Category: Germany

Is Germany Security Protected in Afghanistan?

Article first published as Is Germany’s Security Protected in Afghanistan? on Blogcritics.

Imperial countries can rewrite war rules according to their wishes. Whatever they do to protect their imperial interests is justified, no matter how irrational they may be. Germany’s Foreign Minister says his country’s security is defended at Kunduz, Afghanistan, thousands of kilometres away from the German land.

A nation’s defence forces are generally stationed at strategic places of thatAngela and Westerwelle country. Airports, Seaports, Capital cities, Commercial centres, naval bases, air bases, army bases and borders are some of such strategic places where troops will be stationed for defence purposes. Remaining troops will be stationed at barracks to be used at war times or for internal security purposes. They may be used to rescue civilians when natural calamities occur.

Strangely, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle outlined a different strategy for the defence of Germany. Speaking to German troops at the Kunduz base in Afghanistan when he arrived there along with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, he said that Germany was in Afghanistan to protect its own security. He said, “That is why this mission is right” BBC News reported quoting Associated Press.

Mr Westerwelle might have chosen some other context if he wants to boost the morale of his troops. Saying that Germany’s security is protected at Kunduz base located in another country is quite misleading, irrational and simply meaningless.

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German Economy Continues to Shine

Even as Eurozone countries are struggling with debt crisis, its leader Germany continues to report good figures of the economy. German business confidence has reportedly hit fresh post-reunification high. Germany’s strong exports continue to drive the strong economic recovery.

IFO, the business confidence index is closely watched by markets. IFO climbed to 109.9 in December from 109.3 in November, itself a 20-year high. Germany is driving the EU’s recovery despite worries of debt crisis that hit most indebted countries of the Eurozone area.

Though the manufacturing growth has witnessed a small dip, analysts have inclined to brush it aside with the growing business confidence. Analysts are pointing out the increasing confidence among retailers and wholesalers. Some are expecting Germany’s annual GDP growth for the fourth quarter would be around 6 percent as compared to 3.9 percent of third quarter.

Junior Partner of German Coalition Urges Recalling US Envoy

After Canadian ambassador offering his resignation over the disclosure of his assessment on Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his family by Wikileaks, now it is Germany’s turn. Philip Murphy, US ambassador to Germany was asked to be recalled by the US government over hisMurphy with Obama unseemly behaviour, revealed by Wikileaks.

Philip Murphy reportedly described Free Democratic Party leader Guido Westerwelle as “arrogant, vain and critical of America.” Chancellor Angela Merkel was described as “risk averse and rarely creative” in diplomatic cables sent to the US state department.

An aide to Mr Westerwelle resigned earlier for passing information to the UN envoy. They said that he had admitted supplying details of the negotiations that brought the formation of the centre-right coalition led by Angela’s Christian Democrat Party. Later, the party said the aide, Mr Metzner had only passed publicly accessible information and no legal action would be initiated against him.

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Wave of Parcel Bombs Target Embassies in Greece Capital

Article first published as No Yemeni Connection to Parcel Bomb Sent to German Chancellor on Technorati.

Security officials at the German Chancellery detected a parcel bomb received at the office of the Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was in Belgium. The parcel addressed to Angela Merkel. French president’s office missed the parcel as it was intercepted in Athens itself.

Security Detection

Security men became suspicious of the parcel as the sender was given as the Economic Ministry of Greece. Bomb disposal squads were alerted and the bomb was deactivated. The bomb was discovered at noon on October 2, mailed from Greece capital Athens three days ago. The device was contained in a parcel with books in it.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was quoted by Bloomberg as saying “ThisAthens suspects was a functional explosive device.” He said the detected bomb was similar to the parcel bomb exploded at the Swiss embassy in Athens.

Targeting Embassies

Besides the Swiss embassy, Russian embassy was also hit by a parcel bomb on the same day. Greek authorities intercepted similar parcel bombs sent to Chile, Dutch, Belgian, German and Bulgarian embassies. They also seized on October 1 a parcel bomb addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Another parcel bomb sent to Mexican embassy exploded at a courier firm injuring one person.

By Tuesday evening, 11 mail bombs had been detected in the Greek capital. Two more were destroyed in controlled explosions at Athens’ international airport — one addressed to the European Union’s highest court in Luxembourg and the other to law enforcement agency Europol in the Netherlands.

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Germany’s Immigration Dilemma

Germany has been skeptical of its immigration policy recently as per the statement of the Chancellor Angela Merkel. She said, “Germany’s attempts to create multicultural society have failed.” One of her party colleagues said, “Multikulti is dead.” A board member of the German central bank Thilo Sarrazin went too far by saying, “Muslims have become burden to the German society.” He alleged that no immigrant group other than Muslims was so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime. Interestingly, he received widespread support after his statement, and his book on the same subject received good readership.

GermanyMerkelGermany Chancellor said that her government needed skilled people to keep the German economy’s growth pace faster. At the same time, she cautioned against unskilled people as they come to Germany for social benefits. While Angela’s invitation to skilled people was economically oriented, her rejection of unskilled people was socially oriented. Maybe the Chancellor has to understand that the economic prizes are always associated with social costs in unequally developed societies. Inviting economic fruits but denying social costs is something equal to rejecting that a coin has two sides.

Urgent Need

A leading German demographer Reiner Klinghoiz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, said Germany desperately needed immigrants and it should ease restrictions on immigration to provide the skilled workers, from engineers to computer experts to ensure the future economic success, as per Reuters. He informed that immigration to German had come to a virtual halt in the last two years.

Though Germany has three million unemployed, Mr Klinghoiz said Germany could not wait ten years for those on unemployment to become trained engineers. Klinghoiz said further that Germany had an annual influx of 200,000 immigrants but in the last two years had seen a net exodus of 15,000. Restrictions like language tests had stopped migrations from Turkey almost completely, he added. German Chamber of Industry and Commerce was quoted as saying Germany lacked about 400,000 skilled workers and it sought more immigration. Continue reading

Thousands of Germans opt out of Google Street View

BBC | 21 October 2010 | 09:28 GMT

Almost 250,000 Germans have told Google to blur pictures of their homes on the Street View service. The German government insisted that people get the chance to make the request as a condition of letting Google operate Street View. It said personal privacy would be violated if people did not have an option to opt out.

When Street View is live in Germany, citizens will be able to use a webform to request their homes to be obscured. Since April 2009, German homeowners and tenants have had the chance to write to Google to tell it to blur images of where they live. In August, Google supplemented this with an online tool through which these requests could also be made.

Now the window to make requests has closed, Google said a total of 244,237 requests had been made to have homes and property obscured. However, said Google, it was not yet clear if all the requests to blur images could be carried out.

"In some cases for example the addresses could not be clearly assigned because the specifications were not legible or the descriptions of buildings were not precise enough," wrote Andreas Tuerk, Google Germany’s Street View product manager in a blog post.

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Race-row German banker quits post

BBC | 9 September 2010 | 20:12 GMT

A German banker at the centre of a row over comments he made about immigration and race has agreed to stand down, the country’s Central Bank has announced. Thilo Sarrazin, a board member of the Bundesbank, will leave his post at the end of this month.

Thilo Sarrazin He has said that Jews "share a particular gene" and has accused Muslims of failing to integrate. Chancellor Angela Merkel was among several leaders who called for his removal from the board.

Mr Sarrazin, in his book entitled Germany Abolishes Itself, says that Muslim immigrants are a drain on German society. "Most of the cultural and economic problems are concentrated in a group of the five to six million immigrants from Muslim countries," he stated in the book.

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