Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

“92% of radical, left activists still live with Mommy” – Bild

February 8, 2017

German newspaper, Bild, reports on a new analysis from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). Apparently 92% of radical, left activists still live at home with their mothers. A third were unemployed.


The number of crimes committed by violent leftist offenders is increasing: In the period from 2009 to 2013, a total of 1523 cases were recorded, more than twice as many as from 2003 to 2008. “Most politically motivated violent crimes come from the left-wing scene ,” says Interior Senator Frank Henkel (52, CDU).

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution , has determined in a study that the profile of the average, left perpetrator:

He is male, 21 to 24 years old, despite average maturity usually no job – and 92 percent of them still live with their mothers.

Linksradikale – image Berliner Kurir

The report also shows that:

Of the 873 suspects identified, 84% were men, 16 % were women and 72 percent were between 18 and 29 years old.

► Nine out of ten were not in any relationship.

► 34 percent have average maturity, 29 percent have a high school diploma. One in three is unemployed.

► One in ten had committed more than one act of violence, and one offender even twelve. Four out of ten were awaiting other punishment.

► Between 2009 and 2013, left-wing assassins attempted eleven murders and two attempted homicides.

► 902 violent acts (59 per cent) were directed against persons.

► Four out of five  were acts against policemen.

►15 percent were against right-wing extremists.

► In the case of violence against objects, car fires are the most common offense with 62 percent. In 58 cases police cars were torched.


Now even Merkel starts adjusting to the Trump realities

January 22, 2017

Angela Merkel gets it. With Trump it is all about negotiation.

The Democrats still don’t get it. Hillary Clinton supporters still seem to be in denial but European leaders are beginning to adjust their positions. Teresa May was first out with her Brexit speech. She will even meet Trump on Friday next week for his first meeting as President with a foreign leader. About 8 days after the election a German weekly published a joint article by Obama and Merkel warning Trump not to disturb US/EU trade in particular and globalisation in general. A week ago Trump was castigating Merkel for her disastrous refugee policy. But things have moved on. Now much to the disgust of her Social Democrat partners in government Merkel has signaled that compromises are possible with regard to trade and military spending.

(European Social Democrats and left parties are so self-righteous and so convinced of their moral superiority that they may have some difficulty in adjusting to the new game).


German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Saturday to seek compromises on issues like trade and military spending with U.S. President Donald Trump, adding she would work on preserving the important relationship between Europe and the United States.

“He made his convictions clear in his inauguration speech,” Merkel said in remarks broadcast live, a day after Trump vowed to put ‘America first’.

Speaking at a news conference in the south-western town of Schoental, Merkel struck a more conciliatory tone toward Trump than Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who on Friday said Germany should prepare for a rough ride under the new U.S. president.

Relations with the United States, Germany’s biggest trading partner, are likely to be a hot topic in electioneering in coming months leading to a general election in September.

“I say two things with regards to this (speech): first, I believe firmly that it is best for all of us if we work together based on rules, common values and joint action in the international economic system, in the international trade system, and make our contributions to the military alliances,” Merkel said.

The conservative German leader, who is seeking a fourth term and enjoyed a close relationship with former president Barack Obama, is seen by liberals across the Atlantic as a voice of reason that counterbalances rising populist parties in Europe. 

Trump has criticized Merkel’s decision in 2015 to throw open Germany’s borders to asylum seekers fleeing wars and conflicts, and has said he believes other countries will leave the EU after Britain and that the NATO military alliance was obsolete.

……….. “And second, the trans-Atlantic relationship will not be less important in the coming years than it was in past years. And I will work on that. Even when there are different opinions, compromises and solutions can be best found when we exchange ideas with respect,” added Merkel.

German government sources told Reuters this week that Merkel was working to set a date this spring for a meeting with Trump.

Under fire from Trump for not meeting NATO’s goals of spending two percent of national output on defense, Germany said this week that it would meet that goal and demanded that the new U.S. administration map out a consistent foreign policy. ……

Image result for trump merkel

from Twitter

It will take some time before the European Social Democrats, in France and Sweden for example, to swallow their overweening pride and adjust to reality. But I expect Norway, Finland, Poland, Hungary, the Baltic States and even Italy to find a highly pragmatic approach to the new US administration.

Even the Pope is adjusting.


