Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 24, 2017

A German Election Analysis

As your host is German you may want to read his opinion and  analysis of today's federal election results in Germany.

German election results (ARD 6pm exit poll) Update: Preliminary official result:

  • CDU/CSU - 33.0%
  • SPD - 20.5%
  • AfD - 12.6%
  • FDP - 10.7%
  • Left - 9.2%
  • Greens - 8.9%

No great surprise there.

The participation rate slightly increased to 76.2%.

The result is bad for the top-candidates Merkel (CDU) and Schulz (SPD). The CDU lost 9 percentage points compared to the 2013 election, the SPD lost 5. These two parties once held a total of 81% of votes between them. They are now down to 53% of total votes.

Voter migration analysis will show that the CDU loss was caused by Merkel's centrist and socially liberal policies and especially her gigantic immigration ("refugees") mistake. It caused the right-wing CDU voters to go over to the new right-wing party AFD. Other CDU voters (re-)joined the FDP.

Her party will punish Merkel for this catastrophic result. I doubt that she has two or more years left in her position. Her party will shun her and move away from the center and back into its traditional moderate-right corner.

The voters lost by the formerly moderate-left, now also centrist, SPD went over to The Left and the FDP. Many also abstained.

The FDP is back in the game after having been kicked out of parliament is the 2013 elections. The Greens and the Left Party results are mostly unchanged.

Over the last 25 years both of the traditionally big parties, CDU and SPD, had moved from their moderate-right, respectively moderate-left positions towards a "centrist" neo-liberalism. In consequence The Left split off the SPD and now the AFD from the CDU.

The AFD is by no means a "Nazi" party though a few Nazis may hide under its mantle. The voters are mostly traditionalist, staunch conservatives and anti-globalization. They were earlier part of the CDU.

The SPD will not want to enter another government coalition with Merkel, It played Merkel's junior partner over the last eight years and that led to ever increasing voter losses. It nearly killed the party. The mistake of selecting the colorless Schulz as top-candidate will lead to some (necessary) blood loss in the party's leadership. SPD head Gabriel will, like Schulz, have to step back from leadership positions.

Merkel will have difficulties forming a coalition. She will avoid the AFD as her campaign had discriminated that party as "Nazi" (in itself a huge strategic mistake). She will try to build a coalition with the Green and the FDP. It will be enough to rule for a while but is a somewhat unstable configuration.

The new parliament will be more lively than the previous ones under the large CDU-SPD coalition. More parties and a real opposition will create more public discussions.

We will likely have new elections within the next two years.

Posted by b on September 24, 2017 at 17:40 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Just like the American election with Clinton, western media doing everything to uncritically support Merkel and demonize, especially AFD, the oppostional parties. Propaganda all over.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 24 2017 17:53 utc | 1

having just been exposed to the AFD party and somewhat taken aback by their huge gains, I used the google to find out a bit about them. one of the first hits is from the Intercept where they talk about a very wealthy woman who just happens to be a Trump supporter as well funneling money and fake news to support this "scary" new party. B wrote about how right wing parties gained support because the traditional left has abandoned them. this is probably the case in Germany as well with the SPD being quite disappointing to many. The FDP seems to have gained a bit due to time passing and people not remembering how badly they got screwed by Westerwelle and his crew some years back.

anyway, for what it is worth, here is the link to the Intercept story

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 24 2017 18:10 utc | 2

The political terms that you use in the article: right, left, center and variations of these are meaningless. Maybe there are used as personal excuse for voting for this and that party otherwise there is only philosophical difference between essentially (ultra) right wing ideologies or if you will "people's" parties.

The term "anti-globalist" is also kind of misleading. There is no such thing, after all, if anybody has benefited from "globalization" than it is Germany or narrowly speaking German capitalist's elite. Just take look at German account sufficient.

Now the Germans might have sorrow for Deutche Mark but so Italian for Lira or Greeks for Drahama. That life has become more expensive for everybody is old story but refuges should not be blamed. AfD is maybe not Nazi but neither Nazis becomes Nazis overnight, it is small step. I should say meaningless. It is matter of taste.

Anti-refuge rhetorics (rape, jobs, etc) and/or attention-seeking campaign against them is trendy for decades and it is German's own version of the US fascism. Germany is little bit late comer but better late than never.

All in all. What colors of new Gov. is going to be is irrelevant...just like MalcomX said:

“It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won't even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.”

Majority of Merkel's party than you integrate it with SPD or whatever, than add up bit of FDP than you have a mixture of neo-fascism.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 18:12 utc | 3

The German's United Tribes at voting for its Chief in a process called "Democracy"!
It is an envy progress.

"German election results (ARD 6pm exit poll):

CDU/CSU - 32.5%
SPD - 20.0%
AfD - 13.5%
FDP - 10.5%
Left - 9.5%
Greens - 9.5%"

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 18:22 utc | 5

b: The result is bad for the top-candidates Merkel (CDU) and Schulz (SPD).

CDU/CSU - 32.5%
SPD - 20.0%

That's a majority.....
Bad yes
But not for Merkel and Schulz.

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 24 2017 18:30 utc | 6

The 'radical center' wins again, just as it did in France. I wouldn't count on Merkel being ousted within 2 years, as the one political skill she has shown time and time again is the ability to eliminate opponents. She has no true political acumen or appeal to rally the people but she does know how to stab people in the back, which can be valuable in politics.

As with the US, Germany proves that 'winning' the economic war with other countries doesn't necessarily lead to improvement of the lives of workers. True there are crumbs to be thrown to them but they don't get the substantive rewards their efforts should get.

With regard to AfD, I agree they're not fascist. They seem to be right wing reactionaries of the sort that buttress the right wing of the Republican party in the US--climate deniers, anti-migrant, let's get rid of regulations so we can all be richer, etc.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Sep 24 2017 18:44 utc | 7

At least you Germany you have illusion of choice with six parties instead of two.;) I hope that you have as many sodas.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 18:48 utc | 8


The intercept story is correct. AFD funding is good and to a large part hidden in Switzerland.

The party is definitively neoliberal, I doubt they are economically antiglobalist. It is difficult to nail them. Their programme is "völkisch" ie preserving German "language, culture and identity". Both of their main representatives are very global indeed - one being anglophone the other living in Swiss-German lesbian counterculture. Another representative comes from a German-European noble family.

The common denominator would be anti-islam - to the point where Alice Weidel who is co-chair claims she is against Muslim immigration as they are a danger for lesbians.

Anyway - German politics will be unstable now for quite some time.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 18:51 utc | 9

b, thanks, been waiting for this. BTW I'm leaning AFD and time for Merkel to move on. Her policy on immigration suck

Posted by: OJS | Sep 24 2017 18:52 utc | 10


SPD has categorically said they will be opposition.

Their analysis is that being responsible for coalition decisions with Angela Merkel has cost them the votes.

So Angela Merkel will have to try a coalition with FDP and Greens, and both FDP and Greens are wary of that.

In the end there might be some tolerated minority government.

The result will be that nothing will get done in Germany for quite a while.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 18:57 utc | 11

"The party is definitively neoliberal,..." You mean this?

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 19:01 utc | 12

"The result will be that nothing will get done in Germany for quite a while."

Why so?

Do not worry, masses are passive, illiterate (Germans are just humans after all) and dumbed down with new versions of Androids and IOS. Plus your own entertainment class and Oktoberfest will make every effort to twist mind of people in direction "do not think". In addition anti-Islam hysteria will inflame the mind and make blood to boil to majority of “Deutschland über Alles” folks.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 19:10 utc | 13

What better way to enslave a man
than to give him the vote and tell him he's free

Albert CAMUS (apocryphal)

Posted by: mh505 | Sep 24 2017 19:12 utc | 14

I forgot there must be "identity politics" as well.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 19:12 utc | 15

Isn't FDP hardcore neo-liberal? I mean, sure, you might have some socially progressive views, but that doesn't mean you're left-wing, plenty of economically neo-liberal people also have socially liberal views.

