A Tiny Cell With An Omnipresent Guard, Visitors Just Twice A Day: TAFTA/TTIP's German Transparency Room

from the and-mind-you-behave,-children,-or-you-will-be-punished dept

One of the most problematic aspects of the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations is their lack of transparency. Although the European Commission, to its credit, has made available many of its initial offers and background papers, the key consolidated documents that show what's really happening in the negotiations -- and what deals are being cut -- are reserved for the inner circle. Even national politicians within the EU have been denied access to these, and that has really rankled, particularly in Germany. In an effort to defuse the anger there over this manifestly anti-democratic approach, a special reading room has finally been set up in the German Ministry of Economy. As this report from the non-profit investigative newsroom Correctiv.org makes clear, it's very special:

MPs have to schedule an appointment as the room opens only twice a day for two hours. Before entering the room, they have to leave their mobile phones and any electronic device in a secure locker.

They can read the documents only on a computer screen which is not connected to the Internet. They may take notes but are not allowed to copy any quotes from the consolidated texts.
And if any of the children -- uh, politicians -- are naughty, the US will be very, very cross, and may be forced to withdraw the privileges it has granted:
In the case of unauthorised disclosure of information, the US "may withdraw its consent to the placement of TTIP consolidated texts in any or all of the member states reading rooms”. This means if an MP leaks or quotes any sensitive information, the parliament may be denied access to the documents.
To keep an eye on things, a guard is present at all times in the room, which is very small -- just 35 square meters in all (about 370 square feet). The War on Want site has a picture:
It also provides a handy translation of the room's "features":
Starting in the top left corner and moving clockwise, the signs translate as follows: Lockers (for mobile phones etc) -- Reference library (reference works) -- Work stations (maximum 8 people) -- Digital documents (negotiating language: English) -- Supervisor (official of Ministry for Economic Affairs) -- Computer (not networked) -- Confidentiality agreement (must be signed before use).
These may be standard conditions for viewing negotiation documents in the US, but they are likely to be regarded as pretty insulting to German politicians -- not least because all the documents are in English, and it has taken two and half years to achieve even this miserable level of transparency.

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Filed Under: eu commission, germany, tafta, transparency, ttip


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 1:43am

    "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

    In the case of unauthorised disclosure of information, the US "may withdraw its consent to the placement of TTIP consolidated texts in any or all of the member states reading rooms”. This means if an MP leaks or quotes any sensitive information, the parliament may be denied access to the documents.

    Well, wouldn't want to anger the ones in charge of the agreement after all, now would we? Now be good little bootlickers for the USG and behave and maybe you'll get your self-respect and dignity back once you've voted in favor of it like you've been told, after which you can pretend that you actually have any say in matters affecting your country and government.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:16am

      Re: "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

      please place your balls on the surgical grade steel vise.
      This security measure is voice activated, please only use PC compliatn wording about the TPP.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 6:16pm

      Re: "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

      If I was a German MP offered this deal, I'd be so incensed my actions would be (sorry buddy) shoot (or disarm, if possible) the guard, connect to war-driver in a van outside, transmit all documents to hell and back, and die in a hail of bullets with a satisfied smile on my face as US forces still on German soil storm the door.

      This is the deal offered MPs?!? Chutzpah, methinks. They wrangled with them for two years to get this much, for MPs!?!

      You want that badly to hide what's in it, I think it likely stinks to high heaven. Run. Away.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Feb 2016 @ 5:48am

        Re: Re: "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

        Actually, I've got a much more peaceful (and therefore less dramatic) idea: let the MPs dare each other to go and check the documents out and test the boundaries of those rules. Then, when they come back seething to discuss what went on, they can all pledge to vote no when it comes up for ratification.

        I can't imagine that even Sweden's Christofer Fjellner (who is massively pro-TTIP on the grounds that it's got the word "Trade" in it) would be willing to tolerate being treated like that.

        Most of the MPs of European nations who have said they support TTIP evidently haven't tried to read the treaty text for themselves. I can see their bubbles bursting very quickly if they do.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 1:08pm

      Re: "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

      Well, if some foreign Government had a few hundred nuclear warheads in your country and various military bases with drones you too would be careful not to anger that nation. I mean accidents happen especially if those nukes are old and are currently undergoing emergency upgrades because they eroded over time which is happening at the moment and has been for a while in Germany with US nukes.

