Posts Tagged ‘Angela Merkel’

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.


David Cameron snubbed by Obama and left off the NSA spy list

October 24, 2013

Information is now filtering into the public space that the Heads of friendly nations including Brazil and Mexico and France and India and now – horror of horrors – Germany have had their communications bugged and mobile phones tapped by the US intelligence Agencies (mainly the NSA).


Germany has summoned the US ambassador to Berlin over claims that the US monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. Foreign minister Guido Westerwelle will personally meet US envoy John Emerson later on Thursday.

Mrs Merkel has demanded a “complete explanation” of the claims, which are threatening to overshadow an EU summit on Thursday and Friday.

She discussed the issue with US President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

President Obama told Mrs Merkel the US was not monitoring her calls and would not in future, the White House said. However, it left open the question of whether calls had been listened to in the past.

The list of governments, companies and people who have been spied on by the US is now getting very long. But what is also very clear is that anybody – who is anybody – is or was on the spy list.

But poor David Cameron was not / is not quite important enough to make the NSA spy list as The Telegraph reports:

The White House has explicitly said US spies never monitored David Cameron’s communications but refused to say whether it had ever tapped Angela Merkel’s phone in the past.

A spokesman for President Barack Obama told The Telegraph that the US never targeted the prime minister but the White House would not offer the same assurances about the German chancellor.

But what would really be almost impossible for Cameron to bear would be if Ed Miliband has made the list and that adds to his consequence.

Angela Merkel triumphs – could even govern without the FDP?

September 22, 2013

Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU have made a very strong showing at over 42% and the exit polls are predicting that both the FDP and AfD (Alternative for Germany) will both miss the 5% threshhold and get no seats. But the FDP and the Greens are the big losers and the AfD are sending a clear anti-European message even if they get no seats.

Angela Merkel is only 2 or 3 seats away from having her own majority without any coalition partners.

The SPD are around 26% and the Greens are down to 8%.

This could give the CDU/CSU around 298 seats in the Bundestag. With the SPD at around 185 seats and the Greens at about 57 seats it is even conceivable that Angela Merkel could govern without any coalition partner dragging her down. It is highly unlikely that the SPD/Greens would call upon the 59 or so seats of the Far Left.

The tactical voting to help the FDP that I was half-expecting does not seem to have taken place.

The Greens will have little leverage.

The way is now clear for a slow reversal of the disastrous nuclear policy pushed by the Greens though Angela Merkel will have to be very dainty on her feet to make this U-turn.

Tactical voting in the German polls today?

September 22, 2013

Talking to some of my German friends over the last few days, I get the impression that there could be some tactical voting today.

German polls

German polls

The latest polls (via der Spiegel) give Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU 39% but their coalition partners the FDP are running close to the 5% barrier. The Green vote has come down to around 9% and the recent ballyhoo about their pro-vegetarianism, anti-car and pro-paedophilia positions could hurt them further. The dawning realisation that they have been most responsible for the very high cost of electricity that Germans are burdened with has probably been the underlying reason for their steady decline in the last few months. The far Left are also around 9% and their votes are probably solid especially in Eastern Germany where die-hard communists are still hankering for the “good old days”.

The anti-Euro AfD are running below the 5% barrier and it has been politically incorrect to show any support for them. They could spring a surprise and creep over 5% and that would lead to interesting times – especially if their success is allied with a weakening of the Greens. Paradoxically some of their far-right support could be enhanced by some support from the very far Left.

To get any kind of a comfortable right-of-centre coalition Angela Merkel needs the FDP. For the FDP to fall below 5% could lead to some unnecessary pressures. A Grand Coalition with the SDP is something to be avoided. And this leads to the possibility that some CDU-CSU voters will cast their primary vote for their CDU-CSU candidate but will give their second vote to the FDP party. While no single FDP candidate will be advantaged in winning their own seats, this tactical approach could ensure that the FDP gets close to 7 or 8%. The seats they win as a party could then be close to the number won by the Greens and could provide the cushion that Angela Merkel could be quite thankful for. Talking to my friends (2 CDU supporters and one SDP) I got the impression that

  1. in very strong CDU-CSU constituencies some of the second “party” vote could well go to the FDP, and
  2. in strong SDP constituencies, CDU-CSU voters could cast both their votes for the FDP.

