Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
But would you go so far as to say that this increase in discontent is wholly due to buying the bad-mouthing hype of the English-press?

I'd say discontent has three sources (which count with different weight if at all for individual pessimist Germans): that the economic upturn doesn't benefit all, that there is no direction in federal politics just endless squabbles, and the unceasing badmouthing from the business press.

While I'd disagree with Jerôme that the last has that strong a role in the present downturn of public opinion, you have to realise that it is a very potent influence on Germany.

Germany is not like France and the USA, the most peoples' and the elites' patriotism/nationalism is much limited. There is a much greater willingless to listen to outside criticism -- and a naivety about critics' motives. Since I'm following the German media, I see the public being subjected to an unceasing series of widely disseminated reports badmouthing the country, serious comparisons with abroad get much less airtime, and real German successes even less.

It's quite the inverse of how things are done in the USA, where every new trend or expanding industrial branch is declared to be the harbringer of a new boom that brings total change. In Germany, if something new is introduced, its proponents will of course praise it in similar terms, but the media will focus in on what sceptics say or on initial problems.

An example. One of the last successes of the previous Red-Green government was the introduction of highway road toll for lorries. It was badmouthed by the road lobby, and due to shabby preparation and sheer complexity, the remote tracking system wasn't truly operational for months -- this was all over the headlines. But now that by now the system is fully operational and brings heaps of money into the German federal budget (more than €5 billion since its start nearly two years ago), it is but a small news on the back pages, even though it is now studied by other countries as a model to follow.

This "Anglo-Saxon" propaganda is all-pervasive and nauseating. Even currently, the rhetoric is that although the economy is running and the budget deficit is the smallest in 15 years, it's all temporary and 'reforms' must continue.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Nov 5th, 2006 at 04:16:51 AM EST
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