Banshee must be on holiday with his love.
Actually I'm back from the multinational trip with my usual group from another board, but tied up in family events, mostly baptisms; my most recent niece and nephew chose to be born within a short intervall, and were/are getting baptized on the last and coming weekend, at pretty much opposite ends of the country ...
Immigration of course includes both legal and illegal, but as noted it was Trump's just-upheld travel ban for citizens from Muslim countries in particular that was met with above-average approval here, which is definitely in the legal category. As for free trade - again, this was about multilateral agreements like NAFTA, TPP and TTIP. Critics on both the left and right here were happy when the EU shelved negotiations about the latter after Trump's election because he had included it among the "bad deals" he blasted during his campaign. Those critics had previously freaked about the erosion of European standards in environmental protection, work and food safety, genetically modified food and the stereotypical chlorinated chicken from the US being permitted, and American companies taking over local utilities and imposing their aims on European governments via courts of arbitration set up under TTIP; which was all more or less nonsense.
The mutual abolishment of tariffs that was also part of TTIP was not really controversial OTOH, as Europeans generally have as much interest in getting rid of US custom duties that are higher than their own for certain goods as vice versa. The current rates were finely balanced for even totals in the negotiations for the World Trade Organization in 1993, with everybody protecting sectors of their particular concern. The disparity between European tariffs on passenger cars at ten percent and American ones at 2.5 has been much publicized of course, though for example the US charges 25 percent on pickup trucks vs. 14 in the EU (if you want a funny and educational story on the unforeseen long-time effects of trade wars, google "chicken war" or "chicken tax"), and for train carriages it's 14 in the US vs. 1.7 in the EU. The US also has generally higher duties on clothing and leatherware, though what Europeans are really interested in is better access to the American food/agricultural market where some US tariffs are prohibitive - from what I've seen reported, meat 30 percent, peanuts 130, dairy products up to 139, and raw tobacco a whooping 350 percent.
In fact thawing out the negotiations on TTIP - or at least the part about the tariffs - has been suggested as a way out of the current trade quarrel here for a couple months. Trump notably hasn't officially quit the TTIP process, unlike TPP with the Pacific nations; probably because he has become aware that in the EU, authority for trade policy rests solely with the Union rather than the member states, so his original idea of bilateral agreements with individual nations doesn't work. I saw a news blurb some time ago that the new US ambassador to Germany had supposedly hammered out a deal with the German auto industry for bilateral abolishment of car tarriffs, which is of course delusional; while I'm sure industry would love to set tariffs by themselves, this is obviously up to governments, and in this case even at EU level. The hangup is that Germany would be okay with TTIP-light dealing only with tariffs, while others like France want the whole package with common standards etc. (which would likely re-activate the trade union and environmentalist loons, though some of them have since gotten second thoughts about Trump as their ally of chance).
The German word is actually just as multi-meaning as the English one - capability or authority in practical, legal, political or indeed biological matters. Then there is Kompetenz-Kompetenz, which arose in German jurisprudence and means the competence of government bodies to define their own competences ...
The term is really not used in Article 65 of the German constitution, which translates to:
Meanwhile the political quarrel is in fact being somewhat eclipsed by coverage of the German team dropping out of the soccer world championship (full disclosure: I'm not a soccer fan myself and don't really care, though I happened to watch Germany's last-minute save against Sweden at last weekend's family event). This weekend's EU summit on reform of the Dublin agreements is made out to be crucial on whether Merkel can get a European solution to make Minister Seehofer's unilateral approach to the problem redundant, though given the different interests of members it's rather unlikely.
For background: under the Dublin Agreements going back to 1990, asylum seekers are to apply, and stay, in the first EU country (or non-EU parties like Norway and Switzerland) they enter, which would pretty much get Germany off the hook due to its central European location. Obviously that never really worked fully, and broke down completely during the 2015/16 crisis, though it is since being attempted to return to at least the imperfect status quo ante. This includes a country not responsible for one particular applicant requesting the one where he/she first applied to take him/her back.