Well, the results will be known in about 12 hours and Angela Merkel’s performance is almost a foregone conclusion. She will be returned for the 3rd time. It is the performance of the Greens, the FDP and the AfD which adds some spice and interest to an otherwise rather low key and almost “boring” election. But it is the very mundane nature of the election which – I think – reflects the mood in Germany and is Angela Merkel’s greatest advantage. She makes common sense and being “boring” virtues devoutly to be sought.

Germans no longer being taken in by Green propaganda

September 10, 2013

The German elections are less than 2 weeks away and the only real question is what Angela Merkel’s win will look like. Whatever the result she will not find it necessary to pay too much attention to the Greens. The German Green party peaked in support a few weeks after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear plant accident. They reached the height of 28% support for a few days in April 2011 and entertained hopes of becoming Germany’s 3rd party. But the euro zone financial crises have ccontinued since then. The German Energiewende is turning out to be an expensive catastrophe. More coal is being burnt today than before. Heavily subsidised solar and wind energy are destabilising the grid and not pulling their weight. German electricity prices are driving industries – and jobs – out of the country. Profligate Green policies adopted under Green pressure are being seen to be the reason. They are a problem rather than a solution to any existing problem.The Greens are currently polling at about 10% support. A long drop from the heady days of 2011.

As Der Spiegel puts it:

German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. But because the government is failing to get the costs of its new energy policy under control, rising prices are already on the horizon. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany … 

…. The political world is wedged between the green-energy lobby, masquerading as saviors of the world, and the established electric utilities, with their dire warnings of chaotic supply problems and job losses.

Even well-informed citizens can no longer keep track of all the additional costs being imposed on them. According to government sources, the surcharge to finance the power grids will increase by 0.2 to 0.4 cents per kilowatt hour next year. On top of that, consumers pay a host of taxes, surcharges and fees that would make any consumer’s head spin.

It is beginning to sink in with the German electorate that “feel good” politics of the Greens which achieves little and costs the earth is not sustainable. The electorate is beginning to resent being told what to do, how to live, what to eat and how to drive. To attack meat-eating and the driving of cars as the Greens have done seems particularly inept.


Greens dream of power fading as German election nears

….. Like other Germans once attracted to the world’s most successful pro-environment party, Suska is now turned off by the Greens — and his defection helps explain a sudden drop in support before Germany’s September 22 election.

“The Greens have this ‘ecological dictatorship’ feeling about them now,” says Suska, 45. “I used to always vote Greens. But not anymore. No one likes to be told what to do. It feels like the Greens are going to make everything more expensive.”

Support for the Greens, which traces its roots to the peace movement of the 1970s, hit a high of 23 percent in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster in Japan boosted the appeal of its anti-nuclear message. Within weeks of the tragedy, the Greens stunned Chancellor Angela Merkel by winning control of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, long a conservative stronghold.

As recently as July, the party was polling a robust 15 percent, well above its 2009 result of 10.7 percent.

But over the past two months, the Greens have seen their support crumble to 10 percent, a four-year low. The collapse, in the most crucial phase of the campaign, appears to have doomed what faint hopes the party had of returning to power with the Social Democrats (SPD), with whom it ruled from 1998 to 2005.

… Much of the party’s fall in popularity can be traced to a series of self-inflicted wounds.

One big problem is the lin… gering suspicion the Greens want to tell people what to do: drive more slowly, take the bus, turn off lights, turn down the heat, ban large livestock farming.

Their light-hearted idea for a “Veggie Day”, where Germans would skip meat once a week, has been mocked in the media and by other parties. The rival Free Democrats (FDP) went so far as to organize a barbecue to annoy the Greens.

