A reader writes:
Thanks for calling attention to Germany's delightful tradition of political parade floats. I live in Duesseldorf myself. The float about Merkel isn't about her own tax evasion; it's about other people's. Here's the explanation:
An anonymous source has come forward to offer the government of Germany a CD containing stolen bank records with the names of thousands of German citizens who have illegally sheltered money in foreign bank accounts to evade German taxes (Steuerflucht literally means "escape from taxes"). The anonymous source wants 2.5 million Euros for the CD, but promises that it will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the German treasury. Even the discussion about whether to buy the CD has already led dozens of tax evaders to turn themselves in and pay their penalties. There is a very intense discussion in Germany about whether it's OK to essentially reward data theft in order to catch tax evaders. Despite some misgivings, Merkel's coalition government has signaled that it probably will buy the CD.
The title of the float, Sündenfall, literally means "sin-trap", but refers to the Original Sin, i.e. Eve eating the apple from the Tree of Knowledge. This is why Merkel is depicted nude, and why a snake is offering her the CD. In any case, a clever float.
And, by the way, it's pretty tame as far as Merkel-mocking goes. This float is, I would think, self-explanatory (and NSFW).
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