As for the Greens, it would be bonkers for them to ally and rule with Merkel without the SPD shield. That would destroy their numbers, next election.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 24 2017 19:12 utc | 16

How can the same person go for a 4th term??? If this had been a non-Western friendly country, questoins will be raised about the validity of the elections and name like "dictator" will be thrown around.

4th term, people!!! Let that sink in :)

Posted by: Zico | Sep 24 2017 19:18 utc | 17

Hi, this is unrelated so I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post it here, but it's interesting:
Russian defense ministry is claiming the US and SDF forces moved through large stretches of ISIS territory near Deir Ezzor without any resistance at all over the past few days, even while ISIS was ferociously fighting the Syrian Army which had just crossed the Euphrates. They're released a map and satellite images as supporting evidence (the blue numbers represent the number of ISIS forces estimated to be in those areas):
Someone in the comments there correctly points out that either ISIS is completely collapsing, or the Americans and SDF made a deal with ISIS (it would be a mutually beneficient one -- US and SDF gets the country's major oil reserves, ISIS gets to watch two of its foes potentially start a major conflict with each other and forget about ISIS for a bit).
Also, a top Russian general in Syria has just been killed with a pin-point guided strike on his position (sabotage suspected).

Posted by: E | Sep 24 2017 19:22 utc | 18

Let me guess. Because...because she is a physicist, yet from Leipzig. She is not Werner Heisenberg but a physicist nevertheless, who faithfully is serving capitalist class.

A physicist!? Hello.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 19:27 utc | 19

b: As an American now permanently residing in Germany, I am still working through the various quirks of German political strategy. The new political calculus arising out of today's election makes complete sense except for one thing: What incentive would Christian Lindner have to bring the FDP into a coalition with the Union and the Greens?

Given the FDP's shambolic performance in government from 2009-2013, and their subsequent crashing out of the Bundestag altogether in 2013, why would they hitch their wagon to this Jamaica colored dumpster-fire in-waiting?

Specifically, in light of the twin pillars of the FDP platform, specifically A) a logical, measured, and controlled approach to any type of deeper EU integration (and adamant opposition to any type of monetary transfers to other EU member-states), and B) the political toxicity of anything resembling unchecked migration, what could the Union possibly offer the FDP that would justify their risking their future electoral viability by being associated with Merkel: Part IV?

Their potential coalition partner in the Greens are passionately pro-migration (even more so than the departing Grand Coalition and definitely more so than the Die Linke), and they are eternally obsessed with anything resulting in "an ever closer union". Someone is going to have to break a promise to their voters right off the bat if this coalition takes place and with Merkel's tendency to blindly pursue these failing policies, it seems that the FDP is the one likely to be tasked with changing their position.

In that light, why would they put so much voter-equity into risk by even joining in the first place? What would be the strategic carrot that would cause them to consider this?

Posted by: Shady Ray | Sep 24 2017 19:28 utc | 20

Populist parties that combine the best ideas of the 'far' left and 'far' right - this kind of movement would win everywhere I think.

Posted by: paul | Sep 24 2017 19:29 utc | 21


Sure, they are neoliberal. Their programme supports "open markets, free decisions, private property, competition". They are very "anti-Euro".

There is a part in their programme that state intervention should be minimal and should be calculable for investors - German and international. German and international companies should have the same rights. AFD is definitively not protectionist.

They claim the name of Ludwig Ehrhard - ie "social market economy" and Walter Eucken - ie ordoliberalism - but that is false labelling - there is nothing social nor economic planning of the state in their programme that I can detect. They think there is too much regulation - a typical neoliberal complaint.

They also want to get rid of property tax and inheritance tax.

The neoliberal competition to FDP is very clear.

"Die Linke" and "Green Party" seem to have the same amount of votes they got last time. It looks like the CDU/CSU/SPD coalition lost votes to FDP and AFD.

FDP is AFD minus the "völkische" part.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 19:32 utc | 22

In reading the AFD programme - the "social part" - they want to reduce the money spent on social systems, in Germany that would mean reducing the money companies and employes have to pay, and obviously would mean that the money paid out would have to be reduced.

They want to "keep the minimum wage at the level it is" :-))

Plus they want to replace present Social Security with something work based which is not very clear how it could work.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 19:44 utc | 23

"b" - I'm told that the SPD also lost many votes to the AfD.

Posted by: EnglishOutsider | Sep 24 2017 19:51 utc | 24

Yes, I know I just wanted to make clear there is German version of neoliberalism. Which both are kind of child of the Mont Pelerin society or so the myth goes.

Along with the Austrian school it is backbone of capitalist ideology today at lest in social sphere and for the working class, while for the ruling class Keynesianism is still well and live.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 19:53 utc | 25


FDP position on migration is pretty logical, I find - separate political asylum status, refugee status and needed skilled immigration. I think the laws are already there but not really explained to people - Angela Merkel somehow did not manage to do this.

Green Party would have no problem with that if thrown into the mix some 'funding of projects in Africa to give people a perspective there'. All parties can agree on that.

Europa will be a problem for Greens, FDP basically agrees with Schäuble.

But being in government means jobs, visibility .... they will do it.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 20:05 utc | 26


It is possible that "Die Linke" lost a lot of votes in the ex-GDR states to AFD and gained them overall from the SPD. AFD results in the Eastern states are astronomical.

But sure, AFD will have gained votes from all parties. There are some 14 percent of votes FDP and AFD gained from somewhere.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 20:16 utc | 27

@ 2 Dear dan... " I used the google to find out a bit about them. one of the first hits..."

Why would you use google? Why would you trust their massaged results? Do you not realize that the headlines on that first page of results is designed and actually determines your bias regarding the stories they link to? Repeated studies have proven that even people who are aware of this manipulation are just as influenced as those who are unaware. Google is a poison when it comes to looking for the information that will enable understanding.

And please, do not enable that google perversion by reproducing it on sites like this. Most of us have chosen to step away from the MSM. Introducing it here as if it is worthy of consideration is just wearisome. It is like bursts of static interrupting a Vivaldi concerto... which I am listening to at this moment. ;)

Posted by: les7 | Sep 24 2017 20:18 utc | 28

And if no coalition can be formed, will there be another round of elections?

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 24 2017 20:18 utc | 29

German sheeple acted like Americans simply stupid giving fourth term to a former FDJ ( DDRs equivalent of Hitler Jugent)!apparatchik who got her PhD from party recommendation after that betrayed her country as CIA spy having a role IN illegal annexation of DDR I.E. DEUTSCHE DEMOKRATISCHE REPUBLIK by BUNDES REPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND I.E. WEST GERMANY. no space to develop this subject more.

Also suppose benefit of Germany economic success is a utter lie. Germans are getting poorer, while oligarchy thrives. Go to YT single mothers in Germany with two kids make 1000 euros a month , barely surviving is a common place, government taken over by foreign global interests also, Turkish, Arab and Asian.

German taxpayers continuously bail out the German banks like insolvent DB as well as real estate trusts.
Recently government bailed out entire German car industry that is effectively bankrupt after emmison lying scandal, nobody went to jail in Germany while they all committed criminal offenses requiring jail term.

Opening borders in Germany for immigrants was a two fold ploy, one to admitt returning western intelligence assets and their families after loss of Syrian war due to Russian intervention second to allow hard core, but under observation jihadists to terrorize population for political reasons to destroy meek German left who at least officially oppose militarization and Deep state terror.

