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German reporter German reporter
by Euro Reporter
2007-11-21 09:44:50
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Chancellor Merkel visits US President Bush at his ranch in Texas

Chancellor Merkel paid US President Bush a two-day visit at his ranch in Texas. Core items on the agenda: bilateral issues, the nuclear power problem in Iran, the situation in Afghanistan and the future of the Kosovo Region. This informal meeting is to underline the close and friendly relations between the US and Germany, all the more so as Ms Merkel's husband and Ms Bush will also take part.

She must have been waiting for this invitation for a long time - to wear the cowboy hats and spit on the ground. It is odd how things change while the elections are getting closer in the USA, the old tired Europeans suddenly come back into fashion in Washington and Texas. Sarkozy was the first, Merkel to follow. What more are we going to see till next November?


Parliament (Bundestag) decides to set up monument

Berlin will get a monument to German Unity, following a decision by the Parliament (Bundestag), and it will be situated in Berlin's centre, close to government buildings and the Holocaust Monument. Alternatively there could have been a monument in Leipzig, but that one was not backed by any majority. When discussing the state of German Unity, Mr. Tiefensee said that former East Germany still had to do a lot of catching up as far as the economy was concerned, and that's why he backed keeping the (targeted) surtax that originally was to expire in 2009.

How odd it is only weeks after a survey in all Germany where a lot of people, especially from East Germany, admitted that not much has changed since United Germany raised again. In the beginning was the suffering with the currency to end twenty years after to a poor east and richer west with high unemployment and insecure life. Merkel’s promises in the beginning of her term and her irritating identification with the East German citizens seems that vanished in the halls of the chancellor’s home.


Parliament passes bill on maintenance - children win all the way

Parliament (Bundestag) passed a bill revamping the law on maintenance with a huge majority of votes, so it could become law as of 1 January 2008. Children will then have absolute priority as far as money for their living expenses is concerned. Mothers or fathers who look after children will be second in line, and it would not matter if they had been married or not. Federal Justice Minister Zypries said that the children had been the big winners in this reform. Not so long ago, some gold-diggers had been able to play the system, but that's well and truly a thing of the past. Also, children born to so-called patchwork families will all have equal entitlements.

Not only gold-diggers but families have often used their kids in the worst possible way to make money out of them. The only hope remaining is the rest of the European countries will adopt laws like that.

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Emanuel Paparella2007-11-20 12:27:54
Careful with those words "tired old Europeans" especially when referring to a lady. The last one to do so was Donald Romsfeld and his temerity has not been forgotten yet.

Sand2007-11-20 14:54:24
Limited perspicacity has difficulties with irony.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-20 16:20:19

Thanos2007-11-20 17:24:21
Donald Romsfeld did a grave mistake calling 'tired old Europeans' the base of the European unity and unfortunately American foreign policy will take a long time to recover from his comments and acts. However it looks like things are getting better for Europe after a long time in ...waiting and hoping!

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-20 18:24:48
Quite right. There are some colossal misunderstandings on both sides of the Atlantic and they will not be solved with cliches such as Kegan's "Europeans from Venus and Americans from Mars." It seems to me that a more fruiful approach is to examine and analyze in some depths what are the roots and the values that unite us under the umbrella of Western Civilization? And of course what are the differences that need to be known objectively, without necessarily embracing them, and most importantly need to be respected without reducing them to caricatures.

Sand2007-11-20 18:31:46
It's always lots of fun to discuss huge undefined generalities like freedom and beauty and good taste and Western Civilization and human values as nobody has the same conception as to what these things mean and what components are more significant than others and how they contribute to the whole. Shalom.

Emanuel Paparella2007-11-20 20:43:53

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