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US ambassador in Berlin causes scandal

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  • US ambassador in Berlin causes scandal

    Imagine the german ambassador to Washington giving an interview to an anti-Trump news outlet ( such as the WP f.e.) in that he/she declares it his/her goal to support/empower anti-Trump forces in the US. Out of the question, because a pretty brutal breach of diplomatic protocoll ? The US would demand his/her immediate recall home ?
    Well, that is precisely what Trumps pick as Berlin ambassador has done. Just that the news outlet was Breitbart and Ambassador Greenell spoke about using his post to "empower" anti-establishment forces ( or what he sees as that).
    The responses rank from comparing him to a "colonial officer" till sending him a copy of the Vienna protocoll of consular relations ( that f.e. rules out ambassadors meddling in a countrys internal affairs) till demanding his expulsion. And while not all have to be taken seriously, also the german foreign ministry has summoned the ambassador to "explain" his remarks. While Greenell has subsequently rowed back (a little), a relationship based on mutual trust ( and therefore an effective representation of the US in Berlin is now unlikely). Which IS a problem in these times :


    http://www.dw.com/en/us-ambassador-r...ker/a-44089702

  • #2
    A decent US ambassador should support the general principles of a good Republican Democracy (aka, "representative democracy"), and resist apologizing for any form of dictatorship, corruption or institutional incompetence.

    That being said, the same ambassador should not directly insult the country in which he is a guest, certainly never in public. Greenell is advocating for institutionalized incompetence and corruption because those are operating principles for his supporting party, not an accusation of serious wrongdoing on Germany's part. First, some background on why I make this claim:
    -The operating principle suffered here in the US is to invent a "deep state" which allegedly resides almost entirely within the gov't sector. The self-titled "reformers" then point to outside groups which are (supposedly) free of corruption -private sector business, religious organizations and individual citizens who "want to make America great again". Grinell's boss is the leader of a political movement which convinced these groups to cooperate, in return he will reduce the "deep state" influence (read, "cost") on their lives. Basically done by appointing incompetents and/or leaving executive positions vacant in the federal government, as one principle method for crippling the "deep state". The "outside groups" (now on the inside) will somehow replace all critical functions of the gov't., because they are all the things the "deep state" is not: Competent and incorruptible.

    Clearly what I described is a farce masquerading as reform, otherwise known as "populism". There is never a shortage of gov't. or ex-gov't. officials who wish they could enact reforms (take your pick, on the left or right). Nor is there a shortage of reformers -with some gov't. experience- in the private sector, who would take time off from their 'real jobs" if they had a serious chance of enacting reform in gov't. operations. Our current president has clearly chosen to avoid this method of organizing reform, since that requires more time and experience in both gov't and reform. Both things are sorely lacking in Trump's resume, as well as the background of many (most?) executives posted by his administration. So, that is what we are dealing with now: The incompetent method of "shrinking" gov't. -which isn't reform by any formal definition. While we are shrinking gov't., why not make a profit? Introducing corruption, aka the buzzard that cleans the bones, assuming the cadaver has been dead long enuf. That which is "not deep state" will take over and things will run smoothly, despite all the planned incompetence and corruption used to kill the "deep state".