      So as a German I have to say...
      All Hail the USA! Please don't blow us up! pretty please!!! and please, PLEASE! let Merkel crawl deeper into your rectum. She has been doing that rhombus sign for years now which signals she wants to go in deeper and chooses the way of least resistance, like someone who jumps into the water forming an arrow with her/his hands. Again... please don't blow us up and keep providing the software(xkeyscore among others) our spy agencies use because without it we are doomed!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re: "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

        I forgot...
        And please deliver those launch commands for the drones we bought from you for billions because without those commands and without the OK from the operators of yours who are the only persons allowed to enter those commands we are defenseless in case you turned on us. So as a free nation which is in noway controlled by you I lick your shoes US!

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        • icon
          tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

          And please deliver those launch commands for the drones we bought from you for billions ...

          It's a little known fact that those launch codes were all set to "00000000" because they didn't want fat fingering to get in the way when Armageddon happened.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:01am

    All I can say is wow!

    I guess it is like Obamacare, you have to pass it if you want to read it. I cannot understand how any politician can go for that. Do we not have anyone with a spine in office anymore? Also, anything with this much secrecy around it is bad; for good does not have to be hidden.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 5:45am

      Re: All I can say is wow!

      Isn't that the definition of a stool sample?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:39am

      Re: All I can say is wow!

      Well... they didn't get rid of Pelosi when she said and now Ryan has said the same and made it to speaker.

      One thing seems to be true of both parties. Corrupt stooges are the only ones that get to be in positions of authority or power so they can be controlled.

      The majority of Americans are tools and continue to support this huge deception.

      You CAN fool most of the people most of the time. Broad are the gates that lead down the paths of ignorance or stupidity and many there will be that will go by it. Narrow is the path that leads to any sanity and few there will be that find it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 6:22pm

        Re: Re: All I can say is wow!

        The majority of Americans are tools and continue to support this huge deception.

        In their (USA) defense, if this actually flies it'll be German MPs who're supporting this travesty. They don't have to, and why they would, I can't imagine.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Andrew (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 8:52am

      Re: All I can say is wow!

      Oh jesus not this old hunk'a'horsehit again
      "I guess it is like Obamacare, you have to pass it if you want to read it"

      NOT what she said. What she said was that basically, we won't know what's in the final bill, until the bill is final. Should be pretty self evident.

      She delivered that speech on March 9 2010. Let me point out the timeline.
      * Passed the House October 8 2009
      * Passed the Senate WITH AMENDMENTS December 24 2009
      * House agrees to Senate amendments March 21 2010

      Can you spot the point where the speech was made?
      If yu've spotted that before the speech, there were two different versions of the bill (the House, and the Senate) and that she, and everyone else wouldn't know what was in the bill at the end, until the house has passed or rejected the amendments, then congratulations, you've just understood basic US Government Legislation.

      In other words, if the House hadn't agreed to the Senate amendments, the whole bill could have been rejected, gone to reconciliation, etc. No-one knows what would have ended up. And it was a lot closer on the March 21 vote (219-212) compared to the original version (416-0)

      So every time someone trots out that misquote, it tells me either one of two things
      1) They don't have a clue how the legislative process works
      2) They're deliberately trolling.

      Either way, it means that what you have to say is effectively worthless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      joyrider (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 10:05am

      Re: All I can say is wow!

      No we no longer have any politician with spine, save, the ones in Iceland...Otherwise, even Justin Trudeau is a big if.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 6:35pm

        Re: Re: All I can say is wow!

        No we no longer have any politician with spine, save, the ones in Iceland ...

        I dunno, Putin and the Iranian leaders are looking better to me every minute. Even the Chinese (though jerks) appear to have their !@#$ together.
        Otherwise, even Justin Trudeau is a big if.

        "Even"? He'll be co-opted any minute now, if he isn't already.

        I wake up every morning wondering whether the USA is rebelling again or WWIII has finally begun. It can't be much longer now.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:16am

    Very simple.

    The document isn't open to scrutiny because it contains provisions that most people would object to.
    It's far easier for them to pass it under the table and then selectively enforce after the fact.

    Any settlements, fines and/or prison sentences after that are just gravy.

    After all it's well known one cannot claim ignorance of the law. So the best way to make us all criminals is to hide the laws in the first place and have us guess what is legal and what isn't.

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    • identicon
      David, 4 Feb 2016 @ 9:59am

      Re:

      After all it's well known one cannot claim ignorance of the law. So the best way to make us all criminals is to hide the laws in the first place and have us guess what is legal and what isn't.

      That's not how TTIP works. Legality remains entirely within the discretion and jurisdiction of the member states. However, the corporations need not bother with that since they can just plan according to house rules, and wherever local jurisdiction differs, they'll get reimbursed for any difference that makes, as decided by a tribunal of their peers.

