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Posts by Tacitus  

Joined: 6 Jul 2017 / Male ♂
Warnings: 1 - Q
Last Post: 4 Jul 2024
Threads: Total: 2 / Live: 1 / Archived: 1
Posts: Total: 1255 / Live: 798 / Archived: 457

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Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

@dudar

y. I just don't understand why she is still so popular in Germany and why the rest of European countries follow her lead...
@ dudar

Germany is currently experiencing a golden era. Unemployment is at a record low, the economy is booming and so on. What's more Merkel is perceived as a highly skilled diplomat who kept the EU together, negotiated with Putin over the Ukraine and in general is seen as a welcome contrast to politicians like Trump. It is no coincidence that Merkel's approval ratings improved since Trump got elected.
Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

and yet her legacy might fall squarely on a quick and miscalculated move during the Migrant Crisis.

Unlikely. In the long run, the refugee crisis is simply not as much of an issue as the danger of a break-up of the Euro and EU, nor the problems Putin's Russia are creating. If she manages to weather the storm and make both the common currency and the EU more resilient to such crisis, she'll be assessed very highly by both history and Germans.

German press is clearly censored and everyday Germans frightened to publicly speak out or even question the government because of laws being passed by said government.

Nonsense. You are free to criticize the government as much as you like.
Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Germany just passed a law censoring and even threatening to arrest individuals for free speech on social media

No not free speech. Hate speech. Due to historical reasons, Germany draws a line when it comes to inciting violence and hatred. You can criticize the government because of the refugee crisis, bit calling for the murder of refugees or politicians will get you in trouble and rightly so. Especially because many local politicians were the victims of personal threats and insults, who have not personal bodyguards to protect them.
Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Sadly, the police in Germany is only allowed to act with great restrain. Which is why you have regularly people who like violence and who apparantly think that they can have some "fun" with the police.

Liz brate don`t pretend that you don`t know that entire Germany was formed on the ground stolen from Slavs in process known as Drang Nach Osten.

If you want to interprete history like the early 20th century historians you might have a point (and even then, 3/4 of today's Germany was never settled by any tribes that could be called "slavic"). I know some people in the Balkans have still some catching up to do until they are at a civiliatorical with the rest of Europe, and evidently you belong to them. But from my my previous travels to Serbia, I am aware that you only present shrinking minority among your people.
Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Of course, history would hardly be interesting if it wasn't open to interpretation. That being said, historians nowadays are more aware about the many problems that can arise if you apply modern views on historical sources, and of course how ancient sources are often problematic as well.

I mean we have many Roman historians who have written about the Germanic tribes (Tacitus was notably among them), and applied names to them like Sueben et al. But they most likely never visited these lands, nor is their any evidence that those tribes called temselves like the Romans did, or considered themselves part of "Germanic" tribes.
Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Anyhow, a number of European nations are concerned once again that Germany has become too economically powerful and will steamroller her way across the continent,

That doesn't prevent them from asking them for German investment, or even closer military cooperation though. I am sure with time they'll come to accept that Germany wants mutual benefical relation with them. The Czech Republic for example has greatly benefited from the close economic cooperation with Germany, as do others.

I don't think any European government has spoken out against German leadership, except Poland and Hungary (and even Orban made sure not to upset too many Germans), in fact most have voiced their displeasure about German reluctance to lead in the past. Personally I think it is good that we have a strong French president with Macron again, so that the sole responsibility does not lie with Merkel any longer.
Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

No hard feelings here, it looks like the Serbians learned their lessons a lot quicker than the Germans.

On a side note, I am very glad that Merkel invested a lot of effort into presenting the Balkans with a European option. Germans know from their history how long it can take for a people to come to terms with its' past, but I sincerely hope that Serbia will one day within my lifetime join the EU, and thus bring the project of pacifying the Balkans to a conclusive end.
Tacitus   
7 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Tacitus, Germany remains the rich, unpleasant uncle of whom everyone's sort of afraid, yet whom everyone needs when they don't have enough money:-)

A simplistic response to your comment, yet apt just the same, wouldn't you agree?

I can live with that. Isn't it better to be feared than to be loved, if you can't have both? ;) But who knows how things'll look in another 50 years.@Crow

Don`t worry. Pacification 100%. When we finish here what Turks and Germans started, there would be no Islamists and no Nazis here.