Germany joins Switzerland and Denmark in seizing refugees’ wealth to pay for their stay

January 21, 2016

Denmark and Switzerland are already going down this path and now southern German states have also started confiscating the wealth of those refugees applying for asylum to finance their stays in the country. It is difficult to argue against the concept of those with wealth paying for their upkeep. The principle that is being applied is said to be that personal wealth must be exhausted first before state aid becomes available. And I cannot see anything wrong with that principle.

In Denmark, valuable (but not personal) items with a value of above about $150 would be subject to seizure, as would sums of currencies above about $1500. In Switzerland it is planned that assets over about $1,000 would be subject to search and seizure. The threshold above which confiscation applies might seem low at first,  but it seems that receipts are being issued, and any wealth over and above what is needed for their upkeep will be returned to them. It is not quite the callous and heartless robbery of poverty stricken refugees as is being portrayed by some of the media.

The southern German state of Bavaria is following the Swiss example and plans to set the threshold for seizure at about €750 for those who have “dues outstanding”.

The Local(de)Germany’s southern states are confiscating cash and valuables from refugees after they arrive, authorities in Bavaria confirmed on Thursday.

“Cash holdings and valuables can be secured [by the authorities] if they are over €750 and if the person has an outstanding bill, or is expected to have one.” Authorities in Baden-Württemberg have a tougher regime, where police confiscate cash and valuables above €350.

The average amount per person confiscated by authorities in the southern states was “in the four figures,” Bild reported.

By confiscating valuables, the states are implementing federal laws, which require asylum seekers to use up their own resources before receiving state aid. “If you apply for asylum here, you must use up your income and wealth before receiving aid,” Aydan Özoguz, the federal government’s integration commissioner, told Bild.

“That includes, for example, family jewellery. Even if some prejudices persist – you don’t have it any better as an asylum seeker as someone on unemployment benefit,” Özoguz added.

In Germany even the Green party had no real objection to advance to this approach. The Left party had no arguments of any substance to put forward, but they objected anyway.

….. But there were few critics of the practice inside Germany.

Opposition Green party MP Volker Beck told Der Tagesspiegel that it was right for asylum applicants to pay for services to the extent they could. “Of course asylum seekers aren’t in a better position than those on unemployment benefits,” Beck said. “Asylum seekers must repay the costs of accommodation and care to the state.”

Only the Left party (Die Linke) criticized the confiscations, with MP Ulla Jelpke telling Der Tagesspiegel that “those who apply for asylum are exercising their basic rights [under the German Constititution].

“That must not – even if they are rejected – be tied up with costs,” she argued.

I cannot see that forcing those with wealth to pay for their own upkeep is any infringement of supposed Human Rights.

Mass sexual harassment in Germany – not race but surely due to culture or religion or both?

January 7, 2016

Keeping silent about differences due to culture or religion does not help. Pretending that the differences don’t exist won’t make them go away.

I don’t think Cologne  was an issue of race (ethnicity) but it certainly was not just due to “bad boys being bad”. Poverty and unemployment cannot be used as an excuse. The root cause was either culture or religion or – more likely – both.  I suspect it is both because the religion is Islam and here culture and religion are as intertwined as they are. Many of the religious leaders of Islam still have a world view of women and their place in it, which is a few hundred years out of date. In Germany it was thousands of young males of North African and Middle East origin behaving obnoxiously – but in a coordinated manner – across many cities. I am pretty sure that an overwhelming majority would have been Muslim. Yet the authorities kept silent until they had no choice but to respond to the anger and indignation on social media.

The Local (de)Germany’s authorities and media have been tiptoeing around the issue of sexual violence committed by immigrants and refugees for too long – giving the far right ammunition in their battle against the mainstream, argues Jörg Luyken.

The shocking sexual assaults that happened in Cologne during the New Year festivities – in which dozens of women were sexually abused and in one case raped by groups of young men – have an obvious parallel in events which took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during mass protests of the Arab Spring. …..

While there are differences between Tahrir Square and Cologne Cathedral – the Cologne attacks appear partly to have been diversions to enable theft – that men apparently of north African descent entered large crowds to sexually assault and even rape women – should set alarm bells ringing.

But no sober analysis of the influx of millions of people from the Middle East – the majority of whom are young men –  could fail to realize that certain behaviours prevalent there would be repeated here. ……

In the last few months, it has seemed that the authorities and the national media would rather sacrifice transparency for the sake of stability.