Germany descending into third world banana republic ways parroting US globalists like regurgitating Russia-gate that was a subject of Merkel pre election fear mongering while German IC vehemently denied that or funding Ukrainian Nazis with help from Canada.

This is piece of Germany now nobody wants to talk about.

Posted by: Kalen | Sep 24 2017 20:28 utc | 30


They can try a minority government that is tolerated by the majority.

Or - which would be fun - an all party government minus AFD.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 20:29 utc | 31

Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, and now Germany. Countries in which the political system is based on blocks of loosely aligned smaller parties that had a rough left-right equilibrium post WW2. That equilibrium is now disturbed by a nominally right wing populist party that manages to attract a large working class vote share and becomes the deciding weight on the electoral scale.

In all of these countries there is a solid 10-20% of the electorate that will vote for any party that supports their main issue; anti-immigration. The party that gets these votes either becomes completely shunned like the SD in Sweden- leaving an enfeebled political system, or they become kingmakers like the DF in Denmark essentially allowing a conservative right wing minority government to rule.

Posted by: Køn | Sep 24 2017 20:39 utc | 32

"Over the last 20 years both of the traditionally big parties, CDU and SPD, had moved from their moderate-right, respectively moderate-left positions towards centrist neo-liberalism. "

In case you didn't notice B every ruling party in Europe is "whatever neo-liberalism" as you called it.
Almost as if they had to comply to some chart decided by some supranational identity as if those who we elect dont call the shots ... p57-59

Posted by: Charlesg | Sep 24 2017 20:44 utc | 33

I voted AfD and I hope it means that we can hear German being spoken in the streets of Germany again instead of English.

Posted by: mischi | Sep 24 2017 20:48 utc | 34

Well, as is not sovereign state, Germany is again at mercy of AngloZionist.

AngloZionists wage a war whoever stands in their way, politically or economically or militarily. In this order.

After what I believe in manufactured affair with diesel engines, now Germany itself is faced with question what to do with its car industry and relentless attack by competition from the US, i.e. Tesla? Who I believe have manufactured this scandal.

Chancellor Angela Merkel cautiously spoke in favor of the automobile industry abandoning the combustion engine, she was sharply attacked by her CSU coalition partner. Unlike the British and French governments, Merkel, in spite of her timid criticism, did not want to set a binding exit time frame for this climate-damaging technology, explicitly declaring that she "could not yet name a precise year." However, CSU Chairman Horst Seehofer immediately declared that, for his party, maintaining the diesel would be a prerequisite for forming a future coalition government.Prohibiting the combustion engine would "strike at the roots of our prosperity," Seehofer claimed. In the discussion of the diesel scandal, Germany is about to "completely loose its head" and start a "witch hunt against the automobile, itself."

But political and public climate is not on side of the Germans. Nor is financial industry. Two third of trade sufficit is coming from car export, an industry which is darling of political elite.

Asset managers ban investments in German carmakers

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 20:50 utc | 35

Much of the analysis is correct, but I strongly doubt, that there will be a new election early. A Jamaika coalition will yield overall more power and probably at least as many minister positions as currently for the CDU. Therefore, I doubt, that the bigshots of the CDU are too unhappy. Even the strengthening of the AFD is not that bad for the CDU as in the long run the vote share of AFD + CDU will be higher than CDU alone. As the CDU is stronger than the SPD in the long run, for the foreseeable future the CDU will provide the chancellor in coalitions with either the SPD, FDP and/or the greens. A large majority of voters in Germany want neither the Left Party nor the AFD in power, so essentially no coalition without the CDU is possible.

Posted by: Martin | Sep 24 2017 20:51 utc | 36

What some people call a mistake about migrants didn't really cost CDU. Most ruling parties in parlementary 'democracies' loose seats in the next election unless the oppositition is really terrible. From let's say 41% to 32%, the next party at a lengthy 20% and thus still remain the undisputed ruling party is really not out of the ordanary.

CDU headed by Merkel is still the biggest party so kicking her out of her chair doesn't look so easy to me.

Posted by: xor | Sep 24 2017 20:51 utc | 37


:-)) Du sagst das auf Englisch?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 21:06 utc | 38

male, middle aged, working class and fearful ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 21:14 utc | 39

@ mischi | Sep 24, 2017 4:48:20 PM | 34

He, he, he

don't you want to be part of the "world". Want to buy from Amazon, eBay, Uber or to be on F*ckbook etc. Now you are going to drive Tesla, if you can afford. They are all in German but still...

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

The world according to AngloZionist.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 21:15 utc | 40

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24, 2017 2:57:11 PM | 11

So you trust the words of politicians?

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 24 2017 21:21 utc | 41

the masonic numbers speak
do they not
total zionist capture
merkel really
if true the germans embraced
what barbera lerner spector wanted
multi cultural disney rape kaos babylon
for the goyim
complete mind control and victory number 4 for hitlers lesbian daughter
she gave 5 nuclear submarines as free gifts for tel aviv
how many more
ww2 compensations from germany too israel until 2075
music,movies,newssport and countries all ashkenazied

Posted by: douglas reed | Sep 24 2017 21:22 utc | 42


Sure. They would not say this categorically if this had not been cleared beforehand.

SPD needs time to reposition.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24 2017 21:28 utc | 43

@Køn | Sep 24, 2017 4:39:52 PM | 32

Interesting, it this a rational explanation? If memory serve me well I've read this from the past. That is how Hitler came to power, or story goes? Similar development had happened in France.

New/old, imagine, enemy is immigration. Remember Trump (quintessential fascist) and his words about Mexican or Latinos? He has continued now with black NBA NFL players!

White racist in Europe drums in same drums.

@somebody | Sep 24, 2017 5:14:17 PM | 39

yes, they can fear only from its capitalist class that savagely exploit them.

But capitalist class like to appeal on emotion and tribal/primal/primordial feelings. Old game.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 21:32 utc | 44

FDP is AFD minus the "völkische" part.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 24, 2017 3:32:55 PM | 22

Baked potato and salad is a steak dinner without a steak.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 24 2017 21:39 utc | 45

As a German reader, a few comments which must be added to your analysis. The FDP is by no means "liberal-leftish". On the fiscal and economic side, they are much more neoliberalist than the CDU.
Concerning the AfD it is an irony that a lot of voters with lower income voted for them - as the party wants to scrap what's left of social security, welfare systems and transfer payments to poorer people. Voters got intrigued by anti-immigration slogans and did not read the "fine print" about fiscal and social policies.

Posted by: Dieter Kuckelkorn | Sep 24 2017 21:42 utc | 46

Choices for German voters remind me a conversation overheard on a plane from Germany to a destination with a large minority originating in East Europe. Stewardess: do you prefer beef or chicken? Passenger: vodka.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 24 2017 21:44 utc | 47

"A certain person may be elected by the public on the basis of his merit and ideals – but rarely is this person able to formulate policy, You know, I’ve communicated with one U.S. president, and a second, and a third — presidents come and go but the politics remain the same.

Do you know why that is?

So a person is elected — he comes with ideas. Then people with briefcases come visit him, well-dressed, in dark suits — kind of like mine. Except instead of a red tie it’s black or navy.

This happens from one administration to the next."



That's why is frau Merkel in her fourth term. A "people with briefcases" are pleased with
her. People abroad and domestic ones, a people who has only loyalty to a money not borders and nations.

