As Mitch noted here, German Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin has made some highly offensive remarks in an op-ed in the Frankfurter Rundschau. Even so he wasn’t speaking for Germany, Chancellor Schröder did in his condolonces sent to President Bush on the same day:
August 30, 2005
Hurricane Katrina: German Chancellor Schröder Expresses Sympathy to US President Bush
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder sent the following telegram to US President George W. Bush, in which he expresses sympathy for the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina:
George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The news of Hurricane Katrina, which is currently ravaging the Gulf Coast, left me deeply shocked.
Many Germans know and love the City of New Orleans and feel deeply the great worries the people there and in the region have regarding their safety and future. The hurricane has already claimed numerous lives and caused immense damage.
Let me assure you that my fellow Germans and I sincerely share in the suffering and grief of all those affected.
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
Besides, if Trittin had really wanted to speak for the German government, he would have done so in an official bulletin, instead of an opinion piece in the press. While I would have liked Schröder to fire him on the spot, that’s unfortunately too much to expect, for the government would have lost the impending elections by default in that case. Either way, it seems as if they’ll lose, if the polls are anything to go by.