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Posts Tagged ‘EU

Narziss und Schmollmund: “so was von gewalttätig”

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Thilo Sarrazin ist SPD-Mitglied, Ex-Finanzsenator Berlins und derzeit Bundesbanker. Die Bundesbank hat bei Vertragsabschluss einen diskreten Lebenswandel von ihm erwartet – jedenfalls lässt ihre Reaktion auf ein  Interview Sarrazins mit “Lettre International” im vorigen Jahr das vermuten – ein Interview, in dem der Mann erklärte, er müsse niemanden anerkennen, “der vom Staat lebt, diesen Staat ablehnt, für die Ausbildung seiner Kinder nicht vernünftig sorgt und ständig neue kleine Kopftuchmädchen produziert” .

burqas needn't be boring

burqas needn't be boring

Dass Sarrazins Ausführungen seinem jetzigen Posten nicht angemessen sind, mag durchaus sein. Dass er sich persönlich mit der oben zitierten Wortwahl diskreditiert, glaube ich selbst. Provokation kann zielführend sein – aber in diesem Fall drängt sich der Eindruck auf, dass vor einem Jahr ein – soeben erschienenes – Buch schon einmal vorab interessant gemacht werden sollte. Jedenfalls steht es auch Türken, deren Töchter kein Kopftuch tragen, allemal frei, sich gekränkt zu fühlen. Zumal dann, wenn sie Gemüsehändler sind (was ist eigentlich an dem Beruf so ehrenrührig?).

Man wird den Eindruck nicht los, dass Sarrazin sein Publikum nicht überzeugen, sondern im Buchhandel abmelken will – und dass er es gründlich verachtet. Manche von denen, die den Narzissten heute für seine “klaren Worte” lieben, haben ihn vor gar nicht langer Zeit  gehasst, als er ihnen vorrechnete, wie ein Hartz-IV-Empfänger für weniger als vier Euro am Tag in der Küche prima zaubern könne.

Jetzt “verdummen” wir also “auf natürlichem Wege”: durch Einwanderung aus der Türkei und dem Nahen Osten, in irgendeinem Zusammenhang. Vielleicht ist das rassistisch – wenn es bedeuten soll, dass die Einwanderer natürlicherweise dumm seien.
So scheint Sigmar Gabriel, Vorsitzender seiner und Sarrazins SPD und ihr oberster Schmollmund, das auch aufzufassen. Grundsätzlich wolle er sich mit Sarrazins Thesen zur Einwanderung ja “intellektuell” auseinandersetzen, sagt Gabriel. Aber sie seien teilweise “sprachlich so was von gewalttätig”, dass eine Auseinandersetzung schwer in Frage komme.

Das ist Quatsch. Wenn das rechtlich geht und sich in den entsprechenden Gremien oder Verbänden hinreichende Mehrheiten dafür finden, kann die SPD den Genossen Thilo natürlich rauswerfen. Aber sie soll nicht glauben, dass sie damit um eine Auseinandersetzung mit ihm herumkäme. Ein Großteil der Wählerinnen und Wähler erwartet eine solche Auseinandersetzung – nach Abzug jeder Menge sarrazinscher Effekthascherei, Pauschalbeleidigung und persönlicher Eitelkeit bleibt nämlich immer noch genug kritische Substanz übrig, über die gesprochen werden muss, um zu einer brauchbaren Beurteilung der deutschen Einwanderungs- und Integrationspolitik zu kommen – und insofern sind Sarrazins Provokationen, über deren Appetitlichkeit sich streiten lässt – ein Angebot. Das Buch muss sich deswegen keiner kaufen.

Und dann beginnt überhaupt erst die Arbeit. Aus der Beurteilung muss man ja auch praktische Schlüsse ziehen. Welcher Mitarbeiter eines Sozialamts oder einer BAGIS soll bestimmten Zeitgenossen – mit oder auch ohne Migrationshintergrund – die Leistungskürzungen präsentieren, die Sarrazin als Antwort auf Arbeits- oder Bildungsverweigerung vorschweben? Sarrazin hat – vermutlich und hoffentlich – Personenschutz. Der Sozialamtsmitarbeiter oder -leiter leider nicht. Und im Gegensatz zu Sarrazin wohnt er möglicherweise auch noch in der selben Nachbarschaft wie sein gemaßregelter Klient.

Man mag argumentieren, dass es zum Job eines Amtsmitarbeiters gehört, das auszuhalten. Aber in manchen Stadtteilen wird der Job dann allenfalls noch Bewerber finden, die nicht wissen, was sie tun.

Auch solche Probleme sind grundsätzlich – höchst wahrscheinlich – lösbar. Das Dumme ist nur, dass die meisten Debatten, auch Sarrazins, genau da enden, wo es konkret wird.

Zur Not mit einem Parteiausschluss.

Stand der Debatte: 27.08.2010

Hakan Kivanç suspended

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The Turkish Republic’s Consul General in Düsseldorf, Hakan Kivanc, was suspended on Monday. During question time in parliament on Wednesday, the federal government said that the Turkish foreign office has suspended the consul general from duty on May 11 with immediate effect.

