Tag: Angela Merkel

As an American with numerous friends in foreign countries, it often falls to one to be the interpreter (not to say justifier) of what goes on in American public life. In part, this is simply the normal interplay of people seeking to understand cultures and mores foreign to their own, and it is the subject of a literature has a long provenance, from Xenophon and Julius Caesar to Tocqueville and Twain, to Alastair Cooke (to name only a few). (More…)

The German election was a pyrrhic victory for Angela Merkel. She has just enough seats to pull together a new coalition with the Free Democrats and the Green Party. However, the rise of the Alternative for Deutschland, and the loss of the SPD as a junior partner, means Merkel will triangulate further to the right on the refugee question. (More…)

Going into the German elections the consensus is that Angela Merkel will once again be reinstated and the grand coalition reconstituted. Many people are taking refuge in the status quo given the instability in the world today. But this election result didn’t look so certain at the start of 2017. (More…)

With Donald Trump in the White House, it’s not surprising to see world opinion shift against the United States once again. Indeed, it feels like European public opinion has moved back to where it was in the Bush era when many people feared that the US was out of control. (More…)

If Mecca is the most holy site in Islam, Germany assumes a similar significance for fascists. So ferocious were the talkbacks on right-wing websites following Monday’s attack on a Berlin Christmas market, it was as though a pig had been set loose in a mosque. (More…)

As part of his series This Age of Migration, humanitarian commentator Paul Currion examines why more states than ever are erecting walls in reaction to migration, and the dangerous emergence of a migration-industrial complex. (More…)

The right is on the rise in Germany. On October 19th, 20,000 people gathered in Dresden under the banner of the far-right, anti-immigration group “PEGIDA”. They were marking a special occasion: Only one year earlier, several dozen self-proclaimed “patriots” had first met to protest the coming “Islamization of the Occident.” (More…)

The headlines of German papers today say everything you need to know. The Frankfurter Allgemeine is, as usual, full of useful tips for how to handle the exasperating upstarts in Athens. It’s also happy to report that German tourism in Greece set a new record this year. For its part, the Süddeutsche Zeitung gets to the heart of the matter, with a lead article on Germany’s “image problem”; and what a problem that is. (More…)

Ever since the first Snowden leaks in 2013, something strange has been happening in Germany. On the one hand, Germans were shocked by how ruthless the US was, going so far as to tap Angela Merkel’s phone. On the other, the government’s response was incredibly subdued. Of course, there were some publicized angry calls to Obama, and the BND reduced its cooperation with the NSA. But that was it. (More…)

The Nazis are back. So one would be inclined to believe, over the last few weeks, as Islamophobic demonstrations mushroomed across Germany. First catching the international media’s attention with a riot in Cologne, followed by a series of Monday night demonstrations in Dresden, Germany has been forced to acknowledge the growth of widespread sentiment against minorities, specifically Muslims. (More…)

“Daredevil” is not a word that many people associate with Germany these days; certainly not the nation’s military. And that’s probably a blessing, even if its allies long for less hesitant support. The history of Germans acting boldly took a wrong turn shortly after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door. Does anybody want to risk urging them to act now and think later? (More…)

When I was a child, my mother used to blow on me gently after namaz. It was a folk custom meant to cleanse me of her transgressions, and protect me from the djinn. I did my Juma prayers at Berlin’s Türk Sehitlik mosque seeking that same type of maternal protection. (More…)