Category Archives: Germany

Forgotten European Youth

Among the tragedies of Europe’s dance with austerity has been a dramatic rise in unemployment throughout the region. An estimated 50% of young Spaniards lack jobs and similar figures are evident in Greece or Italy or even Sweden. Hundreds of Swedish young boys and girls went on a rampage through the streets of Stockholm showing their anger at being ignored and having their lives put on hold. They set fire to over 300 cars, burned down a restaurant and threw stones through store windows. There are even reports of a police station being burned to the ground. The initial outbreak most probably arose from police killing a 69 year -old man who was wielding a machete. Young people felt the police over-reacted.

It is time for Europe to abandon the austerity tactic and go back to some old fashioned John Keynes stimulus to the economy. Sweden might borrow the Depression CCC which placed one million young Americans to work on infrastructure tasks. FDR even pushed through bills that paid artists to paint or musicians to play music of people to put on plays. Provide meaningful work and riots will cease and desist.

Future For Youth?

Four years ago in most European nations young people were hopeful that with further education there would be ample opportunities to secure a good job.Today, the unemployment rate in Spain or Greece is over 50% for young people with scant prospect of changes during the coming decade of their life. Stylia Kampani, now works as an unpaid intern for an important Athens newspaper. What happens after the end of her internship is unknown. “None of my friends believes that we have a futureor will live a normal life. That wasn’t quite the case four years ago.” She is now part of a lost generation which is doomed to low wages, uncertan job security and loss of control over individual lives. European nations have not learned the lesson of America’s Depression when the federal government created jobs for youth like the CCC. It funded the theater, opera, symphony orchestras and provided many job opportunities in society.

Germany recruits some  skilled workers from Greece or Spain. In the UK anger is directed at immigrants because the government has done nothing to offer youth a chance for the future. Oh, it has tripled the cost of college. Youth needs to go beyond protest and organize political parties which pledge to create jobs, and, in so doing create hope. If governments refuse to act to create jobs, the end result will be emergence of neo-fascist political parties based on hate an violence.

American Ami–Go Home!!

A Republican party era that dawned with the coming to power of Ronald Reagan left in its wake attitudes that business leaders knew what was best for their employees as they did for American society. They refuse to respect rights of workers to organize for better wages and working conditions. Unfortunately for US business organizations, that attitude is not shared in Germany whose constitution respects the rights of workers to have input into wages and working conditions. Workers at the two largest distribution centers for Amazon in Germany went on strike when company officials refused to engage in negotiations with them. Amazon wages in Germany are most probably better than what is paid to their American employees. But, management can cut wages whenever it desires.

American business leaders in Europe do not grasp the absence of medieval minded Republicans having power in Europe. Walmart had limited success in Germany  because it did not understand German attitudes toward worker rights. Few American companies in Germany even have a personnel department because they do not believe workers have any rights-other than accepting low pay and being treated like those without the right to a decent  economic life.

German business is built on long term thinking, not this year’s bottom line. It respects the rights of workers just as it respects the rights of share holders.

Hungary Not Hungry For Democracy

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has done his best to remove those who oppose his regime from any source of power. He has welcomed those with Nazi ideas into his company and urged that Romas be sent to other areas of Europe rather than remain in his racially pure Hungary. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made him angry because of her opposition to removal of democratic procedures in Hungary. A German politician, Social Democrat Peer Steinbruck, raised the issue of asking Hungary to leave the European Union only to infuriate Orban.

Orban compared Nazi occupation of Hungary to current complaints about his dictatorial regime. “The Germans have already sent cavalry to Hungary-they came in the form of tanks.” I hate to teach the Hungarian some Hungarian history.  Hungary was an ALLY of Nazi Germany. Thousands of Hungarians took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union and thousands died there.

Oh, Mr. Ovban, over 500,000 Hungarian Jews were rounded up with the assistance of Hungarian police and sent to their deaths. The people who killd them would agree with his views on democracy-or, should we say, the absence of democracy!

German Spanish Arrives

The dream of Germans during the Nazi era was to spread across Europe ad bring their culture to the world. Alas, today, Germans are not going anywhere but, instead are welcoming those from other areas of Europe. A new program to bring skilled and semi-skilled Spanish workers to Germany confronts two problems- the need for semi-skilled workers and the need to bring in more Christians in order to prevent Muslims from gaining greater population strength. Small business firms will partner Spanish workers with their own people and, hopefully, within a year there will be a hard working Spanish German added to the work force and the “German” population.