When it comes to this issue, Europe is roughly divided into three camps: the southerners like Italy and Greece, who are the typical countries of entry, want to get rid of Dublin, and refugees to be justly distributed across member states; the new populist Italian government has come right out and said they're not going to take back anyone. The northerners like Germany and Austria want to reform Dublin and make it more effective, but were the ones to come up with the distribution idea when the 2015 crisis put the greatest burden on them. The Eastern Europeans who have little influx are just fine with Dublin, and don't want any distribution either. The only thing everybody agrees on is that the EU's external borders should be better controlled against immigration.
Reads like Western Europe is not so interested in discussing whether to commit suicide or not, but how to do it most efficiently.
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
Well, that was a politically interesting weekend. On Friday night, the EU summit somewhat surprisingly agreed on far-going measures to control irregular migration, including long-debated points like closed centers to receive, process and either deport or distribute refugees within the EU, and additional UNHCR-run centers to disembark and take them in outside the EU before they make it there - the problem with the latter being that while the UNHCR has declared its conditional support, no country in North Africa or non-EU Europe wants to house those.
More pertinent to the domestic German quarrel, it was also established that member countries can take national measures, though those should be in cooperation with other members; Chancellor Merkel also secured basic agreements with Greece and Spain to improve return of people who first applied for asylum there. In a paper listing the results, she also stated general willingness by 14 other members, though the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland subsequently denied this - the last two however in a way open to interpretation if they denied having made an agreement about improving implementation of the Dublin rules, or an agreement to negotiations about same. Anyway, Merkel happily dumped the negotiation about details into the lap of her contrahent Horst Seehofer as the responsible minister.
The CDU unsurprisingly got largely behind her and her statement that those results were "equal in effect" to unilateral rejection of previously registered asylum applicants at the German borders, as the CSU had demanded as a condition to forego starting the latter today. From the CSU, there were similar sounds from Bundestag and European Parliament members, and eventually some grunting approval from harder critics like Bavarian state minister president Markus Söder, linked to individual intepretation of the bit about national measures. It seemed at this point that the CSU was seeking a face-saving way down the tree they had climbed on; their problem was that their conservative ideological allies in Austria, Italy, Hungary etc. were of course not enthusiast about getting sent back applicants from Germany, and the quarrel had so far not met the apparent main objective of improving the CSU's election chances in Bavaria; indeed there were worries that they would lose voters over it, particularly women.
Seehofer himself remained mum even after a meeting with Merkel on Saturday, merely letting on that he would have the summit results be checked for effectivity by experts from his ministry. Merkel herself said that the situation between their parties was still serious when on Sunday afternoon, both the national board of the CDU and the state board of the CSU, the latter extended to the party's Bundestag members, met in Berlin and Munich respectively to discuss the further course. Seehofer arrived at the CSU meeting blasting both the summit results and his meeting with Merkel surprisingly fiercely as ineffective, and said that he would make a personal statement at the end. At this point journalists started speculating that it all made only sense if he would announce to resign.
A press conference originally planned for 1800 kept getting postponed to eventually 2300 due to the long and controversial debate in Munich while everybody including the CDU board in Berlin was waiting for the outcome. Shortly before 2300, it was reported that Seehofer had indeed announced to resign both as interior minister and CSU party head. Bundestag group leader Alexander Dobrindt, who had been close to Seehofer's position throughout the quarrel, said however that this couldn't be accepted and the board should vote on it. The inner leadership circle withdrew with Seehofer, and at 0100 it was announced that he wouldn't resign just yet after all, but hold another meeting with Merkel today and make a decision until Wednesday.
Quite what that is supposed to achieve given the CDU's near-unified support for Merkel's position is not clear. I see two possible explanations; one is that the CSU wants a deal in which both Seehofer and Merkel resign, earning the feathers for a start-over of the Conservatives - which is entirely unlikely to happen. The other is that Seehofer was egged on by his inner-party rival Söder, whom he long and unsuccessfully sought to prevent from succeeding him as Bavarian minister president - and now that Seehofer has hung himself with the rope handed to him, his allies like Dobrindt are panicking because they don't want to fall through the trapdoor with him. It's hard to see how Seehofer could survive this flipflopping though.