Proposals to cut city speed limits and put an upper limit on motorways have also alienated some supporters.

“Germans don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to cars and meat,” said Yvonne Seiler, a secretary and Greens backer.

Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin’s Free University, said: “The Greens scare away a lot of voters and their ideas just don’t excite people anymore. People don’t understand their message.”

Der Spiegel again:

…. with the vote two-and-a-half weeks away, the picture is not nearly as rosy. A poll released Thursday found that just 10 percent of Germans intend to vote for the Greens on Sept. 22. It is the lowest survey result for the once popular party since way back in 2009.

…… One of the party’s central proposals in the current campaign, for example, has been that of raising taxes on high earners and introducing a 1.5 percent tax on assets of over €1 million as a way of increasing social justice. To be sure, many of the party’s core voters support such a proposal, despite being in the upper tax brackets themselves. But it seems poorly designed should the Greens be interested in getting their new supporters to actually cast a ballot for the party on Sept. 22. Other proposals have likewise fared poorly.

Specifically, the Greens have proposed the introduction of one vegetarian day each week in workplace cafeterias across the country. “A veggie day would be a great opportunity to see how we can nourish ourselves without meat and sausage,” senior Green politician Renate Künast told the tabloid Bild on Monday.

How long can Germany bear the cost of their Greens?

September 4, 2013

Less than 3 weeks to go for the German elections and the polls put Angela Merkel at 39% with the Social Democrats at 23%, the Greens at 11% and the Far Left at 10%. But polls have been wrong in German elections and sometimes spectacularly wrong:


Eight years ago Angela Merkel stared gloomily at the election results with disbelief when her party crashed to 35.2 percent of the German vote, seven points below the opinion poll forecast.

Her poll lead melted away again on election day four years later, though her conservatives stayed in power despite their worst result since 1949. Indeed her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), have fallen short of forecasts in the last six elections.

They are leading again as the September 22 vote comes round, but that humbling record explains why Merkel is not letting up, with 56 campaign stops in the month before voters give their verdict.

The chancellor warns in her speeches that supporters will have a “rude awakening” if they place too much faith in polls.

Once highly accurate, voter surveys in Germany have become a less reliable barometer as party allegiances weaken, voter turnout falls, differences between parties disappear and small newcomers crowd the ballot sheet.

The success of the Greens and their profligate policies have been mainly due to the German electorate looking desperately for a “feel-good” factor. My 3 years living in Germany – in the heart of the “old” Eastern Germany – only convinced me that the normally very pragmatic Germans were extremely apprehensive and tentative about touting their undoubted economic successes. They feared to take too much pride in their achievements since it brushed perilously close to Nationalism and all the dark ghosts that evoked. The Green Party – I think – filled this need for somehow “feeling good” about their own achievements in a benign way while avoiding any of the sinister negatives associated with “national pride”.

But this has been an expensive experiment – in money and in jobs. How much longer the Green bubble will continue remains to be seen. It is fundamentally unsustainable and all over Europe it is beginning to penetrate that the cost of “feeling good” for no benefits is a luxury. But German common sense, pragmatism and realism will eventually prevail as the costs of “feeling good” become increasingly obvious.

The Local:

Higher renewable energy subsidies due to be introduced in October will add an extra €40 onto the annual energy bill for a three person household, wrote Der Spiegel magazine in a report published on Monday. 
The cost of supporting German producers of renewable energy is, under German law, passed on to the consumer. The cost per kilowatt hour of green energy is simply added onto their bills. 
Set every October for the following year, this year the cost is set to jump 20 percent from 5.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.5 cents, wrote the magazine. 
Perversely, the price hike is necessary because the electricity market is actually being flooded with cheap electricity, wrote the magazine. 
Germany’s green energy producers have been guaranteed fixed rates feed-in-tariffs for 20 years, while recently the electricity stock market price has fallen to its lowest value in years. 
This has led to a widening gap between the falling prices grid operators are able to sell electricity for on the market, and the fixed guaranteed prices they have to pay out to producers of renewable energy. The result is that consumers have to make up the difference.