Two attendees at the meeting where Kivanc alledgedly made his comments had testified against him with depositions; one filed a deposition in support of Mr Kivanc’s .

Written by taide

May 15, 2009 at 11:21 am

MPs: Consul General Hakan Kivanc “unsustainable”

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Originally, I didn’t blog about Hakan Kivanc, Turkey’s consul general in Düsseldorf. The evidence didn’t look pressing, and besides, I don’t want to leave the impression that I dislike the country.

But as far as evidence is concerned, two speakers for the CDU/CSU group in Germany’s federal parliament (Bundestag) now quote from two depositions which would support the evidence.

Consul general Kivanc met representatives of an initiative in support of the Mor Gabriel Monastery (aka Monastery of St. Gabriel), the spiritual center of Syriac-orthodox Christians in Turkey, in a dispute apparently about the land on which the monastery is located. According to the CDU/CSU press release, the depositions support allegations that Mr Kivanc said the following:

“The Germans, if they could, would tattoo a “T” onto everyone from Turkey and do to them what they previously did to the Jews, during the Nazi dicatatorship. We shouldn’t trust the Germans.”
[….]
“If you slit the Germans’ wrists, brown blood would emerge.”

The CDU/CSU believes that the accusations have become too manifest to sustain the consul general’s work in Germany and asks the foreign ministry in Berlin to issue a request for recall to Ankara.

The MPs also condemn pressure reportedly exerted by Turkish-nationalistic circles which intimidated members of the Mor Gabriel Monastery meeting, so that they didn’t dare to address the public themselves any more. The names of the two persons reportedly stating the depositions haven’t been made public.

Written by taide

May 7, 2009 at 9:55 pm

May Day in Verden

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The Left: a rally CAN be fun!

The Left: a rally CAN be fun!

I started the washing machine, left the house and was in town at eleven. It was the great May Day rally, and we’ve written history today. Nono, just kidding.

permanent contracts?

permanent contracts?

A moderator named Teubert of the German trade union federation (DGB) made the keynote speech, very calmly and unemotional, and announced some appointments, such as a rally on May 16 in Berlin, within the framework of the European Trade Unions’ scheduled demonstrations on that same day.

The mayor (Lutz Brockmann, SPD, social democrats) spoke a greeting, and then they put a teacher (Dieter Knutz) to the microphone, of the educationalist union GEW. The only lad who could speak, actually.

It was a small rally, with maybe one hundred people attending. As it was a public venue right on the town hall square, some may also have been bystanders. Funny. Here is the biggest economic crisis in a century, and the unions don’t manage to attract a crowd. 

Meet the Crowd

Meet the Crowd

They wouldn’t have attracted me either, except for making photos and having a Bratwurst. The educationalist union’s speaker did what his union always does: telling parents how disadvantaged their kids are in our educational system, when they come from the wrong place and family background. Fine. But why should I join – or rather: re-join – a union which only worries about our customers, but not about the employees it was meant to represent?

Education unionist Knutz: for everyone and for noone

Education unionist Knutz: for everyone and for noone

Maybe that’s the main weakness of the unions. They don’t represent their members. They work like political parties. Which means that they miss the real issues. You can neither expect a fierce debate, nor enthusiastic support when you have nothing to say.

And after all these nothings have been said, Verden’s wildest DJ spins us some public favourites – ABBA: I have a Dream.

Me too.

How Turkey tries to write Other People’s History

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“History, unresolved, can be a heavy weight”, U.S. president Obama said in a statement on Armenian Remembrance Day.

In Memory of Armenian Genocide 1915, Aleppo, Syria

In Memory of Armenian Genocide 1915, Aleppo, Syria

Which is true. A heavy weight on the Armenians, who have reason to wonder about their Turkish neighbours who are in denial. On the Turks themselves – suppression of memory is more complicated than acknowledging the facts, and suggests a lack of national self-confidence. A weight on the European Union’s relations with Turkey – and therefore again, mainly on Turkey.

Turkey isn’t addressing its problem – it tries to dump it on others. On the victims themselves, for example. According to the BBC, Ankara accuses Barack Obama of failing to honour those Turks killed by Armenians at the time. President Gul: “Everyone’s pain must be shared”.

This is how:

When the German federal state of Brandenburg included the Armenian genocide in its schoolbooks – apparently in a pretty small paragraph -, Turkish consul general talked with the authorities there, and made Brandenburg (295 Turkish students there at the time around 2003) retract the paragraph, according to Die Zeit. And in summer 2004, also according to Die Zeit, Beast on the Moon, a drama centered around the trauma of genocide, had to be cancelled in Karlsruhe.

It’s Turkey’s problem and Turkey’s shame – but they prefer to get on other peoples’ nerves, rather than either keeping cool, or addressing their problem.

There are many reasons for potential critics to remain silent. America fears the loss of air bases in Turkey. Germany, allied with the Osmanian Empire during world war one, was complicit in the Armenian genocide and isn’t really keen on shedding too much light on it now. Israel doesn’t acknowledge the notion of genocide in the Armenian context, either.