    With such rewards being dangled in front of Greenell, one can understand his "attack" on Germany's "deep state". If Greenell lacks bona fides for being an ambassador (or other significant gov't. official outside the military), his attack serves his own objectives. He has painted himself as some kind of authority on the matter, appeased his boss, and might participate in the feast around the table of the corrupt and other incompetents. What I would like to see now, is a push back by the German press. The usual response, questioning this person's background (ambassador?) and political experience. But just as importantly, a mockery of Greenell is in order. IMO, populists who enter their reform phase with little preparation and too much personal ambition first need to be mocked. Alternatively, they need to be ignored. Privately, Greenell's hosts (German politicians/diplomats) might inform the man that he could restore his reputation by acting responsibly, on behalf of his country, rather than personal enrichment based on promises by his party leader. There is a real chance that Greenell fails to respond (he may actually believe the crap his leader tells him). In that case, those in Germany's leadership positions would do better by planning direct contacts with their US counterparts, in order to do business on a political, cultural or business level. The one advantage of political incompetence is the availability of "competent actors" outside the circles of power, who yet have authority to get things done. fe, One business liaison position (link: https://www.commerce.gov/directory/jenniferandberg), Note that Ms. Andberg clearly wants to keep her position despite her current administrator's behavior. She will, "engage the business community on the Administrations top policy priorities". Further along, her bona fides note her extensive experience going back at least 20 years. A clear signal that she can work with other countries' business community despite the political policies of her administrators. Hopefully she, along with many other capable staff serving below the top executive positions, will continue to "fly under the radar" and maintain productive relations.

    ?


    • #3
      Well, the thing with Ambassador Greenells remarks is : Either they dont make sense, but if they do, than bilateral relations are in deeper shit than the headlines suggest. In any case, Mr. Greenell might not have done his boss a favour.
      Why ? : In Germany there is mainly one anti-establishment party on the right, the AFD ( "Alternative for Germany"). The Conservative party--is Merkels. And since Greenell is a true Trump loyalist ( and Trumps relation with the german chancellor is not exactly a secret) it is only fair to assume that the ambassador didnt choose Breitbart to announce "empowering" forces close to Merkel.
      The AFD once started as a one issue anti-Euro ( the currency) party, today it is a loose assembly of real Nazis, borderline Nazis, nationalists, ultra-nationalists, disgruntled righties that quit Merkels center-right party, homophobes, islamophobes, antisemites etc. The ambassador could have found out with an internet research that the AFD worships Putin ( and also has financial links to him) while it is deeply anti-american, that one of its party leaders is on the record calling for the demolition of the Berlin Holocaust memorial, while another has just recently made headlines calling Hitler "nothing but a fly shit" on Germanys otherwise glorious history, Not to mention that Mr. Greenell as an open gay would be a rather surprising cheerleader for a party that regularly causes homophobic incidents. These people may share some of the anti-islam and anti-EU ideas of the US alt-right, yet most of all they are GERMAN nationalists that are most certainly not interested in "America first".
      And lastly, the AFD stands around 10 %. It is neither "the people", nor the "silent ( silent they are most certainly not) majority" and it is the only party that will definitely NOT be part of the next german governement ( assuming that they will re-enter parliament).
      It is never wise for an ambassador to wade into domestic politics of his host country, but it is extremely braindead to do so on behalf of a fringe party that vast party of the public AND the established parties consider toxic. Because that will effectively kneecap your ability to be seen as a non-partisan representative of your country.
      There is also another explanation than incompetence of course : That at least some in the Trump administration consider backing european "anti-establishment" parties a prudent idea ( it is the opposite). In light of not so secretly expressed sympathies for the likes of Farage, Le Pen or Wilders f.e. and Stephen Bannons european tour of populist groupings. In that context Greenells interview becomes a declaration of political war-on his host countrys democratic political establishment, that understandably reacts by showing teeth ( members of Merkels junior coaltion partner, the Social Democrats, have already demanded Greenells eviction).
      To be fair, he has tried to row back from his comments after beeing summoned to the german foreign ministry, yet the damage is already done.
      If the Trump administration condones mixing political activism and diplomacy than it is not surprising that diplomacy fails.

