German politics xth attempt

103 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, Notone said:

Since former chancellor and bribery patron deluxe Helmut Kohl has passed away, and is probably united with Thatcher and Reagan in one of Dante's circles (if you believe in such a place that is), I felt like the thread deserved another bump.

I felt somewhat annoyed by the glorification of that crook in the media (I know de mortuis nil nisi bonum etc., but they were really pushing it), and I wondered whether I was the only one. Then I saw the light, or the TAZ frontpage.

Small explanation for the non-German speaking readers.

The Headline reads: Blühende Landschaften (lit. blooming landscapes (in the sense of green pastures)) was what he promised would become of Eastern Germany (the former GDR).


For what it's worth, the TAZ has posted an apology for that title page:!5421768/

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The taz are wimps!

Although the original "joke" is already wimpy. They should have posted a picture of a desolate run-down East German landscape. Or a briefcase with money.

There are two good things to be said about Kohl and of course right now these are trumpeted with full blast: He certainly did further the European unification project (and bumbling as he was he would never have bumbled like Merkel and Schäuble did in the last years becoming the most-hated people in Greece and elsewhere). And while it was basically a stroke of luck that the chance for the reunification occurred during his administration he took that chance and probably made the best from the circumstances. But this holds only for the political unity (roughly, making the Russians peacefully agree to a unified Germany as NATO member). Afterwards it was badly messed up and a lot of Eastern Germany was sold out to Western profiteers who made billions.

But he was mediocre before 1989 (and would almost certainly have lost the election in 1990 if the Wall had not fallen) and also in his last term in the mid/late 1990s. And many of the problems we have today with the EU and the Euro might be rooted in pushing too quickly forward on that frond (although these issues are so complex that I do not really dare an opinion). I also suspect that the overall frustration many Germans have with politics today stems from the interminably Kohl years. People slightly younger than me would have no recollection of any other chancellor for all of their life (and I briefly thought as a child that a chancellor must be called "Helmut" because Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl were the only ones I could remember (although I was born when Brandt was chancellor).

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