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Analysis and Comment (42)

Getting a leg over in 1989. Gavin Andrew Stewart

Children born just after the Berlin Wall fell were lower achievers – here’s why

Germany and the rest of Europe are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the associated communist regimes in Eastern Europe. This event had colossal repercussions in the…
Angela Merkel has thus far closed her eyes to the need for more spending, at her country’s peril. Reuters

Germany may be the biggest loser if it doesn’t start spending

There’s growing pressure on Germany to spend more to support Europe – and for good reason. But it’s proving to be a hard sell to the country’s leaders. Germany’s budget is balanced and the government insists…
The German switch to green electricity has demanded quick thinking. Martin Capek

Germany’s green power surge has come at a massive cost

Germany is well on its way towards having a predominantly green electricity supply. The transition from nuclear and fossil fuel electricity to using renewables is happening faster than anyone had anticipated…
Counting your blessings. A worker at a chocolate factory in Germany. Jan Woitas/EPA

German labour markets put Europe’s workforce in the firing line

Germany’s strategy for export-led growth has set the Eurozone up for a fall. Plans to introduce minimum wages in 2015 might be too little too late for European countries locked in a futile game of beggar-thy-workforce…
Germans today have little appetite for constructing new national myths about the Great War, or reclaiming old ones, because of painful associations with the more recent past. Robert Scarth/Flickr

Why the Great War centenary will be a non-issue in Germany

There is not much of a question of who controls the national myth of the Great War in Germany today. Nobody in particular seems to want to claim it. More interesting, however, is considering who has sought…
Germany: world champions for the fourth time. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Germany triumphs in a World Cup of many winners and losers

No one can say the Germans did not deserve to win the 2014 World Cup: they remained unbeaten throughout, destroyed the hosts along the way, and then saw off those other historic guardians of South American…
There can only be one winner. EPA/Kamil Krzaczynski/Mohamed Messara

Germany v Argentina … who will raise the 2014 World Cup?

After four weeks, we’re finally at the pointy end of the 2014 World Cup. Germany and Argentina meet in the final in the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro this weekend. Germany is riding high after thrashing…
Nationalism is no alternative: Germany prepares to vote. EPA/Marius Becker

EU election: Germany – vote Merkel and carry on

No country takes European Parliament elections more seriously than does Germany. Many posters have adorned lampposts around the country since mid-April and discussions in the media centre round the parties…
Heidegger’s Nazi ties and anti-Semitism are indisputable. Can the man be separated from his philosophy?

Heidegger’s notebooks reveal an early blindness to the Nazis' reality

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) is easily the most controversial philosopher in the 20th century. To a large extent this is due to his implication in Nazism, which is a scandal to some, a fascinating spectacle…
Eine kleine Bundeskanzlerin: Merkel addresses both houses of parliament. Oli Scarff/PA

She got the royal treatment, but Merkel’s not Superwoman

Angela Merkel’s visit to London could hardly have been given a bigger billing; a speech to both houses of parliament, lunch with the prime minister and then tea with the Queen. David Cameron clearly had…
Generation War provoked fierce debate and protests with sympathetic portrayals of German soldiers and depictions of Poles as anti-Semitic. SBS/ZDF

Generation War re-ignites battle over a nation’s ‘true’ history

Polish reactions to the German TV series Generation War, which has just screened in Australia, confirm that the history of World War Two remains highly contentious. The resulting public debate tested Polish-German…
Not at the races. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

France’s economic sickness might defy a cure

The news from France has not been good over the last few years. Poor economic growth, stubbornly high unemployment, plant closures on the rise, strikes (not new, really), voter disenfranchisement and the…
Haunted by the ghost of Merkel past? World Economic Forum

Merkel’s refusal to help FDP will come back to haunt her

The results of the German election have been described as a triumph for Angela Merkel. Her Christian Democrats bounced back from their second-worst result since 1949 to heights they have not seen since…
To victory: German chancellor Angela Merkel has comfortably won a third term in office. EPA/Michael Kappeler

German elections: the ‘Merkel factor’ leads to her third term

When the term “factor” is used in the description of political power, one is reminded of sunscreen or perfume: an ingredient to ingest. One is certainly not reminded of German chancellor Angela Merkel…
The roots of Germany’s anti-nuclear stance go back many decades, and are stronger than ever today. Memkaos/Flickr

Nuclear futures: renewables blossom in Germany’s post-nuclear vision

When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan was hit by a tsunami in March 2011, the disaster had a profound effect on German energy policy. Chancellor Angela Merkel reasoned that “Fukushima…
The Euro crisis has finally arrived at the economic heartland of Germany; but the road to recovery may be the same for the Eurozone core powers as the peripheral economies. AAP

The Euro crisis has arrived in Germany: but is a recession scenario plausible?

Last week the German government’s economic forecasts for 2013 have made clear that the Euro crisis will have a serious economic impact on Germany, with the economic growth projection cut down to a mere…
After 70 years, Mein Kampf is to be re-printed. Michael Dawes

Is Mein Kampf still too dangerous?

Almost 70 years ago, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in the bunker of the Reich Chancellery, marking the downfall of one of the most murderous regimes the world has ever seen. Decades later, there is still…
German chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s new President Francois Hollande meet to discuss Europe’s economic woes. EPA/Rainer Jensen

Hollande and Merkel: breaking up is hard to do

Europe is in economic dire straits and the two most powerful economies on the continent are, at least on paper, led by individuals with considerable differences. The previous French President Nicolas Sarkozy…
With Greek leaders still unable to form government more than five days after the election, the prospect of Greeks returning to the polls is strengthening.

Plus ça change: Europe wipes its leaders off the electoral map

The democratic executions of Nicolas Sarkozy in France and Lucas Papademos in Greece means the body count of European leaders guillotined by angry electorates has risen to 12. Sarkozy and Papademos join…
Not so funny…. Portugal is the next vulnerable Euro nation, but it doesn’t fit the German-favoured critique of a profligate country unwilling to undertake reforms. AAP

After the Greek rescue package: will Portugal be the next to fall?

Greece is rescued, for now…maybe. Perhaps it’s time to move on to the next basket case. So, which of the PIIGS is the next Greece? For the moment, Portugal looks to be the front-runner. The country’s public-debt-to-GDP…
The eurozone crisis is moving beyond “spendthrift” countries in need of rescue, to the rescuers themselves. AAP

Heart of darkness – entering the Eurozone’s end game

Early this week, sovereign bonds spreads for France and other Euro-core countries peaked. Around noon on Tuesday the spreads on French and Austrian 10-year government bonds exceeded the German bund rate…
Former EU commissioner Mario Monti will form government in Italy as Silvio Berlusconi exits. AAP

Here come the technocrats, to save the Eurozone

Is the Eurozone about to crash and burn, leaving Club Med in its wake? Not so fast. Reports have suggested that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed a strategic…
Italy’s debt woes will not disappear after Berlusconi finally steps down. AAP

As the Eurozone teeters, Italy has no time to waste

Global markets have tumbled in the past 24 hours on fears over Italy’s worsening debt crisis, with media reports that Germany and France have begun talks to break up the Eurozone if the monetary union’s…
Mass social movements, like the one in East Germany in 1989-91, don’t usually start out with clear goals. AAP

You think Occupy is incoherent? It takes time to change history

Those who call for the Occupy movement to have a coherent set of demands at its birth ignore the history of social and protest movements. Often, the coherence to the programs of protest movements is only…

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