The CDU board which adjourned itself last night in Berlin has now reconvened, and at 1400 the CDU/CSU Bundestag group will hold a joint session before Merkel and Seehofer meet at the Chancellor's Office at 1700. In parallel, the SPD coalition partner, which came out with their own five-point paper on immigration on Saturday, will hold a board meeting and a press conference at 1800. Stay tuned for further developments.
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
Wow, messy indeed. Thanks for the update / interpretation of the EU / Germany politics.
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
They should move all the extra immigrants to Merkel's private residence.
Then again ... short version of yesterday's events: A compromise was found. Both sides declared victory. Everybody stays on.
There was increasing pressure to settle the conflict, particularly from both parties' Bundestag members and the Bavarian state government, which stood to lose most from a breakup of CDU/CSU. Seehofer's inner-party critics made their displeasure about him known, like Federal Developmental Minister Gerd Müller and Manfred Weber, the Christian Democratic group leader in the European Parliament, who complained that he had asked for honest opinions in the Sunday meeting, then launched hard personal attacks when he didn't like them; for good measure, he didn't include them in his team for yesterday's meeting with Merkel though it touched their responsibilities, prefering long-retired former Bavarian minister president Edmund Stoiber who shared his stance. Former CSU head Erwin Huber also opined publically that Seehofer's resignation was unavoidable. OTOH it was pointed out that this wouldn't resolve the problem for Merkel, since his successor might have a similar stance.
At the same time, conservative CDU Bundestag members urged compromise. A paper from the party's small and medium business group in parliament was floated that suggested rejecting only asylum seekers who had first applied in EU countries with which no bilateral return agreement had been struck, though the group later clarified that this was just a draft, and their demand for conflict resolution was unconditional. Just prior to their official meeting, Merkel and Seehofer also had a come-to-Jesus talk with Bundestag speaker Wolfgang Schäuble of the CDU, who had previously been suggested, but refused to be a mediator since he is greatly respected by both sides. At this point the third coalition partner, the Social Democrats, had demanded a meeting of the joint coalition committee for the same evening to clear up the future of the government, obviously to gain some political points from the internal quarrel of the Christian Democrats.
After protracted talks between the CDU/CSU top teams, a three-point compromise was announced late in the evening: asylum seekers who are the responsibility of other EU members are generally to be rejected at the border. To this end it is planned to install "transit zones" on the Austrian border, similarly to airports where people are considered to not yet have entered the country legally - an idea that was discussed in 2015 already, but rejected by the Social Democrats then (though it would then have applied to all arrivals, not just the relatively few Dublin cases of today). Returns will however be only conducted based upon agreements with the respective members; in cases where the responsible country refuses such an agreement, applicants will be sent back to Austria - but again only by mutual agreement ...
In seperate press statements, Seehofer subsequently declared that he had prevailed in all points, which allowed him to stay on as interior minister; Merkel stated that the solution satisfied the requirement to not act unilaterally, but only in cooperation with other EU members. The Social Democrats seemed honestly relieved that a compromise was reached, but said they would have to look at the details; that will probably go especially for the transit zone bit. Practical questions of implementation remain to be resolved, too. How CDU/CSU are going to carry on is a separate question altogether; a lot of bad blood has been created between them, and the Merkel-Seehofer relationship certainly looks beyond repair. Both have been politically damaged, and Seehofer's back-and-forth in particular has further wrecked his reputation as Drehhofer (Turnhofer) for his frequent tactical flipflopping. Then again, as some party insider noted, "they're both professionals", and going to deal with it somehow.
Banshee, don't forget- Angela's birthday is July 17th. You know how she gets when you forget it.
|bigger government |
= smaller citizen
Here's what I don't understand. The reproduction demographics never lie. The influx of non-Germanic people, who share none of the Germanic people's values, are going to out-breed you guys indefinitely. Why are the German people so unwilling to see or publish this kind of data?
It's already a foregone conclusion that Italy can't sustain it's population. They're not breeding.
Are the Germans? I'm willing to bet the German birth rate is nearly as low as Italy's.
|Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie|
Doesn't the US have the same problem?
Acta Non Verba
NRA Life Member (Patron)
Family, Guns, Country
"My guns are always loaded."
What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure.
|bigger government |
= smaller citizen
I'm pretty sure we do.