It was days before police gave full descriptions of the offenders in Cologne, despite a call for eyewitnesses. The national media also ignored the story until a wave of anger on social media made covering it unavoidable. …..

But there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence of sexual crimes committed by new arrivals bubbling up from Germany’s regional media.

In November a club in Bavaria started turning refugees away after a string of complaints of sexual harassment from female clients.

In Baden-Württemberg at least one hospital has hired guards to protect nurses who feel intimidated by the refugees they treat.

The Woman’s Council in Hesse claimed in an open letter to the state parliament in September that they have substantial evidence of sexual abuse, including forced prostitution, in refugee shelters.

In August a regional paper in North Rhine-Westphalia also reported police covering up a serious sexual crime. After hearing about the rape of a 13-year-old girl by a refugee, the paper enquired with police as to what crimes they knew of in the refugee shelters.

There are plenty of anecdotes about similar occurrences in Norway and Sweden. But authorities and media in Scandinavia are also in denial, and just as reluctant to openly confront the reality that Muslim youth (mainly newcomers) are more likely to sexually harass and commit sexual crimes. The reluctance is partly to protect the dead doctrine of multiculturalism, and partly out of the fear of being politically incorrect by seeming to refer disparagingly about race or religion or cultural differences.

It is the same toxic mix of religion and culture which can also be seen in the UK. It shows up in the grooming of young vulnerable girls, in”honour killings” and the treatment of women (especially vulnerable women) as “objects”, which are all not uncommon, even today, in many – supposedly devout – Muslim societies. In the UK it is more often Muslims of Asian rather than Middle East origin. But it is a similar behaviour as exhibited by the spoilt young oil-brats (male of course) who prey on women outside their own countries. Of course the treatment of women as objects happens with other religions and cults as well but usually only in fairly backward societies. For example it still happens in some parts of rural India where casteist racism, mixes with culture and Hinduism to create a most poisonous mix. (Casteism in India can be more virulently racist than any white supremacist movement). It happens even with the polygamous cults – ostensibly Christian – when they pop up from time to time. The common factor is a religion which views women as objects under the authority of a man, and a culture built on that foundation. But it is particularly Muslim cultures which seem to permit and legitimise violence by men against women.

It is my thesis that Europe has to have multiethnic, single culture societies, though the resulting culture prevailing will be dynamic and will change as newcomers are absorbed. Demographics require the influx of new ethnicities into Europe, but it is a fatally flawed concept to imagine that a society without a single overriding culture can avoid being a fractured and splintered society. Playing down the differences due to culture and religion contributes nothing to the creation of new viable societies.

What cannot (or will not) be seen, cannot be addressed.

Record number of German households have electricity disconnected following high prices

November 18, 2015

The German Energiwende is proving to be an embarrassing  fiasco, at an enormous cost – to producers as well as consumers – and with no returns. The only plus that can be discerned is to the ego of the “green” parties. Germany has the highest electricity prices in Europe directly as a result of the renewable energy surcharges. There is one small group of people which has benefited hugely. That has been the developers of renewable energy projects who have managed to build plants with very little of their own equity. They have then transferred ownership to plant operators and have shortened their own payback periods and maximised their returns.  Equipment manufacturers have seen their prices tumble, plant operators have seen their returns decline and consumers have seen their prices increase. But the developers have walked away with huge returns.

And it has all been for nothing.

The correlation between residential electricity price and installed renewable capacity is compelling. From Energy Matters.

The Y-axis shows residential electricity prices for the second half of 2014 from Eurostat. The X-axis installed wind + solar capacity for 2014 as reported in the 2015 BP statistical review normalised to W per capita using population data for 2014 as reported by the UN.

Now Der Spiegel reports:

Because of rising prices, more and more German citizens are unable to pay their electricity bills. In 2014, 351,802 residential households were disconnected, reports the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) and the Federal Cartel Office in its new monitoring report. 

The number of disconnections  increased to the highest value ever recorded. In 2013, 344.798 cuts had been imposed and in 2012 there were approximately 320,000 disconnections. Yet far more households have problems with their electricity bill. According to the Federal Network Agency suppliers threatened their customers with disconnections a total of 6.3 million times.