A few weeks ago, Turkish prime minister Erdogan suggested that Israeli president Peres had spoken very loud in his defence of Israel’s Gaza invasion “due to the guilt you feel” (according to a youtube translation). Maybe next time, Israel’s president should tell him that Erdogan’s hypocrisy hurts his pride.

Sometimes, Turkish politicians speak in a pretty loud voice, too. And different from president Peres, they don’t even listen.

Olive Oil Production – some European, Syrian, and Turkish statistics

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Greece, Italy, Spain, Syria, and Turkey were the top olive oil producing countries in 2001 / 2002 – but with quite some differences between their respective outputs:

Season ending in 2002

Greece   358,500 tons
Italy      656,500 tons
Spain  1,411,500 tons
Syria        92,000 tons
Turkey      65,000 tons

Source: www.olivenoel-info.de

Just to give you an idea as to how volatile the outputs per country were during years from 1999 to 2003, here is a graph of three European countries:

EU Countries Olive Oil Production per Year

EU Countries Olive Oil Production per Year

In autumn 2007, fires in Greece led to substantial losses in the country’s olive oil production. Given that it takes an olive tree some seven years to grow before it becomes productive, Syrian producers, expecting a record harvest, hoped for rising prices all the same.

Olive Grove northeastern Syria

Olive Grove northeastern Syria

(The trees are skillfully bred – Jesus had to wait longer than for seven years.)

In 2007, the numbers were as follows:

Greece   394,700 tons
Italy      590,000 tons
Spain  1,326,000 tons
Syria      152,000 tons
Turkey    172,000 tons

Source: Wikipedia (German)

Syria, one of the first sites of olive trees, had increased its production substantially.

In northeastern Syria, the groves are not only in the plains. Places which are less easy to farm are also used, as labour is cheap here, and no half-automated farming is needed. A good share of the oil is used for the production of Aleppo soap. The soap producers in and around the city of Aleppo usually use the second pressing out of the olives.

According to Wikipedia (German), the 2007 ranking list of oil-producing countries (in order of their output, from biggest to smallest, reads Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Portugal, Libya, Palestinean territories (Gaza Strip, West Bank), Argentina, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon. Combined, they produced 3,107,493 tons or 99.2% of the global olive oil output. EU countries alone account for 75.8% of global olive oil production.

Written by taide

April 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Aleppo Seife Louise’s (potentially) Sad Story

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“Alepposeife ist schön. Macht Alepposeife auch schön?

The above is from a German article, and it says it better than my post of July 14. So here is a translation of it…

Aleppo soap is beautiful. It is even very beautiful. But does it also make you beautiful?

Something's Rotten in the Souq

Something's Rotten in the Souq

Let’s be logical. When Aleppo Soap Louise says in the Aleppo-soap-makes-beautiful-forum that Aleppo soap makes you beautiful, that means, of course, that Louise is using it for beauty care. And beauticare usually doesn’t mean that Louise is looking at the soap and smiles because of its beauty, and thus looks more beautiful. NO, the Aleppo soap gets into contact with Louise’s skin.

Which puts us right at the centre of a considerable brawl.

The brawl seems to run through every beauty community, and through the European Community, too.

Of course, we’ve been a European Union for a long time already, but back then, when the European Commission was dealing with the possible impacts of laurel oil, it was still a Community. The corresponding documentation is “Council’s Cosmetic directive 76/768/EEC”. EEC stands for “European Economic Community”.

Apparently, different member states take different degrees of liberties in implementing this guideline, and they don’t interpret it in identical ways either. This is true for Aleppo soap, too. The legal status may lead one and the same merchant to sell the same soap with a warning and disclaimer (as for the use of the soap as cosmetics) in one country, and without such footnotes in another EU member state.

Anyway – Aleppo soap, like any cosmetics, is under similarly close scrutiny in Germany as is foodstuff. Registration of cosmetics with the Giftnotzentrale [a literal translation would be poison emergency center] is as essential as at the Amt für Lebensmittelüberwachung [Food Control Office].

Complaints about “bureaucratic juggernauts” or “lobbyism” (“the chemical industry just wants to protect its own interests!”) are regular reactions. On the other hand, Aleppo Soap Louise certainly wants her skin to be protected from inconveniences that might direct themselves against her skin.
Just imagine some laurel-oil Aleppo soap did leave undesired traces in Louise’s face – even just ahead of her next shooting. Than it wouldn’t be fun anymore, and the soap merchant (Aleppo Soap Louise’s best friend only minutes ago) would get a letter from Louise’s attorney.

The hint that life itself leaves traces in faces too would hardly save the merchant. And excuses like “It wasn’t the Aleppo soap at all – Louise better gave her dog an anthelmintic therapy” is just as unlikely to save anyone. The main question probably will be: was the Aleppo soap sold in accordance with legal requirements?

Written by taide

August 10, 2008 at 8:23 am

Posted in society, Syria

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