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79

Because that's the normal way round for criminal standard of proof? America has the civil forfeiture system on "balance of probabilities", which has become a license for police corruption.


75

Outside a small fringe group, there is a broad consensus in Germany that starting WW2 was wrong. That is not incompatible with the idolization of German soldiers who fought in the war, though. For a long time (I would say roughly after the war until the 80s), many Germans blamed the political leadership (i.e. Hitler and the other Nazi leaders) essentially ...


72

Does the American public know, that their perception of left and right is is skewed and right-shifted in comparison to many other Western countries? The American public is mostly oblivious to the domestic politics of countries other than their own, although there is some vague familiarity with the leading political parties of Canada, Mexico and the U.K. ...


70

The market was somewhat more free before the rent freeze (it was not completely free, see antipattern's excellent answer), and this had effects that some Berliners considered undesirable. The article describes what some of those effects were: ...in recent years, rents have skyrocketed...pushing middle-class families from Berlin's central residential ...


64

The 2% goal for defense spending of all NATO countries originates from the Wales Summit of 2014. However, the people who made that commitment are heads of governments, many of which don't actually have the authority to make budgeting decisions. This includes the German Chancellor. The Bundestag (German parliament) which actually has that authority never ...


59

The AFD is a political pariah in big part because of its stench of right extremism (one very prominent member can legally be called a fascist), which is a very big deal in Germany. Any form of cooperation with the AFD currently carries huge political penalties and even the mere suggestion of a potential coalition would amount to complete and utter political ...


52

It's hard to provide an objective answer since this is a question mostly about emotions and everyone has his anecdotes. Since pretty much all answers here do not have any citations or references, it's likely that they are all colored by subjective perception. I'll try to provide some objective data, though it will undoubtedly still be colored by my personal ...


51

Very good question and I am surprised that I as German needed to dig deeper into the stuff than anticipated. I tried to consult the German Wikipedia and the normal Google results, but got essentially nothing at first. I suppose it was self-evident schoolboy knowledge at their time and they did not bother to remark the function for following generations. ...


51

Yes, in September 2009, at an occasion to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII, then-President Lech Kaczyński gave the following speech: Two generations have passed but the Second World War still requires reflection; Poland’s participation in the reduction of territory of Czechoslovakia was not only a mistake – it was a sin, and Poland ...


51

There is a "firewall" against the AfD in the German parliament and the CDU is a big part of it. Laschet in particular has vowed to uphold it. In practical terms of recent relevance, the AfD has campaigned against Merkel and against Covid-19 measures. Laschet is seen as Merkel's hand-picked successsor. The AfD are also pretty far from the CDU on ...


50

Rent for new buildings isn't capped (at least not by this new law), so the cap shouldn't interfere with new buildings. Rent may also be increased up to a point when a building is modernized. The cap was implemented because the market didn't work for a lot of people who needed to spend more and more of their income on rent or be driven out of Berlin. The ...


49

The literal answer to the question So why are the local/land tax authorities going after the US DoD personnel on this issue, when it is clearly annoying the federal government of Germany? is "because Germany is a federal republic and local tax authorities do not take orders from the federal government", which is an idea that in some way should ...


48

Absolute and relative amounts Germany has come much closer to the 2% goal due to the COVID crisis -- the GDP went down, the defense budget stayed the same, so the percentage went up. Similarly, good years reduced the percentage without any defense cuts. Rejection of war as a means of policy. Germany has spent 40 years at the frontline of the Cold War, a war ...


47

In 2014, the European Union adopted Directive 2014/42/EU on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime, and this directive was implemented in Germany on 2017-07-01. As a consequence, likely proceeds of crime can now be confiscated even in cases where it is unclear what exactly the crime was or who committed it. According to § ...


45

No. As long as the original credit of 330 billion euros is not paid back, you can hardly argue that the interest should be considered as a profit. In fact, the starting time for interest payback has just been suspended by ten years, to 2033 - according to the German Department of Finance, this amounts to 34 billion dollars of unpaid interest. Additionally, ...


