Banish the blues with schadenfreude

News from Germany

Above articles from DW – here’s their story about Berlin’s new airport 

I’d like to apologise for our website which was going on the blink for some of you over Xmas. It was behaving differently depending upon which browser or platform you were using. It’s now been fixed – I hope!

What hasn’t been fixed is Brexit, or “Westminster”. Today I heard our Attorney General was reminding our MPs that: “You are not children in the playground, you are legislators.” Just in case you are feeling depressed, because Britain seems to be going to pot,  I thought I’d cheer you up with a bit of schadenfreude. A good German word, that.

Last Sunday Bild am Sonntag said the head of infrastructure at Europe’s largest rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, has been given until the summer to improve the performance of the national rail network. Last year 25% of German trains ran late, and over 33% of their high speed trains were late.

On Friday it was reported that Seoul District Court (South Korea) had fined the local subsidy of BMW US$13 million for falsifying emissions documents for 29,000 cars that had been imported. Three BMW officials have been jailed.

Then there’s the crazy story of Bayer, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Last June Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion. You might remember Monsanto for negative press coverage of it’s genetically engineered crops. Two months after the purchase, a US Court ordered Monsanto to pay a school groundsman $289 million for his illness allegedly caused by using Roundup, a herbicide made by Monsanto. There are 8,700 similar lawsuits pending alleging that Roundup causes cancer. [source Wikipedia]. Needless to say Bayer’s share price has, erm, plunged. You can read the horror story in Spiegel Online here.

Here’s the sad story of Berlin’s new airport: Brandenburg Airport (BER). It was scheduled to open in Oct 2011, but it’s still not open. In 2012 an opening ceremony due to be attended by Angela Merkel and 10,000 guests was cancelled with only a few days notice. The problems are endless. BER was supposed to replace both Schoenefeld and Tegel airports. The latest news is that VW are using it to store thousands of cars awaiting emissions testing. The airport is burning through €1 million of public funds everyday.

So there you have it – it’s not so bad here after all. I’ll leave you with how former Australian PM, Tony Abbott, thought our marvellous politicians should have negotiated Brexit; you can read it here in The Spectator.

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