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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:01 pm 
Avisaru
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mèþru wrote:
It's going to be another SPD-CDU coalition, isn't it.


Oh, right now, the polls look like there might be a majority for a CDU/CSU/FDP coalition.

Quote:
Raphael wrote:
marriage for all
I wonder what Patrick Stübing and his supporters think of that phrase.


I only know about Mr Stübing what I read on his Wikipedia page. As for his supporters, I dunno, perhaps they have their forums or Facebook groups or whatever where they can discuss current political events, but frankly, I don't really want to know.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:48 pm 
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mèþru wrote:
Also, repeating my earlier question:
I wrote:
Raphael wrote:
marriage for all
I wonder what Patrick Stübing and his supporters think of that phrase.

I wonder what the supporters of arranged marriages at the age of 9 think of that phrase.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Pole, the wrote:
I wonder what the supporters of arranged marriages at the age of 9 think of that phrase.
Beyond the fact that people are disgusted by both, I don't really see anything comparable between a relationship between consenting adults who have no pre-extisting power dynamic that could make the relationship abusive and pedophilia.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:02 pm 
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I'm a few days late in reporting this - in the state of Lower Saxony, one member of the state legislature switched from the Greens to the CDU (apparently after finding out that the Greens would not re-nominate her), and as a result, there'll be an early election in the state, apparently on October 15th.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:17 am 
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I should probably report here that Merkel and Martin Schulz (the SPD's candidate for Chancellor) had a TV debate yesterday. I didn't watch it, though, because I was too tired - my day-and-night cycle is a bit out of whack at the moment, so I get very tired early in the evening. So I don't really have anything to report.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:24 pm 
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I watched only about 10 minutes and then got bored; I wasn't in the mood for politics yesterday.
Media are mostly reporting that the polls show that Merkel won with a huge lead.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:19 am 
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First extrapolation for the election result is,

CDU/CSU 32.7 percent, SPD 20.2 percent, AfD 13.4 percent, FDP 10.5 percent, Greens 9.4 percent, Left 8.9 percent.


Theoretically, the grand coalition could be continued, but the SPD politicians on TV all seem to say that they want to be the opposition instead of staying in government. If they stick to that, the only remaining half way plausible coalition would be CDU/CSU/FDP/Greens - IF it comes to that, I can't really see it working out for long. Meanwhile, the grading-on-a-scale used for small parties in proportional elections means that the AfD gets to be extremely happy about the fact that only 86.6 percent of voters voted for other parties than them.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:30 am 
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One interesting thing is that before the elections all the pundits were saying that a low turnout would help the AfD. The actual turnout was higher than in 2013, which makes the AfD result even more remarkable. They even became the party with the most votes in the state of Saxony... the only consolation is that there already are signs of a looming party split on the morning of the election...
(EDIT: for those not following closely, party executive committee member Frauke Petry announced that she won't join the AfD parloamentary group. She's known for trying to prepare the party for government some years down the road, and therefore to sideline the more extremist members and to go for the dog whistle instead of the bullhorn, but instead she was sidelined by the extremists. Which is quite ironic, because it was her who turned the party from a liberal-conservative anti-Euro party into the anti-immigrant anti-modern nationalist outfit that it is today.)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:29 am 
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One kinda weird feature of this election is that, in the 24 hours since the polling stations closed and the results started to come in, politicians from the parties that are likely to form the next governing coalition (the "winners") have generally come across as a lot unhappier than politicians from the other parties (the "losers").

If, as seems likely for now, the next government is a CDU/CSU/FDP/Greens "Jamaica coalition", the coalition agreement will probably contain enough compromises that every one of these parties will have to put up with at least some things that will really anger their own core supporters, which won't help them in future elections. For instance, there's a state election in Lower Saxony coming up on October the 15th, and some commentators have already predicted that the coalition parties will wait until after that with announcing any major breakthroughs in the coalition negotiations.

Meanwhile, the AfD gets to celebrate their third place (and better than that in some states, as hwhatting mentioned). And the SPD seems to cling to the (IMO probably unfounded) hope that leading the opposition for a while might slow down their general collapse that has been ongoing since the beginning of this century.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:23 am 
Smeric
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Raphael wrote:
And the SPD seems to cling to the (IMO probably unfounded) hope that leading the opposition for a while might slow down their general collapse that has been ongoing since the beginning of this century.