The main reason for the increasing number of disconnections are the rapidly rising electricity prices. Since 2002, the costs for consumers almost doubled, partly because the levy for renewables rose, and because while the big power utilities reduced costs, these were not passed on to consumers.

The main victims are the households. Their electricity costs are around 45 percent higher than the EU average of 20.52 Euro cents per kilowatt hour. Adjusted for taxes industrial electricity price however is 6.27 cents per kilowatt hour, well below the EU average of 9.37 Euro cents per kilowatt hour.

For 2016, several utilities have already announced further increases. On average, this will be just over three per cent, which would mean an additional cost of approximately 40 euros per year for a four-person household.  .. Further increases are expected to be announced in the coming week. Customers must be notified of planned price changes for 2016 by November 20th. Experience has shown that many send these unpopular letters at the last minute.

The Energiwende has indeed been a revolution but it has not functioned as it was meant to. Costs have increased sharply and nothing has been achieved for the climate.

Because, of course, it couldn’t.

NoTricksZone comments:

It’s a glaring paradox of the Energiewende: On the production side, power plants are losing billions of euros because they can no longer even get a modest price for their power, while on the consumer side more and more households are unable to afford the skyrocketing prices brought on by the mandatory infusion of expensive and unstable green energies into the German power grid. The once mighty German power grid now teeters on the brink of crumbling.

How Syrian refugees are helping to solve a German conundrum

September 8, 2015

Germany is now perceived as the land of “sanctuary” in Europe, which was once a position occupied by the UK for many years. Certainly after the xenophobia exhibited by the Hungarian government (but not by all Hungarians) and the reluctance of some other European governments to accept refugees (Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, Denmark …..), Angela Merkel has won many brownie points by exhibiting a generosity not visible from other countries. In fact the response means that Germany now occupies the moral high ground. By announcing that they can take up to 500,000 per year for several years, they make other EU countries look like “hardhearted cheapskates”. The UK response, with 20,000 in 5 years makes Ebeneezer Scrooge look generous.  Even the US is shown up by German actions as just one of the group of countries who speak highly about the value of compassion but fail to walk the talk.

The Guardian:

Germany could take 500,000 refugees each year for “several years”, the country’s vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, has said, as fresh clashes broke out overnight between police and refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos and thousands of people gathered amid chaotic scenes on the Greek border with Macedonia.

“I believe we could surely deal with something in the order of half a million for several years,” he told ZDF public television. “I have no doubt about that, maybe more.” Germany expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year, four times the total for 2014.

But this generosity is not entirely due to altruism.

In March this year I posted about a study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung which pointed out how Germany needed to have an immigration level of 500,000 per year till 2050 to overcome labour shortages and compensate for an ageing population. It pointed out that “efforts to attract skilled workers from non-EU countries should be intensified.”

The report also pointed out that it would be difficult to maintain the level of skilled immigration needed. It would seem that for Germany to be fairly generous with its approach to Syrian refugees is not just altruism but may well be in Germany’s self-interest. The Syrians generally have a much higher level of education and skills than is evident from refugees originating from Africa and those that stay in Germany may well be able to enter the productive work force much faster.

The Syrian refugees help solve a conundrum that was faced by Germany.

Zuwanderungsbedarf aus Drittstaaten in Deutschland bis 2050

Press Release: Without immigrants, the potential labor force would sink from approximately 45 million today to less than 29 million by 2050 – a decline of 36 percent. This gap cannot be closed without immigration. Even if women were to be employed at the same rate as men, and the retirement age was increased to 70 in 2035, the number of potential workers in the country would rise by only about 4.4 million.

In 2013, a total of 429,000 more people came to Germany than left the country. Last year, the net total was 470,000, the Federal Statistical Office reports. According to the study, net immigration at this level would be sufficient for at least the next 10 years to keep the country’s potential labor force at a constant level. From that time onward, however, the need for immigrants will grow, because the baby-boomer generation will be entering retirement. One out of two of today’s skilled workers with professional training will have left the working world by 2030. …

….. the current high levels of immigration from EU countries (2013: around 300,000) will soon decline significantly, as demographic change is shrinking populations across the European Union, and because incentives to emigrate in crisis-stricken countries will decline with economic recovery. The experts forecast an annual average of just 70,000 immigrants or fewer from EU counties by 2050. For this reason, efforts to attract skilled workers from non-EU countries should be intensified. …

But Angela Merkel is implementing today actions that will be needed by nearly all European countries suffering from a declining fertility and a rapidly ageing population. It is no accident that Germany is probably best placed in Europe to have a chance of maintaining the critical ratio of its working population to its supported population (under 15s and over 65s) beyond 2050.