      ?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Voland View Post
        Well, the thing with Ambassador Greenells remarks is : Either they dont make sense, but if they do, than bilateral relations are in deeper shit than the headlines suggest. In any case, Mr. Greenell might not have done his boss a favour.
        Why ? : In Germany there is mainly one anti-establishment party on the right, the AFD ( "Alternative for Germany"). The Conservative party--is Merkels. And since Greenell is a true Trump loyalist ( and Trumps relation with the german chancellor is not exactly a secret) it is only fair to assume that the ambassador didnt choose Breitbart to announce "empowering" forces close to Merkel.
        The AFD once started as a one issue anti-Euro ( the currency) party, today it is a loose assembly of real Nazis, borderline Nazis, nationalists, ultra-nationalists, disgruntled righties that quit Merkels center-right party, homophobes, islamophobes, antisemites etc. The ambassador could have found out with an internet research that the AFD worships Putin ( and also has financial links to him) while it is deeply anti-american, that one of its party leaders is on the record calling for the demolition of the Berlin Holocaust memorial, while another has just recently made headlines calling Hitler "nothing but a fly shit" on Germanys otherwise glorious history, Not to mention that Mr. Greenell as an open gay would be a rather surprising cheerleader for a party that regularly causes homophobic incidents. These people may share some of the anti-islam and anti-EU ideas of the US alt-right, yet most of all they are GERMAN nationalists that are most certainly not interested in "America first".
        And lastly, the AFD stands around 10 %. It is neither "the people", nor the "silent ( silent they are most certainly not) majority" and it is the only party that will definitely NOT be part of the next german governement ( assuming that they will re-enter parliament).
        It is never wise for an ambassador to wade into domestic politics of his host country, but it is extremely braindead to do so on behalf of a fringe party that vast party of the public AND the established parties consider toxic. Because that will effectively kneecap your ability to be seen as a non-partisan representative of your country.
        There is also another explanation than incompetence of course : That at least some in the Trump administration consider backing european "anti-establishment" parties a prudent idea ( it is the opposite). In light of not so secretly expressed sympathies for the likes of Farage, Le Pen or Wilders f.e. and Stephen Bannons european tour of populist groupings. In that context Greenells interview becomes a declaration of political war-on his host countrys democratic political establishment, that understandably reacts by showing teeth ( members of Merkels junior coaltion partner, the Social Democrats, have already demanded Greenells eviction).
        To be fair, he has tried to row back from his comments after beeing summoned to the german foreign ministry, yet the damage is already done.
        If the Trump administration condones mixing political activism and diplomacy than it is not surprising that diplomacy fails.
        There is the complexity of European politics, increasingly difficult with greater integration of its countries' economies, then the simpleton enters the equation. He really does rely on imposed failure, in order to "rebuild" America. If Greenell is gay, that might have little to no influence on the strategy of building an alliance of simpletons; simply add-in another populist/nationalist party that is more accepting of gays (or manages to ignore the issue). fe, The GOP has more than a few gays, apparently they follow a policy of "don't ask, don't tell". That party has formed a strong alliance with religious evangelicals, some of whom strongly condemn gay behavior.

        Greenell's greater sin, more to the point, is his gratuitous attack on "the state". That is my point: Humor the man as far as relations between gov't's are concerned (he represents one of the Big Players, after all), but take him less seriously whenever possible. As far the private but political angle in Germany (the press, non-gov't. activist groups, etc.), I would encourage you to make fun of this ambassador, whenever you are unable to ignore him altogether. If (hopefully, when) Germans have made other arrangements to further their mutual interests with business/cultural ties in the US, use those connections to build political alternatives. It is an odd way to conduct business between governments, but it should be tried. What alternatives do you have? You are confronted with a sycophant, who has committed himself to a movement that doesn't separate the concept of a "state", from a "deep state". It won't be necessary to undermine the poor ambassador, since he is attached to a movement that will self-destruct. That points directly to your solution: Work around the simpleton, discretely and whenever possible. You do not want to be near him when his movement goes down the tubes (in every sense of that phrase), so those contacts and political detours will come in handy when the US has to clean up our mess.

        ?


