Germans and French are not happy that London won Olympics

I read an article in Friday's Daily Mail saying that the brother of the German ambassador to London said that the London Olympics will be disastrous for world peace.

He also complained about the prosperity of the British, how we now dress well and drive expensive cars (in other words, he's jealous that the British are now richer than the Germans.) He also said that the people of these islands have forgotten how to lose. Look at our rugby teams' World Cup win, how well our cricketers are doing, and London's Olympics victory. He said that the British basketball team during the London Olympics will win all their games, because opposition teams will be punished if they speak out against dubious decisions.

Also, on the same page, it also reported that the French think that the Seb Coe and the other members of the London team cheated, and that maybe the British Secret Service brought London the Games.

This is a reaction from the Times newspaper about the reaction of the French and Germans over London's Olympics victory. The brother of the German ambassador to London is not pleased that we have the Olympics.


German diplomacy has long been an oxymoronic term, dating back to the somewhat punitive treaty of Frankfurt that followed the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 and the humiliation of the perennially defeated French. Since then the Germans have on occasions tried to be diplomatic but the facade always dissolves and they end up doing something undiplomatic, such as invading Poland.

Nor is this trait purely historic. A few years ago the then new German ambassador was interviewed on the Radio 4 Today programme and made what, in Cottbus or Magdeburg, might be mistaken for a quip.

“In which countries have you served as ambassador before, your eminence?” Jim Naughtie inquired, at which point the envoy listed five or six European states, chuckled and said: “So you see, Mr Naughtie, this is my first appointment in the Third World.” There was a long and awkward silence in which you could almost hear The Sun leader writers sharpening their pencils.

The current ambassador has not made such a faux pas; instead, the job seems to have devolved to his brother.

Matthias Matussek, London correspondent of Der Spiegel, said the awarding of the Olympics was a disaster that could threaten world peace. Britain had forgotten how to lose: “One can assume that a dubious decision against the British basketball team . . . will lead to mass arrests. Losing — that is no longer possible on the island and hasn’t been for a long time.”

Then Matussek really hit his stride, describing Britain as a nation of war-obsessed, drunken, vulgar, nouveau riche slobs: “It is as if this small island in the North Sea that 30 years ago would have only been good for selling to a scrap dealer from New Jersey is once again believing it is about to become the centre of the world and regain the empire.”

We might put this down to that uniquely German disposition, schadenfreude. On the other hand, it might be plain untrammelled distaste. But Matussek — whose brother in the embassy has yet to enlighten us as to whether he stands four-square behind the family view of Britain or, if he wishes to keep his job, he doesn’t — is not alone. The French have been having a dig, too.

Europe’s most inept politician, President Jacques Chirac, was caught muttering that the British had brought only one thing to Europe — mad cow disease — and then derided our cuisine. He also took a pop at Finnish cuisine, for reasons which may well remain a mystery. I’ve eaten Finnish food and it is rather good — certainly better than the glutinous, pretentious, ill-cooked slop served up in provincial French restaurants.

There are countries in Europe — especially Donald Rumsfeld’s New Europe — where lunch sits like a rancid stone in the gut for several days: Greece, the Czech Republic and Scotland, for example. And Austria. He could have singled out any of them. But Chirac instead picked the Finns with their fresh fish and smoked reindeer: the closest food Europe has to sushi. Chirac is many years behind the times. And that is perhaps the point.

A lot of those old European stereotypes have changed rather too quickly for the politicians — and the media — to keep pace. Our own collective perception of Germany has long been obsolete, for example.

We should no longer view it as clinically efficient and successful: Germany has a calamitously large public sector, inefficient industry, high unemployment and an almost total absence of the consumer ethos that helped to transform Britain 20 years ago. One suspects that Matussek knows this and preferred things the way they were: with Britain as the sick man of Europe, skint and bereft, with a welfare state ethos and a useless football team. But all the while being gallant losers.

You will note that his main complaint is that, these days, the British expect to win. Matussek is, in effect, mourning the passing of the old order when we never won. These days, mate, we get the Olympics, beat you 5-1 at home and have economic growth you lot could only dream of.

We even claim the sun-loungers first: while on holiday in Austria recently a hotelier told me that they treated the British and Swiss better because they were the most affluent. Galling, isn’t it? Chirac, meanwhile, resides in the Europe of about 1974, long before the Michelin guide placed more British restaurants in its top 10 than French and Italian put together.

Last week some French newspapers, writhing with fury, attacked the tactics that won us the 2012 Olympics. Apparently, we cheated. Le Parisien declared: “London did not deserve to win.” We may have bribed IOC officials and the secret service — including James Bond, who knows? — was involved.

Listen, Paris and Berlin, you guardians of an old and rapidly dissolving order of Europe: get over it. If it was true that Britain once inhabited a comfortable and reassuring past to the detriment of the present — the war, the empire, warm beer and so on — those days have gone. Countries change in their character — as that French charmer Jean-Paul Sartre put it, our essence does not precede our existence. (external - login to view) . . .
The Germans need to remember that they are hosting next year's World Cup, and they beat Britain the race to host that event.

But not once did they hear us complaining when Germany won the bid.
"Germans and French are not happy that London won Olympics"

A lot of Londoners aren't happy that London won the right to host Olympics. Go to BBC and read the views on 'Have your Say'.
The Germans and French should be happy they're not going to be stuck with a huge debt for a big sporting event for the elites of the world :P Ask the Italy how they feel about huge debt their stuck with
Ocean Breeze
how petty. Don't they have more important issues to deal with??

Guess they have too much socialism for their economies to thrive while Britain is profiting from the Thatcher legacy. That's the same tire old "it's not fair" envy you hear every time someone suffers from their own actions and won't admit it.

Makes me a little embarrased though, considering my own german ethnicity.
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