Monday, January 06, 2014

Merkel takes a fall

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured her pelvis cross-country skiing. She's okay, but she will have to limit her appointments and visits for a while.

Spanish Socialist Beatriz Talegón, who is currently head of the youth organization of the Socialist International (the social-democratic world grouping) posted on 07.01.2013 on Facebook, rather unsympathetically: "Merkel se ha roto el pubis esquiando por usar equipo de mas de 40 años. Le hará pensar y sentir lo que duele la austeridad? Entenderá que lleva derrapando mucho tiempo haciendo daño a los demás?" ("Merkel has broken her pelvis skiing because she used equipment more than 40 years old. Will it make her think and feel how austerity hurts? Will she understand that she has been taking a slide for a long time doing harm to others.") She delivered a similar message on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Ronald Pofalla affairs continues to slide along. Angie's spokesperson Steffen Seibert let it be known that Merkel, who is well known for tossing even her closest allies under the bus when they become inconvenient, advised Pofalla to wait a discreet period of time before taking a big-bucks lobbying job with Deutsche Bahn, a state-owned company. (Kanzlerin riet Pofalla zu Pause vor Bahn-Job Spiegel Online 06.01.2014) And members of the Deutsche Bahn oversight board have been saying basically, what job for Pofalla? We don't know anything about any job? Where is that coming from? (Bahn-Aufsichtsrat hat "keine Kenntnis" von Posten für Pofalla Spiegel Online 05.01.2014)

He should have taken a hint from ex-Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, who waited a few months before taking a big-bucks private equity job after doing loyal service to Wall Street as Obama's Treasury Secretary. At least that seems to be what Merkel's knife-in-the-back distancing move seems to imply. (Devin Banerjee and Ian Katz, Tim Geithner to Join Leveraged Buyout Firm Warburg Pincus Bloomberg News 11/17/2013)

Meanwhile, the Social Democrats, now Merkel's junior partners in the Grand Coalition (GroKo) government, have decided to take a pass on criticizing Pofalla. (Veit Medick, Das dröhnende Schweigen der Genossen Spiegel Online 06.01.2014) Incoming Party Vice Chair Ralf Stegner said, "Ich kann darin keinen Skandal erkennen" ("I can't see any scandal in it.") Has he been taking lessons from American Blue Dog Democrats? And Stegner is considered part of the left within the SPD! Awesome.

It didn't take Klaus Stuttmann long to pick up on the skiing angle, making it an omen for the fate of the GroKo in this 06.01.2014 cartoon:

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