I begin to see Angela Merkel as being much more long-sighted and much more of a visionary than I have ever given her credit for.

Germany pips France in the rush to Tehran

July 15, 2015

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced yesterday that he had been invited by his counterpart to Tehran and would soon be visiting there. But he did not announce any date for his visit. In the meantime while Fabius was talking the Germans were making their travel arrangements. The German Economy Minister has moved fast and has already arranged to take a large trade delegation to Tehran in 4 days time on 19th July (Tehran and Isfahan).

Both France and Germany were major trading partners for Iran before the sanctions and are looking to take a serious chunk of the frozen moneys now being released (about €800 million every month) and which Iran will most likely use to get equipment and components it has long been starved of. There is likely to be a rush of trade delegations and Germany and France are sure to be in the front. However the three countries which have had most trade with Iran during the sanction years have been Russia, China and India and they will also be expecting to be preferred suppliers for whatever they can offer. In any event the world economy will see an increase of trade by about €10 billion per year and increasing as Iran’s oil revenues pick up.


Fabius noted that French firms were “very well thought of” in Iran but denied the nuclear deal was struck with an eye on business. “Trade is very important. It fosters growth. It’s important for the Iranians, it’s important for us,” he said.

“But when the president of the Republic (Francois Hollande) and I took the strategic decision (to agree to a deal) … we did not take it for commercial reasons, but for strategic reasons because we wanted to avoid nuclear proliferation,” stressed the minister.

France used to have a strong presence in Iran before the sanctions went into effect, with Peugeot and Renault being major players in the Iranian auto industry and energy giant Total heavily involved in the oil sector. But two-way trade has fallen from four billion euros ($4.4 billion) in 2004 to just 500 million euros in 2013, according to French statistics.


Germany sees a big rise in trade with Iran, preparing the first high-profile foreign delegation for visit to Tehran this week since the conclusion of nuclear talks on Tuesday. 

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel will arrive at the head of a large political and trade delegation on Sunday for a two-day visit which will also take him to the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

The 60-strong delegation will include representatives of big German industrial companies such as Linde and Siemens, Amir-Hossein Zamaninia, Iran’s deputy oil minister for commerce and international affairs, said.

Gabriel, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, will meet with President Hassan Rouhani, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh as well as Iranian ministers of trade and energy and the central bank governor.

“We expect to see a big increase in trade, especially in German sales of capital goods,” the Deutsche Welle website quoted Michael Tockuss, chief executive at the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, as saying.

According to the German Foreign Ministry, bilateral trade grew by 27% to 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion) in 2014 because of the sanctions relief. With the conclusion of nuclear talks on Tuesday, conservative estimates foresee bilateral trade expanding to 6 or 7 billion euros in 2016 assuming sanctions are dropped quickly, DW said.


German Greens apologise for their paedophiles and abuse of over 1000 children

May 22, 2015

The German Greens have long been advocates of paedophilia as being one of the basic human rights. The Lib Dems in the UK also have a long history of condoning the abuse of children (Cyril Smith for example). Even The Times has picked up this expose of the German Greens but it is not being reported (yet) by other “environmentalist” media.

The Times: A paedophile network was active in the Berlin branch of the Green party until the mid-1990s, with potentially hundreds of victims, the party revealed yesterday after a lengthy investigation.

There was a “misunderstood tolerance” of paedophiles within the Green movement for many years, party leaders admitted, as they invited victims to come forward and share in a compensation fund. The figure of “up to 1,000” victims of paedophiles was suggested before yesterday’s report.

Pierre L. Gosselin has the story:

Berlin’s leftist daily Online Tagesspiegel here reports comprehensively on the German Green Party’s troubled past involving it’s earlier advocacy of pedophilia and practice by some of its former leading members, see background here, here, here and here.

Green Party Chairwoman Bettina Jarasch has just publicly apologized for what she calls an “institutional failure,” ….. 

….. The Greens’ advocacy of pedophilia rights was part of the party’s platform in the 1980s and early 1990s as it pushed neo-liberal ideas like “free and open relationships”. It still remains unclear as to why the Germany’s top environmental party took so long to issue an apology. 

