Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The collapse of late stage disaster statism continues...


The Benz Burners Arrive: Protests Come To Germany As Arsonists Burn Down "Fat Cat" Cars

Tyler Durden's picture




Following the recent riots in the UK, it seemed there was only one safe bastion from the marauding bands of indignants, labor unions, and  general hooligans: Germany. That is, alas, no more. During the past two days, German protests against globalization, read Germany's undertaking to trade export strength for a joint European currency and a bailed out Club Ded periphery, have begun manifesting themselves albeit with a twist. As Bloomberg reports, in the past two days, arsonists have set fire to 26 cars in Berlin, mainly Mercedes, BMW, and Audis, which brings the total number of torched cars to 138, more than double all of 2010. "The arsonists want to hit what they say are ‘Fat Cats,’” Berlin police spokesman Michael Gassen said. A special unit is investigating the fires as political crimes after the police received letters claiming responsibility that derided globalization, gentrification and rising rents, he said." It appears that while the Arab Spring was started by the self-immolation of a fruit seller protesting more or less the same things, that level of self-sacrifice is strangely missing in Europe's (and maybe the world's) most prosperous, and entitled, nation. As such we doubt much if anything will come out of this, suffice to way that Joe LaVorgna will promptly raise his German GDP due to replacement costs associated with rebuilding the burnt down "fat cat" cars. Also, if this is the apex of protesting, we doubt that Italy and the rest of the insolvent PIIGS has much to worry about Germany pulling away the subsidized methadone IV drip.
From Bloomberg:
The fires come amid worsening economic data and political discontent in the country. German growth, last year the motor of Europe’s recovery, almost ground to a halt in the second quarter. Gross domestic product, adjusted for seasonal effects, rose 0.1 percent from the first quarter, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said yesterday.

While the attacks are spread out over the year, police usually see a spike during the summer months. In some cases, arsonists have placed barbeque charcoal lighters on tires and ignited them, Thomas Neuendorf, a Berlin police spokesman, said today. Arsonists have in the past also lit a car’s hood on fire after hosing it with accelerant. No arrests have been made in the most recent string of attacks.

The fires come amid worsening economic data and political discontent in the country. German growth, last year the motor of Europe’s recovery, almost ground to a halt in the second quarter. Gross domestic product, adjusted for seasonal effects, rose 0.1 percent from the first quarter, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said yesterday.
In Germany, it's hip to have flare:

“In Britain you have the phenomenon that people are predisposed to jumping on the bandwagon,” Becker said. “They see that something is up and want to be part of it, to add some fuel to the fire, as it were. With these cars in Berlin, they are in contrast consciously trying to send a message.”

“It is not necessarily the financial crisis which is the main motivation for these attacks,” said Carsten Koschmieder, a political scientist at the Free University in Berlin. “The perpetrators see themselves as being from the left, and protest against capitalism, globalization and gentrification.”
Just wait until the perpetrators realize that they benefits have gone poof following a few years of an ongoing Germany-funded European rescue...
Also, even in Berlin, it is all about location, location, location:
The attacks in the past happened mainly in eastern Berlin districts where more affluent tenants had pushed out squatters who arrived there after reunification in 1990. It’s a “new trend” that arsonists have now moved west, targeting areas such as Westend and its upscale neighbor Charlottenburg, said Michael Maass, a Berlin police spokesman.

Pensioner Wolfgang Lambrecht inspected a burned-out silver Mercedes yesterday afternoon that was parked next to a tree, its trunk blackened by the fire. Lambrecht, who has lived in a nearby apartment for 16 years, woke up in the middle of the night when the smell of burning tires crept through his open bedroom window.

“In the morning, when I saw all the damage, I was so upset that I told my wife, ‘Let’s pack our bags and get out of here,’” he said. “But that would be giving in to the radicals, wouldn’t it?’
At least they don't call those Germans who protest against the generosity of globalization (with other people's money of course), terrorists.
Yet.
Update: it appears the situation is a little more serious than we thought. Courtesy of @Jacobmbr, here is a map of all the recent car infernos (via Brennende Autos)