It is a good thing Serbia was stopped the last time they wanted to follow in German or Turkish footsteps. ;) I am sure Belgrad has learned by now like Germany did that attempting to increase your territory by war will inevitable lead to a decrease in territory.
Tacitus   
8 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Let us hope that Ms. Merkel or her successor will not make future tactical blunders:-)

Germany so far had only sensible leaders after WWII. Hopefully this will continue to do. At the very least, German aversion to military power will make sure that even stupid German leaders won't be a danger to its' neighbours.
Tacitus   
8 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Because Sarazin has been mentioned frequently here, it is worth pointing out that he comitted several factual errors in his books. There are numerous articles that highlight his mistakes and simplifications, e.g. a very long one here: (The following is just a short quotation giving some examples)

"Sarrazin, for example, writes that Germany's population will be 20 million in 2100. Yet demographers estimate that there will be 46 million Germans in 2100.
[...]

neration men with Turkish backgrounds marry German women, a percentage that increases in future generations.

The entire article can be found here:
spiegel.de/international/germany/the-man-who-divided-germany-why-sarrazin-s-integration-demagoguery-has-many-followers-a-715876-3.html]http:

The next page of the article debunks his statements about genetics, Jewiish and immigrant genes and so on. It makes for an interesting read, but since it would make my post to long I'll refrain from citing them.

[spiegel.de/international/germany/the-man-who-divided-germany-why-sarrazin-s-integration-demagoguery-has-many-followers-a-715876-4.html

It is true that Sarazzin did a lot to highlight several problems with migration to Germany and he deserves credit for opening a debate about this. But like many people with a good cause, he radicalized himself with time and included topics in his books about which he lacked the proper knowledge to analyze them, and furthermore did not properly analyze the data and statistics he used. His credibility suffered greatly from this, which is why almost no one takes notice anymore when he voices his opinion anymore.

Please read rule#11 on copy-paste
Tacitus   
8 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

@mafketis

I'm not interested in ending all immigration to Europe but I am in favor of better policy than GErmany has at present (which is terrible in many ways).

Germany has in many ways changed its' approach to immigration integration, especially towards refugees. There is now great effort taken to offer refugees education, and German lessons are now mandatory for the new arrivals. So far it seems that this new approach could work out.

A better indication of integration is percentage of women that marry German men. Any figures there?

I haven't found any statistic on a quick search, and I suspect that it will be difficult to find any reliable data, since there are a lot of factors to consider (e.g. second-generation German-Turks who only have a german passport and so on). From my personal experience though, the son of my former landlord married a Turkish women a few years ago. Her other sisters are also married to Germans.

How does Turksih academic performance stack up against native GErman performance?

We have in Germany the problem that in more than almost any other OSCE country, the performance of children in school depends on their parentage. There is still a low number of worker-class children who enter university, even among German-born parents. The same counts for Turkish-born children. One major step to improve this is the establishment of daycares that take care of children the whole day long (whereas previously kindergarten were only open for half a day) so that children can learn and practice their German properly.
Tacitus   
8 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

After, Germany FINALLY AFTER 7 FRICKIN' YEARS had to give Poles free access to the German labor market (and which they were still against)

With good reason though, as evidenced by the UK. In hindsight it is very obvious that this the smart way to do. Germany was suffering from high unemployment at the time, and letting in competition from Eastern Europe probably would have turned poorer Germans against the EU and foreigners. When the restriction was lifted, Germany needed more workers and we have seen a large number of Poles emigrating to Germany in the last few years. And Germany remains a very attractive destination for Poles.

thenews.pl/1/12/Artykul/285368,Germany-most-popular-destination-for-Poles-seeking-work

Currently many European citizens from Eastern Europe are emigrating to Germany. 2015 saw 147.910 Poles arriving in Germany. (Even more arrived from Rumania with 174.000)

zeit.de/politik/ausland/2016-07/eu-buerger-migration-nach-deutschland-rekordhoch-rumaenien-osteuropa

Had Gemany followed the UK's lead in 2004 then German might be challenging English as lingua franca of the EU

Firstly, German seems to be quite popular in Poland.

goethe.de/en/uun/akt/20512365.html

In fact there has been a noticeable increase in interest for German language classes:

monitor.icef.com/2015/04/german-language-study-on-the-rise-worldwide

Let's not kid ourself, there is no way German could supplant English as the leading language in Europe, even if a few millions more could speak it. English is the language everybody speaks, and this won't change. Let's just hope that Chinese won't usurp English as world language, because that would be far more difficult to learn for Europeans ;

Germany has NO cultural relevance or soft power*. It's all brute economic force.

