The Daily Demarche
Thursday, May 05, 2005
More bad news for Germany
In a recent post we mentioned the 20% unemployment rate in Berlin, and the fact that the capital is bankrupt. Well, it is about to get worse. IBM did not meet its profit expectations and as a result will be cutting jobs- in Europe:

IBM's operations in Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom will bear the brunt of the layoffs. IBM says that the diminished economic growth and the low level of employee attrition for the past few years is what is forcing it to do layoffs at this time.


But IBM's problems in Europe, which it has not discussed, apparently go deeper than one quarter. The fact that the U.S. dollar is so weak has helped IBM Europe post decent growth in sales and profits in dollars, but at constant currency (mostly in pounds and euros), growth has been a lot less than IBM would like. So IBM is restructuring to get more people selling and fewer people managing--or, at the very least, fewer people managing.


No one who wants IBM service in one European country is going to make a fuss if that service is derived from another country these days. IBM no longer manufacturers computers or creates software in every country, either. Neither does any other IT vendor.

IBM will also be laying off workers in the U.S., and I do not want to give the impression that I am celebrating the loss of employment for anyone, anywhere. Frankly, however, the EU is in a bit of a spot economically, and Germany is practically the poster boy for fiscal issues.

Of course they blame it on the U.S. Check out this union piece that Davids Medienkritik recently posted on:

The article's introductory paragraph (in blue) reads: "Blackstone, KKR, Investcorp - finance investors from America are slaughtering German companies. They buy the companies, only to sell them a bit later for profit. The American investors don't show any consideration for people, regions or traditions. Like flies they suck the money out of companies, then swarm out, repeating the same pattern. People are the ones who suffer."

As if to add insult to injury, U.S. troops will soon be departing Germany in large numbers as our overseas presence is restructured. Germany, no fan of the war in Irag, will nevertheless miss our men and women, and more importantly, their dollars. Once more I turn to David- the best blooger out there on all matters German and his post "But What About My Job, Mr. Warmonger, Sir?…":

The staff of ver.di, Germany’s largest service-sector union and the largest independent, individual trade union in the world, is worried. Its leaders now realize that there won’t be enough warmongers around to adequately support members’ Socialist way-of-life. They rightfully “fear” that the planned withdrawal of tens of thousands of US military personnel and their dependents from Germany will result in thousands of lost union jobs, particularly in areas surrounding affected bases and installations.

“But…warmongers?” You ask. Well sure, that is exactly how ver.di’s chairman, union kingpin Frank Bsirske, described the American government and military just last year.


This apparent contradiction highlights the fact that there is indeed something more important to Germany’s leftist dominated unions than exploiting anti-American sentiment for political gain. That something is ensuring that union members be able to suck at the teat of the Socialist welfare state into the indefinite future. And if that means accepting money and jobs from members of the US military, people the unions have repeatedly derided and demonized as warmongers from a heartless capitalist society, well, then Frank Bsirske and ver.di are entirely prepared to do just that.

Germany, and the rest of the "Old EU" are going to have to come to grips with their relationship to the United States, and soon. Economic woes, the rise of NAZI-ism and and the threat of Islamofascism in the western world will force their hand sooner or later. I just hope that there is enough of the "Old Europe" left to justify our saving it.


(End of post)


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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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