Friday, November 22, 2013

What's happening in Germany?

  • Yesterday, Angela Merkel tried to defend the German trade surplus by saying this (bloomberg):

I think it would be absurd if we were to try make German companies reduce production or cut back on quality.
Well, yes, that would absolutely be absurd, therefore nobody actually demanded anything like that. What on earth is wrong with German politicians, today? "Oh, look over there - a straw man!" "Attack!" But, she also made less silly claims:
It’s also a fairy tale that workers in German export industries are badly paid.
Compared to what? Chinese worker? Well, true... but a better comparison would be German workers ten years ago.
  • Russian threats block Ukraine-EU trade deal (DW) I am not a big fan of the headline. In fact, it is the EU which put massive pressure on the Ukraine: "EU foreign ministers on Monday said Yanukovych had to decide if his country would move toward Europe or Russia" While Russian pressure seems to have been directed at a joint agreement between the EU, Ukraine, and Russia.
  •  Journalist talks with an art collector living in self-imposed poverty. There is a problem with his collection though, partly it is what the Nazis called "entartete Kunst" "degenerate art", which his father was supposed to sell for Hitler; partly it is art stolen from Jewish owners; and only some works were bought by his father legally. here's a longer background story.

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