        • #5
          Originally posted by radcentr View Post
          There is the complexity of European politics, increasingly difficult with greater integration of its countries' economies, then the simpleton enters the equation. He really does rely on imposed failure, in order to "rebuild" America. If Greenell is gay, that might have little to no influence on the strategy of building an alliance of simpletons; simply add-in another populist/nationalist party that is more accepting of gays (or manages to ignore the issue). fe, The GOP has more than a few gays, apparently they follow a policy of "don't ask, don't tell". That party has formed a strong alliance with religious evangelicals, some of whom strongly condemn gay behavior.

          Greenell's greater sin, more to the point, is his gratuitous attack on "the state". That is my point: Humor the man as far as relations between gov't's are concerned (he represents one of the Big Players, after all), but take him less seriously whenever possible. As far the private but political angle in Germany (the press, non-gov't. activist groups, etc.), I would encourage you to make fun of this ambassador, whenever you are unable to ignore him altogether. If (hopefully, when) Germans have made other arrangements to further their mutual interests with business/cultural ties in the US, use those connections to build political alternatives. It is an odd way to conduct business between governments, but it should be tried. What alternatives do you have? You are confronted with a sycophant, who has committed himself to a movement that doesn't separate the concept of a "state", from a "deep state". It won't be necessary to undermine the poor ambassador, since he is attached to a movement that will self-destruct. That points directly to your solution: Work around the simpleton, discretely and whenever possible. You do not want to be near him when his movement goes down the tubes (in every sense of that phrase), so those contacts and political detours will come in handy when the US has to clean up our mess.

          Well, Stalin said shortly after WW II (!) that "Paris is nice, London is nice, but the main price to win in Europe is Berlin. Who has Germany by the balls, has Europe in the bag". That is obviously why US and Soviet Union wanted "their" piece of the country post-WW II ( and invested in that relationship).
          Current events suggest that fundamentally the game hasnt changed that much. Also Putin is looking for mates in the country. Yet he has the "Deutschland ber alles" folks already in the bag. Trump has broken with the traditional "transatlantists" (Merkels CDU) however and is now lacking a partner to influence events in Europes largest economy. Since almost all parties except the pro-business/libertarian FDP ( that stands around 10 % however and wont be able to play any role without larger partner) are to Merkels left, it is not surprising that Trumps mouthpiece Greenell has his eyes on the nationalist AFD.
          Which is nonsense for many reasons, and not least because US style anti-elitism doesnt work in Germany ( and that anti-elite rethoric will turn people off).
          Germans have never been a people of revolutionaries, but its political and electoral system, its labour model, its educational model, its social contract, also its internal political structure have even been carefully designed by people with experience of Nazi concentration camps, soviet Gulags and exile to prevent takeover by either an unaccountable elite or a populist mob.
          Which was obviously easier post-WW II since the old elites were gone, if they had even survived (in many cases not, and where they did, they were fundamentally discredited). Inherited wealth and power over generations is therefore rare.
          Not unlike France post the french Revolution.
          Governements have since then always been coalition governements, between two or more parties. Currently there are three : Merkels Conservatives, the bavarian separatists, and the Social Democrats. Who wants power options has to be able to do coalitions, since the benchmark is passing 50 % of the direct vote ( nothing like the electoral college/first past the post). Always having to be on speaking and compromise terms with political opponents unless you WANT to sit on the backbenches in parliament keeps competition rather civil and is a rather unsurmountable obstacle for populist parties. Either they enter a pragmatic political discourse at some point or they dont. If they dont than it is rather a foregone conclusion that voters at some point will boot them out. For lack of delivering anything of substance. Has happened before, looks set to happen to the AFD as well.
          Germany has unlike the US never pushed unions out of business ( they have constitutionally enshrined representation and co-determination rights inside companies), Yet : Giving workers concrete responsibility for their own jobs, for company policies and outlook encourages pragmatic, cooperative behaviour and participate in working on solutions.
          Workers co-determination is also the reason why Germanys model is sometimes referred to as "stakeholder capitalism", as opposed to "shareholder capitalism".