Well, I'd say that if the SPD stays in the opposition for a couple of years, its vote may recover somewhat - that, after all, happened in the 2013 elections, after their last stint in opposition. But I also doubt that they'll ever come above 30% again, at least if the Left Party doesn't collapse or merges into the SPD, both of which possibilities are extremely unlikely.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:19 am 
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Also, they want to prevent the AfD from being the official opposition. I'd say this alone completely justifies their leaving the government.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:08 pm 
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How does the AfD even exist? How can they have so much support in a country that outlaws schwastikas? Do people just not put zwei and zwei together?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:36 pm 
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More than half of AfD voters believe that the AfD is too extreme, but they believe there is no other choice because the other parties are too soft.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:23 pm 
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Well, the AfD are often accused of being Nazis, and some actually are, but most aren't. They are of course right-wing assholes, but not all right-wing assholes are Nazis, and most AfD members, while dreaming of a xenophobic authoritarian régime, expelling refugees and leaving the EU which is all bad enough, don't want to start a world war (though if they and their counterparts in other countries came to power, that would bring the threat of war back to western Europe), and don't want death camps back. And they of course don't use swastikas in their campaigning at all (well, many neo-Nazis don't do so either, preferring legal ersatz symbols like the black-white-red flag of imperial Germany, which shows just how little is achieved by banning symbols).

And most AfD voters aren't even that, they are just frustrated long-time unemployed and other people in difficult social situations who vote AfD in protest against an establishment which they think aloof of their concerns. Many of them voted Die Linke in earlier elections, i.e. the other end of the spectrum, for precisely the same reasons, and the demographic profiles of Die Linke and AfD voters were very similar this time, too. Some may have simply flipped a coin to decide which of those two parties to vote, and may decide differently in the next election.

It is at least a sign of relief that the AfD seems to be falling apart just after the election. Their chairwoman, Frauke Petry, has announced not to join the AfD parliamentary fraction, and now it seems that she is going to leave the party entirely. Not the first time that this would happen: her predecessor, Bernd Lucke, also left the party and founded his own - of which nobody ever heard anything soon after.

And as for the decline of the SPD: Many European social democratic parties are in a similar situation. I think this is to a large part due to the fact that the traditional voter base of such parties - blue-collar workers - is rapidly declining in post-industrial Europe, and the parties have difficulties winning over new voters from other milieux to compensate for these losses. It is also that many people are still pissed off about the labour market reforms they enacted during the "red-green" coalition. (Again, similar things have happened in other countries like the UK and France.)

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Last edited by WeepingElf on Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Didn't Bernd leave because he felt that it had been hijacked by extremists?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:32 pm 
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mèþru wrote:
Didn't Bernd leave because he felt that it had been hijacked by extremists?


Yes, he did, and Mrs. Petry thinks just the same.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:44 am 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Well, the AfD are often accused of being Nazis, and some actually are, but most aren't. They are of course right-wing assholes, but not all right-wing assholes are Nazis, and most AfD members, while dreaming of a xenophobic authoritarian régime, expelling refugees and leaving the EU which is all bad enough, don't want to start a world war (though if they and their counterparts in other countries came to power, that would bring the threat of war back to western Europe), and don't want death camps back.

I'm honestly baffled at how some people still insist that the current iteration of the AfD is just an anti-immigration conservative party. I can't think of a single one of their most prominent politicians that doesn't frequently use vocabulary and phrases straight out of Weimar Republic nazi propaganda. Of course they're not dumb enough to call for the return of nazi deathcamps and whatnot, but the incident where Alexander Gauland called for the "disposal" of a state minister (one of the highest-ranking political offices in the country) because she is a third-generation child of Turkish immigrants alone should raise an eyebrow. So what do you think they want to do with "biological Germans", as they like to call them, that have similar opinions as Mrs Özoğuz? Are they gonna be "disposed of in Anatolia" (end quote) too or do we ask Poland if we can use Auschwitz for that again?
We're talking about a party that calls for a complete turnaround in the commemoration of Nazi crimes and propagates the myth that Germany was the real victim of World War 2. Not to mention that part of their politicians on state-level are convicted well-known neonazis. It's not a coincidence that the NPD sank into unimportance after the rise of the AfD, and indeed they're doing extremely well in electoral districts where the AfD isn't competing.
They're different than the NPD that "at least" was an old-fashioned national socialist party in that the AfD has this weird mix of economic liberalism from the Lucke-era paired with racism and a lot of neonazism. Let's not forget this party associates with protest movements that call for "national socialism now", and it doesn't matter if they call it "nationaler Sozialismus" instead of "Nationalsozialismus".

WeepingElf wrote:
And most AfD voters aren't even that, they are just frustrated long-time unemployed and other people in difficult social situations who vote AfD in protest against an establishment which they think aloof of their concerns.

This is true and is also the answer to Hydroeccentricity's question. What one has to keep in mind here is, that the AfD is largely a fraud. They campaigned heavily for votes from this demographic, claiming that they want to fight social inequality and poverty among the elderly, meanwhile their election programme calls for the replacement of unemployment benefit with private unemployment insurances and don't even mention retirement pension once. Apart from the typical alt-right stuff, they stand for the exact opposite of what they write on their electoral posters.