I think this is your bias speaking here. Germany has due historically reasons focuesd on its' soft power over the years, and analyzer acknowledge the extent of this.

thelocal.de/20131121/germany-number-one-for-soft-power
Tacitus   
8 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

When it starts showing concern to other EU countries maybe they'll return the favor and not one second before.

You are aware that Berlin is (along with London) the main reason why Poland was admitted so early to the EU in the first place right, when other countries like France were against EU enlargement? And that Germany remains the top destination for Poles so I am not sure what your outrage is all about. The German labour market was not ready for that many new arrivals back then, plain and simple. And apparantly, neither was the UK. Strangely the Brexiteers like to complain that the EU forced them to take in all the Polish immigrants even though it would have been entirely within London's power to prevent it.

That being said I am very happy that so many Poles are working in Germany. There are in general hard-working. well integrated, and unlike e.g. those from Rumania und Bulgaria, are less likely to abuse our social security system.

Here is also interesting article about Germany and soft power:

economist.com/news/europe/21663257-once-language-schiller-and-goethe-then-hitler-german-hip-again-sprechen-sie-power

This article also shows how Germany uses soft power in the Baltic states.

ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/51412
Tacitus   
9 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

I'm rather fond of German myself but I can't blame European youth for turning away from it.

So you just ignore all the verifiable evidence I have shown you (more demand for German language courses) because of your personal impression? That is not very academic of you.

Merkel Wave of Pseudo-Refugees or are about micro-endeavors (tied to economics) and don't translate into real soft power.

We might have a different understanding what the term "soft power" means. I am using the definition as stated in the article of the Economist. Economic influence is for me part of soft power, whereas military capabiillities are hard power. The way things are handled within the EU certainly don't qualify as hard power, they are done by votes and debates. The only time a country acted blunt and rash recently was when Poland tried to prevent the reelection of Tusk against the wishes of all other member states.

017. And Greece can't afford German austerity.

It is Greek austerity and I don't think this is related to the topic at hand. Well maybe except as an example as to why the blatant attempt of Greece to blackmail its' creditors back in 2015 was doomed to fail against the united consensus of the other Euro members.
Tacitus   
9 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

Greece Austerity

1) Austerity was demanded by all of Greece's creditors. In fact several countries were far more keen on punishing Greece than Germany.

Poorer than Greece: the EU countries that reject a new Athens bailout

theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/09/poorer-than-greece-the-eu-countries-that-reject-a-new-athens-bailout

2) You (and many Greeks) seem to have a very strange understanding on how negotiations between two countries work. Tsipras promised that he would end austerity and Euro would keep the Euro if the Greeks voted No in the referendum. All European politicians stated this was not an option. Greece could either accept austerity or leave the Euro. Tsipras was simply dishonest about how the situation looked like. He told the Greeks that they could have their cake and eat it. No country was willing to make any concessions to Greece, and if they had held a referendum in any European country, probably a majority would have voted to kick Greece out of the Euro.

Of course, Tsipras could have drawn the conclusion that having failed to get any concessions, in order to respect the referendum, he'd have to lead Greece out of the Eurozone. However since polls indicated that the Greeks also wanted to keep the Euro (which in return just shows you how bizarre that whole referendum was) he decided to agree to the demands. That was his decision, no one else.

Greece lost 30 % of its GDP with not real prospect for recovery ever because the Euro is not a currency*,

The Greek economy was artificially bloated by reckless public spending and other measures, it is now closer to what it actually produces. It will take Greece many years until it recovers to the standards it held pre 2009, but this time, it will be honesty earned. And as a bonus, it looks like they have learned how to properly fight tax evasion and organize a proper bureaucracy. I just pity the young Greeks who have to pay the price of their parents excesses.