And confirmation that many in Europe have an entirely ignorant view of what Trump stands for.
You can post 20 paragraphs about the nuances of the German parliament, and yet seem to be content suggesting that Trump's travel ban is a muslim ban. I bet that the North Koreans affected would be suprised to find out Germany considers them muslim, Perhaps there is an immigration option now open to them?
Calgary Shooting Centre
Yeah, I've given up trying to figure out what the guy is saying. Apparently, getting to the fucking point and stating it CLEARLY and SUCCINTLY is impossible for this guy.
I've never seen so much writing that said nothing useful.
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner. - H. L. Mencken
Again, this is February 2017, just after Trump's inauguration. At this point, Executive Order 13769 was in effect, which listed Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen - but not North Korea or Venezuela, which were added in the second iteration from September. So that's what people opined on.
This is Germany - there are statistics on everything. Latest birth numbers of the Federal Statistical Office are from 2016. 607,500 babies were born to German mothers, which translates to a lifetime fertility rate of 1.46 per woman. This continues an upward trend from a low of 1.24 in 1994 (mostly economy-related - birth rates in East Germany crashed after reunification, and women who put off having babies for career reasons are now stopping to catch up), but is still way below reproduction level of 2.1. While fertility rates have been dropping globally in the last decades (only Central Africa and the countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordania, Yemen, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea still average more than three babies per woman), it remains among the lowest worldwide. As a result, German society is aging - average age for men is 43.8 years, for women 46.6.
If you combine birth numbers for the top five foreign communities in Germany with the detailed population count from the Foreigner Central Registry for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, you get the following:
Turks: They remain the largest expat group in Germany with 1.49 million (1.8 percent of an overall population of 82.5 million) and 21,800 live births in 2016. However, while still higher than the native German birth rate, that is still below reproduction level, and the community has been slowly shrinking, also because of a slightly negative migration balance and naturalizations; in 2014 they numbered 1.53 million (and had 23,200 babies), in 2017 just 1.48 million. They are representative of the long-established original "guest worker" immigrant nationalities from Southern Europe who came here in the 50s and 60s to make up for the lack of manpower in an economically resurgent post-war Germany. Demographically, they are pretty much indistinguishable from the native Germans - average age for men is 44.5, for women 45.1.
Poles: The second-largest group with 780,000 (0.95 percent of overall population) and 11,800 live births in 2016, and still growing; in 2014 there were 670,000, in 2017 870,000. They represent the Eastern European immigrants who came here mostly after their countries joined the EU in 2004, making use of the new freedom of movement from 2007. They tend to be a lot younger than longer-established immigrants, in their 30s on average, and therefore have higher fertility rates.
Syrians: Now the third-largest group, which is of course a development of the 2015/16 crisis. In 2014 there were just 120,000 (for comparison purposes: there were 110,000 US residents that year, not counting another ca. 100,000 military personnel and dependents who are covered by the NATO Status of Forces Agreement and don't show up in the Foreigner Central Registry), but 700,000 in 2017. As very recent arrivals, they are also even younger, in their early 20s on average, and had the highest birth rate in 2016: 18,500 babies in a community of 640,000 (0.78 percent of overall population).
Italians: The third-largest group until overtaken by the Syrians, but still growing; there were 570,000 in 2014, and 640,000 in 2017. For their demographics, basically see the Turks, since they are from the same immigration period. Their fertility rate is about halfway between the German and Turkish, 6,400 live births from a community of 610,000 in 2016 (0.74 percent of overall population). The difference with the Turks is that as EU citizens they can freely move to Germany and back, which explains their growth despite low fertility.
Romanians: See Poles. They are pretty much the fastest-growing European expat group, with 360,000 in 2014 and 620,000 in 2017. In 2016, they had 10,500 live births in a community of 530,000 (0.64 percent of overall population).
