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Berlin (Stadt in Ostdeutschland)
Die FDP hat ihr Ziel erreicht

Die FDP ist tot ? Es lebe die FDP ! Sie hat es seit Mitte der 90er Jahre erfolgreich verstanden, den Neoliberalismus in Deutschland zunächst salonfähig zu machen und dann fest und allgegenwärtig zu etablieren. Chapeau ! Bildung und Gesundheit sind längst zur "Ware" verkommen, die Bevölkerung verzockt die Rente an der Börse und das Internet wurde durch Abmahnwellen zur Kommerzplattform schlechthin, in der sich jeder als Ich-AG zu vermarkten versucht. Die beobachtbare Folge im wi(e)dervereinigten Deutschland: die Einkommen stagnieren während die Reichtümer wachsen. Für alle sichtbar wird die Gesellschaft nun vom alten Land- und neuen Medien- und Geldadel angeführt.

Und gerade wegen dieser Omnipräsenz des Liberalen ist die FDP völlig zu Recht am programmatischen Ende angekommen: Job done ! Auch das letzte selbstgesteckte Ziel, nämlich die Insolvenz Griechenlands kann sie noch erreichen, wenn jetzt Philipp Rösler zurücktritt und dadurch Platz für Neuwahlen macht. Dann würde das Volk vermutlich gegen die Verwendung von 60% des Bundeshaushalts (200 Milliarden Euro) zur vermeintlichen Rettung der Europäischen Währungsunion votieren. Kanzlerin Merkel könnte ohne Gesichtsverlust in den wohlverdienten Ruhestand gehen und das Krisenmanagement einer bunten Koalition aus diversen Nobodies überlassen.

© D. Baumann, 19. September 2011


 
 
Hamburg
Elbphilharmonie
Zu spät, zu teuer und niemals rentabel

Morgen wird in der Körber Stiftung über die sogenannte "Elbphilharmonie" diskutiert. Kritiker und Befürworter sollen über den Stand der Dinge im Herbst 2011 diskutieren. Aha, immerhin. Es regt sich Kritik im ach so stolzen Hamburg. Warum nicht als Motto der Diskussion: Baustopp, verkaufen oder abreißen ?

Die Elbphilharmonie wird mit der Ausrichtung auf moderne Musik niemals so rentabel sein, wie z.B. die Musicalhäuser im Hamburger Hafen. Es wird sowohl aufgrund der Bau- aber auch wegen der Betriebskosten insgesamt ein Milliardengrab sein. Kein Gutes Aushängeschild für die ehrbaren Geschäftsleute an Elbe und Alster. (Wobei der Bauunternehmer sicherlich seine Gewinnmarge realisiert haben dürfte...)

Die Elbphilharmonie wird als größte hanseatische Bausünde des neuen Jahrtausends in die Geschichtsbücher eingehen. Unter Führung der mit Ole von Beust untergegangenen Hamburger CDU wurden Steuergelder für schwer nachvollziehbare Projekte verpulvert. Andere Beispiele für diese Politik sind: Die Privatisierung des vormals Offenen Kanals Hamburg zur Hamburg Media School und die Aufgabe des Marke "Musikhalle" zugunsten eines schwer aussprechbaren Familiennamens einer Reederfamilie.

Aber zum Glück haben sich die Verhältnisse in Hamburg geändert. So ist auch die Rote Flora und das Gängeviertel nicht mehr von Räumung bedroht. Vielleicht wird auch in naher Zukunft die - nach einer wahrscheinlichen Insolvenz dann leerstehende - Elbphilharmonie von selbstbewussten Künstlern als Wohn- und Arbeitsraum annektiert ?

© D. Baumann, 13. September 2011


 
 
Germany
How to create Europe ?
Germany is likely to spend soon 60% of its budget to save Europe

20 years ago Euope saw the fall of the iron curtain and communism. Do we experience this summer the fall of capitalism ? Greece, Portugal, Ireland have extremely high debts. Italy and France are not performing well, too. The stock markets just lost 20% of value. France protected its banks by banning shorts on them.