      This only mandates legality for poor countries. Rich countries can still afford consumer and labour protection laws if they are willing to pay the price. That's what being a privileged country means.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      Oh, please. Everyone in Germany is a terrorist! That is why everyone is, by law, monitored.

      https://youtu.be/pdIA0jeW-24

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:33am

    I'm surprised theres's windows tbh...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      klaus (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 5:14am

      Re:

      It depends on whether the office is overlooked. If it is, there should be those reflective tinted privacy screens over the glass.

      I'm guessing the documents have a minimum protective marking of "Restricted", in which case none of the above measures are out of place. Expect a signing-in book at the entrance, and a no-bags or briefcases policy. Possibly even a no-access rule for uncleared staff. Politicians should be used to this.

      What IS highly unusual is the overt threat from the US in the event of non-compliance.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Feb 2016 @ 5:52am

        Re: Re:

        I say call their bluff. If they want this treaty ratified they'll have to get it out in the open. Otherwise, don't let the door touch your bum as you're on your way out.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daydream, 4 Feb 2016 @ 4:41am

    Inquiry:

    If the text of the TPP does get leaked from one of these reading rooms, and the German parliament is denied access to the documents as a result, how would they be expected to sign and ratify the TPP if they're kept from knowing what's in it?

    "Please place your signature on this binding contract despite us refusing to tell you anything about its contents."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:19am

      Re: Inquiry:

      if that "project paperclip" really happened...
      then the German government already knows what is in the text anyway

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Inquiry:

      This isn't the text of the TPP; that's been released because it has to be in order to pass it. This is the negotiations and stuff.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 5:03am

    We only want your soul and your compliance fall in line or we'll see that you are swiftly and financially ruined.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 6:00am

    What it is the government says again?

    If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide.

    An agreement so secret cannot possibly be in the public interest. Or the national interest. Or even the interest of most businesses. (Unless you're one of the businesses or privileged who are more equal than others.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 10:32pm

      Re: What it is the government says again?

      that only applies to the serfs and slaves. The rulers have exempted themselves from any petty laws. This is the age of the Tyrant and dictator.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 6:49am

    ... pretty insulting to German politicians -- not least because all the documents are in English...

    So which country did the German copy get sent to? Will the copy available for U.S. politicians be in Swedish?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:30am

      Re:

      Given the bits quoted in the article about the US pulling their 'approval' for reading rooms such as the one discussed, I imagine the US provided the text, and they simply didn't care enough to translate it. Since the german politicians are just supposed to approve it there's no real point in them being able to read it after all, why read something when they're just going to be good little lackeys and sign it anyway?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:55am

        Re: Re:

        As an occupied country, German "politicians" do speak english and French as well

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Some people might understand English and French but we are talking laws! Did you ever read the whole law book? Or even the Grundgesetz? Most of that stuff doesn't mean what you think it means. Not because you aren't able to read it but because the interpretation is something completely different from what a "normal" person would understand.

          Like "immediate threat". To normal people means, omg that thing is going to happen in the next week or earlier.
          In law speak an "immediate threat" means something that might or might not happen in the foreseeable future. It could happen but there is no certainty that it will.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 3:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Some people might understand English and French but we are talking laws! Did you ever read the whole law book? Or even the Grundgesetz? Most of that stuff doesn't mean what you think it means. Not because you aren't able to read it but because the interpretation is something completely different from what a "normal" person would understand.

            Absolutely. I'm a programmer fluent in many programming languages, but I've never managed to understand a tax forms enough to do my own taxes. It looks like English, but it's not. Something reads like, "Oh, that's good for me!" invariably turns out "No, good for them." I get others to do my taxes for me. It keeps them happy and is far safer for me.

            Lawyering/legalese is shot through with Latin, a dead language. Yet people complain about the jargon we geeks use to communicate. Doctors (Latin), lawyers (Latin), and mathematicians (Greek) are far worse. They all need a reboot tossing that crap, and it's only about two thousand years overdue!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 3:04pm

        Re: Re:

        the US "may withdraw its consent to the placement of TTIP consolidated texts in any or all of the member states reading rooms”

        How come the US are in charge of this - isn't it a Partnership?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 7 Feb 2016 @ 9:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          'Oh the best kind of partnership, a totally equal, good for everyone that matters kind. You do what we tell you to, and we tell you what to do, it's a win-win!' -The USG

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Arthur, 4 Feb 2016 @ 8:22am

    "But the plans were on display…”
    “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
    “That’s the display department.”
    “With a flashlight.”
    “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
    “So had the stairs.”
    “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
    “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard."

    Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    footstool, 4 Feb 2016 @ 8:29am

    How does this work?

    Can someone explain to me how it is possible for a country to accept some kind of deal if none of the politicians and populace have ever read it?
    How does this work from a legal standpoint?
    Who signs these things?
    Is there some website which explains this shit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 8:45am

      Re: How does this work?

      no website
      only hard to find books like "paneuropa"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 10:13am

      Re: How does this work?

      Can someone explain to me how it is possible for a country to accept some kind of deal if none of the politicians and populace have ever read it?
      You bribe the first and screw the latter. Like with any political system, this makes the most efficient use of money.
      How does this work from a legal standpoint?
      Representatives making deals are the gold standard for politics.
      Who signs these things?
      Representatives.

      In this case, it's a democracy. You can try getting elected and getting your turn to sign things in exchange for bribes and screwing over your countrymen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:00pm

        Re: Re: How does this work?

        I envy the authors and creative types of a few centuries from now. What incredible raw material they're going to have to play with. Look what "Life of Brian" did with the Bible.
        You bribe the first and screw the latter. Like with any political system, this makes the most efficient use of money.

        Something like that ought to get you beyond the orbit of Pluto, and expecting change.
        In this case, it's a democracy. You can try getting elected and getting your turn to sign things in exchange for bribes and screwing over your countrymen.

        So, the old game of "Fuck your buddy", on steroids.

        I'm thinking life as a wildebeast on the African plains watching hungry lions circling the herd isn't all that better than what we've managed so far with this civilization thing of ours. That'll bring you back down to Earth.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 10:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: How does this work?

          Only a matter of time before this leads to violent revolution as the masses get tired of expecting things to get better as they get worse and worse and we end up with a new group of royalty and nobles.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Feb 2016 @ 5:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How does this work?

            I'm not in favour of a violent revolution as they tend to result in a lot of bloodshed with little in the way of benefits for people like me for a long, long time.

            People need to take responsibility for engaging with the political system. The only reason things are as they are is because we can't be bothered to get up and hold our representatives to account.

            If a violent revolutionary group decides to get up and do this for us, at what point will they decide that the revolution is over and they can lay down their arms?

            There's your problem.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 12:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How does this work?

              If a violent revolutionary group decides to get up and do this for us, at what point will they decide that the revolution is over and they can lay down their arms?

              There's your problem.

              Yet, it does happen. Myanmar/Burma, South Africa, Soviet Union/Russia, Rwanda, Pakistan, Chile, Argentina, even China's better now than when Mao was around, ...

              Yes, it is often very messy, but it's also legitimately part of the natural process of human civilization. Denying it is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

              Our civil institutions have been hijacked by self-entitled, rapacious thieves and jerks. Do you cower and slink away allowing it to go on, or do you demand justice understanding there will be a price to pay to get it?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 10:35pm

      Re: How does this work?

      Generally their top leaders have sold their citizens into slavery for a bribe and/or a promise of a position of power in the new world order. Or they are being threatened/bullied by someone with a more powerful military.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 11:55am

    Most awesome/stupid part of the TPP?

    Part of the agreement says we (the public) aren't allowed to know whats in in even AFTER it's signed and in effect.

    Basically the US can 'arrest' or 'deport' anyone from ANY TPP country on TPP grounds and doesn't have to inform anyone...they can just spirit the accused away without telling that countries legal system or the victims family.

    Essentially if this passes, Kim Dotcom will be in a crate bound for Guantanemo Bay within days.

    Basically the US government isn't BECOMING, its BECOME a totalitarian state and it's well overdue for a military coup to restore power to the public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 7:07pm

      Re:

      ... and it's well overdue for a military coup to restore power to the public.

      If you're really expecting the second part of that to actually happen, you're delusional. There's going to be a lot of casualties following the first part before the second part has even a chance of happening.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Feb 2016 @ 5:58am

        Re: Re:

        After which "We the people" will roll over and go back to sleep while the new overlords take over. Now go and read Animal Farm. Don't watch the CIA-funded movie, that's not how it ends.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 1:51pm

      Re:

      "Part of the agreement says we (the public) aren't allowed to know whats in in even AFTER it's signed and in effect."

      No offense intended and I don't doubt that it is in there somewhere but do you mind pointing out that part? Maybe in some leaked version or even official statement.

      I just want to add that quote to my link library for future use and wasn't able to find it on my own. I know... my google-fu sux =(

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 3:01pm

        Re: Re:

        No offense intended and I don't doubt that it is in there somewhere but do you mind pointing out that part? Maybe in some leaked version or even official statement.

