That's about the only thing which might occur in a negative way.  The amusing thing is that if you asked a hundred Germans about this truth commission....probably over 90-percent (my humble opinion) didn't even know it existed, and at least 90-percent (my humble opinion) don't care what the truth commission discovered. You'd have more concern over soccer rule changes or some discovery of horse-meat found in frozen spaghetti.

False investigation:  Well, the Berlin terrorist from December is long dead now.....but the original investigation into his act and final days.....reached a stage where investigators needed a truth commission to go and find why fraudulent documents were inserted into the cop files.  Manipulation is the word used, and N-TV tells a good story over this.  The question is....why insert fake files into this whole matter?  The guy is dead.....there is little to be gained with fraudulent info.  My humble gut feeling is that the dead terrorist was a drug dealer on the side, and some cops (maybe just one single cop) were in on some deals with the Tunisian terrorist.  Maybe some undercover cop was close to the Tunisian and they just sought to protect the cop.  It's confusing on this episode.

Hamburg railway traffic problem:  If you are anywhere around Hamburg for the next three weeks, you will likely find stalled traffic due to protests and the G-20 preparation. Vandalism is being reported as part of the problems.

Very blunt:  Hamburg cops had a press conference yesterday.  Basically, they wanted the bodyguards of all G-20 representatives coming avoid what occurred in Washington DC four weeks ago....where Turk bodyguards began beating protesters.  The hint was more or less....they wouldn't put up with it, and maybe they might turn on the bodyguards.  There are dozens of scenarios for this G-20 meeting where things might go very negative.

Legal trouble for AfD Petry:  Back three years ago, there was a loan question posed to Frauke Petry (head of the AfD Party) by the state government.  She responded.  There is a question over the truth and they want to strip her of immunity from prosecution (right of political members), and bring her into court.  The theme of her act?  I often point out that the maturity of the AfD to play in the 'big leagues' is missing.  In this case, if they had decent legal advice.....she would have done the loan in a different manner, and avoided the whole misunderstanding.  MDR tells a balanced story over the episode.

Helmut Kohl Airport:  There is this discussion now going on.....renaming the Frankfurt Airport, in honor of Helmut Kohl.  There is some history on things like this....the Hamburg Airport was renamed the Helmut Schmidt Airport after the former Chancellor.  The Willy Brandt Airport in Berlin is also noted.  My guess is that it'll happen.  An airport for Merkel in twenty years?  Well....there aren't that many left of significance.

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