Now the current birth rate of the Syrians, and to a somewhat lesser degree of smaller groups like Afghans and Iraqis, look spectacular; but if numbers for recently arrived immigrant communities would be an indicator, the Turks would have outbred the Germans decades ago rather than shrinking today. People have been freaking for 20 years that Europe will be majority Muslim in 30, based upon anecdotes of immigrant families with a half dozen-plus kids (as one of seven quite German brothers, I don't think that particularly remarkable myself). In truth even a snapshot of actual fertility rates is no good base for predictions since it doesn't account for future developments - immigration will be curtailed, immigrants will react to local social and economic conditions, women will get more education, birth rates will drop, communities will age, reducing fertility, etc.; again, see the Turks.
There is a Pew study from last year projecting future Muslim population in Europe. Their extreme scenario was immigration continuing as it was during the 2015/16 crisis, in which case they predicted a 14 percent share in 2050, 19.7 for Germany. That's already outdated of course, and their medium scenario of a return to normal immigration was 11.2 percent for Europe, 10.8 for Germany. Personally I think it's probably going to be slightly above that, maybe 12 percent, about double of what Germany has today. For comparison purposes: Israel has 18.
For those interested in more details, the Federal Statistics Office also has an English site with data on immigration and foreign population. The cliff notes version is that Germany today has 12.7 percent non-German residents, of which 5.6 are EU citizens, 3.4 from non-EU Europe (this counts in Russia and Turkey, though the bigger parts of their respective territories are in Asia), 2.6 from Asia, 0.6 from Africa, 0.3 from the Americas and 0.02 from Australia/Oceania. In the below chart, the US community (including folks under the NATO SOFA) would be three places down at a total of ca. 220,000, after Iraqis and Serbs, but before Kosovarians and Hungarians.
And just to wrap up the original topic - the government had to defend the reform plans in Wednesday's general debate on the 2019 national budget. Unsurprisingly, both Merkel and Seehofer acted like there had never been any disagreement between them. The Social Democrats were trying hard to look like they wouldn't simply sign off on an agreement negotiated between their dear CDU/CSU coalition partners, but their main complaint was that the envisioned transit centers shouldn't be called that, since they rejected them in 2015/16. It was clear though that they would eventually consent with the excuse that back then it would have been unmanageable with thousands of refugees coming in per month, while at the three controlled autobahn crossings with Austria just 150 currently get held up by Federal Police every month today, of which 60 percent are already being pushed back into Austria directly right now.
That makes the logistics for centers of whatever name easy, and in fact it has been suggested that existing Federal Police facilities might suffice. Legally, the constitution mandates that police can't detain anybody longer than to the end of the next day without a court order; while the limit for airport transit zones is 19 days, and EU rules applying to the latter apparently permit up to four weeks, these are rather specific regulations, so cases at the new centers might have to be dealt with inside 48 hours or else transferred to the normal system. Of course proponents have always argued that the method wouldn't amount to detention since people there can always leave - just back to Austria where they came from.
Sure enough the installations will now be called "transfer centers" instead, and the Social Democrats are finally getting an immigration law, to go through cabinet before year's end. Which in my opinion is the best thing to come out of this muddle, since unified legislation on what kind of people Germany wants to immigrate has been held up for two decades by ideological reservations on both the left and right - the former pusued a "give me your huddled masses" stance and didn't want immigration to be put in the service of lowly economic needs, while the latter insisted that Germany wasn't a country of immigration in the face of millions of immigrants.
Otherwise the whole affair will probably be quite inconsequential. Austria is naturally not playing in taking back people they have no obligation for under the Dublin rules, so Minister Seehofer announced on a visit there yesterday that Germany, Austria and Italy will hold a meeting on "closing" the Mediterranean refugee route instead, carefully dumping responsibility for implementation back on Merkel by saying that agreements would be so complex they would have to be signed off by the respective heads of government. But a current poll indicates the CSU gained about one and a half points in the Bavarian state campaign compared to last month, pushing the AfD back in third place behind the SPD. I guess that was worth it for them to put the federal government on the brink of failure.
While immigration may now be front and center in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, it would appear that getting material critical of current policies published may be problematic.
Random House axes Islam book by disputed German author
Berlin (AFP) - Publishing giant Random House has declined to release a new book by controversial German politician-turned-author Thilo Sarrazin over fears it could whip up anti-Muslim hatred, Bild daily reported Friday.
The dispute, which will be heard before a court in Munich on Monday, revolves around Sarrazin's new book "Hostile Takeover -- How Islam Hampers Progress and Threatens Society".
