quinta-feira, 7 de junho de 2007

The 'all we want is lots of money' club session

Heiligendamm – She may once have been dismissed as 'the girl' of German politics, but as hostess of the G8 summit, chancellor Angela Merkel appeared on course to secure her extraordinary position as one of her country's most popular leaders on record.

'Das Mädchen', the girl, as Helmut Kohl always called her, soon became environment minister, promptly replaced Mr Kohl as conservative party leader and became Germany's conservative chancellor in November 2005.

Yesterday 'the girl' was facing her biggest test since taking office as the head of Germany's grand coalition government of conservatives and Social Democrats in 2005. In the run up to the G8 summit, Mrs Merkel set herself the highly ambitious goal of bringing the Americans on side in her popular campaign to combat climate change. 'The Americans were out of the UN process and did not ratify Kyoto – it would be a giant step forward if we could bring them back in,' she insisted in an interview last week.

Despite the rhetoric, it was becoming increasingly apparent yesterday that Mrs Merkel would not succeed at least for the time being, in achieving her objective. However, in terms of her own political standing, her failure is almost irrelevant.

Under Mrs Merkel's leadership, Germany's conservatives have also increased their popularity and if a general election were to be held tomorrow, her party would easily manage to jettison their unwelcome Social Democrat coalition partners and form a governing alliance with the preferred liberal Free Democrat Party.

Most German commentators agree that Angela Merkel has broken the mould in German politics. Her style, which involves quiet but serious discussion, a commitment to 'serve' and a complete lack of showmanship, contrasts hugely with her macho predecessors, Kohl and Schröder.

Yet most of her triumphs so far have involved foreign policy. Since becoming chancellor, Mrs Merkel has succeeded in rebuilding the wreck of German-American relations left by her immediate predecessor and putting her country's relations with Russia on a more realistic footing. She also masterminded a new deal on EU financing.

Mrs Merkel's decision to embrace the issue of climate change, first at a European level, at Berlin's hosting of the European summit in March, and subsequently in the run up to the G8, has gone down well in Germany – the country that invented the Green party and dislikes George Bush. It is another card that could help her to remain chancellor after 2009.

«Klimawandel als weltgrößtes Sicherheitsrisiko

Der Klimawandel bedroht nach Einschätzung der Bundesregierung die weltweite Sicherheit und Stabilität mehr als der Terrorismus.
Konflikte um Wasser und Nahrung drohten in den nächsten 15 bis 30 Jahren zuzunehmen, warnen die Gutachter.

Climatic change as world largest safety risk

Climatic change threatens world-wide security and stability more than terrorism according to a Federal Government evaluation.
Conflicts about water and food threaten to increase in the next 15 to 30 years, the consultants warn.

Merkel schreibt Durchbruch beim Klimaschutz ab

Regionale Köstlichkeiten und ein schwer verdauliches Gesprächsthema: Bei Kraftbrühe und Spargel hat Kanzlerin Merkel zum Auftakt des G-8-Gipfels versucht, den US-Präsidenten vom Sinn konkreter Klimaschutz-Ziele zu überzeugen – ohne Erfolg.
Nun setzt Merkel auf Pragmatismus.

Merkel depreciates breakthrough in climatic protection

Regional appetizers and a topic for discussion of difficult digestion: with broth and asparagus, as a prelude to the G8 summit chancellor Merkel tried to convince US president of the sense of concrete climatic protection goals – without success. Now Merkel sets on pragmatism.

G-8-Chefs streiten über Afrika und Aids-Hilfe

Nach außen zeigen sie bei ersten G-8-Abendessen Harmonie - innen herrscht Zwietracht. Nicht nur in der Klimapolitik, auch bei der Afrika- und Aids-Hilfe sind die Staats- und Regierungschefs jetzt auf Konfrontationskurs.
Einst zugesagte Entwicklungshilfe droht zu kippen.

G8 leaders argue about Africa and AIDS assistance

Outward they show harmony at the first G8 dinners – inside discord prevails. Not only in climatic politics, but also as far as Africa and AIDS assistance are concerned, presidents and prime ministers are now on confrontation course.
The development assistance once assured now threatens to tilt.»

Next Friday afternoon, according to rumors spread in Rostock, presidents and prime ministers will attend an ecumenical religious service to give thanks for the wellbeing of globalized capitalism.
May the gods listen to their prayers…

Translated and edited by

8 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

Meu Deus, quando olho para a "foto de família" e vejo lá aquele tipo, o José Manuel, dá-me um ataque de urticária..., caramba!
Eu sei que a maioria daquela gente não é "flor que se cheire" (o Bush, então, tresanda), mas o Durão, que fugiu daqui a sete pés, é uma aberração, e ali ainda sobressai mais. Não se pode exterminá-lo...dali?
Abraço, caro Ric.

JoeL disse...

Good for her.

I've never really seen anything good come out of these meetings.

Am I wrong?

RIC disse...

Olá João C.!
Esse é apenas mais um passageiro do comboio opoortunista europeu, que viaja à pinha hoje em dia!...
Como diria Gil Vicente, «é fartar, vilanagem!»...
Se olharmos bem: Sarkozy, Blair, Bush, Putin... é tudo farinha do mesmo saco!

RIC disse...

Hello dear Joel!
Yes, as a matter of fact I do also think so myself! She's come a long way indeed, especially if we bear in mind that she was brought up in the former/late GDR... It gives me the creeps just to think about East Berlin in the second half of the 70s, when I was there...
As to the meetings, I entirely agree with you: they're just social meetings for the rich to say what they want (the rest of the world to do for them, of course!)
Hugs, dear friend! :-)

dondon009 disse...

Women in politics can be quite effective as proven by Madam Merkel.

I'm just not certain we have the right candidate for that office in America at this time.

As for the Summit, a total waste of time and taxpayer money, if you ask me.... a high-priced social gathering.


RIC disse...

Hello dear Don!
You took those words right out of my mouth (as we say around here) as far as the summit is concerned. But then again, what else could be expected from such a bunch of... better not say it... Starting with the idiotic president of the European Commission - yes, the Portuguese guy! (Lord, I'm so ashamed he's Portuguese! I guess for the very first time ever...)
As to Frau Merkel, I find myself liking her better each day... Strange... But if she confronts Bush as it seems she did, well then she's a friend of mine! No more, no less!
As to women in politics... Remember Thatcher?! God forbid!
All in all, we're human beings, men and women alike.
Thank you!
Best wishes, dear friend!

Gumby disse...

If only she could bypass Bush.

RIC disse...

... That would be almost like the German «Great Economical Wonder» of the 50s! Lol! :-D