…… The number of victims is not known. However one Green Party Berlin parliamentarian and author of the report, Thomas Birk, in March mentioned “up to 1000 victims”, though he said the figure was “speculative”. The report itself gives releases no figure.

Current Green party official Daniel Wesener said that there were at least two repeat offenders who were tolerated within the party, one was convicted in 13 cases.

Currently the child sex abuse within the Green party is now under investigation by a special commission. The Green Party leaders pledge their full cooperation and to provide compensation to victims who step forward.

According to the Tagesspiegel, the investigation shed light into an “abuse network” within the forerunner of the Green party, Alternativen Liste, which included at least three leading figures who set up a “youth center” in Kreuzberg recreational center.

….. Though some media outlets such as the Tagesspiegel reported on the story, much of the German media has been pretty mute on the topic.

I am afraid that the term “liberal” – which once stood for something fine – has been degraded and despoiled by the extremists to now come to mean “no limits, no ethics”. Liberalism is no longer about humanism but all about permissiveness. And if all is permitted and anything goes and any kind of ethical standards or limits are “evil”, then it follows that paedophiles and ISIS should be given free reign.

Germany needs 500,000+ immigrants every year till 2050

March 27, 2015

A new study has just been published by the Bertelsmann Stiftung:

Zuwanderungsbedarf aus Drittstaaten in Deutschland bis 2050

Press Release: Without immigrants, the potential labor force would sink from approximately 45 million today to less than 29 million by 2050 – a decline of 36 percent. This gap cannot be closed without immigration. Even if women were to be employed at the same rate as men, and the retirement age was increased to 70 in 2035, the number of potential workers in the country would rise by only about 4.4 million.

In 2013, a total of 429,000 more people came to Germany than left the country. Last year, the net total was 470,000, the Federal Statistical Office reports. According to the study, net immigration at this level would be sufficient for at least the next 10 years to keep the country’s potential labor force at a constant level. From that time onward, however, the need for immigrants will grow, because the baby-boomer generation will be entering retirement. One out of two of today’s skilled workers with professional training will have left the working world by 2030. …

….. the current high levels of immigration from EU countries (2013: around 300,000) will soon decline significantly, as demographic change is shrinking populations across the European Union, and because incentives to emigrate in crisis-stricken countries will decline with economic recovery. The experts forecast an annual average of just 70,000 immigrants or fewer from EU counties by 2050. For this reason, efforts to attract skilled workers from non-EU countries should be intensified. …

German working population  development

German working population development – Bertelsmann Stiftung

This is not a picture that is unique to Germany in Europe. Moreover just keeping the working population constant does not allow for the additional numbers who are ageing and whose “pensions” whether from the Sate of from private sources must be supported by a corresponding growth in the resource funds.

All politicians are well aware of the demographic inevitabilities in Europe. But they have not yet managed to convince all their constituencies that “old Europe” has to renew and reinvent itself. A “new Europe” cannot hark back to the days of the Crusades. Few, if any, politicians in today’s Europe and on the right of the divide, have had the courage to point out that immigration from outside the EU is necessary and that these immigrants must be speedily integrated. Few of the politicians on the left of the divide have either had the courage to point out that a multiethnic society still requires a single over-riding culture (set of values) which may then have as many subordinate cultures as desired. Few have had the courage to point out that “multiculturalism” does not allow a single society to be sustained. If these politicians truly want to take care of their children’s children they will have to come to terms with the reality of the cold hand of demographics. The only alternative to immigration – but hardly viable – is a Europe-wide “baby production” policy which would have to discourage abortions and maximise incentives for having children. Fertility clinics and multiple births could always be heavily subsidised.

But I can’t help feeling that EU immigration policy cannot be just based on “asylum seekers”. Any such policy must be built on demographic realities and must be based on needed skills (and on the provision of training in the needed skills) and not just on “asylum seekers” and the random set of skills that that represents.

EU 2009 Ageing Report:

…. low birth rates, rising life expectancy and continuing inflow of migrants can be expected to result in an almost unchanged, but much older, total EU population by 2060, meaning that the EU would move from having four working-age people (aged 15-64) for every person aged over 65 to a ratio of only two to one. The largest decrease is expected to occur during the period 2015-35 when the baby-boom cohorts will be entering retirement. …….