          http://bruegel.org/2016/10/codetermi...uk-and-the-us/

          Germanys two-tier education system prepares around 50 % of each years students for vocational careers based on apprenticeships. Vocational training is not only respected, it also opens real career opportunities. And Germanys centuries old model is beeing copied to various degrees in many countries, including the US :

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...onal-education

          https://global.handelsblatt.com/poli...germany-751815

          Universal healthcare ( the oldest such system in the world and education free of charge (tax-funded) have been conservative (!) projects in Germany and are widely considered an asset, not a liability to keep society on base. And across parties Germans do argue that the economics add up.
          Another point that inoculates Germans to a degree against populism : Germans dont trust charismatic leaders, wether at home or abroad. They just dont ( that is obviously linked to history). Which is embodied by its own post-war leaders. Not even hardcore Merkel fans would describe her as charismatic or visionary. Yet she is pragmatic and predictable, unpretentious and personally modest. Not a showperson, rather an accountant.
          Which would probably make her unelectable in the US, but not in Germany.
          Yes, there are people across the spectre concerned about a wide range of topics, from the migration crisis till automatization and globalization challenges, from growing inequality ( especially in the service industries ) till demographics etc etc. But Germans are about the least likely people in Europe to have a desire to "shake things up" ( they are more likely to join forces when faced with crises, as demonstrated in 2008).
          That Greenell either has to learn, or he will be ignored and bypassed, quite right.











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          • #6
            First thing I notice is, Grenell was not in public: He was in a meeting with "high level [government] officials" so the only way "the public" can get outraged is if one of those high level [government] officials leaks something to the press.

            Second thing I noticed was, the high level [government] official did, in fact, leak Grenell's comments to the press. My question is, then, "to what purpose did he do so?"

            Third thing I noticed was in recognition of your comment above that "Trump has broken with the traditional "transatlantists" (Merkels CDU) however and is now lacking a partner to influence events in Europes largest economy," is that the high level [government] official was part of Merkel's CDU so it is hardly surprising that he would take issue with just about anything Grenell makes since Merkel and Trump are apparently taking a time out from their caustic not quite tte--tte exchanges...

            Fourth, what if Grenell meant exactly what he said? What if, Trump (who, as you note, now lacks a partner to influence events in [Germany]) is still firing shots over Merkel's bow?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DavidSF View Post
              First thing I notice is, Grenell was not in public: He was in a meeting with "high level [government] officials" so the only way "the public" can get outraged is if one of those high level [government] officials leaks something to the press.

              Second thing I noticed was, the high level [government] official did, in fact, leak Grenell's comments to the press. My question is, then, "to what purpose did he do so?"

              Third thing I noticed was in recognition of your comment above that "Trump has broken with the traditional "transatlantists" (Merkels CDU) however and is now lacking a partner to influence events in Europes largest economy," is that the high level [government] official was part of Merkel's CDU so it is hardly surprising that he would take issue with just about anything Grenell makes since Merkel and Trump are apparently taking a time out from their caustic not quite tte--tte exchanges...

              Fourth, what if Grenell meant exactly what he said? What if, Trump (who, as you note, now lacks a partner to influence events in [Germany]) is still firing shots over Merkel's bow?

              Mr. Grenell made his comments to Breitbart as a matter of fact, Im afraid. Speaking as US ambassador, which is why this case has made waves :


              http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018...conservatives/

              https://www.politico.eu/blogs/on-med...pel-in-europe/

              https://www.vox.com/world/2018/6/4/1...rt-ric-grenell


              I think it is not necessary to explain again that by "Conservatives" that he wishes to "empower" he certainly doesnt mean Merkels conservatives.

              What if he is beeing completely serious and not incompetent ( or just trying to butter up his boss) ? Than he is a political activist disguised as a diplomat and should be treated as such. And his interview could be read as a declaration of political war on his host nations elected governement. What could possibly go wrong ?
              Nevermind that also the US have signed the Vienna protocoll on consular relations that requests ambassadors to stay out of their host nations domestic politics ( something that the US would naturally expect from other nations diplomats in Washington). Putin at least has the decency to only interfere openly to the degree that is plausibly deniable abroad.

