Introducing Kaffeeklatsch: a new blog about German politics

IT IS, to put it mildly, a big year for Germany. In the era of Trump, its neighbours and partners are looking to the country for new leadership. Debates about its defence, its vast trade surplus, its handling of the refugee crisis and its role in Europe among many other topics increasingly roil not just its politics but those of other countries: what affects the 81m souls living between its borders affects many more beyond them, too. Even more than before, Germany matters.

On September 24th the country holds a general election. I suspect Angela Merkel will narrowly obtain the fourth term she seeks (less out of enthusiasm than duty). But I’m not putting any money on it: since his emergence as her rival for the top job, Martin Schulz has drastically reduced the poll gap between his centre-left SPD and the chancellor’s centre-right CDU. Combined with the recent dawn of seven-party politics in Germany, that makes the coming election the least predictable for at least a decade.

As The Economist’s new bureau chief in Berlin, I have therefore decided to blog on the unfolding campaign—and Germany more widely. On occasion, and as events dictate, my observations may stray across the Austrian border. But my focus will emphatically be Germany: its society, government, foreign policy, culture and most of all politics.

Why “Kaffeeklatsch”? The coffee-house tradition is broadly distinctive to the German-speaking world, a symbol of civilised and convivial discussion of current events. Nothing, wrote Stefan Zweig, quite compares with “the opportunity the coffee house [provides] of informing oneself so comprehensively about all of the events in the world and at the same time discussing them within a friendly and familiar circle” (the Austrian writer spent so much time there, he had his post delivered to his table). “Kaffeehaus” was thus one appealing name.

But that felt a bit grand, and blogs are meant to be spontaneous: venues for first thoughts and ideas-in-progress. The point here is to complement my pieces for the print edition of The Economist, not to replicate them. As such, “Kaffeeklatsch” seems more appropriate. It means “coffee chat” or “coffee chit-chat” and might take place in one’s home, office or a public space; while the name hopefully nods to discussions in the Café Einstein or the Café Landtmann, it also implies something lighter and less formal.

So: willkommen zum Kaffeeklatsch.

Facebook Comments

Related Post

League-M5S government in Italy: Empty-handed After 88 days of negotiations and after agreeing on a "government contract" based on massive public spending raise and tax cuts, the far-right League and the populist 5 Stars movement have...
Are US sanctions realigning global alliances? Earlier this week, the United States reimposed a wide range of sanctions on Iran following President Donald Trump's administration decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement. Was...
The Life Story Of Paul McCartney Paul McCartney is a living legend. He penned some of the Beatles’ most beloved hits including “Hey Jude” and “Yesterday.” As one of the most successful solo artists on the planet, the sta...
Infiniti Teases Sharply Styled EV Roadster For Pebble Beach Infiniti appears to have a follow up the retro Prototype 9 with this more futuristic roadster concept. Infiniti will unveil an electric vehicle concept at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d...
Spread the love

Posted by Contributor

%d bloggers like this: