Posts tagged ‘christian wulff’

October 14, 2010

At the Kremlin banquet hall, it’s the Diet of Worms redux

FOR GENERATIONS, SCHOOL CHILDREN and college students throughout the English-speaking countries have tittered over the implausibly named “Diet of Worms” of 1521, where the great reformer Martin Luther was called onto the carpet by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at a meeting of the Imperial Diet, was the assembly of the Imperial Estates. Luther barely escaped with his life, although there is no record that he was actually fed night crawlers with his black bread and cheese (the German term for the Diet of Worms is der Wormser Reichstag, which has no comical overtones). This week, though, a worm-inspired “tweet” may well cost a Russian provincial governor his job…

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September 3, 2010

Thilo Sarrazin’s night of long knives

THE WOLVES ARE CIRCLING Thilo Sarrazin. The knives are out. Yesterday, in an unprecedented step, the august board of directors of Deutsche Bank dismissed the renegade economist and Islam critic from its ranks. Was he caught with his hand in the till? No, he wasn’t even caught sneaking cookies. Instead, Sarrazin has written a book that Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling “nonsense” and that the Turkish and most of the German press is calling “racist” and “incendiary.” Sarrazin has been relieved of all his functions effective immediately for violating Deutsche Bank’s internal code of ethics. On Monday, German president Christian Wulff is expected to formalize…

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April 26, 2010

When Muslims become too secular for comfort

A crucifix in a German classroom

THERE’S AN OLD SAYING that you should be careful what you wish for because you might actually get it. Germany’s ruling conservative Christian Democratic Party got what it thought it wanted in the form of a young, female, independently-minded, and above all Muslim minister of social affairs in the state of Lower Saxony. But now that their dream candidate is starting to talk about actual policy, some party members are starting to feel as if they’re getting a lot more than they bargained for.

38-year-old Aygül Özkan was born toTurkish parents in Hamburg. She studied law and worked for some large-scale telecommunications companies before joining the CDU and running for the Hamburg state parliament in 2008, where she soon assumed major functions for her party. On April 19 of this year…

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