              Last edited by Voland; 06-11-2018, 06:53 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Voland View Post


                Mr. Grenell made his comments to Breitbart as a matter of fact, Im afraid. Speaking as US ambassador, which is why this case has made waves :


                http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018...conservatives/

                https://www.politico.eu/blogs/on-med...pel-in-europe/

                https://www.vox.com/world/2018/6/4/1...rt-ric-grenell


                I think it is not necessary to explain again that by "Conservatives" that he wishes to "empower" he certainly doesnt mean Merkels conservatives.

                What if he is beeing completely serious and not incompetent ( or just trying to butter up his boss) ? Than he is a political activist disguised as a diplomat and should be treated as such. And his interview could be read as a declaration of political war on his host nations elected governement. What could possibly go wrong ?
                Nevermind that also the US have signed the Vienna protocoll on consular relations that requests ambassadors to stay out of their host nations domestic politics ( something that the US would naturally expect from other nations diplomats in Washington). Putin at least has the decency to only interfere openly to the degree that is plausibly deniable abroad.
                That part about the Vienna Accords is worth considering ... most (possibly all) of the rest of it seems to be more hysteria than legitimate concern. I figure Merkel's conservative party (which isn't really all that conservative at all ... maybe "neo-conservative" with the term "democrat" in their UDC party name) will take exception to anything they can take exception to since, like I say, she and Trump seem to be taking a time out from hurling insults at each other.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DavidSF View Post

                  That part about the Vienna Accords is worth considering ... most (possibly all) of the rest of it seems to be more hysteria than legitimate concern. I figure Merkel's conservative party (which isn't really all that conservative at all ... maybe "neo-conservative" with the term "democrat" in their UDC party name) will take exception to anything they can take exception to since, like I say, she and Trump seem to be taking a time out from hurling insults at each other.
                  Ambassadorial posts are usually positions used to articulate a countrys interests, build bridges, and resolve conflicts. Not least in times when leaders cant get along, since relations between countries are about far more than just leaders. Wading into domestic party politics, especially AGAINST an elected governement, makes that crucial function of diplomacy impossible. Ambassador Greenell is supposed to represent the entire United States, and he is the official face of the United States in Berlin. If he cannot separate his political activism from his position ( or if he is not supposed to), than he will be at best an ineffective representative of his country that will be ignored and bypassed whereever possible. At best. That should not be so hard to understand.
                  Also the disrespect shown towards german democracy ( the "majority" has already spoken) will be hard to gloss over and the US representative making remarks seen as supportive of the hard right ( the "Hitler was only a fly shit" guys outlined above) ? Is it necessary to elaborate ?
                  To be fair : He has rowed back a little. We will see for how long.
                  The US considered to be tearing up the Vienna Accords however would be a dead serious (!) issue far worse than this that BOTH of us should hope we never seriously have to deal with.
                  As far as Merkel not beeing conservative enough for you is concerned : Yes, I do realize that Conservatism means different things in different countries/cultures. Also Liberalism does.
                  But we could check without any problem where Merkels CDU stand f.e. on deficit spending/ fiscal policy. On forcing integration of immigrants. on ID cards and obligatory documention, or on "carrot and stick" policies towards the unemployed. Many of these positions would be considered draconian in the US. So dont be too hasty with comparisons.
                  Last edited by Voland; 06-11-2018, 09:20 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Merkel might have other things about which she needs to be concerned:

                    https://pjmedia.com/trending/late-ge...lizes-mistake/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DavidSF View Post
                      Merkel might have other things about which she needs to be concerned:

                      https://pjmedia.com/trending/late-ge...lizes-mistake/
                      She cannot ignore the refugee crisis, but she can put it on the back burner for now.
                      186,644 asylum seekers were registered last year. That's down more than 100,000 from 2016 - the Germany Interior Ministry says the massive numbers from the height of the crisis have been "overcome."
                      http://www.dw.com/en/refugee-numbers...017/a-42162223