        The last I heard, we weren't supposed to even see what's in it until four years after it was ratified and in effect. That may have changed since. I believe this was in one of the WikiLeaks versions. It should be easy to find it there.

        Michael Geist (Canadian legal scholar watching this stuff) may have mentioned it as well.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 1:26pm

    Funny fact!

    Before they created that room the only way to read the TTIP text for some(!) members of parliament was to go the US Embassy in Berlin which had a special room for that.

    On their Youtube channel the "Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie" (roughly Agency for Economy and Energy) stated that the reason why all those restrictions were in place at the room mention by the article was because in those papers were the minimum requirements at which the EU would approve the US offer. They compared it to a private/corporate contract which would include the minimum amount a corp would pay for a product and justified the secrecy by saying that the corp wouldn't want this info to be known to the other side.
    Funny part, as mentioned before, those same documents were at the US embassy. And I guess someone looked at those docs there so they are lying even in a Youtube chat. Note: that comment has been deleted.

    Another funny fact, a party just recently launched a complaint but while there were 3 people present to read the text only 1 translator was in the room. And while you might think "but they should read/speak English" which is of course a valid point the text is law speak after all and for that you often need a translator even if it is in your native language.

    Sorry for the rant but how this treaty is handled just gives me the flames.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 1:45pm

      Re: Funny fact!

      Oh my fault, the link to the statement wasn't deleted. I just missed it. Here it is in German (copy paste from Youtube):
      Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie 1 week ago
      +Johann Schiel Verhandlungen müssen deswegen einer gewissen Vertraulichkeit unterliegen, damit sie als Verhandlungen funktionieren. Wenn alle Positionen (auch die möglichen Kompromisse) von Beginn an offen bekannt sind braucht es keine Verhandlungen. So funktioniert das eben nicht. Siehe das Beispiel wenn jemand eine Sache verkaufen möchte und einen gewissen Preis dafür erzielen will. Diese Person würde niemals von Beginn an den kleinstmöglichen Preis, den er akzeptieren könnte, am Anfang der Verhandlungen bekannt geben,

      Translates to, more or less:
      Negotiations have to rely on a certain amount of confidentiality so that they work as negotiations. If all positions ( even the possible compromises )are available from the start there is no need for negotiations. That's not how it works. Take the example of someone wanting to sell a certain thing and getting a certain price for it. This person would never offer/announce the smallest/least acceptable price at start.

      Please excuse if some parts aren't real English. But my point still stands, would you as that person who wants to sell something store your documents that include your "smallest/least acceptable price"( I probably failed translating that part, hope it's understandable) at your opponents place of business? No? well the German gov just did that and then said it's a great win to move the docs after a few years.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:54pm

      Re: Funny fact!

      And while you might think "but they should read/speak English" which is of course a valid point the text is law speak after all and for that you often need a translator even if it is in your native language.

      Even English translators often won't help when lawyers are speaking Latin.

      Don't bother to apologize for your handling of English, by the way. Your understanding of English far exceeds my German. You're coming through here loud and clear. Thanks!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2016 @ 2:44pm

    TTIP in general

    What Germany does now is crazy in my opinion. Allowing some officials to make notes on a piece of paper in the 21rst century is not acceptable.

    And like the subject says even TTIP in general is laughable at best. The increase of economic growth in 10 years is 0.5% according to an official study so each year it is 0.05%! Given that the economy grows by at least 1% a year that change is marginal at best. Looking at the numbers: 1.00% or 1.05%. Please, don't believe me and question everything I write! Here is the reaction of the EU TTIP negotiator at the time to the facts:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnOTyOjV4I4

    To me those 0.05 doesn't look like much and I am sure signing over the ability to make laws from my Gov to some Companies which TTIP would do via investor protection would mean the end to Democracy. That's not an EU matter only think about that part which means I( read the "I" as if I a were sociopath and had $100 to spare ) can sue the US for billions of dollar because I own a stock in some company based in a 3rd world country and the US forbids that company from mining in protected zones. Sure you might think that this is crazy but according to leaked versions I could buy a few stocks and then sue the US. If you are interested and are able to understand German search for 31c3 TTIP, there might be a version with english subs. Great talk about how this will play out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 3:47pm

      Re: TTIP in general

      What Germany does now is crazy in my opinion. Allowing some officials to make notes on a piece of paper in the 21rst century is not acceptable.

      Don't forget, you can take notes, but no quotes from the document.

      Rassa frackin' jigga friggen, ... Kroshnit!?!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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