And consumers can only take so much. My expectation that common sense will prevail is – to no small part – also dependent upon the Greens propensity for being silly. Many of the Greens’ policies are silly without initially being seen to be silly. But calls – by some Green leaders – for a ban on driving cars on weekends and by other Greens for the legalising of incest go beyond silly and enter the realms of “stupid”. It is beginning to dawn on the electorate that the Greens may be a luxury – in money, jobs and in ideas – that Germany can ill afford.


German daily Die Welt writes that one of the leaders of Germany’s influential Green Party is now calling for a ban of car driving in Germany on weekends.

Die Welt writes:

Green parliamentary group leader Fritz Kuhn wants cars of German drivers to be idle on weekends. […] With a driving ban a clear signal against climate change would be made. According to estimates by Kuhn, the citizens would quickly notice, “that you can also get along without cars”.

Fritz Kuhn, the mayor of Stuttgart, cites a ban used in Northern Italy in 150 cities last Sunday in order to fight air pollution. People can use their bicycles or go by foot.

By now readers may be thinking that the German Greens want to ban everything. Though it seems to be that way, this is not true.

There are some things they want to legalize: incest for example. According to FOCUS magazine here:

The incest ruling by the European Court of Justice for Human Rights (EGMR) against a 34-year old man from Leipzig has led to controversial reactions. Green Party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele reacted the most sharply. He wants to permit sex between siblings and other close relatives, and is requesting doing away with the incest laws. It is an isolated relic of another time when adultery was punishable, which we also have done away with,’ Ströbele told news network N24. Paragraph 173 no longer matches ‘in this time of enlightened opinion on marriage and family. It must be abolished’.”

Guttenberg is toast – a tribute to the power of the internet

March 1, 2011

The power of the internet and we should not forget that of the shoes!!

zu Googleberg has bowed to the inevitable and has resigned.

Burnt Toast

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has announced his resignation after weeks of criticism over plagiarizing parts of his Ph.D. thesis. ….The University of Bayreuth had already stripped Guttenberg of his law doctorate last week. Guttenberg apologized to the German parliament, and said he had made “grave errors” in his thesis, but insisted he did not intentionally copy it.

Pressure mounted on him to resign, after at least 17,000 academics signed an open letter to the German chancellor on Monday (over 20,000 according to the Updated ticker of Germans signing the open letter here), in which they said the plagiarism scandal made a “mockery” of the academic profession.

In recent days Education Minister Annette Schavan had called Guttenberg’s actions shameful, and parliamentary speaker Norbert Lammert said they were “a nail in the coffin for confidence in democracy.”

Summa cum fraude: Now shoe waving to show contempt for Guttenberg

February 27, 2011

The German academic world is finally reacting to the Googleberg affaire. A demonstration was held in Berlin on Saturday and an open letter to Angela Merkel has been signed by more than 15,000 academics (as of Sunday noon).

Shoe waving as a means of showing contempt is spreading. It was very evident at the demonstration in Berlin on Saturday 26th February against Guttenberg and his fraudulent ways and against Angela Merkel for keeping him in his job.

Several hundred demonstrators protested in Berlin on 26th February 2011 against the fact that Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg simply copied parts of his doctoral thesis and therefore lost his PhD but still remains in his job as Defence Minister. Summa cum fraude was the poster in reference to the very lax standards of University of Bayreuth in awarding him a PhD with  “Summa cum laude”  for his plagiarised thesis.