                      This meal demands the western (NATO, etc.) coalition needs immediate attention, so that issue is placed on one of the front burners. The G-7 doesn't need Putin (or any other Russian oligarch who won't break from the worst habits of their past). It needs a stable platform to negotiate a new political and economic landscape, in a secure Europe. The only clowns that claim there is no stability in Europe are the "deep state" fans and other populists of the shallow variety. Depending on whether the attempts to destabilize are serious (fe Putin) or mild (Populist), those attempts deserve the most attention at the moment.

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                      • #12
                        Ok, so Trump really, really wants Merkel to fall. That is not news. That any replacement would come from her party and that major policy changes are not on the horizon ? Nevermind.
                        Yet his Twitter attacks for the second consecutive day are not only counterproductive, they are imprudent ( even if you happen to share Trumps goal). Especially if they contain easily documentable falsehoods. No, crime it is not up in Germany, it is at its lowest level in a generation or so. And Merkel continues to be the countrys most popular leader and would easily win any direct contest.
                        So what are the facts ? :

                        The coalition in Berlin has indeed been fighting over refugee policy, which is kind of idiotic, since the partners are not exactly worlds apart. But egos got in the way. Interior minister Seehofer, who represents the bavarian separatist CSU party, wants thighter controls at the german border. Merkel isnt categorically against , because the emergency that led to the suspension of the "Dublin-protocoll" by Germany in late 2015, also (wrongly) referred to as her "open-door"policy, has died down anyway. But she wants that to be part of a european plan, in coordination with other countries. Merkels problem is however that she has been working on a european plan for the last couple of years, with little to show. Germany taking responsibility for the biggest part of the refugee wave (by far) has even led to some of Europes self-proclaimed culture warriors ( like in Hungary or more recently in Italy) to wave refugees through to Germany---and then turn around to exploit anti refugee sentiment by bashing Merkel---without having to come up with ideas of their own.
                        Both Merkel and Seehofer want to end that situation, Seehofer rather with a big bang ( he is also facing elections in his home state), Merkel by soberly offering alternatives--and turning the screws if necessary. Seehofer wants to start by turning back any refugee that has already been registered in another european country or that arrives in Germany from a safe country (that would be from anywhere by land). He also threatened to order police to implement that rule, even if the chancellor was opposed. To which Merkel graciously replied that in that case the bavarian minister would be sent back without return ticket to Berlin--to Munich. As often, Merkel gave males challenging her just enough rope to hang themselves. On the same day, the Green party ( currently in opposition) confirmed that yes, they wouldnt rule out to take the Bavarians seats at the cabinet table. Which all of a sudden left the air out of Seehofer, faced with loosing power without bringing down Merkel as well, and thus he backed down.
                        The point is that Merkel has common sense on her side. If Germany was starting to act unilaterally, than neighbours with anti-immigration ( or anti-immigration leaning) governements, such as Austria or Italy wouldnt simply pick up the tab ( and respond by stopping to register f.e.) Thus there has to be a european deal on migration and asylum ( and a european outer border regime). Which Seehofer has "generously" accepted by giving her "two weeks" to negotiate the basics. Which will without doubt be extended.
                        There is also the interpretation that it is all a setup, to increase pressure on other european governements to stop hiding behind Germanys back on immigration.
                        Whatever it is, Trump DEFINITELY has it wrong ( which might not bother him, that is understood) :

                        http://www.dw.com/en/donald-trump-cl...ion/a-44277845


                        https://www.politico.eu/article/ange...-german-crime/


                        https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-crime-rate-lowest-since-1992/


                        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1JF2G3


                        Last edited by Voland; 4 weeks ago.

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