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Germany

No Gracias, Germany

This year's Eurovision Song Contest was a first-degree flop for Germany, which is asking through its tear-stained cheeks why it had to suffer such public humiliation.

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Gracia: A round of "zero points"

Some might answer the question with a poor rendition of the song croaked out by the 22-year-old contestant in Kiev on Saturday night: They'd likely have found the most plausible reason for Germany only managing to scrape together a total of four poxy points.

But such an explanation is simply too facile for the investigative nose of Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper, which claims the result to be a blatant case of German bashing.

"Why does nobody like us anymore?" it asked in its Monday edition. "We have no friends."

There may be little genuine substance to the claim, but perhaps Germany and its Gracia have some grounds to feel the throb of a disjointed nose. In fact if, as the paper suggests, the depth of Euro friendship is indeed measured by the number of points awarded on contest night, then Germany has but two -- Monaco and Moldavia -- and not very good ones at that.

Eine leibhaftige Oma gibt den Takt an, während der Sänger der Gruppe Zdob si Zdub Roman Yagupov aus Moldawien bei der Hauptprobe für das Finale des Eurovision Song Contest am Freitag (20.05.2005) in

"Even the Granny from Moldavia did better than us," said the paper

Two points from each and a pathetic 24th-place defeat triggered a tirade of "is this all the thanks we get" comments from Germany's boulevard press.

"We pay for everyone, will soon even be paying for Rumania too, but even they give us 'zero points.' Welcome to Europe," the paper said.

And as the rant continued, it asked "what about Spain which gets our holiday money? Or Poland, whose workers earn their wages from us? Or Turkey, whose kebabs we consume? Or England, which we allow to win the battle for the sun-loungers around the holiday pool?"

It must be hard to be so generous, and even more so to maintain such levels of graciousness. And not even such a winner can take it all.

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