The fiscal impact of ageing is therefore projected to be substantial in almost all Member States, becoming apparent already over the course of the next decade. Overall, on the basis of current policies, age-related public expenditure is projected to increase on average by about 4¾ percentage points of GDP by 2060 in the EU and by more than 5 percentage points in the euro area – especially through pension, healthcare and long-term care spending.

Status of German women directors degraded to be “quota directors”

November 27, 2014

German companies have a reputation for excellence. But this is being sacrificed for the sake of political correctness. Currently every woman company director in Germany can be assumed to be of exceptional competence. When a new quota law goes into force in 2016, every woman director in Germany will be nothing more than a “quota employee”.

Discrimination to fight discrimination is an invitation to failure. I do not find any case of “affirmative action” – which is a euphemism for introducing a new, institutionalised and unjust discrimination ostensibly to correct the effects of some other unjust discrimination – which has actually achieved its objective. No program of enforced quotas has yet succeeded in achieving a condition where the “affirmative action” becomes unnecessary because the original injustice has been eliminated. Quotas or confiscation and rationing, enforced by the state and based on irrelevant criteria, remain a favourite tool of those with socialistic aspirations. But not only don’t they work, they also perpetuate the “injustice” that they are intended to correct.

Fifty years of quotas for the “scheduled castes” in India have only become entrenched and have been counter-productive. Rather than ensuring that the lot of the “disadvantaged” groups have improved such that they can compete fairly for jobs or education places, the “affirmative action” has instead ensured that competence and ability have been removed as requirements for selection. Even worse, the “system” is self-perpetuating and encourages the reduction of standards. Those who were to be helped now only need to be the “best of a bad lot” to be selected. Instead of raising standards, “affirmative action” allows and enables lower standards to become “acceptable”. To be classified as a “scheduled caste” has now become a path to privilege.

The experience  in the US with reservation of places in education and in the work-place for minorities has been no different. Even after over 25 years of “affirmative action” the SAT scores of African-Americans admitted to the top US universities remains significantly lower than the average of all those admitted. But this is only to be expected. Effectively the SAT scores to be targeted by aspirants for admission have been reduced for those qualifying for the privilege. Aiming high has no longer any value. Reserving jobs for women or Latinos or other “disadvantaged” minorities has only succeeded in lowering standards but – what is worst – also in making these lower standards acceptable. The quotas for the employing of ethnic Malays in Malaysia has removed any incentive for such “quota employees” to excel at anything other than being Malay. Quota students or quota employees are not burdened by requirements of superior performance or competence – let alone any expectations of excellence.

It should be obvious by now that I believe that quotas based on having an irrelevant characteristic are counter-productive and contribute to equalising standards only by lowering them. Even when quotas try to bring in minimum qualification requirements, it is inevitable that the criterion becomes being “just good enough” and not “to be best”. The use of quotas automatically and inevitably downgrades the quest for excellence. It is settling for the mediocre.

So I am not very impressed by the new German law which will now force the largest companies to have women constituting 30% of their supervisory boards from 2016.. Again the justification is that it will be a trigger for social change and anyway that there are enough women who are qualified. That misses the point. Women directors for these companies have now been effectively degraded to become quota directors – even where they are there for their competence. They can no longer claim to be the “best available” even if they are. Angela Merkel has had to give in to the socialists on this point. Forty percent of the German cabinet is women. Angela Merkel herself is there because she was the “best” for the job. But note that many of her female cabinet colleagues are there not because of their competence or excellence but only to fill an unwritten quota. Other countries are also considering quotas for women directors – not least in “politically correct” Sweden. For example, I observe when I watch Swedish TV – which is very politically correct – that it is easy to discern when a female presenter or a news reporter has been selected to fill some gender quota rather than for her excellence.

But why stop at women quotas? Why not quotas also for other minorities and abandon excellence or competence? Why should women be more privileged than some other disadvantaged minority? Is the disadvantage suffered by women more important to correct than the disadvantage suffered by a gay person? or an immigrant? Perhaps there will come a day when a German Supervisory Board will have to be at least 30% female, 10% gay, 5% transgender and 15% of immigrant origin! That will be the time when I shall sell any German stocks that I might have.

As an investor in any company I would prefer that the Directors be the best available and affordable and not “just good enough” to fill a compulsory quota.

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