A fellow Greek student of mine told me an interesting story about his small home town. A few years ago, he passed the very difficult test to get a job in the Greek bureaucracy. Yet there are currently no positions open. The one spot he could have applied for is held by a middle aged man who got his job two decades ago because he was friend with the local mayor. The position requires a university education, yet the man hasn't even finished high school. According to proposals by the Troika, such obviously unqualified civil servants should be fired, but consecutive governments have refused to do so. My fellow student decided to leave the country eventually because he has given up hope that anything will change.
Tacitus   
10 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

True it is possible that some politicians suspected that the Greek numbers were altered. That being said it is very unlikely that they supected how bad they looked in reality, nor could they have known that given how far Greece went to falsify data. And even then, who could have expected that Greek politicians would act increasingly more stupid and spend money so recklessly?

It is also worth pointing out that back then therr were hardly any ways to check the national deficite independently from the data the national governments provided. You had to somewhat trust them on this.

It wouldn't have been nice diplomatic form to say "Sorry, we don't believe you.

I agree. Germany was btw. initially against Greece's membership, but relented when Greece mentioned the 2WW and after France pushed for it.

didn't build any escape mechanisms into the Euro

It is always possible for a country to leave the Euro, they just need to start printing their own money. Greece had plans for reintroducing the Drachme, but backed out after thinking about it. I have asked my fellow Greek student why the Greeks want to keep the Euro despite its' difficulties, he told me that many are afraid Greece could end up as Venezuela with the Drachme.
Tacitus   
10 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

The Greeks called it "creative accounting", if I recall correctly

And to be fair, all governments can be creative with their accounting. France's current budget deficite would probably look worse without it. It can also take different forms, for example, most European defence budgets would look even worse if pensions were not included, which many governments do.

But what Greece did was unprecedented in scale.

So they're ending up like Venezuela with the Euro

As bad as the situation in Greece is, it is far worse in Venezuela. At least basic products like toilet paper are still available. The fact that Greece heavily depends on imports is another reason why they dont want to lose the Euro.
Tacitus   
10 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

I have that sinking feeling we're looking toward a PEGIDA-AfD coalition come end of autumn '17 if Merkel's party doesn't spruce up their act some!

The AfD might not even make it into the parliament. Ever since they revealed that their leader have schown sympathy with openly racist and revanchist ideology, the AfD has lost massively in popularity, and Trumps election also reminded many Germans what happens if you vote for guys like this. Merkel on the other hand benefited from this.

Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Greece.... she tried to force them to follow her policy with zero consulation.

Those countries (with the exclusion of Austria) had been begging for help since the start of 2015. Merkel provided them with relief, and particulary Greece was grateful for this.
Tacitus   
11 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

@Lyzko

This is hardly surprising. The SPD wants to distance itself from Merkel because they intend to win the election and have their own cancellor. Usually the SPD is the strongest rival of the CDU, it only has happened twice before that they formed a government together.

Der Spiegel is Germany's most respected news magazine, but they are also since their inception fundamentally against the CDU and want the SPD to govern.

It is only natural that not every party member agree to everything Merkel does, we are living in a democracy after all. That being said, it is important to note that Merkel's biggest advantage is that she is still irreplacable for the CDU. There is nobody who comes even close to her approval ratings or her reputation as chancellor, the CDU needs her to win the election this year. Von der Leyen, while often cited as her likeliest succesor, is often seen as boring and less likely to attract votes.

I'll anser your emails properly later, once I have the time. :)
Tacitus   
11 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

o be sure, nobody's ever accused DER SPIEGEL of being (horrors!!) "objective" in her news reporting

No media outlet is truly objective, just like in every country they have a specific target audience. That being said Der Spiegel has very good investigative journalists, and they are particulary good in exposing scandals and they are very reliable when it comes to presenting facts. It is just important to keep their critical attitude in mind e.g. when reading articles about Merkel's foreign policy (in general they think Merkel is too hard on Greece, too soft on Erdogan and not vocal enough about the detoriation of democracy in Poland and Hungary).