Experts say, that this desaster was caused by ruthless bankers who increased their bonuses by actively giving debts to countries who clearly were not in the position to pay back - ever. By consequence the banks lost money and almost went bankrupt. But because the european governments did not trust the market principle, they decided to "rescue" the banks by billions of Euros. Taxpayers' money, of course.

At first the politicians told the public, that the money went to the banks directly in order to prevent a "collapse of the western world". Does capitalism need tax payer's money to survive ? In theory: No. It was just quick-cash: Easy to get at low interest rates.

Nowadays even more money is transferred: Up to 600 billion Euro will be collected to "protect the Eurozone". Germany will have to pay 200 billion Euro - two third of Germany's annual budget ! So far the public seems to be quite relaxed about it. Why are people not opposing ? Surely there must be alternatives !

© D. Baumann, 1. Sep 2011


 
 
Germany
Change is coming home
The coalition between Conservative and Green Party is over

Since today, lunch-time, it is clear that Hamburg will face re-elections next year February. The leaders of the Green Party (GAL) saw no other option after 2,5 years. Despite fundamental differences there were three important problems recently: The failed reform of the educational system in Hamburg, the disagreement about the new coal-powered plant in Moorburg and the unsolved question of the future of the harbour.

After almost 9 years the conservative party (CDU) might now not be part of the next year's government any more. Recent polls show a clear preference for a coalition between the socialists (SPD) (40%) and Green Party (12%). Olaf Scholz might have good chances to be elected major in February next year.

© D. Baumann, 28. Nov 2010


 
 
Germany
In need for positive self-confidence
Germany's struggle to become a nation

The latest chapter in the story of Germany on it's way to a true nation deals with the Catholic Church and the re-establishment of communication towards a bishop, which denies the Holocaust during WW2.

Obviously the mood within the German society is generally not as good as it seems to be in other countries: German people smile less, have difficulties to make friends, don't like to talk to strangers so much and are generally not behaving very well in traffic. Thus there is a huge effort needed to improve Germany's self-confidence.

There are basically two reasons for the strange mood, people from other countries often find " The Germans" in: It has never really been a nation like England and France (as Dietrich Schwanitz said) and due to the Holocaust. The killing of 6 million Jews was a crime so immense, that the guilt can hardly be ended. To illustrate the pure number: If you multiply 365 days per year with over 16000 (!) years you will reach the number 6 million.

Despite the fact that the guilt will never disappear, the people below 80 years of age who live in Germany nowadays are not legally responsible for the crimes of their fathers and mothers. But their task should be to make sure that that part of German history is not repeated. The generation of 68 did a very good (maybe a too good) job to put this into the heads of everyone born in the 70s and 80s. But today (2009) the question is: How to go on ?

The Catholic Church strangely provides an answer now: Pope Benedict 16 has re-established communication with the society which was built around Pope Pius 12, who was the head of the Church during WW2. Not only that a large number of authors have accused Pius for not intervening against the Third Reich, but also some of his own followers deny the Holocaust in general. (See recent TV interview with swedish SVT in Nov 2008). The main problem is now that people in Germany might conclude now, that the is a new option to fulfil their desire of more self-confidence: By being a member of a catholic church, which denies to be in any way connected to the Holocaust.

© D. Baumann, Feb 2009


 
 
Government watch
"Grün und Schwarz- das war's ?"
DHU holzt gnadenlos Bäume auf Spielplatz ab

Die Bürgerinitiative zur Rettung der "grünen Oase" in Winterhude hat endgültig verloren. Die Deutsche Heim Union hat Anfang Januar 2009 alle Bäume (bis auf einen) abgehackt. Endgültig, Schluß aus. Und das obwohl juristische Verfahren gegen die Bebauung im Gange sind.