"Summa cum fraude": Photo: DAPD

Shoe waving showing contempt for Guttenberg: photo DAPD

Professor Debora Weber-Wulff writes on her blog:

German scientists and doctoral students are signing an open letter to the German Chancellor by the droves. There are some 7000 (over 15,153 on Sunday at noon -ed) signatures as of Feb. 26, 2011. Since I didn’t go to the demonstration in Berlin this afternoon, I will offer this translation:

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

As doctoral students we have been following the current discussion about the plagiarism accusations against the Minister of Defense, Mr. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. We are shocked and do not understand what is happening. We have the impression that you are trying everything in your power to keep a minister in your cabinet who still insists that he did not knowingly deceive in his doctoral thesis, despite massive evidence to the contrary.

With this course of action, the German government and the members of parliament from the coalition [of CDU, CSU and FDP] damage not only themselves, but much more.

Zu Guttenberg has had to distance himself a number of times from statements he has made about his dissertation. The Internet community has with an unparalleled effort managed to demonstrate numerous incidents of clear plagiarism in Mr. zu Guttenberg’s dissertation. The evidence can be openly seen and checked by anyone. It should not surprise anyone that experts in plagiarism are united in the opinion that this is not just a few “embarassing errors”. This is massive, systematic deception.
Zu Guttenberg copied large portions of his dissertation from various sources – apparently with great ambition – and did not name those sources in order to obtain a doctoral title that he used for, among other things, election advertising. The University of Bayreuth did not address this issue of deception [when revoking the doctorate].

In the face of the extent and amount of plagiarism found, it should be as clear to you as it is to us that at the end of an exact investigation by the university, only one result will be possible with respect to the intent to deceive on the part of the minister. This cannot be done unknowingly.

Calling the deception a deception has nothing to do with the minister belonging to a particular political party. We would also demand that politicians from opposing parties step down, if they had given their word of honor that the work was only their own, except for sources as noted, and had plagiarized in the same manner.

On February 23, 2011 Mr. zu Guttenberg stated that he only wants to be judged by his performance as Minister of Defense. He alluded to a phrase you had used when you said that you did not hire him as a research assistant.

This makes a mockery of all the research assistants and doctoral students who honestly endeavor to contribute to the advancement of science. This makes it sound as if obtaining a doctoral title by fraud is just a trivial offense and that the academic word of honor is meaningless in everyday life.

When following the rules of good scientific practice it is not just a question of footnotes, trivialities that can safely be neglected in the face of the larger political problems of the day. This is the foundation of our work and our trustworthiness. We strive in our own work, according to the best of our knowledge and conscience, to reach this high goal at all times. When we fail, we run the risk – and rightly so – of being expelled from the university.
Most of us teach younger students. It is often our job to teach them the basics of good scientific practice. We insist that the students be exact at all times, correctly quoting and clearly noting all help that was used. We don’t do this because we are fanatics about footnotes or because we live in an ivory tower and know nothing about real life. It is our intention to pass on the understanding that scientific progress – and with it progress for society as a whole – is only possible when we can depend on the honesty of the scientific community.

When our students violate these precepts, we grade their efforts as unsatisfactory. On repeated violation, as a rule we try to expel them. Those who have been expelled are denied access to numerous career opportunities – and rightly so – even for jobs that are much less in need of personal integrity then the office of the Minister of Defense.

We may be old-fashioned and are spouting outdated conservative values when we are of the opinion that values such as veracity and a sense of responsibility should also be valid outside of the scientific community. Mr zu Guttenberg seemed to be of this same opinion until very recently.

Research contributes a valuable service to the development of society. Honest and innovative science is the foundation of the prosperity of our country. When it is no longer an important value to protect ideas in our society, then we have gambled away our future. We don’t expect thankfulness for our scientific work, but we expect respect, we expect that our work be taken seriously. By handling the case of zu Guttenberg as a trifle, Germany’s position in world science, its credibility as the “Land of Ideas”, suffers.

Maybe you consider our contributions to society as being negligible. In that case, we kindly request that in the future you refrain from referring to Germany as the “Republic of Education and Culture”, as you often proclaim.