NOTHING WILL CHANGE. Deep State is taking care of it.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 24 2017 22:07 utc | 48

the chap nick griffin who ran the national front uk refused money from israel
who wanted him only too sprach about muslims and the menace within.

tommy robinson loves only talking about muslims and is a proud national front zionist.
you folks talk like this is real.
the idiots in holland villders or whatever his name is
these folks in germany all paid and programmed too talk of the muslim terror.
never a bad word of tel aviver same with the zionist man woman whatever it is lepenn in france.
total zionist control all sides captured keep talking running around inside the wheel like gerbels
every step forward is like a new vista when it's been all the same for a hundred years or more.

tavistock country of the mind mapping

who was the right wing guy in austria that died in a car crash far right remember
like danny jenco demolition 911 expert those guys died in car accident because they was probably real for real

did muslims let the muslims into europe too run amok
who let them in
inteligent folks who write so well of world politick yet you never look at the masonic numbers 13 percent indeed
satanism,nazi ism what is the other ism ohh yes anti semetism and innocent zionism.

merkel what is that v hand sign she is always doing is it a nervous tick or just conky dink

Posted by: douglas reed | Sep 24 2017 23:12 utc | 49

I went to Germany for the first time last September to Villingen in the Black Forest. I observed the immigrants of the Islamic faith, young men who stood out because they were hanging around in squares, outside the railway station, men in groups, aimless. Having studied their religion in some depth, having lived among them for some years I feel I know them. Their racism is religious. You will never be accepted by them if you are not one of them.

I met Spanish people, immigrants too, who blended with the German way of life seemingly seamlessly, who bought old bikes and explored the Forest but did not hang around in throngs of males in fucking squares.

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 24 2017 23:45 utc | 50

Re: Lochearn @50

Comparing religions is a slippery business, e.g. Catholics from small Polish towns can be as exclusionary as Muslim with comparable background. One can also observe that people from Turkey (not all of them Turks) are reasonably well integrated.

That said, having a sudden one million of people coming from a war zone, with post-traumatic stress disorder, would scare most tolerant people, and it is hard for me to conceptualize what possessed Merkel to do so. The political consequences were relatively mild in Germany, but for some reasons, it was an earthquake further east. The demagogs have a field day. And what do "reasonable parties" have to say? Regrettably, a bunch of nonsense. After fomenting civil wars in Syria and Libya and getting blowback in the form of refugees, it could be rational to try to reverse the process, fostering fast resolutions of those wars and quick reconstruction. But clear thinking is beyond capabilities of the elites that honed a number of mental taboos over the years. So they can offer something that sound nicer, but not something that makes more sense.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2017 0:10 utc | 51

@21 Paul is basically hinting at what I've been thinking these last few years.
The Left totally blew it and failed big time by not agitating and going full populist back in 2007/2008. In Europe, they blew it again in the next years when country after country got butchered until Greece was treated like a nation of untermenschen. Then blew it definitively in 2015/16 with their abymsal answer to the migrants' crisis.
At this point, it should be obvious to any sensible politician that there's a massive amount of voters to be gained by going full anti-capitalist, anti-bankers, economically uber-protectionist, coupled with a strong anti-immigration / heavy border controls policy. Considering also how most people are sick to death of politically correctness, identity politics and special interest groups, this basically means that a party that would go mostly anti-liberal except on select issues - but economy being never one of these in any way - would easily gain 30% of the voters, in any given Western country. The real difficulty seems that such a party would have to avoid any founding or prominent member coming from a known hard right-wing party or movement, so that the bulk of betrayed leftists can join it in the middle and long run without being turned off by vaguely convincing claims of "fascism" - such claims will happen, but if you don't have FN/UKIP/KKK/genuine Nazis in it, it's easier to shrug them off.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 25 2017 0:17 utc | 52

Speaking of Nazi's - the CDU was formed with 'former nazi's' with the assistsnce of their yankee handlers.

Posted by: Giap | Sep 25 2017 0:42 utc | 53

Some assessments are rather strange, just an example: You wrote: "
the liberal-leftish FDP". The FDP has nothing to do with anything left. She is neoliberal to the bone and has absolutely no ecological interests. And by the way, the SPD was not the junior partner of the CDU for the last eight years, but only in the last legislative period. Before that, the ruling coalition was black-yellow (CDU /FDP).

Posted by: Pnyx | Sep 25 2017 1:20 utc | 54

PB @51 said: "having a sudden one million of people coming from a war zone, with post-traumatic stress disorder, would scare most tolerant people, and it is hard for me to conceptualize what possessed Merkel to do so."

Cheap and exploitable labor pool?

Posted by: ben | Sep 25 2017 1:41 utc | 55

I doubt AFD would have had these gains (or Merkel those losses) without the disastrous interventions in Libya and Syria that spawned the immigration increase - which is actually rather minor compared to what has hit other countries closer to the carnage. In terms of geopolitics, the blame for that lies squarely with the U.S., Britain, NATO and EU member states:

The military conflicts and political instability driving hundreds of thousands of refugees into Europe were triggered largely by U.S. and Western military interventions for regime change – specifically in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. . . . The United States was provided with strong military support by countries such as Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain, while the no-fly zone to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was led by France and the UK in 2011 and aided by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Canada, among others. . .

. . .While Western European countries are complaining about the hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding their shores, the numbers are relatively insignificant compared to the 3.5 million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon – none of which invaded any of the countries from where most of the refugees are originating.

It also looks like most votes for AFD came from the ex-communist East German regions that still seem to be economically depressed relative to the rest of Germany, accounting for some of the popular disenchantment. There are many similarities to the Hillary Clinton campaign, in which she ignored serious economic problems across the Rust Belt states and instead called people "deplorables". However, blaming all the economic problems on immigrants is just a scapegoat approach - the economic problems are not so simple: . .

Neoliberalism is getting hoisted on its own petard, in other words.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Sep 25 2017 1:45 utc | 56

@giap 53

It was pretty blatant - J.J. McCloy, noted American empire-builder, was a main actor behind that. World Bank president, high commissioner for Germany, Chase Manhatten Bank, member of the Warren Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations - it's kind of astonishing how quick those guys were to get in bed with ex-Nazis after WWII ended - a lot of the very same people on Wall Street who'd backed Hitler in the 1930s were involved.
See Charles Higham (1983), "Trading with the Enemy: An Exposé of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949"

The US also recruited hundreds of Nazis as spies for Cold War operations.

Stalin used that re-Nazification to great effect, it helped convince all the eastern European countries that they'd be overrun again if they didn't support the Warsaw Pact. Which might very well have been true.

There's a fairly strong argument that if FDR had lived a few more years, much of the Cold War could have been avoided, along with the nuclear arms race, since FDR wasn't at all eager to get in bed with ex-Nazis.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Sep 25 2017 2:10 utc | 57

@ Any Germans &/or anyone knowledgeable about German &/or EU law –

Did Merkel in fact have any semblance of constitutional authority under German law to unilaterally admit one million migrants? Wouldn't such decisions typically be the province of, or at least require the ratification of, the legislature? And even assuming she had such authority under German law, wouldn't EU law require consultation with other member states and formal legislative action at EU level before this kind of action could be undertaken? MSM coverage of the Merkel immigration debacle always seems to acknowledge the impulsiveness of her action but never seems to question its legality.

Posted by: B. Birnbaum | Sep 25 2017 2:40 utc | 58

Clueless Joe @52

@21 Paul is basically hinting at what I've been thinking these last few years. The Left totally blew it and failed big time by not agitating and going full populist back in 2007/2008.
What we get now (In USA) are faux populists (Obama, Trump) coupled with extreme partisanship of accusers (birthers, neo-McCarthyites, etc.) and apologists that create a dynamic whereby the faux populist leader can betray his "base".

Extreme partisanship also acts to keep reasonable people from both sides from joining together so the neolib "radical center" rules.

