Germany

The German Question, Again

Featured image As noted here a few days ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel is having trouble putting together a coalition government in Germany following a terrible showing in the last election. The German result was similar to the recent French election in one respect: it represents a repudiation of the main ruling parties. There is one big difference: while the French economy continues to stagnate, the German economy is arguably the best in »

The European Revolt Continues

Featured image The Czech Republic’s parliamentary election represented yet another rebellion against Europe’s political elites. The winning party, ANO, is considered centrist and won nearly 30% of the vote. Its leader, Andrej Babis, is a billionaire and has been described as a Czech Donald Trump. The Associated Press reports: The centrist ANO movement led by populist Andrej Babis decisively won the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election Saturday in a vote that shifted the »

The German Question, Again

Featured image It is a truism of economics and political science that “institutions matter.” Just ask Hillary Clinton about the electoral college, for example. Right now we are seeing an object lesson in the hazards of institutional design of parliamentary government playing out in Germany. Angela Merkel is the Theresa May of the continent, a person who ought to be fatally weakened by the election result. Check out this chart of the »

Anti-Immigration Party Surges as Merkel Wins German Election

Featured image Europe has never been as committed to democracy as the United States. Its elites let people vote, but some issues they are not willing to allow to be decided by the masses. Thus, at quite an early stage, European liberals decided that immigration was too explosive an issue to be committed to the democratic process. Europeans were going to get mass immigration whether they wanted it or not, and anyone »

The Outlook from “New Europe”

Featured image SOFIA, Bulgaria, June 30—What the heck, I may as well get my Rebecca West on and file an old-fashioned “foreign correspondent” story from the the Balkans, where I’m visiting for several days that have included a seminar for graduate students and young professionals at New Bulgarian University, and yesterday a “strategic briefing” for business and political leaders, about which more in a moment. One of my favorite ledes from Whittaker »

What to make of the Trump-Merkel dispute?

Featured image To those who have it in for our president, it’s obvious what to make of it — President Trump’s bluster and ignorance have alienated one of America’s most important allies and, in the words of the Washington Post, “sent tremors through Washington’s core postwar alliances.” But is the war of words really Trump’s fault? I don’t think so. One issue of contention is Germany’s unwillingness to meet its financial commitment »

Anti-Trump Europeans decline to be reassured by Mike Pence

Featured image As I discussed yesterday, President Trump sent his “A Team” to Europe to demonstrate America’s commitment to NATO. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Vice President Mike Pence all traveled to a major conference in Munich for that purpose. Kelly, Mattis, and Pence said the right things. Pence, who told the conference he was sending a message of reassurance directly from President Trump, stated that the »

German defense minister reinforces Trump’s reservations on NATO

Featured image President Trump sent his “A Team” to Europe to demonstrate America’s commitment to NATO. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Vice President Mike Pence all traveled to a major conference in Munich for that purpose. However, key European officials, along with honorary European John McCain, used the occasion to vent over Trump. Apparently, the Europeans would rather grandstand to their domestic audiences and demonstrate their moral »

Slow Learner in Germany?

Featured image Looks like Angela Merkel may be starting to get it. From the BBC: Merkel: Islamist terror is ‘greatest threat’ to Germany Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said in her New Year message. Referring to the deadly truck attack in Berlin by a Tunisian asylum seeker, she said it was “sickening” when acts of terror were carried out by people who had sought protection. »

The latest from Berlin: Shootout in Milan

Featured image The latest in the Berlin terror truck massacre comes from Milan. Tunisian terror truck suspect Anis Amri has been killed in a shootout with police. The Telegraph reports: he Tunisian man suspected of carrying out the Berlin truck attack was shot dead by police in Milan on Friday, Italy has confirmed. Anis Amri, 24, was accused of killing 12 people and wounding dozens more in Monday’s assault on a Christmas »

The latest from Berlin: Looking for Mr. Amri

Featured image A reader following the German press is helping to keep us current on news of the Berlin massacre. The news focuses on the hunt for the Tunisian suspect, Anis Amri, and his telling backstory. Our reader advises that there are several interesting reports in the German media today. Despite concerns that the document found in the truck used by the terrorist was a feint designed to mislead the authorities, Amri’s »

The latest from Berlin: Anis Amri? Whodat???

Featured image Two photos of suspected Berlin truck terrorist Anis Amri have now been posted at the German Bundeskriminalamt website. The BKA has requested the public’s assistance to locate him here. According to the German tabloid Bild, the Tunisian government refused to replace Amri’s passport, although requested to by the German government, because he was unknown to them: Wie BILD erfuhr, hatte der Tunesier im April 2016 ein Asylantrag gestellt, wurde vom »

The latest from Berlin: Last name, photo & more

Featured image The Daily Mail passes on the last name and photo (right) of the suspect identified by the authorities in the Berlin massacre. He is believed to be armed and dangerous. And, oh, yeah, he is probably a member of a “large” Islamic organization: This is the Tunisian asylum seeker with ‘links to Islamic extremists’ who has become Europe’s most wanted man after his ID was found under the seat in »

The latest from Berlin: Searching for a suspect

Featured image German media report that police are searching for a Tunisian named Anis A, born in 1992 in the city of Tataouine, after a temporary-stay permit was found under a seat in the cab of the lorry. That’s how the BBC puts it. The man is aged 21 or 23 and also known by two aliases, according to unconfirmed reports in the daily Allgemeine Zeitung and the Bild newspaper. The UK”s »

The Latest From Berlin: Terrorist On the Loose

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has a good update on what we know about yesterday’s terrorist truck attack in Berlin: Nearly 24 hours after Germany’s deadliest terror attack in decades, police said they had been holding the wrong man as their only suspect, reviving fears of more violence and restarting the hunt for at least one perpetrator at large. *** The police said a lack of forensic links to the crime »

What happened in Berlin [updated]

Featured image What was the horrifying attack at the Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin that killed 12 yesterday? It was obviously an act of Islamist terrorism in the style of the attack that killed 86 in Nice on Bastille Day this past July. How obvious was it? It was so obvious that the New York Times describes it as follows: A truck driver barreled into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin »

Truck Terrorism In Berlin [UPDATED: Terrorist Was A “Refugee”]

Featured image It was a bad day for terrorism. Just an hour after an Islamic extremist murdered the Russian ambassador to Turkey, an unidentified person drove a large truck into a crowd in Berlin, killing at least 9 and injuring 45 or more people. The scene was a “Christmas market,” which NPR describes: The truck was driven into the crowd on a sidewalk, bringing down Christmas lights and smashing stalls at the »