All 2 entries tagged Germany

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December 11, 2008

Hug a German

Peer Steinbrück is the German finance minister, and a Social Democratic member of the country’s governing coalition.

Can we adopt him or find some distant relative of his that allows us to claim him as British?

From Newsweek:

The speed at which proposals are put together under pressure that don’t even pass an economic test is breathtaking and depressing. Our British friends are now cutting their value-added tax. We have no idea how much of that stores will pass on to customers. Are you really going to buy a DVD player because it now costs £39.10 instead of £39.90? All this will do is raise Britain’s debt to a level that will take a whole generation to work off. The same people who would never touch deficit spending are now tossing around billions. The switch from decades of supply-side politics all the way to a crass Keynesianism is breathtaking. When I ask about the origins of the crisis, economists I respect tell me it is the credit-financed growth of recent years and decades. Isn’t this the same mistake everyone is suddenly making again, under all the public pressure?


June 24, 2006

Has Klinsmann been studying Blair?

(c) BBCIs Jurgen Klinsmann trying to do a Tony?

I only ask because Germany seem to be building up their World Cup performances after a disappointing prelude, and look – after today's performance – to be amongst the favourites.

And what do I put it down to?

Tony Blair.

Why? Well, during the 2005 election, Blair won the election partly due to what was termed his 'capitulation' strategy. Essentially, he'd personally take all the blame for the Iraq war while his party could win by pointing at Blair and saying "it's his fault".

(c) Getty ImagesI think Klinsmann has done the same. He's been derided in the German press for living in the United States and spending very little time with his players, but I'm beginning to wonder if this too was a 'capitulation' strategy – designed to lower expectations and lay all blame at the feet of the manager. Meanwhile his players have been given a sympathetic hearing because "it's all Klinsmann's fault", and have been able to concentrate on winning.

Well now of course the team are playing so well (although I think they lack pace up front) that the German fans were chanting Klinsmann's name during their 2–0 victory over Sweden. Can you imagine Eriksson (or any England manager, actually) getting the same reception? Remember Klinsmann was hated two weeks ago!

I think it's all very clever. The talent in the team is clearly there (Ballack and Klose have had terrific seasons), and I think it's possible that Klinsmann's apparent mismanagement of the side may have been a genius piece of PR from the man that brought you four more years of Labour government.


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