Person of the Day
Polish Minister Wants $1 Trillion for WW2 Damages
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has said Germany should consider reparations payment of €843 billion, or $1 trillion, to his country for the Second World War. Speaking to Polish radio, Mr. Waszczykowski of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party said relations between the two countries were "overshadowed by unresolved post-war issues." Poland lost 6 million lives in the war, but renounced claims to reparations in 1953. The Polish government is under pressure from Germany and the rest of the European over attacks on the independence of its judicial system.
Photo of the Day
Pastafarians Go to Germany's Highest Court
Germany’s constitutional court is to decide whether the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is an ideological community that should be granted the same privileges as a religion. The question has been escalated through the courts, after local authorities in a small German town repeatedly removed streets signs erected by followers of the spoof faith -- Pastafarians -- advertising “noodle mass.” The signs are similar to those commonly seen advertising Christian church services. So far, local and regional courts have ruled against them.
Quote of the Day
History Repeats Itself
Hans-Christian Ströbele, a veteran of Germany’s Green Party, has said there are parallels between the German government’s handling of Red Army Faction violence in the 1970s and its reaction to Islamist terrorism today. Talking to newspaper Berliner Zeitung on the 40th anniversary of the abduction of German businessman Hanns Martin Schleyer by the RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, he said that then, as now, legislation was passed that had no impact on public safety, and in fact escalated the situation. In the early 1970s, Mr. Ströbele, a lawyer, represented members of the leftist terror group, including Andreas Baader.
Number of the Day
Golden Retirem... Oh, Wait
Angela Merkel has been criticized for ruling out retirement at 70 after 2030 during Sunday’s TV debate with Martin Schulz, her main rival in this month’s federal election. Leading German economists countered that demographic change meant Germans would have to work longer. Germany’s current retirement age is currently 65, but is to rise to 67 by 2029. The UK is planning the same increase by 2028, and France by 2023. The French currently retire at 62. Greeks already retire at 67, following a change to the law made last year as part of its bailout deal with the EU and the IMF.