Our politics isn't broken. It's fixed.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2017 3:06 utc | 59

all this defensiveness about German political parties not being "Nazis" is crap. They weren't Nazis in the 1920's before the Nazis took over. Though they were racist and nationalist and let their country brutalize the world.
sound familiar? the only thing new is which side the US is on.

Posted by: anon | Sep 25 2017 3:16 utc | 60

@ giap45

I had close friends who told me , fifty years ago of Nazi contacts - they personally disliked - who'd escaped from Germany into positions of power and influence in the U S .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Sep 25 2017 3:40 utc | 61

Dear friends,
maybe like in all other countries, we should look to the basics of the different groups. CDU/CSU, SPD, AfD, FDP, Die Gruene are a common block. Her policy, based on her values and perspectives, are the same: extension of money flow, accumulation of richness for the samll group of elites.
Only "Die Linke", the left, stay outside. But maybe nearly the half of her functionaries is in real part of the other block. The result is the neutralisation.
"Die Linke" have no alternatives to the capitalism. Her focus is only redistribution and not creation. In reality, the real economical sphere is a big autocratic dictatorial system. The political superstructure is only theater.
greetings, willi, in this time Asuncion, Paraguay

Posted by: willi uebelherr | Sep 25 2017 4:51 utc | 62

From all those comments Willi Uebelherr hit the nail best. The German majority is blocked in a kind of Neo-Biedermeier basic feeling. If I put my head into the sand, do nothing, think nothing, the evil may pass me and hit another guy. The AfD is that extreme expression of that way of thinking, that put to waste the classic virtues of politeness, being educated, avoid to talk against minorities of all kind in the public. There is a German term for it: Verrohung. That aspect was dominant with the Nazis, but except quite an amount of leadership in the AfD their voters are no Nazis. In such an environment leftists may have the best intellectual levels but cannot much. Their result reflects this.

Posted by: Willi Aufdiedauer | Sep 25 2017 5:46 utc | 63


It is a myth that Merkel "welcomed the refugees into the country". She tried to defuse a difficult situation.

Refugees entered the Schengen area in Hungary.

The Hungarian government‘s original plan – to detain as many refugees as possible for an extended period of time in hopes of generating a deterrent effect – was rendered obsolete. Hungary simply lacked the capacity to detain tens of thousands for longer periods; the refugees were set free after a few days and traveled on to Budapest. Budapest‘s two major train stations, Keleti and Nyugati, had already developed into a hub for organising the onward journey to northern Europe since the beginning of 2015.

Hungary has some 10 million inhabitants. You think Northern Europe could return the refugees to Hungary?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2017 7:35 utc | 64

add to 63

The night Germany lost control

On August 21, 2015, Angelika Wenzl, the senior government official at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), sends out an internal memo with the title, "Procedural rules for the suspension of the Dublin convention for Syrian citizens." It means that no Syrian who applies for asylum in Germany will be sent back to the country where they first entered Europe, as normally stipulated under the Dublin rules. The memo then gets leaked to the media. To this day, senior officials at the agency still haven't figured out how it got out. With an increasing number of queries, the press office at BAMF goes on the offensive on August 25 and sends out a tweet at 1:30 p.m. reading: "We are at present largely no longer enforcing Dublin procedures for Syrian citizens." The tweet immediately starts spreading down the Balkan route, where it was interpreted by refugees as an open invitation. Before the tweet, almost all refugees had willingly allowed themselves to be registered in Hungary. Now, most refuse. The Hungarian ambassador in Berlin asks the German Interior Ministry about the legal situation. No one there is familiar with the tweet, and officials are puzzled.


Nevertheless, in accordance with the discussion during the morning meeting in the Chancellery, Steffen Seibert once again insists to journalists in that day's press conference that Hungary has "the legally binding obligation" to "properly register the refugees, to provide for them and to carry out asylum proceedings in Hungary in accordance with European standards." The German government, Seibert says in a tone that for him sounds almost threatening, "assumes that Hungary, as a part of the Western community of values, will meet its legal and humanitarian obligations just as Germany has."

Prevailing law, European standards, humanitarian obligations — such are the terms being invoked by German politicians during these turbulent days. Because for Germany, prevailing law is rather useful.

Prevailing law holds that every asylum-seeker must be registered, provided for and sheltered in the EU member state where they first enter European Union territory. Germany, though, is situated in the middle of Europe, surrounded on all sides by EU member states. That means it is impossible for refugees to arrive in Germany without having first passed through another EU member state, unless they fall from the sky. Prevailing law also holds that those who have managed to make it to Germany must be sent back to the country where they first entered the EU. By definition, these are countries on the European periphery like Greece and Italy.

Were this law to still apply, there wouldn't be any refugees in Hungary at all. They would all still be in Greece, properly registered, appropriately provided for and humanely sheltered. And truth be told, officials in Berlin are perfectly aware of that fact.

Germany did not send refugees who made it back to Greece before 2015. It is not feasible. This BAMF regulation was not a sudden 2015 thing.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2017 7:55 utc | 65

More on the "sudden" 2015 decision to suspend the Dublin agreement.

It was not sudden and it was not from 2015.

This here is from 2013.

The fact that even the CDU/CSU has softened on immigration issues is partly attributable to demographic changes. Germany, as one of the world's top exporting nations, cannot dispense with refugees if it doesn't know where it will get its future trainees and skilled workers.

And interior ministers, especially those with the CDU, have learned that being tough on asylum seekers is often politically more costly than advantageous. In many cases, deportations have caused resentment among the party's traditional voters: church congregations, local dignitaries and middle-class citizens who don't understand why, after so many years, their party suddenly wants to see a nice immigrant family deported. Even in the election campaign, when Interior Minister Friedrich was recently expected to launch into a heated debate over immigration policy with Green Party Chairman Cem Özdemir and SPD parliamentary group secretary Thomas Oppermann, it turned out their respective positions weren't that different.
The system is breaking down. In 2011, German border agents noted 21,156 illegal entries. Last year the number increased to 25,670, and this year there had already been 23,000 illegal entries by the end of September. "We now have uncontrolled immigration," says a German Federal Police officer. Laws and agreements are being ignored in places like Italy, Poland and Greece.

On Aug. 23, the Italian police detained 27 Syrians and one Afghan on board the Eurocity train from Verona to Munich. By law, they should all have been entered into the Eurodac fingerprint database for asylum seekers, since they had filed asylum applications in Italy. Oddly enough, however, not one of them appeared in Eurodac. "The Italians are no longer fingerprinting many of their asylum seekers," says a frustrated German Federal Police officer.

This is to prevent other EU countries from immediately sending them back to Italy, as provided under the Dublin Regulation. Italy also sometimes gives refugees €500 and provides them with a tourist visa, or "titolo di viaggio." About 300 of these phony tourists are now living on the street in Hamburg, dependent on the charity of churches and other aid organizations.

This has been brewing for a long time. The problem with Merkel is that she waits for problems to blow up before she acts.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2017 8:03 utc | 66

Occasionally, the Guardian's George Monbiot loosens his shackles:

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Sep 25 2017 8:13 utc | 67


Merkel government have had one of the most liberal immigration policies, Germany ought to have taken the most refugees coming into europe, how is that not to welcome refugees? No one is demanding that Germany do this.

Nine in ten Germans want limit on refugees

Posted by: Anon | Sep 25 2017 8:53 utc | 68

onward christian soldiers...

Posted by: john | Sep 25 2017 9:37 utc | 69

The countries with the "liberal" immigration policies were Italy and Greece - they had no choice compatible with humanitarian basic principle.

You cannot keep people within the Schengen no border area in one country or you have to end Schengen. That is a large part of the reason for BREXIT.