WeepingElf wrote:
Many of them voted Die Linke in earlier elections, i.e. the other end of the spectrum, for precisely the same reasons, and the demographic profiles of Die Linke and AfD voters were very similar this time, too.

This is another statement I frequently see mentioned that makes me sick to my stomach. Yes, part of the AfD votes come from former Die Linke voters. Slightly less than half a million, to be exact. Then again, they got votes from former voters of all parties, and the number of votes the CDU lost to them is bigger than that of SPD and Die Linke combined.
The largest source of AfD votes, after people that already voted for them (~1.5 million), is people that before didn't vote at all (another 1,5 million), followed by CDU voters (slightly over 1 million), followed by voters of minor parties that never make the 5% cut.

That being said, I think on the long run these elections are a good thing for Germany and we should not forget that like 87% of voters didn't vote the AfD, the turnout has seen a significant boost and the number of eligible parties was at an all-time high. As for the SPD, they have been out of touch with their voters even before Merkel was elected chancellor for the first time and continued to alienate them after re-entering the government. Everything but leading the opposition would have been a political suicide for them, even among people that still voted for them, something like 4 out of 5 are against a continuation of the big coalition. I just don't understand why Martin Schulz hasn't been as outspoken about this before the election like he was just hours after it.
Parts of the AfD in the state parliaments have already shown they don't know shit about how this democracy works, and I'm positive that they'll gonna unmasked themselves during the next years. What is sure is that they can't continue like this if they want to be taken seriously as long-term democratic force in the country, which is what Jörg Meuthen said what they want to achieve now that they entered the parliament.

I feel like this post is all over the place. I also hope it didn't come across as agressive, I just returned from a week in rural central Germany and every tiny village there was plastered with AfD posters and I'm still pretty worked up.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:07 pm 
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Acid Badger wrote:
I feel like this post is all over the place. I also hope it didn't come across as agressive, I just returned from a week in rural central Germany and every tiny village there was plastered with AfD posters and I'm still pretty worked up.

I didn't find it aggressive, but then I'm not the best person to ask about these things. I found it passionate and extremely informative. The breakdown of AfD voters by prior voting behaviour was particularly eye-opening.

As a former resident of Baden-Württemberg, I'm relieved to see that the FDP posted gains there almost equal to those of the AfD and edged them out for fourth position overall--albeit barely.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:39 am 
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It was in no way my intention to express sympathy or approval of the AfD! That party is a bunch of intolerable far-right assholes who dream of installing a nationalist dictatorship, and a threat to peace and democracy. Yet, calling them "Nazis" glosses over whatever differences there may be between different AfD members (it tells a lot that there is much infighting, to the point that the usual way for a chairperson to end the office term is to leave the party), and many AfD voters don't want the Nazis back. Also, the word "Nazis" is inflationarily used for all sorts of right-wing extremists today, which I disapprove of because it tends to relativize the extraordinary atrocities the real Nazis committed.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:37 pm 
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Same as what WeepingElf said, especially that last sentence.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:57 pm 
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So you think one shouldn't call them nazis unless they re-enact nazi crimes? If not, would you care to elaborate, maybe relating to what I wrote? Or is the issue that I used nazi instead of neonazi?

WeepingElf wrote:
It was in no way my intention to express sympathy or approval of the AfD!

And I in no way wanted to imply anything in that direction!

And I absolutely agree with you when you say many AfD voters don't want the nazis back, and with that the term is thrown around inflationary these days. It makes me furious when I see people on the (American*) internet calling Trump supporters nazis and saying he is "literally Hitler".
*Just stressing the American part here because I don't really browse the German side of the internet and I haven't heard this from people over here, which doesn't mean it's not happening etc

Then again...
WeepingElf wrote:
(...) which I disapprove of because it tends to relativize the extraordinary atrocities the real Nazis committed.

I'm totally with you here again. On the other hand, this is literally what the AfD is doing. Apart from the quotes that made big headlines, like Höcke calling the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin a "monument of shame", as in shaming the German people, there are statements like that it's "a big problem that Hitler is being portryed as universally bad", that we (the Germans) "have a right to be proud of the achievements of German soldiers in the World War", that it should be ok to commemorate the Wehrmacht "separately from the crimes they commited", that, in the context of Germany's Christian-Jewish cultural tradition, "Judaism is antagonistic to Christianity and thus is not to be considered as a part of Germany". The German government is portrayed as "marionettes" and "judiciary whore" of the Allies/the American-Jewish anti-German world conspiracy and that the established parties' goal is to wipe out the ethnic German population. The more disgusting quotes I can't even translate because of the very specific vocabulary known to Germans from NSDAP propaganda. This is just the tip of the iceberg, all of these statements come from high-ranking AfD politicians.
Their state- and regional unions are probably even worse. Commenting the outcome of the election, the Braunschweig AfD issued a statement how "for the first time in 60 years, the German people succesfully stormed the Reichstag". They attack organisations that work against antisemitism and neonazism, calling them "political inquisition" and "parasites" and, as I pointed out in my post above, they openly sympathize with neonazi organisations. But you get the image I guess.

