The Cologne Carnival, that takes place every year in Cologne, Germany, is an orgy of political satire as floats making fun of world leaders take to the streets. This year US President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi among various others were the targets.
US President Barack Obama has found his way onto a number of floats that will parade through the streets of Cologne on Rose Monday. Here, Obama is seen with the Nobel Peace Prize under his arm and his briefcase alludes to his efforts at arms reduction. And what is Lady Liberty doing? Apparently setting his ass on fire. Here is another view.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi love for younger women is depicted in this float.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes an appearance on a couple of floats, albeit in a slightly more dour appearance than last year, when she was shown in a bikini. Here, she is carrying a briefcase labeled "record debts" in a reference to the country's burgeoning deficit.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad smuggles nuclear arms while Obama looks on.
Switzerland recently voted to ban minarets. Here, a muezzin is being blown out of a typically Swiss Alpine horn.
Obama in bed with Chinese President Hu Jintao
Angela Merkel, as the queen of Europe. Her rolling pin reads "common values."
Occasionally, Rose Monday floats are used to protest political developments closer to home. This float, which includes a depiction of the famous German artist Gerhard Richter, objects to city plans to tear down the Cologne theater Schauspielhaus and replace it with a €380 million new construction. Richter is among dozens of artists who are protesting the plans.