You cannot "limit" the number of refugee and follow law. Immigration laws are regulated for the EU not for Germany.

The Merkel government did not tell people the truth - that the German economy attracts and needs a foreign workforce in low paid service jobs.

This especially needs some explanation in the ex-GDR "new states" where unemployment is high as big companies do not go there. And where Russia sanctions hit the traditionally eastward oriented industries. And where people are well qualified but do not find fitting jobs. And where there is still a pay and pension difference to the "old" states.

AFD now is the strongest party in Saxony with CDU a close second. In all "new" states AFD got 22,5 percent. They still got 8 to 12 percent in the "old" states but the difference is stark.

The political problem which close to destroyed the Social Democrats is that Merkel sold her mainstream policies with left "social democrat" arguments, "humanitarian aid" etc.

Same with Greece - Merkel/Schäuble saving the banks whilst pretending that they save Greece.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2017 10:08 utc | 70


Call it "liberal" or not but this is the truth..

"Germany, the EU country which takes the most asylum seekers source: the eoonomist.
And the reason why is because refugees feel "welcomed" in Germany and most concretly, they get alot of economic support compared to other EU states. Merkel government made those laws, subventions, regulations for refugees etc no one else, and no one demanded her to do that.
This is also very devisive policies since native germans feel neglected and thus vote for AfD and so forth.

So no one demands that Germany take the refugees,
obviously all too many germans (as my link showed above 9/10 is against more refugees in Germany) do want a stop now, of obvious reasons, Germany cant simply accept all these people.
In fact this anti-democratic stance by Merkel etc to take more refugees just make real racists grow, this must stop now because it may turn up quite ugly politicians in Germany and rest of the EU states aslong as this idiocy keeps on going.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 25 2017 10:32 utc | 71

@ To all those in here pretending 'the left' somehow missed the opportunity or committed mistakes in the last 10 years and who are hoping for some form of improvement, forget about it. The left never wanted to act as a true opposition to Merkel. Since the left is as much neo-liberal and in bed with big finance as the right. It is the financial sector that runs the country. Schulz and Gabriel are all supportive of Troika and how Greece is being bled dry. It was Schröder that pushed through Hartz IV.

There simply is no party left for the small worker, while 'die Linke' may have a charismatic leader, and I can agree with a lot of her foreign policy stances her party is comprised of former communists. Its policies would strangle Germany's private sector, not to mention the immigration policies and tax burdens small businesses would endure. No party has answers to the shrinking and aging population question either, except for allowing more immigration. That falling birth rates are a result of social progressive ideologies pushed by all parties on the one hand(AfD at least slightly less so) and economic realities for most average Germans, who simply cannot afford more than 1-2 kids in this neo-liberal wonderland the country finds itself in on the other. Instead of regulating banks and big finance, the middle-class is being overburdened with environmental taxes and increasingly expensive energy costs. Regulation is happening but in the wrong location and there's not a single party that wants to change this. Why?

Because it's not meant to happen by the powers that be (big finance/globalists), give the Germans the choice between left and right, but ensure that none of these options actually put a stop to the above mentioned trends. It's depressing indeed but it is reality and as the economic pie starts to shrink the fight over the remaining crumbs will become more intense and immigrants will serve as the necessary distraction for some and empty promises of more government hand-outs for others.

"Sie haben das mächtigste Recht der Welt: Eine freie Stimme. Nutzen Sie sie. (Die Welt, 24.09.2017)"

Posted by: Alexander P | Sep 25 2017 10:33 utc | 72

It is whining on a high level. Some time in the period of Margaret Thatcher politicians found out that they can neglect one third of a country without consequence.
After WWII there used to be consensus that everybody has to get a life for the democratic political system to be survive.
SPD tried to occupy "the middle" just as Merkel did. The consequence: There are parties to the left and to the right of the coalition.
There is the German trauma of the Weimar Republic where right and left parties (successfully) worked against the democratic system.
It is possible that Merkel will have to step down should she not manage to form a FDP/Green/CSU alliance. She will not head her party in the next German elections even if she makes it through the next four years.
Whatever - German politics will get a thorough makeover. There even are self-hating East Germans now.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2017 11:45 utc | 73

A bit more explanation why I said this:

The AFD is by no means a "Nazi" party though a few Nazis may hide under its mantle. The voters are mostly traditionalist, staunch conservatives and anti-globalization. They were earlier part of the CDU.

The AFD party organization has been taken over by economically extremely right-wing politicians. They want to slash social security and other general benefits. They have no other ideology.
But the "populist" message they put out during their campaign was anti-immigration. They hardly had any economic argument in the public.
This is what pulled the traditionalist voters, including a lot from east-Germany
towards them.

Those who control ADF have no qualms about immigration. There only ideology is pure greed. The ADF voters cared about immigration and ignored the economic program that came with the ADF. Theirs were protest votes against the prevalent "liberal" centrism.

A part of The Left also wanted to go with an anti-immigration message. They understand that Merkel's immigration campaign does not have humanitarian reasons. All she wants is to import cheap workers to the detriment of the German workers who have not got decent raises in years.
Parts of The Left understood that and ran against migration. But another part of The Left (the CIA controlled parts some say) sabotaged that with public pro-"refugee" positions. It cost them a lot of (potential) voters.

Posted by: b | Sep 25 2017 14:28 utc | 74

The former west Germans are not normal. That is a result of generations of guilt shaming even on those who were children or not even born until after the 10 year Nazi era. The east Germans were not afflicted by never-ending guilt shaming for generations. The AfD is the only real normal political party in Germany, and that's why they got more votes in former east German regions. Its economics are Ordo-liberal, which is what precipitated the German economic miracle led by Ludwig Erhard. Its immigration policy is common sense. Its rejection of the guilt complex is also common sense and completely right. Wake up Germans.

Posted by: gdpbull | Sep 25 2017 14:42 utc | 75

"Refugees" or economic migrants?

Didn't Turkey force the bulk of the Syrian migration to Europe?

Merkel (and Europe as a whole) could've paid Erdogan to keep the refugees in Turkey.

Erdogan made it clear that he wouldn't support the refugees. When Europe (Germany in particular) decided not to pay Erdogan's, they must've known that the refugees would be released and sent to Europe.

These economic migrants are now cheap labor that restrains upward pressure in wages instead of idle refugees.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2017 14:58 utc | 76

Yes the AfD are charlatans. They will do nothing for the minimum wage earning working classes who vote for them but at the same time they are the only ones who will address the concerns that electorate has about immigration.

If one formed a new left of centre party that adopted the SPD economic program of the 1970's and paired that with an anti-immigrant (anti-islam) stance... =electoral success.

Posted by: Køn | Sep 25 2017 15:15 utc | 77


There is a lot of - intentional - misinformation about migration.

Most migration to Germany is from Eastern and Southern Europe. To end that would mean to end the EU.

There are refugees who intend to return as soon as it is possible and others who don't. There are three generations from Afghanistan living in Germany. Even if they want to return, the country is not safe, not for the refugees having fled the Soviet Union, nor for the refugees fleeing the Taliban.

And there is a skilled workforce that is imported by companies - mostly IT, technical companies.

AFD is a fraud. There has been a sneaking -necessary - change of the definition of German citizenship none of the traditional parties dared to discuss.

The law is based on a mixture of the principles of jus sanguinis and jus soli. In other words, one usually acquires German citizenship if a parent is a German citizen, irrespective of place of birth, or by birth in Germany to parents with foreign nationality if certain requirements are fulfilled.

Germany can't withdraw from globalization - the country lives of exports.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2017 16:35 utc | 78


You claim EU stop working if Germany dont want to take more refugees? Well then EU isnt worth much. Anyway its a false statement by you, because Germany have tried to pay refugees to travel back to their homeland.

