Why Italy? Why EU? Germany and its neighbours.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cox Orange, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Cox Orange, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I am a bit wondering how things are taken out of proportion in the media and howw the reaction in public and by officials is.

    Maybe our media is overemphazising it, but they say, that italian newspapers make it a headline, that Steinbrück, the German candidate for chancellor of the social democrats in 2013 said that he is astonished that a majority in Italy has voted for two Clowns (meaning the one real Clown, who does it as a profession and Berlusconi).
    Members of the conservative party in Germany are critizising Steinbrück for harming the european relationships, so it is not only the Italian press... but why can't we (or one in gerneral) call Berlusconi a clown, when he is not a serious politician with an ethic for doing good in his job and for his country?

    The italian president is in Germany today, visited the German president yesterday and today he (a comunist) cancelled an evening dinner with Steinbrück, because he finds it an insult.

    When Berlusconi compared Martin Schulz (social democrats and member of the european socialist faction), the president of the EU parliament, to the goofy KZ-watchman Schulz in an american sitcom, no one argued about Berlusconi.

    When a journalist of a German newspaper is saying Israel is not doing well in human rights concerning Palestine. The council of the jewish presidency compares him to a propaganda person of the third Reich.

    When Berlusconi uses the international commemoration day for the holocaust to release an article about "Mussolini - a great politician" no one seems to care.

    In european neighbour countries (Netherlands, France, Denmark, Bulgaria, Belarus) the extreme right gets 15-30% in elections and no one in the media starts an out cry (by the way in Germany every election the right extremeist party gets only 1-2% of votes, only with 5% minimum parties are allowed to take part in the parliament).

    Why do we still all measure same things in different ways?


    PS: the reason why Steinbrück is seen as harming the european relationship is, because the compare the latest statement to the statement, were Steinbrück was critizising Switzerland for helping Germans in defraudation of taxes. I mean, he is a social democrat, what would you expect from a left wing member, other than critizising on financial things and economy?
     
  2. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #2

    I will try to answer some of your questions, Germany is always held to a higher standard by in Europe because of recent history. I know that this is unfair but it still a fact of life.:(

    I must say sometimes German politicians do speak their minds quite openly, which while refreshingly honest does not make for good diplomacy.:eek:

    Germany is without a doubt the most important country of the whole EU, but that makes it the target for everybody else. :eek:

    I know that when Gert Wilders first appeared on the Dutch political stage, the interest from the foreign press was large. Mostly because the Netherlands was always seen as a very, and some would say a too tolerant/liberal society. Gert Wilders success back in 2010 was seen as proof that the Dutch people where just like everybody else.:eek:
    Of course Gert Wilders lost big in 2012 elections, but that didn't fit the agenda of the media, so was never mentioned. :p
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #3
    Much as I hate to defend Berlusconi as he enjoyed the company of 18 year olds rather too much he did lead Italy's longest government since WW2.
     
  4. Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    if "staying" a long time per se is a thing to be proud of, ok. ;) Would you say he represents the interests of the people? I mean not the interests of the country against other countries, that he might have done well, I mean the interests of the individuals in Italy itself.

    Happybunny
    that is well phrased. Though I normally not hate on the media and claiming they are doing a campaign, I see the German state TV stations more and more changing their style to the commercial stations style.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    Women usually think so ;).


    I frankly think he's a tosser, but after 45 years and 45 governments he does offer something.
     
  6. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    I agree that Germany will be held to a higher standard for some time to come, but I also think that Germany needs to stand up for itself, especially in regards to Israel. In regards to Europe, Germany's financial strength is so strong that the Greeks, Iberians, Irish, Brits etc. see Germany as smug ( even though they are bailing out the complainers)! I think Germany needs to come up with a better approach to its relations with Europe. When Germnay hosted the World Cup in 2006, I saw a Germany that was relaxed, and comfortable with its world role. Germany needs to take the spirit of '06 and apply it to its relations with the world, and to be honest, tone down the smugness!
     
  7. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #7
    I don't see Germans as smug but they tend to be quiet.
     
  8. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    Misery loves company

    I imagine quite a few countries like to see Italy thrashing like this. Politicians from all over can point to Italy and say, "See, at least we can do better than Italian politicians!"
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #9
    I think expecting the Germans to take a lead on Israel is like expecting the Chinese to take a lead on drugs legalisation. I think you have to respect the history and let them take a back seat.
     
  10. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    #10
    Well, in some ways, that's not only (instinctively) natural but prudent.
    Take two persons: One's affluent and always stylish. The other's in dire straits and looks like it. Say you've known both for some time.
    Now suddenly tomorrow they will both look like an average of both. The (previously) affluent will have you worried what's happened, while regarding the other you'll assume the person's heading for a job interview/date.

    We know Berlusconi, we do not expect much of him. We know german top politicians and we expect much of them. That's just how things are.

    Hitler's "government" was also the longest one germany's had since it stopped being led by an emperor. Also, in most cases a relatively long "reign" in a democratic country should be something to worry about. As a Finn (we had president Kekkonen from 1956-1981) I know what it's like (and just so that no one gets me wrong: calling it a dictatorship would do no-one justice, but it was not a real democracy).

