JG - Jamaica warns German media against nickname
Jamaica warns German media against nickname
published: Thursday September 22, 2005
BERLIN, Germany (AP):
THE JAMAICAN Embassy cautioned German news media yesterday about humorous references to the Caribbean nation, with the country's name being widely used as shorthand for a possible new coalition government.
A linkup between Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, the pro-business Free Democrats, and the environmental Greens has been dubbed "the Jamaica coalition" because the parties' colours - black, yellow and green - match those of the Jamaican flag.
Caricatures of Merkel and the other party leaders in dreadlocks have been cropping up in newspapers and on television, and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer made an offhand remark about reggae music and marijuana joints in expressing his opposition to the idea.
The Jamaican Embassy issued a statement cautioning news media about "trivialising" good relations between the two countries.
"The Jamaican Embassy and its consular representatives in Germany have been flooded with a range of questions from the media about the so-called Jamaica coalition - a term which is now being widely used in post election discussions by the German and foreign media," the statement said.
"The Embassy hereby reiterates that it has not offered and will not offer any comment in respect of any aspect of the German elections or the process towards the formation of a government."
"The Embassy views the publicity which the now popular catch phrase has generated as a reminder of the excellent relationship which has existed between Jamaica and Germany over the past 43 years and which Jamaica expects to endure."
The statement said that "some of the more enthusiastic" members of the news media had made incorrect statements about topics such as Jamaican culture and the meaning of the colours in the flag. It didn't specify the errors, but directed journalists to Jamaican government websites and made the following offer:
"Media houses may wish to know that Jamaica organises media familiarisation tours to the island periodically and that the Embassy would be pleased to advise interested media houses accordingly."