Re: Merkel plays the Yank bashing card again!
Well let's examine this a bit:
"The woman has no clue on tech, as already demonstrated with her daft insistence on mothballing all the German nuke power stations, just as long as she can score some political points."
A PhD in physics with a thesis regarding nuclear decay (including some quantum mechanics).
"Even if she did manage to create some form of European Great Firewall, it's pointless unless she wants to rip out all the existing telecoms kit across Europe which the NSA and GCHQ have already (allegedly) p0wned."
Germany plans to upgrade its networks, see e.g. here: http://www.telekom.de/netz-der-zukunft and here: http://www.initiatived21.de/portfolio/deutsche-breitbandinitiative/
The networks are not deemed efficient enough for new types of services.
"And what about US companies in Europe that open VPN tunnels back to the US and therefore provide plenty of access pipes for the NSA to stroll in through?"
The idea was not to have a completely separated network. The idea was to have the traffic and the data under European jurisdiction so as to require the service providers to secure them properly against "strolling in".
"Oh, and for all those bleating on about excluding the UK from the EWW (AKA, das Internet fur die Volk) I think you'll find that might run into a few EU hurdles. And as for excluding Brits from working on it, apart from the breach of EU employment law, it would hardly be necessary given the massive levels of corruption endemic in Europe."
Where is this "bleating" going on? At least not in the podcast referred to. Or are you referring to the UK referendum? The general consensus on this in the German press has been that it is preferred that the UK stays ...
"Are there more elections due in Germany?"
No, just the elections for the European parliament. And the German public has been rather less sensitive to the issue. The pirate party tried to bring it up in the general election and did not get much traction because most assumed that data retention laws were in place anyway (the constitutional court revoked these).