Good Morning from Europe – The Sunday Papers

View from Piz Martenas – Savognin – Switzerland

What’s another week? While “Europeanview” was negotiating the slopes of Swiss Mountains “on two sticks” as our revered resident witch calls it, the world kept turning. For me personally the fun story came out of Germany this week. A tax fraud scandal rocked the Republic and threatens the safe haven for tax-ridden estates, Liechtenstein. And, of course, the Democratic Party’s nomination leads the news again. Kosovo has declared its Independence, much to the dismay of the Serbs and Russia and Pakistan has voted, but not found a government coalition yet.

Germany first. When the boss of Germany’s logistics giant “Deutsche Post” was led from his villa by police on charges of tax fraud, this made headlines, but as it turned out it was the tip of an iceberg. What had happened? The LGT, the Liechtenstein Bank of the principality’s ruling family, decided to join the ranks of 21st century banks and digitalize their bank records. An employee, who was scanning documents in this projects, decided to save the records on a bunch of DVDs and then asked the bank for an allowance for special expenditure which would have included the return of the DVDs to the bank. The bank refused, so this person sent e-mails to the German, British and US authorities, claiming moral scruples in the light of so much blatant tax evasion and reaping in a hefty sum from Germany alone. German Police and State Attorneys are orchestrating a drama in publishing names and facts which will see it’s next round on Tuesday. “The Economist” says:

THE word Schadenfreude was coined for just such occasions.(…) Germany was already in the throes of an argument about pay, equality and whether capitalism is fair. Globalisation and economic reforms have squeezed the wages of ordinary Germans. Yet the pay of Germany’s top managers jumped 17.5% in the 2006-07 financial year, according to Kienbaum, a headhunter. The same class has lately been held responsible for expense-account sex (Volkswagen), systematic bribery (Siemens) and subprime self-abuse (IKB and the state banks of Saxony and Bavaria).

The culprits now have a chance to turn themselves in, which will lower their sentences considerably, or try to sit it out and face the music later. Many may wish they had acted according to the wise words of this commentary in “The Telegraph”.

The US Democratic Primaries are still making headlines in the Sunday Papers. Especially Hillary Clintons woes are being pleasurably reported on, it seems, by “The Times”. The Paper relishes the blunders a campaign, once dubbed a well oiled machinery, made on its way from unavoidable to “on the ropes”.

Clinton has set up a website, http://www.delegatehub.com, outlining a path to the nomination which relies on arm-twisting the super-delegates and seating the “ghost” delegations from Florida and Michigan, states which broke party rules by holding their contests early.

Gerard Baker suggests Hillary Clinton may become toxic in the end, never mind the damage to the Democratic Party.

“The Guardian”, however, concentrates on a relatively new development in the campaigns. The role of the press and their increased scrutiny of Barack Obama.

In the New York Times, two influential columnists weighed in with brutal attacks against Obama. David Brooks called him a ‘trophy messiah’ and Paul Krugman claimed Obama’s campaign was ‘…dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality’. Meanwhile, in the Boston Globe, Obama supporter Margery Eagan expressed her own doubts about her pick. ‘I’m nervous because John McCain says Obama is an “eloquent but empty call for change” and in the wee, wee hours a nagging voice whispers: “Suppose McCain’s right,’ Eagan wrote.

But the Guardian, too, decides:

Such tactics (circumventing campaign finance laws) also cannot hide the fact that the Clinton camp is in deep trouble. Much of the top leadership still remains deeply split over the right tactics in the final days before Texas and Ohio go to the polls.

The Kosovo province of Serbia has unilaterally proclaimed its independence, which turns out to be an inspiration for many separatist movements around the globe, much to the anxiety of the ruling majorities. “Der Spiegel” portrays six European regions with separatist movements.

Pakistan’s elections didn’t bring a clear winner. There will be a civilian coalition government, maybe even without Musharraf, but the Pakistani Taliban have already made clear, that any governmant better stayed clear from getting involved in the tribal areas.

This is what struck “Europeanview” as interesting this morning and there is, of course much more to be found through the links provided. I wish you all a very peaceful, happy and healthy Sunday. Take care! 

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6 thoughts on “Good Morning from Europe – The Sunday Papers

  1. Welcome back, EV. Sounds like you had a nice vacation.

    The best thing to happen today was to turn on the computer, come to the Zoo and see the Sunday Morning Papers. The story about the German tax evasion was not headline news in the US although it should have been. It was probably pushed to the sidelines by some Britney Spears story. Americans are so stupid.

    As far as Obama being an empty suit, we have lived with a president with an empty head for the last 7 years.

  2. Good morning EV, so nice to read you here…Great picture as well…Hope you had a good time throwing your self down the slope’s on those little stick’s….Is the vacation over, or are you just checking in and getting resupplied for the next fun round.?

    Warmer sunny weather on the west coast, spring must be on the way, the fishermen started to return yesterday…Fish not biting yet, they are still asleep at the bottom of our tiny pond….

    Expect people early to rent boat’s so will close and wish you all a wonderful day…..Hug someone today or send them a note..The little thing’s are remembered forever….Blessings all

  3. witch1 – I’ll be do more than hug someone today. I will be taking Part 2 of a workshop learning how to do Thai Massage. So I will be embracing someone’s feet, legs, arms and pressing my feet on their back. Sounds like a good time.

  4. Indeed it doe’s Cat’s…..For the moment I am merly house keeper to a rowdy puppy and a winey old cat that want’s back in the house..My day started at 4:30 with them both wanting out in the dark, their breakfast, my coffee and am ready for a nap already..Blessings

  5. “…asked the bank for an allowance for special expenditure which would have included the return of the DVDs to the bank…”

    What a lovely way of describing blackmail. :)

    Welcome back, EV!

  6. Hole in 1 Zooey, I bet the crown-prince is having bankers for breakfast every morning, just because they wouldn’t pay up. His is one broke bank soon, believe me.

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