Confused German Chancellor Schroeder Disparages America
In his speech to a trade union in Hanover, on Wednesday, outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder warned of the dangers of eroding the welfare functions of the state. "I can think of a recent disaster that shows what happens when a country neglects its duties of state towards its people. My post as chancellor, which I still hold, does not allow me to name that country but you all know that I am talking about America," said Schroeder, who will soon cede his post to conservative rival Angela Merkel.
Perhaps Schroeder had been fooled by false media reports of unrescued Katrina victims, perhaps he is unfamiliar with the primary responsibilities for and lack of preparedness of Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin under the U.S. Constitution, or perhaps he is a knave.
Is Mr. Schroeder's comment arrogant, or simply foolish? His use of the terms 'duties of state' and 'welfare functions of state' say it all. Germany (#49), as a nation ranks behind Louisiana (#34) in GDP per capita, according to 1998 statistics.
In terms of land area, Louisiana (51,843 square miles) is more than one-third the size of Germany (137,826 square miles).
While there can be little doubt that Louisiana would, if it were a sovereign country, have a German embassy, Mr. Schroeder, a head of state, seems confused about the responsibilities and autonomy of American state governments under the U.S. Constitution.
While the president of the U.S. meets with both the head of Germany and the Governor of Louisiana, he is able to dictate to neither, nor is either bound to accept his advise. Angela Merkel will be a welcomed change.