Germany to offer 'voluntary return' incentives for asylum seekers

There is no logic in the Merkel government (and many other EU states) regarding refugees. They have no plan, thats what so scary and why people vote Afd.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 25 2017 19:43 utc | 79


If you quit Schengen ie re-control German borders plus stop inner EU free travel and migration all that remains would be free trade agreements that would have to be renegotiated. That would be the end of the EU for Germany ie DEXIT. Do you really think German manufacturing would survive this?

Car parts manufactured in the UK, for example, can be sent for assembly in France before being used in cars built in Germany. According to the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, it is not uncommon for a single car part to cross 15 borders before it is built into a vehicle. “When increasing tariffs or putting in place diverging standards, these commodities and goods will become less efficient, rendering the UK economy less effective,” the economists added.

44% of UK exports currently go to the EU market but the total value of exports to the bloc is almost certain to fall. Abbot even hinted that loss of single market access for the UK after Brexit could wipe out 30-50% of goods exports to the EU. The effect on services may be even more severe, he added.

With the EU, the only chance you have is to secure the EU exterior borders, which is being tried - murderously. But you cannot force Greece and Italy to harbour all the refugees who still make it.

Do you really think Germany can get free EU markets for nothing?

There is no logic in the Merkel government (and many other EU states) regarding refugees. They have no plan, thats what so scary and why people vote Afd.

The logic is globalisation. You can't go to the world without the world coming to you.

I agree it is scary. Walls lock out and lock in.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25 2017 21:27 utc | 80

To me it seems Germans like the idea of long serving figureheads taking care of all this annoying politics stuff, in particular older generations and rural voters. Almost as if they miss their kings and kaisers. If FJ Strauss could have lived forever, he'd be Bavarian governor for all eternity.

Since 1945, when the previous Fuehrer left the stage, Germans had 8 chancellors, in 72 years! Adenauer 14, Kohl 16 and now Merkel 16 yrs. Wolfgang Schäuble, German Minister of Finance since 2009, was already a minister under Helmut Kohl in 1984.

Unlike in the US, Germans have a dozen or so parties to choose from, but in the end its always the same two who they elect to form government, and like in the US, both those parties are on important matters as good as indistinguishable.

Anyhow, Giap's comment earlier made me think of a Franz Josef Degenhardt song about Germany's post-fascist Kleinbürgertum. Here is a rough translation.

Horsti Schmandhoff (Youtube)

You, the buddies from the same district full of soot
Of the same gray rows of houses and of the same cast
With the same lust for bright houses, lawns, chrome and gravel
For slender women, tiled bathrooms - Comrades, now that
Today you almost have it all and rather not look back
When you meet by chance, gathered round somewhere
Talking of new things and laughing at old jokes
And one of you asks: "Who knows what Horsti Schmandhoff does?"
Guys, then, then you remember: You once wanted to be exactly like Horsti Schmandhoff.

In his fashionable costume, always looking neat
He portrayed your dreams with concise gestures
Son of a waitress, Horsti, slender and blond
Nose, chin and mouth of someone aiming high
The day he came to the neighborhood, in the evening outside the house
Him playing in Lederhose, a white shirt, tunes on the accordion
"Bergmannsglück," and "Glückauf tara?"
Blowing curls out of his face and looking up into the sky
Back then already, fellers - do you remember? You wanted to be like Horsti Schmandhoff.

And when he then as scout troop leader, on his hand a seal ring
His new steel knife in its honor sheath coolly dangling
With decent shoes, white sockies, his steps more like a dance
His bum wiggling while he marched with the troop standard
And shortly after coming back in uniform for special leave
A casual Panzer-cap, and the Cross of Honor on his chest
It showed & told how just before Stalingrad
He flattened 12 rocket launchers and 50 Ivan's
Mate, be honest, you wanted to be exactly like Horsti Schmandhoff.

And as he stood in his khaki clothes, chewing gum in his mouth
With brush cut, helping the yanks, rosy, fat and round
At the corner near Strathmanns, a drag on his Lucky Strike
Greeting you with a 'Hello Boys' as you crawled through the streets
And then standing at the pub counter in a heavy leather coat
Hat pushed back, loose cravat, beer in his hand
Saying how 42 near Stalingrad he had kicked dirtbag General Paulus' arse
Buddy there, be honest, you wanted to be exactly like Horsti Schmandhoff.

Even later, when instead of beer it was only wine he drank
Those green trendy suits wore and with trendy shoes to go
Smoothly strolling into the restaurant, dangling on his little finger
the car keys, and he then 'hay Barbary ba' sang
Eventually in a Jaguar cabriolet with cap, pipe, scarf
Girl sitting next to him, very blond and brown and slim
Cruising the suburb at walking speed, and just before Strathmanns
Briefly stepping on the gas, arm hanging out
Cobber there, be honest, you wanted to be exactly like Horsti Schmandhoff.

But then he disappeared, no one knew where he was and stayed
Until an illustrated magazine had a story about Ukalula
There, it was said, a white man was revered
He was a chief and the only adviser to the president
Standing there in the leopard fur with a lions tail in hand
Fists pressed against his hips and a bandana around his head
In the midst of thirty women, all naked, black and plump
A fat bellied Horsti Schmandhoff, with a brutal smile
Mate there, be honest, you wanted one more time be like Horsti Schmandhoff.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Sep 25 2017 22:16 utc | 81

Someone #78 and 80
Your posts sum up my own understanding of the reality behind the catch-all phrases 'migration' and 'refugee'. Thank you for putting it into words. Migration is a strata of differing types of migrant - skilled workers, economic migrants, refugees, plus other categories, I'm sure. It's not an exhaustive list because we are talking about people after all, and I guess migrants (of whatever stripe) operate out of reasons as complicated as our own.

Someone is also correct in pointing out the implications of Germany enforcing border control at its own borders again. It will give the green light to every other country to do so. That is the end of any unity in Europe, period. Not just the construct called the EU. Imagine the economic shock that would accompany such an event. And its consequences. Personally i find it is the advice of madness. Unfortunately It is more and more the world in which we are living. Qui bono from this advice? Would ordinary Germans?

Also does anyone know of the breakdown by nationality of the million refugees that arrived in Germany? I guess the registrations are completed now but I haven't seen any breakdowns? It is intimated in the many postings referencing the event that the bulk of this million were false refugees. Where are the numbers?

And OT (but it would be great if you could look at it b), apparently America has declared war on NK! Goodnight all.

Posted by: Poster formerly known as oneoffposter | Sep 25 2017 22:16 utc | 82

There is no logic in the Merkel government (and many other EU states) regarding refugees. They have no plan, thats what so scary and why people vote Afd.

Oh, Who would say that Germans are so poor and naive!

What is this, tribal solidarity? Finding excuses for resurgent Nazi feelings in Teutonic soul?

I wonder where is Pegida, and where is Thilo Sarrazin? There are precursors of AfD. AfD have existed long before it comes into being.

Someone asked for breakdown of refuges, in addition I would ask for official number of refuges. And by the way these refuges are direct consequence of the West's murderous foreign policy, and Germany is far from innocent. Very far, and to the contrary. That is number one.

Two. There were a lot of refuges from Yugoslavia wars. After Dayton Agreement 1995, Germany kick them out. All of them. By the way I remember when Kosovo Albanians (tinny population) were the blacker than the devil himself, there were the rulers of underground. So obviously the "problem" is solvable if there is political will. But somehow, it appears there is not the one. And why?

One the answer could be famous demographics of Germany and Europe in general. It has nothing to do with bullshit called "globalization" that some here alleged. There is no globalization except in (uneducated) people's mind. So Demographics might be valid reason behind "naive" frau Merkel et al. to bring them into Deutschland.