The collapse of Spain’s construction industry  has left hundreds of thousands    available to work, and if the weather is a bit colder, who cares as  long as their is work. Unlike America, Germany welcomes immigrants and many receive subsidies while they adjust to life in Germany. In some cases, government finances the trip to Germany. Ami,welcome to Germany.

Nazis In Greece Again!

Among the mysteries of modern Europe is emergence of neo-Nazi parties in nations that once were invaded and destroyed by German Nazis. German Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Greeks and seventy years later their descendants want to dress like a Nazi and give a Nazi salute! Athens Mayor George Kaminis was handng out Easter gifts when a horde of Neo-Nazi thugs stormed in and began attacking people. They were led by MP George Germenis, a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party. Germenis pulled out a gun and waved it around and then threw a punch at the mayor, unfortunately, his blow his a twelve year old girl.

The Golden Dawn party hates Jews, it hates Africans, it hates Muslims, but it does not hate Nazis. Is there something wrong with Greeks holding as their model Nazis who murdered their ancestors? I await a black American organization which wants to return to the good old days when white folk had slaves!

Sex In Kindergarten?

In olden times, Germans were noted for being very conservative and sort of up tight. However, a new sex-education book designed to be used in elementary schools has aroused the interest of parents. The book, “Wo Kommist du her?-”Where Do You Come From” offers rather interesting information for the ordinary five year old child. The book shows a couple in various stages of sexual arousal and sweet little Lisa gently places a condom on the erect penis of darling Lars, the boy for all seasons. Actually, another picture depicts the kids having a little sex before lunch.

As Lisa comments to Lars as they engage in an orgasm, “When it’s so good that it can’t get any better. The vagina and penis feel nice and tingly and warm.” For some reason parents raised objections to their kids understanding what mom and dad do at night. Me, please enroll me in a Berlin elementary school. Maybe, I will learn something useful.

Gender Inequality OK

Mitt Romney and members of the Tea Party can sleep peacefully tonight because in Germany an attempt was beaten back that would have mandated female membership on Board of Directors. The proposed law would require that any German corporation have a legal gender quota that ensures women are represented on boards of directors. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) beat back efforts by Social Democrats to bring democracy to the world of corporations. The CDU and Greens wanted at least 30% of Board seats held by women.

Ah, I can hear complaints about things not being fair since how does society know there are sufficient numbers of women qualified for such work? Mitt Romney was not a woman, Mitt Romney got money and contacts and aid by his millionaire dad  that ensured once out of college, he was headed straight for the top. Or, George Bush got a legacy entry into the Ivy League. When wealthy kids get preference it is not affirmative action, just law of life in action.

Modern Nazi Lovers??

World War II ended 68 years ago and left in its wake not only over forty million dead people, but millions of survivors who would never forget what the German people did in Europe. This March, German TV introduced a miniseries called “Unsere Mutter, Unsere Vater,” which means, “Our Mothers, Our Fathers.” The series describes lives of ordinary Germans who lived through the Holocaust that swept through Europe. Most Germans apparently enjoyed seeing film about World War II that depicts ordinary “innocent Germans” just trying to get along. However, many in Poland-three million Poles died– have a different take on the series. The Polish magazine, UwazamRze, concludes the series is simply an attempt to prove that Germans were “victims” of Hitler, not the perpetrators of horror.

In one scene a Jew who is in Poland has to hide his Jewish identity from anti-Semitic Polish resistance fighters. Polish commentators regard this idea as having “nothing to do with historial reality.” Sorry, it is historically valid and the evidence is overwhelming. Perhaps, Poles would like to deny murdering hundreds of Jews AFTER the war ended!

There are decent people who were in Germany and decent people who were in Poland, it was a horror and it cannot be changed. Portraying Chancellor Merkel in a Concentration Camp picture is not funny. It is sad

Gay Time In France?

These are not the  best of times, these are not the worst of times in Europe, but they certainly are not the times desired by French President Francoise Hollande. Unemployment is rising, factories are closing, and the national debt is heading up, not down. However, a little rainbow has appeared in clouds above his head. The French Senate passed a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to wed-and, hopefully live happily ever after. There is still strong opposition to the proposed law, but it probably will pass and become law of the land.  France may have a reputation for being sexually permissive but there are many in the country who like old fashioned marriage.

Many countries in Europe have accepted gay marriage, and America is rapidly moving in that direction. Eventually, France, the land of amour, will accept modern love. If not France, then who?