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HUMA2190 - Sept 18, 2012.docx

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GER 1790
Mathew Bera

HUMA2190 – Germany Through the Ages September 18, 2012 What’s up With Germany? German Society Today: Problems and Discussions Important Topics  Current government  Energy debates  Reactions to the financial crisis  Gender issues  Immigration and multiculturalism  Neo-Nazis o Oktoberfest – currently happening  Associated with a Neo-Nazi attack in the 1980s when they set off a pipe bomb  Wanted to hurt as many people as he could  23 years unification  Coming to terms with the past (or not) Political Issues  Bund/Bundestag – Federal assemblies  Land/Landtag - Regional assemblies  Have federal and regional elections  Current Parliament o FDP – liberal democratic party o CDU – conservative party (most votes) o Green party o SPD – social democratic party (oldest/comparable to the NDP) o Left party – successor party to former communist party of East Germany  Elections o FDP and CDU made a policy mistake and were punished by the voters – lost power in a number of regional parliaments o Elections in Berlin  rise of the Pirates (new party)  The Pirates – European movement that started in Sweden  Pirate Bay is a download site that they tried to shut down, which triggered the party to be created  More popular in Germany than Sweden  Has a member in Parliament in Berlin – has more seats than they have candidates  The Pirate party’s aims are unclear – for the protection of privacy against surveillance/good ideas are meant to be copied (CDs)/against copyright  Also in Berlin, SPD and CDU have the majority of Berlin, with a bit of the Green Party  Former boundary between East and West Berlin  Candidates o C. Wullf, President 2010-2012 – resigned after two years, for a variety of reasons  Main reason – has taken money to finance his new house from a friend and had not declared it to the Parliament when he was asked to declare all of his financial interests, nor was he paying it off/paying any interest  Started getting entangled in a network of misleading statements about this credit o J. Gauck, 2012-  From East Germany  Former Priest  He likes to present himself as a straight talker – talks about his pride for Germany o Cool Baron – former Minister of Finance and Defense  Forced to resign  He plagiarised his PhD (as have at least give other MPs at the various levels of assemblies)  Having a PhD in Germany elevates you socially and gives you greater respect  Pretty large scale scandal in Germany Energy Issues  Strong tradition of anti-nuclear activism (following Chernobyl)  Germany has a lot of nuclear power stations - nuclear power to be phased out  Current government has extended terms for existing nuclear power stations o When the Green Party was voted out and Conservative Party was voted it, they said they would extend the leases of the nuclear power stations – just a few months before Hiroshima o Returned to phase-out following this  Target for 2020: 35% of electricity generation renewable  *New Minister of the Environment says they need to cut down on renewable energy – this is because it is getting too expensive  Jan-June 2012: 25.1% of t
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