Here is authoritative document from frau Merkel's agency where the authors are playing and analyzing immigration issue. Poor Germans they do not know what they are doing!?
They also mention "labor" issue so I assume they want slash wages of domicile working people by blackmail them with immigrants one. In order to retain competitiveness with the rest of world.

FT's qoute: Immigration alone will not be able to solve the problem of a rapidly ageing population.

And lastly, bit of conspiracy, if the Germans did not "order" those people than some mythical foreign force imposed whole issue upon them. Maybe but I do not see it.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 26 2017 0:49 utc | 83

Election analysis from M K Bhadrakumar --

Germany at a turning point. . .The German policies are almost certain to be affected. Merkel will be under pressure to step up deportation of refugees. The AfD has tasted blood and sensing the national mood, it will surely intensify the ultra-nationalist campaign. Surely, the German discourse is poised to become much more homophobic, much more anti-migrant, much more-anti-Muslim. This will cast shadows on Germany’s relations with Turkey.
Again, Merkel’s approach to Russia will be keenly watched. The AfD – like most ultra-nationalists in Europe, is, ironically, “pro-Russia”. If the Russian strategy has been to discredit western democracies and break them into shambles, there ought to be quiet satisfaction in Moscow over what is unfolding in Germany.
At any rate, a weakened Merkel is not a bad thing for Moscow. (President Vladimir Putin and Merkel had an uneasy personal relationship.) Merkel will now be more susceptible from pressures from the German industry, where Russia has influential lobbyists, for normalization of business ties with Moscow. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 26 2017 2:27 utc | 84

Bottom line: Nothing changes. Angela Merkel will still run the show.

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 26 2017 2:36 utc | 85

The interpretations of the German election results claiming the refugee problem was a major cause give wrong results as the do not fit to the facts. You may see that with ease


Those who voted for the AfD were people who used refugees as a projection surface for own anger of different origin.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 26 2017 5:17 utc | 86


A country simply cannot
accept more refugees when they reach a limit, that limit
is now (according to 9/10 germans), people dont want to take more refugees,
if the democratic voice isnt heard, well then
AFD will get even bigger.
EU nor Germany wont die if syrian, iraqi refugees
wont come to Germany and globalization was never
about to accept unlimited war-refugees, globalization
was never about overflow of immigrants but rather
workfoce within EU itself, it was never meant that 100000-millions of people
would come to Germany for due war far away.

Unemployed refugees (the majority) now living in Germany is NOT
what keeps Germany, nor EU alive, its rather killing
the idea altogether.

Most refugees to be jobless for years, German minister warns

So how does unemployed refugees "save" EU and Germany as you claim?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 8:33 utc | 87

Anon (86), you are simple severely underinformed. The rise in right-wing AfD votes is not related to the real status/problem of Syrian refugees in Germany. These are just the projection screen of the uninformed lower educational level Germans especially there where there are nearly no refugees.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 26 2017 8:41 utc | 88

Somebody seems to believe in the mantra that globalization has helped most Germans lead a prosperous life and that open borders are needed to preserve the status quo. The EU being the means to and end for Germany's prosperity.
Reality is that wages have stagnated in Germany in the last 20 years, since the introduction of the Euro. Average salary rose from 34.200 EUR to 38.300 EUR in 2016. That's an annual increase of 0.7%. This number is the mean and not the median salary, which would be much more telling, considering how inequality is rapidly rising also. So where has all that wealth gone? Arguably Germany's GDP and Berlin's tax collectors have had a good time, but who really benefitted from all of this?
Germany wasn't always an 'Export Nation'. At least not to the extend it is today. A different economic model for Germany is needed and its history both in the 1920s and late 19th century highlight that it is indeed possible to be prosperous without adhering to today's "globalism" mantra.

Posted by: Alexander P | Sep 26 2017 9:01 utc | 89


1920's :-)) You must be joking.

Late 19th century - that was when Germany had won a war and was exploiting France. In Berlin people lived like this - "You can kill people with an apartment like you can kill them with an axe"

This here is a photograph.

I wonder - did they teach you anything at school?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 9:28 utc | 90

9/10 of Germans voted for other parties than AFD. Opinion on refugees in Germany switched in 2017 with 55 percent now thinking that no more refugees can be taken in.

The refugee crisis was badly managed. The problem now is housing - for everybody, rents are too high. That is something that was not really discussed this election time.

It is not an issue of space. There is regional inequality in Germany, regional depopulation and deindustrialization.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 10:04 utc | 91


I largely agree.

Globalization is part of it. Migration to Germany used to be nearby - ex "guest worker" countries. Exiles from other countries were an elite.

Nowadays English speaking kids in Afghan villages get the latest information on the routes to take on their smart phone.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 10:35 utc | 92

"her gigantic immigration ("refugees") mistake"

In what universe was it a mistake?
She played her hand deftly and surely, despite being landed a shit hand!
She managed to secure the safety of the refugees (the Turkish attack) and avoid falling victim to Turkey's blackmail - how much of the €3bn was paid? Do you know? All but nothing!
She has since secured the safety of her troops which were also beong used by Turkey to blackmail. Economically and wothjn NATO.
She has turned the situation into one where Turkey has been irrevocably weakened militarily (NATO standing) and economically. Erdogan is not in the position to stab his German allies in the back again!
Europe was being blackmailed.
The aggressor was Turkey.
It wont happen again!
What should Merkel have done? Leave the refugees to fester in the Balkans and become radicalised and pose yet a greater threat to the EU?
Should she have pulled out the guns and placed desperate refugees in the middle of a conflict?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 26 2017 10:43 utc | 93


Also does anyone know of the breakdown by nationality of the million refugees that arrived in Germany?

Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan

Western wars.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 10:44 utc | 94

You talk a lot of sense. Cheers.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 26 2017 11:53 utc | 95


Its a mistake since 9/10 germans dont support her
immigrant policies. Not to mention the colossal
burden immigration have on a society.
The lost millions of votes because of this and
she and her party will loose even more votes
next election. Acutally the word "mistake" is not enough
to describe whats going on.

Turkey hasnt blackmailed anyone and besides even
if they did, German are under no obligation to
take more refugees.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 12:25 utc | 96


Your numbers are way off - but yes, Angela Merkel risked her popularity with solving the refugee crisis.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 12:42 utc | 97


All my numbers I have mentioned are backed up by facts, any claim otherwhise is lying on your behalf.

Most refugees to be jobless for years, German minister warns

Germany to offer 'voluntary return' incentives for asylum seekers

"Germany, the EU country which takes the most asylum seekers
"source: the eoonomist."

Nine in ten Germans want limit on refugees

9/10 or not, the majority dont want more refugees:

Majority of Germans feel they cannot take in any more refugees, survey finds

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 13:30 utc | 98


This is the thelocal link you quote

Asked about their country's ability to integrate the asylum seekers who are arriving from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, most Germans expressed a belief that this is possible.

But 52 percent said it would only be possible with a limit on the number of people arriving. Fifteen percent said it could succeed even without a limit.

Twenty-nine percent said it wouldn't succeed at all.

This is not "9/10 don't support her immigrant policies". Quite the contrary.

Obviously Germany cannot integrate an indefinite number of people. But also obviously - if you agree to international law - you cannot put a number on the refugees you shelter.
"Shelter" is different from "integrate".

A lot of political hay has been made out of people's fears. And yes, 13 percent for AfD proves that they do not represent the majority of Germans.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 14:04 utc | 99


Is this site moderated or censored? What to do if comments do not appear?

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 26 2017 14:15 utc | 100

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