Wednesday, March 16, 2005

President Köhler of Germany Makes Reasonable Remarks

In advance of tomorrow's ludicrous "Jobs Summit" which will bring together the ruling socialist coalition (SPD and Greens) with the centrist opposition (CDU and CSU), the German President, Horst Köhler, has said that the main cause of joblessness, over the years, has been state bureaucracy and well-meant but interfering legislation emanating from the Länder (state governments), Berlin (the Federal government) and Brussels (the EU government).

It is a sign of Germany' excessively consensus-driven political culture that Köhler´s speech, which would sound like a timid expression of truisms anywhere else ("Actionism doesn´t work", he declared), has been hailed in Germany as a robust, "almost brutal" (Rheinische Post) intervention into what is laughably described as the "debate" about unemployment.

This blog is a stranger to cynicism of any sort and wishes Köhler and his sentiments well, in the hope that, against any sane expectation, tomorrow's "Job Summit" comes up with a programme of ruthless bureaucratic pruning that acts on the President's insights.

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