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satire case splits Germany's ruling coalition

Hawkeye10

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The Böhmermann scandal is now entering its third week, and only now is it becoming clear just what the five-minute clip has set in motion. It didn't just shine the spotlight on the Turkish president's sensitivity and the limits of chancellor's steadfastness, it has also unsettled all of Germany -- a country which normally doesn't spend much time thinking about satire and art and the freedoms associated with them.

On Friday, the need for doing so became even more apparent. Chancellor Merkel announced that the federal government had granted permission for criminal proceedings to go ahead against Jan Böhmermann under the controversial Paragraph 103 of the German Criminal Code. The law makes it illegal to insult the representatives of foreign countries. The federal government must approve the initiation of Paragraph 103 proceedings.

By granting permission, Merkel has gone against the advice of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Justice Minister Heiko Maas, both of whom are members of the Social Democratic Party, Merkel's junior coalition partner. The chancellor confirmed that the coalition partners had expressed "differing views."

Yet even as she announced that legal proceedings would go ahead, the chancellor also signaled her intention to abolish the law before the end of the current legislative session, saying it was "unnecessary." The chancellor also shared her concerns about the situation of the press in Turkey and the plights of individual journalists in the country. She added that the German government would ensure freedom of expression at home and she emphasized that the independence of the judicial system applied as much in Turkey as it does in Germany and "other countries in the democratic world

Germany Green Lights Legal Case Against Erdogan Critical Comic - SPIEGEL ONLINE

So what is it with Merkel, Alzheimer's? The Iron Lady is now kowtowing to that dangerous putze and Saddam Wanna-be Erdogan is it?
 

RabidAlpaca

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I found this whole situation completely disgusting. Merkel is using an ancient law in order to suppress freedom of speech and protect a monster. Erdogan is a horrible human being with a long history of human rights abuses. This is one of the MANY reasons I am fanatically against Turkey ever joining the EU. **** like this would continue to happen to appease them, and we shouldn't be appeasing such a third world country with no respect basic human decency.

Erdogan and his BFF Merkel can promptly go **** themselves. The good news is that Germans as a whole really disagree with the decision and Merkel and her party of fascists are going to have a hard time this upcoming election.
 

Chagos

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It's hard to unravel what is so particularly fascist in Merkel's bunch about this whole thing.

Dumb, yeah. Incredibly dumb, yeah.

Nevertheless the vote on it in the government resulted in a draw (tie), something the coalition junior partner Social Democrats could not have achieved on their own. What is indeed troublesome is that the Chancelor(esse), as the one having the last word, did the sway.

Technically and legally this is not a case of using an existing law to achieve anything, it's a case of adhering to an existing law. Antiquated, stupid and ridiculous as that law may be.

Yet one needs to understand that the German government has absolutely no legal role in any court proceedings that may follow, if indeed they do. That's up to the Federal Attorney's office which now needs to investigate whether legal proceedings be opened or not.

In view of the fact that Erdogan has also filed a parallel suit (this time as a "private" person) with the attorney's office of Mainz, his overblown ego might possibly be served there anyway (the paragraph 103 that deals with insult to foreign heads of state playing absolutely no role) but thoe proceedings could equally end in dropping the case altogether. As could the now open proceedings by the Federal Attorney's office.

In that context I'd hold Merkel's decision to have been most unwise. Where she's known and often praised for thinking things to the end (from the end), the physics scientist in her dictates that equations be made with firm constants. But there are none here, the public's emotive reaction hardly serving to qualify as even one.

She should have had the guts to say no and screw whatever Turkish sensitivities in general and Erdogan's in particular. He's not going to renege on the current deal anyway, getting money, getting visa free entry and getting more speedy negotiations on joining the EU is something he'd only put at risk if he were absolutely gaga.

But then again, judging by his general attitude, he just might think he'd be able to strengthen his support at home in the long run, doing just that. He's not so stupid as not to realize that Turkey will never find acceptance into the EU. Quite apart from his undemocratic form of government, there are economic parameters to adhere to and Turkey doesn't have a hope of fulfilling them in any foreseeable future.

A veritable conundrum, having to deal with somebody like that. Yet, no viable alternative available, one has to work with what is and not with how one would like things to be. Dead if you do, dead if you don't. But there's no better plan around, least of all from those now united in criticism. Not in Germany and least of all in the overall EU.
 

Chagos

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Hawkeye10

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It's hard to unravel what is so particularly fascist in Merkel's bunch about this whole thing.

Dumb, yeah. Incredibly dumb, yeah.

Nevertheless the vote on it in the government resulted in a draw (tie), something the coalition junior partner Social Democrats could not have achieved on their own. What is indeed troublesome is that the Chancelor(esse), as the one having the last word, did the sway.

Technically and legally this is not a case of using an existing law to achieve anything, it's a case of adhering to an existing law. Antiquated, stupid and ridiculous as that law may be.

Yet one needs to understand that the German government has absolutely no legal role in any court proceedings that may follow, if indeed they do. That's up to the Federal Attorney's office which now needs to investigate whether legal proceedings be opened or not.

In view of the fact that Erdogan has also filed a parallel suit (this time as a "private" person) with the attorney's office of Mainz, his overblown ego might possibly be served there anyway (the paragraph 103 that deals with insult to foreign heads of state playing absolutely no role) but thoe proceedings could equally end in dropping the case altogether. As could the now open proceedings by the Federal Attorney's office.

In that context I'd hold Merkel's decision to have been most unwise. Where she's known and often praised for thinking things to the end (from the end), the physics scientist in her dictates that equations be made with firm constants. But there are none here, the public's emotive reaction hardly serving to qualify as even one.

She should have had the guts to say no and screw whatever Turkish sensitivities in general and Erdogan's in particular. He's not going to renege on the current deal anyway, getting money, getting visa free entry and getting more speedy negotiations on joining the EU is something he'd only put at risk if he were absolutely gaga.

But then again, judging by his general attitude, he just might think he'd be able to strengthen his support at home in the long run, doing just that. He's not so stupid as not to realize that Turkey will never find acceptance into the EU. Quite apart from his undemocratic form of government, there are economic parameters to adhere to and Turkey doesn't have a hope of fulfilling them in any foreseeable future.

A veritable conundrum, having to deal with somebody like that. Yet, no viable alternative available, one has to work with what is and not with how one would like things to be. Dead if you do, dead if you don't. But there's no better plan around, least of all from those now united in criticism. Not in Germany and least of all in the overall EU.


Exactly, what is she doing saying that it is time to fast track Turkey joining the EU, what she should be doing is saying that it is time to hold on meeting on the idea of throwing Turkey out of NATO. This is all bad for Merkel domestically, it is bad for Europe, and it shows just how desperate the times now are for the EU project.
 

Peter King

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It is idiotic that the government of Germany/Merkel has to approve a possible prosecution of this guy.

In the Netherlands it is also illegal to insult the leader of a friendly nation but our parliament (looking at the issues in Germany) is debating scrapping this law because they do not want Erdogan to do the same in the Netherlands if he is insulted in our country.

But, unlike Germany, our government would not have to OK such a prosecution, that is down to our independent district attorneys office who would make such a decision to yes or no prosecute someone for such a crime.
 

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This stupid law should really be skipped. IIRC, it dates back to the late 19th century, when Germany was still an authoritarian monarchy.
 

Chagos

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This stupid law should really be skipped. IIRC, it dates back to the late 19th century, when Germany was still an authoritarian monarchy.
It WILL be nuked in another year or so, the motion already under preparation.

Just takes that much time for the mills to grind.
 
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