    Yeah, that's a worrysome aspect. While the media can do a good job of being the watchdog, readers should always remember that the media also has an agenda of their own.

    RGDS,
     
  11. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #11
    But its also how you solve difficult problems and get stuff done - as you have the same group of people to carry it through.
     
  12. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    #12
    Yes and no.
    In cases such as Italy, governments are usually handicapped by a nebulous manner of selecting parliamentarians or with an electoral legislation which necessitates multiple instances passing a law. In some cases (such as Italy and Belgium) both apply. Other countries have an aggressive "put up or get out" stance to governments, thus leading to governments frequently relieving each other.
    The latter of these actually are very much in line with the spirit of democracy and does not necessarily hamper decisive action.

    RGDS,
     
  13. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #13
    Not individually, no but the govt. especially, Merkel's has been very smug.
     
  14. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #14
    I would like to stress that 75% of the problems in Belgium Politics stem from the "Taal Strijd"

    http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taalstrijd_in_België

    It dominates every aspect of life Politically Culturally Economically in Belgium.
    This is the very real spilt between the French speakers and The Vlaams speakers. This has been getting worse every year since WWII.
     
  15. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #15


    I would also dismiss the idea that the German Government or particularly Angela Merkel is smug. This perception is because Northern Europeans, including politicians tend to be forthright, and not prance about with words.
    Being too eloquent is seen as a problem, it also looks like you are hiding something. We would rather hear the hard facts than a pretty story.

    The best example of smugness in the recent past in Europe.
    Tony Blair is the perfect example, on first impressions a decent man, underneath/behind that smile you had a man with a god complex.
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #16
    Finland I suppose is small enough that large scale problems don't take quite so long to fix - still I expect you have the same party in power for ~5 years or so.
     
  17. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #17
    - Berlusconi -> "Clown" doesn't even start to describe this utter idiot
    - Martin Schulz -> a slightly less severe case of an idiot who wants create an EU-Superstate payed by the Germans (and a few others) without fixing the fundamental failures of the southern (and east-southern) EU members 1st.
    - Feldwebel Schulz -> a fictional character working in a STALAG (POW camp for members of air-forces), something completly different than a KZ.

    I'd prefer Mr Steinbrück to get blunt about more issues more often so maybe that some people in the "hand-out" states aren't so suprised when their is a limit to what Germans can take ....
     
  18. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #18
    This maybe true but so is this man Beppe Grillo.

    Bug-Creator bist du ein Ossi?
     
  19. RSL macrumors regular

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    #19
    Berlusconi is an elected official. Calling him names is insulting to the people who voted for him, so is insulting for a good chunk of Italy.

    Rather than name calling, how about some fact-based criticism?

    I'm no fan of Berlusconi, but the fact is he's a self-made man with a huge media empire he built from the ground up. He has had the most stable Italian govt in years (3 term prime minister). That doesn't sound clownish to me.

    His morals might be questionable to you, but in my opinion a politician is elected to serve the people, not to be the Pope.

    Turn off the news machine for a second...
     
  20. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #20
    So if I call Mr Akin an idiot (you know that "forced rape" guy) am I insulting the americans who voted for him ?

    Maybe, but maybe they just deserve to be insulted for voting such an obvious idiot :p

    I don't care wether Mr Berlusconi likes to shag 18 year old and doesn't bother me much if some of them turn out not even 18....

    But maybe you should look at how he got&stayed in power for so long (hint his media-empire played a big role) and what did he achieve in this time...

    This time he was voted because he promised to pay back property taxes (with what money ??) and to lay low on going after tax evasions.

    Yeah, I have no problem insulting people who voted for him based on those promises :eek:

    @Bunny

    Ostwestfale .... so yes some kind of "Ossi" just not the one you had in mind :p
     
  21. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #21
    I do think that you miss the problem with Berlusconi, he's nothing more than a crook. His so called tax breaks for the Italian population would have to be paid for by Northern Europe.

    Unlike Spain who's problems where caused by a housing boom explosion, Italy under Berlusconi was like Greece stealing the money via the EU. The Italian budgets under his government were pure fiction.

    The great problem is Beppe Grillo is just as much a clown.
     
  22. iigsie macrumors regular

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    #22
    Why is this a bad thing? Surely it's the standard that the rest of the world should follow.
     
  23. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Originally Posted by Happybunny
    I will try to answer some of your questions, Germany is always held to a higher standard by in Europe because of recent history. I know that this is unfair but it still a fact of life.



    I would like you to explain why you think that Germany should be held to a higher standard, than all the other countries of the EU?
     
  24. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    #24
    Well, actually Finland has traditionally had 3-4 "major parties" (vote share: 15-25%), 2-3 "medium parties" (vote share ~10%) and 2-4 small parties ( < 7%). Thus government coalitions are usually centered around 2-3 major parties with an assortment of medium and small parties.
    Typically they sit their entire 4 year term, but reshuffles are done regularly. Not once in 30+ years has any government been such that the leading party has held a majority within the government (always been outweighed by the rest of the coalition).

    Also, believe it or not, a small size does not make things any snappier. We have all the same institutions, checks and balances and labor market actors.

    RGDS,
     
  25. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #25
    Because they are the responsible ones, the bankers etc.

    That doesn't mean they should but I'll bet that's the reason
     

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