Mugabe's millions

The ‘crackdown’ on Mugabe continues, laughably. Now he might not be able to print his zillions of dollars:

The Munich-based company that has supplied Zimbabwe with the special blank sheets to print its increasingly worthless dollar caved in to pressure on Tuesday from the German government for it to stop doing business with the African ruler.

Giesecke & Devrient — a secretive, family-owned Bavarian company that once made its money churning out worthless cash for the doomed Weimar Republic in the 1920s — has been airlifting tons of blank notes to the Zimbabwean capital Harare. The company, which has been doing business with the African nation since before Mr. Mugabe took power in 1980, is one of the few sources in the world for the specialized paper that is so important in an age when computers and laser printers have made forgery easy.

Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, phoned Karsten Ottenberg, Giesecke & Devrient’s chief executive, Tuesday to complain about the deliveries, according to a German diplomat. On Friday, Germany’s development minister denounced the company’s dealings with Zimbabwe as “terrible” and sent a fax demanding that they stop.

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