Zur Geschichte: Das Grundstück wurde von der Hansestadt im Rahmes des Projekts "Quartiersgaragen" weit unter Marktwert and die DHU mit der Auflage abgetreten, dort ein tolles unterirdisches Parkhaus zu bauen. Da es ja im Quartier zu viele Autos gäbe. Wir meinen: Ein völlig widersinniger Ansatz, da eine Garage noch mehr Autos und Verkehr ins Viertel bringt, statt den (ohnehin schon stark verdichteten) Stadtteil und seine Anwohner + Kinder vom Autoverkehr zu entlasten.

Last but not least: Die DHU rühmt sich damit, Wohnungen für Familien mit Kindern und eine Kita zu bauen, um den Stadtteil "kinderfreundlicher" zu machen. Leider falsch gedacht. Denn De Fakto passiert genau das Gegenteil: Durch die Bebauung der Grünfläche geht die kinderfreundliche Wohnqualität des Hainbuchenwegs für immer verloren! Anwohner H. Möller fragt: "Ihr Grünen: Wir hat denn da wieder mal nicht aufgepasst ?" Er sieht nicht so aus, als ob er nochmals Grün wählen wird.

MOPO Artikel zum Thema: Artikel in der MOPO®

D. Baumann, Jan 2009


 
 
Hamburg Elections 2008
Green Party: Pragmatism or betrayal ?
The Greens decide to prepare a coalition with Conservatives.

400 (of 1200) members of the Green Party in Hamburg met yesterday and decided to enter into further negotiations about a black-green coalition. They felt obviously that the leader of the conservatives, Mr. Beust, is willing to accept most of the Green's positions regarding education and ecology. Did the CDU change so much its basic convictions or is this just a tactical operation to stay in power after a dramatic loss of roughly 58000 votes compared to 2004 ? By the way: Also the Green Party lost around 27000 votes. Will now the losers rules Hamburg ?

In addition the majority of seats for CDU and GAL would be quite small. That's just 7 seats above the limit of half to seats in the parliament. Due to old conflicts between black and green in almost every issue it is very likely that the people in Hamburg will see endless discussions and little progress. A big colation of conservatives and socialists could be much better with this regard.

Nevertheless Germany's second biggest city (1.8 million, just half the size of Berlin) is getting a lot of attention again. In 2001 the right-wing populist Ronald Barnabas Schill ("Judge without mercy") got 20% of the votes from nil and helped Ole von Beust to become the city's "first man". Seven years later the Green Party is willing to take over the role of the junior coalition partner. That's somewhat surprising, isn't it ?

© RMF2008


 
 
Hamburg Elections 2008
Ole von Beust lost Hamburg elections

Though the conservative party (CDU) is still the strongest power in Hamburg Ole von Beust's party lost almost 5% votes (More than 10% relative loss compared to 2004 elections). Even more severe for Mr Beust is the fact that his potential coalition partner the Liberal Democrats (FDP) will not have any seat in the "Bürgerschaft". Therefore he has to either go into a big coalition with the Socialist party (SPD) or - which is very unlikely - to agree on a coalition contract with the conservatives' old enemy in nearly all areas of politics: the Green party.

It might also happen that due to the quite rude conservative politics during the last four years, no other party might wish to join Mr Beust into the government. It's also possible that the people in Hamburg will see a (minority) coalition of SPD and Green party, which was quite successfully done at higher level before with Mr Gerhard Schröder and Mr Joschka Fischer.

The actual winner of the Hamburg 2008 elections are clearly the "Linke", formed out of PDS and WASG. They got amost 7% (8 seats) of the votes from nil and could also join SPD and the Green party into a majoriy left-wing government. But this would mean a very small majority above the limit of 61 seats.

Most remarkable about the overall result is the fact that the conservative party is based mostly in the rich outskirts of Hamburg, where the real problems of the city (unemployment, violence, drugs, lack of education, cultural diversity,...) are not visible and not existing. It is quite clear that in all more central districs people trust the SPD more to deal with the city's problems.

© RMF2008


 
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