Indian Thaw04 Oct 2002
I didn't think it important enough to mention, but InstaPundit.Com noted that President Bush sent German President Rau a message of congratulations on the anniversary of reunification and that is a sign of a thaw in German-American relations. I don't buy that. It's a reminder that George Sr. was one of the godfathers of German reuinification, but says nothing about the current situation. Would a birthday card to the Queen of England mean everything is hugs and kisses with Tony Blair?
It is interesting to note that Schröder has been completely silent on Iraq since the election. I noted a last month that Schröder left himself an out on Iraq, and I'm certain that when the war comes, there will be some token German show of support, like maybe leaving the anti-chemical-warfare tanks now stationed in Kuwait (which wouldn't require Bundestag approval).
Other notes: Schröder's coalition margin is thin, but not fragile. German governments have run on less. Adenauer once had a stable majority of one. Mehrheit ist mehrheit!
And yes, there are budget problems, but they are hardly new. They are complicated, since the deficits are mostly at the state and local levels, which all count in the 3% deficit limit set by the Euro. Real work on the budget would require Schröder to cooperate with the states in the Bundesrat, where the Union has majority and is led by (you guessed it) Bavarian Premier Stoiber.