WeepingElf wrote:
it tells a lot that there is much infighting, to the point that the usual way for a chairperson to end the office term is to leave the party

This is also true for the NPD, they just never got this much attention in the media because they were never this relevant, and for a lot of extremist movements.Under Lucke, the AfD was a weird mix of economic liberals with otherwise a far-right political ideology, but already infiltrated by neonazis. Then during the refugee crisis, the far-right wing of the party pushed Lucke and his "moderate" fellows out, and Petry and her associates did their fair share to opening up the party to straight-up neonazis, and at least since Gauland took over, it's just a new, more powerful NPD with a neoliberal core in my opinion.
I'll repeat that I'm against pointing the finger on people and calling them nazis because they're more on the right, but I think it's also dangerous to underestimate the neonazi potential of the AfD, especially in times where it is becoming clear that the neonazi problem in Germany has been vastly underestimated (see the neonazi scandals in the German army, the busted terrorist group that also consisted of policemen that planned on murdering seleted politicians and other public figures, AND the ten-year neonazi terrorist series that went under the radar because how could this possibly happen in modern-day Germany).

And again I feel the need to end my post with something positibe, because, after all, Germany has been doing a good job in defending the freedomly-democratic basic order on which this state was founded. And as much as I like to rant about this country, I like how professional most politicians act here. Nobody wants a Jamaika-coalition, but the general consensus is that this is how the German people voted, so it's the parties' job to make it work.
And compared to other countries, our alt-right movement is comparably small. Just yesterday I accidentally walked past the weekly Bärgida-demonstration, consisting of maybe a dozen concerned patriotic Europeans, looking completely lost. I didn't even know these weekly Pegida-demonstrations were still a thing to be honest, and the actions of the Identitäre Bewegung are pretty much a list of almost hilarious fails aswell.

I guess my overall point is that I remember very well that, when it became clear for the first time that the AfD is to be taken seriously, a lot of people said they'll meet the same fate as every party on the right of the CDU/CSU and devour themselves, like every other such party did. Then they entered the first state parliaments and people shrugged it off as uneducated East Germans to be blamed. Now they're in the parliament and at least by now I think we should stop pretending like this is just another democratic anti-establishment party, especially because a big part of their voters are not ok with the whopping neonazi sentiments within the party.
In the end though, I'm more curious than anxious how the AfD will do in the parliament. We'll see.

/Edit: Corrected some typos and realized this post got way longer than intended. Oh well, that's what I get for discussing politics online.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Acid Badger wrote:
AND the ten-year neonazi terrorist series that went under the radar because how could this possibly happen in modern-day Germany

Okay, this one I missed (and it's not exactly googlable from that description).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:03 pm 
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linguoboy wrote:
Acid Badger wrote:
AND the ten-year neonazi terrorist series that went under the radar because how could this possibly happen in modern-day Germany

Okay, this one I missed (and it's not exactly googlable from that description).

I'm speaking about the National Socialist Underground.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:24 pm 
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There was a state legislative election in Lower Saxony yesterday. The result - SPD 36.9, CDU 33.6, Greens 8.7, FDP 7.5, AfD 6.2, Left below five percent - is confused enough that both the SPD and the CDU celebrated like winners on tv; mathematically the SPD came first, but the CDU will probably be more likely to form a governing coalition, because there's no majority for red-green and the FDP has ruled out a coalition involving the SPD.

Anyway, in the rest of the country, the importance of this is that party leaders are no longer worried about how anything they do might hurt them in Lower Saxony, and are now free to actually talk to each other and try to put together a governing coalition. Wheee. The first stage of this will be so-called "Sondierungsgespräche", which translates as "probing talks" and means that party representatives talk to each other to see which kinds of coalitions might be possible. (Spoiler: basically the only federal level coalition that currently seems possible is CDU/CSU/FDP/Greens, no matter how difficult it might be to get the Greens and the other three parties, especially the CSU, to work together.)

After that, there'll be the actual coalition talks, in which the parties will try to work out a coalition agreement (or, to be pedantic, a coalition treaty). After that, there'll be a new government.

As an aside, apparently the CSU will try to found a new federal department of "Heimat", which is a kind of difficult to translate German word - it means "home" in the sense of "a village, town, or region where you feel at home". Apparently the task of that department (if it is founded) will be to promote the rural lifestyle and local rural cultural traditions, and to try to keep small town residents in their small towns.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:49 pm 
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Raphael wrote:
keep small town residents in their small towns
WHAT?

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