One amusing story which highlights their bias against the CDU. Der Spiegel was vehently against every foreign political decision the first chancellor Konrad Adenauer made (although they did have respect for the man), particulary his decision to anchor West Germany to the West and thus (supposedly) perpetuated division of Germany. Their opposition to his government even laid the ground for the incident that cemented his reputation.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiegel_Affair

In a recent edition that celebrated an anniversary of their magazine, they covered every post-war German chancellor until now. In the passage about Adenauer, they put much emphasis on his (undeniable) more controversial domestic decisions, while they only talked about his foreign policy in passing. They sheepishly ended the passage with the statement: Today, most historians agree that Adenauer was right on the most important foreign political questions of his time. That is a bit odd, considering that Adenauer's lasting legacy was mostly in him laying the framework in which German foreign policy works until today.

Don't lie, they were not begging for Germany to give hundreds of thousands of people to cross borders illegally

@ mafketis

Don't lie, they were not begging for Germany to give hundreds of thousands of people to cross borders illegally

They were begging for other countries to relief the pressure on them by taking in some of the refugees. In fact Tsiprashas afterwards expressed his gratitude to Merkel for her decision.

global.handelsblatt.com/politics/how-greece-learned-to-love-merkel-484454

Merkel knows the fragile situation in the Balkans better than most Western leaders. With the decision to take in those refugees who are still on the Balkan route, she probably prevented an escalition of the situation that might have ended in violence, which could have happened if the countries in the Balkans had decided to shuffle to refugees around until they were stuck by fences.

theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/05/angela-merkel-europe-unfinished-business-balkans
Tacitus   
11 Jul 2017
News / Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario - future of the European Union and Poland [310]

@Lyzko

Well, it is quite obvious that Merkel is a very skilled diplomate if nothing else, and personally speaking, I'll likely vote for her again this year.

A crying pity some of that "pragmatism" didn't extend to consulting her neighbors concerning the Greece-bailout

I have to disagree with you here. I think the way Merkel dealt with Greece is one of the best example for her multilateral approach to diplomacy. When everything was said and done, every country agreed to her suggestions.
Tacitus   
13 Jul 2017
Life / Are Poles mentally more Eastern European or Western European? [171]

@Wulkan

This is not a fact, this is your fantasy because the fact is that we Poles integrate very well in those countries.

Indeed. Poles account for the second largest minority in Germany after Turks, and they are all in all incredibly well integrated. They are often not any from native Germans, and often people are surprised to learn just how many Poles live in Germany.
Tacitus   
27 Jul 2017
Genealogy / Are Silesians people German/Germanic? [178]

@Crow This is a lot bs you are talking about. Stop projecting modern concepts of nationality into the past.

Germans started as romanized Sarmatian villages and city states in Roman province of Germania

Oh my god this is so absurd... . Before the Romans came, therr was nothing in Germania except large forests and some small settlements made of wood. They founded some cities (Cologne, Trier) but generally used the same system they applied elsewhere to secure their dominion: Working with the lical elites. They mostly left the tribes alone on the right side of the Rhine and made no attempt to actively "Romanize" them after conquest became impractical. However the Roman way of life proved very tempting to the "barbarians" which is not surprising.

Out of curiosity, have you ever read a modern history book by a respectable historian? Probably not, because if you did, yould know how utterly wrong your conceptions are.

Would you also claim that the Balkans are inheritely Italian territory? Because the Roman conquered most of it and the territory prospered under their rule like never before and never again in history.

The answer is of course no, since there is no direct link between Italians and Romans since the Roman people consisted of basically half of Europe, parts of Asia and Africa.
Tacitus   
27 Jul 2017
Genealogy / Are Silesians people German/Germanic? [178]

Hitler had very little historical knowledge, and what he read was often from autors who could not be deemed as serious historians even then.
Needless to say, the claim that today Germans have anything in common with the Germanic tribes of the past is just as ridiculous. I wrote a university paper on the depiction of the Germanic tribes under the Nazis and let's just say, how they proved the "connection" between the Vandals/VisigothsGermanic tribes and the German people has nothing to do with historical research and everything with wishful thinking. And of course, there were attempts to underline the difference between the Germanic people who had "resisted" Roman influence.

Just an example for how the perception has changed. Historians used to depict the troubles of the late Western Roman Empire as a struggle between Romans and Germanic tribes. But as historians have pointed out, most of the Germanic war chiefs (including Alaric who sacked Rome) were actually part of the Roman army, often achieving high or even the highest ranks, so it is more justifiable to see this as an power struggle between Romans.