The Undersigned [at the time of translation]

3242 doctoral students
persons with doctorates
other supporters

(Updated ticker of Germans signing the open letter here)

I have no great faith in the level of integrity of European politicians. I cannot see that any principles of ethics or integrity will have any impact on Angela Merkel’s decisions. She will get rid of  Guttenberg if – and only if – she feels that he will be more of a liability rather than an asset in the March elections.

Plagiarism was standard practice for Guttenberg

February 27, 2011

Guttenberg has given up his PhD and the University of Bayreuth has now rescinded it after the Googleberg affaire. But it seems that for  Guttenberg plagiarism is a long standing and regular habit and not just an opportunistic effort for his PhD and certainly not the unwitting mistake he claims it was.

Photo: DPA

"zu Googleberg" the Copycat Minister: photo DPA

Der Spiegel carries an article about the moral bankruptcy in Germany and reports on the discovery by the Gutenplag Wiki that he had plagiarised also in 2004.

The GuttenPlag Wiki website also found a 29-page analysis from 2004 that Guttenberg, then a representative in the German parliament, wrote for the Hanns Seidel Foundation. According to the site, the document contains passages that have been taken from other sources with minimal changes and not attributed. A spokesperson from Guttenberg’s legislative office told SPIEGEL ONLINE that the case involved an “editorial text” and not an academic one, and pointed out that the sources were all listed in an attached literature review.

Meanwhile, Bild published a survey Thursday in which 87 percent of the respondents said they believed Guttenberg should stay in office. More than 260,000 people called and faxed in to the toll line. The headline on the newspaper’s front page Thursday was “Yes, we stand behind Guttenberg!” However, on Friday, an ongoing online poll on the newspaper’s website found that 57 percent of the more than 680,000 surveyed wanted Guttenberg to step down.

Jürgen Trittin, floor leader of the Green Party, on Thursday spoke of a “dirty deal” between Guttenberg and Axel Springer AG, which owns Bild. It was announced this week that the newspaper will be a major recipient of new advertising that the government is planning to help with recruitment for the German military, the Bundeswehr, which is soon to become a volunteer army. A spokesman for the media company told SPIEGEL ONLINE this week that the editorial offices only learned of the advertising campaign from the media on Thursday, after the telephone poll.

Critics also pointed out that the tabloid in the past also defended Guttenberg’s controversial trip to Afghanistan in December with his wife Stephanie, which was decried as a publicity stunt by his opponents.

Ther are other writings by Guttenberg that are being criticised. Even Angela Merkel may have to back away from the support she has been giving to her Defence Minister to exploit his popularity before the impending local elections.

Guttenberg’s star with Merkel could more likely be tarnished by what a report said she regarded as an “only very rudimentary and poorly-considered basis for decisions about reform of the Bundeswehr.”

Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that criticism of his work at the Defence Ministry from the Chancellery was much harsher than previously thought.

“zu Googleberg”: PhD retracted at the request of the plagiarist

February 22, 2011

zu Googleberg on 18th February 2011:  “I will temporarily – I repeat temporarily – give up my doctoral title.”

22nd February 2011:

The University of Bayreuth says he has now asked them to retract his doctorate in law, according to German TV. Mr Guttenberg admitted that he had made “serious mistakes”. At an election rally near Frankfurt on Monday, the charismatic defence minister said the mistakes were not intentional but he conceded that they “do not meet the ethical code of science”. ….

Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Monday that she is standing by her defence minister, who is seen as something of a rising star in her conservative coalition.

“I appointed Guttenberg as minister of defence,” she told reporters. “I did not appoint him as an academic assistant or doctor. What is important to me is his work as minister of defence and he carries out these duties perfectly.”

He has a nice smile and he is apparently popular but the Defence Minister of the Republic of Germany, Mr. zu Googleberg is nothing but a liar and a cheat and a fraud. And Angela Merkel will at some point realise that keeping him on brings her own ethics and integrity into question.

But maybe it is just a continuation of the long line of German politicians with deficient ethics and little integrity.

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office”.
Aesop (~550 BC)

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