In 2010 Sarrazin, a former central banker and Berlin state finance minister, published the incendiary book "Germany Does Away With Itself", arguing that undereducated Muslim migrants were making the country "more stupid".
The volume became a runaway bestseller and is now seen as having helped pave the way for the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany party which entered parliament last year with nearly 100 deputies.
The new book was to have hit shelves in late August and is billed as a critical close reading of the Koran.
Sarrazin, 73, told Bild that he had signed a contract with Random House in November 2016 on the basis of a 10-page expose and delivered the manuscript in February this year.
He did not discuss the size of his advance.
"After a lot of back and forth about the publishing date, the publisher said at the end of May that it would not put the book out at all," he was quoted as saying.
Random House, which is owned by German media behemoth Bertelsmann, confirmed the dispute would be heard in court Monday but declined to comment on the specifics.
However Bild cited sources at the publisher as saying that the new book could "seize on and amplify anti-Islam sentiments".
In a statement, Random House called the new Sarrazin book "unannounced" and said it had "neither the intention of stopping it nor blocking its publication".
"The author is free to publish his book at any time with another house," it said.
Banshee, in less than 200 words can you comment on this?
Migrant kills German girlfriend and decapitates baby. German politicians and police suppress news by force.
If German laws prohibit discussion in this, please do not endanger yourself.
My brief reading on this is the Gestapo has never left Germany, but merely changed it’s focus.
It’s pretty simple. Human dignity is inviolable. This is one the first article of the German constitution and protects the privacy of a person beyond death. This is the reason there is no sensationalist journalism in Germany the way you know it in the US. If the child was beheaded was a question AfD based on a rumor AfD wanted to have answered, knowing as well there will be no answer based on the legal article mentioned above. Instead it was turned into a matter of censorship from an conservative American focus.
What you are reading here is a manipulation. When you go through the article you will not find any information the beheading took happen, only a development of a speculation. You are looking at is an opinion based on an American optic about an issue that happened in an entirely different legal system . Having a muslim involved is in fact helpful for that cause due to the actual immigration politics. In the same time a case about child rape which was treated with the same cover of privacy but without any interest from the nazionalist AfD. Probably because the couple in charge fit the demagogic patter of its voters.
Asking the opinion or a political party about information behaviour of a court is nonsense anyway. The legal system is above politcs. It's not like in Poland or Hungary where a political party can have influence the court.
A discussion about such issues in not supressed in Germany. The problem is that an oppinion is treaed differently. You cannot argue with worlds like "I heard, based on information I got etc". If you want to state an opinion you an do that, but you better dont do it on a rumor. This difference is the reason why US elections are much more fun to observe and also, why Banshee needs more words to explain a situaion. Over here truthiness is compared with lying.
I'd be surprised if the guy could order a sandwich for lunch in less than 200 words.
Then, there's no difference between here and Europe, because in our present condition, the situation is the same.
Banshee doesn't need 900 word tomes to accurately describe conditions as he sees them. All of that chicken scratch serves to obscure and avoid the truth. He is incapable of giving a straight answer and would avoid doing so even if he could, lest the truth (which he apparently doesn't realize that we can see for ourselves, despite his best efforts) might slip out.
I don't need to be standing on European soil to comprehend that Germany has destroyed itself once again. They seem to make a habit of such, every few decades, and do a thorough job of it. It's that vaunted German efficiency, I suppose- if you're going to ruin the place where you live, do it as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.
A blind man can see it.
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner. - H. L. Mencken
What he is publishing is publicly available and what he explains is a summary of several news stations form Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The difference between US news an European news can be seen in Banshees article. We are much more fed with information we can build an opinion on. It’s not like in the US where you get an opinion fed by a news station. Neither has politics a football team mentality like it seems to have in the US. Here it’s perfectly acceptable to accept proposition of the opposite party. When you read Banshees article he is stating his opinion which pretty conservative. IMO.
Germany is not ruin itsself. They lost two world wars, lost half of it's land, bought back and developed a marod conuntry and still has the stronest economy in Europe. This one million refugees is a piece of cake for these guys. this maybee could thratening for some.
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