45

The debate over e-mobility comes in the context of an ongoing debate in Germany how public spaces for transportation are to be divided between the different modes of transportation. In the last century, many German cities were designed to optimize the use of private cars. Many urban populations are rising (and average cars are getting larger ...), and both ...


44

The planned size of the Bundestag is 598 members: One directly elected member from each of the 299 electoral districts plus equally many members chosen from party lists in order to achieve a total allocation of seats that is proportional to the party votes (Zweitstimmen). As a simplified example, assume that party X got 10% of the party votes and that their ...


41

TLDR: Without political polarization and passionate public disagreements on court rulings, the German People do not really care about how judges are appointed, which enables the political parties to make simple deals. The appointment procedure differs between the two legislative bodies: Half of the members of the Federal Constitutional Court are elected by ...


40

The difference between a fee and a tax is that while a fee can be designated to be spent for one specific purpose, a tax is not. All taxes go into the state coffers and parliament decides how that tax money is then redistributed to all the government activities. History is full of taxes which were promised to be leveraged for very specific purposes but then ...


40

I don't think this question is usefully answerable: (It's an excellent question, but there are too many variables and not enough cases to look at to really know what works and what doesn't in preventing terrorism). Different European countries traditionally had (up to about 10 years ago, before massive refugee arrivals) different sources of Muslim immigrants....


38

Many Germans who have friends and family really enjoy the fact that there is one "common day off" in the week which is the same for all family members. Going to church together has become rather uncommon, but the benefit for the family remains. Of course one cannot go shopping together on this "common day off," but that's where the golden rule comes in -- ...


36

The angle of the photo is pretty bad, but the star isn't actually David's star (despite the six points): note the steeper angles. Also there is a smaller star-like symbol "under" the crescent. All these point to the Coat of arms of Halle an der Saale, Germany (1327), or at least something derived from that. Actually Wikipedia even gives the flag ...


35

The unopportunistic and unattractive truth (I'm not afraid of saying it) is that Berlin is a red-red-green governed city and rents are one of their most important lighthouse projects. Also, the market does not, and cannot work because the market is actively prevented from working. The market is driven by offer and demand. Demand has been going up, so ...


31

Germany is a federal state, and it is thus expected that policies and political goals of the federal government and of the state governments will not always align. The US currently exhibits plenty of examples where to say that the federal government would be "annoyed" by actions of the states would be severe understatement. Kaiserslautern, which ...


30

Indeed, the horizontal black-white-red flag was first widely used in the North German Confederation (post-1866) and subsequently as a flag of the (second) German Empire 1871–1918. In addition to the plain tricolor, a number of other flags based on it or using it in part were used for various other uses such by the army or at sea. In 1919, after the November ...


30

There are two obvious reasons. I'll refer to the US specifically, but I would imagine other countries are fairly similar. First, the historic. Before modern transport & communications, the election process could take weeks or months. California became a US state in 1850, when it could take more than four weeks to travel from there to Washington (or ...


29

The reason is largely historical, the office of President was first introduced in the Weimar Republic of Germany, with significant political powers according to its constitution. Article 25 of the Weimar Constitution the President had the power to unilaterally dissolve the Reichstag Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution the President had the power to ...


29

According to this newspaper article, it was for procedural reasons only. The motion was brought forward jointly by the Conservative (CDU/CSU), Social Democrat (SPD), Liberal (FDP) and Green groups. The Left group would have liked to formally co-sponsor the motion, too, but was excluded upon the Conservatives’ request. This due to the Conservatives’ policy of ...


29

Yes, this is normal for the German media. The German justice system uses the concept of presumption of innocence. A suspect is just that - a suspect. They are not considered guilty until a court of law has made a guilty verdict. Until then everyone should assume that the person might be innocent, no matter how clear the evidence against them seems to be at ...


27

The main factor has to be the fear of public debt and symbolic importance of balanced budgets (schwarze Null) in the German political discourse. The notion that the state should avoid building up debt and strive towards a balanced budget every single year plays an oversize role in the way the German media and public judge many issues. That's not the case in ...


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