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The situation in the morning - when nobody listens to the flood alarm

2021-07-22T03:56:51.367Z

One village was warned of the flood but did not want to believe the news. Angela Merkel confronts journalists, but does not risk much. And: the pension is anything but secure. The situation on Thursday.



Today it is about the flood warning system, a tried and tested media ritual of the Chancellor and the anniversary of the Utøya massacre.

The warning no one wanted to hear

Today prominent politicians have not announced any trips to the

flood zone

, and perhaps something like

everyday life in the disaster

is slowly making its

way there. The helpers are still clearing up against mud and destruction, the attention in the rest of Germany is likely to slowly decrease, as is the shock effect of the pictures in which cars and piles of rubble pile up in broken streets. The situation is anything but relaxed as a management report by the Interior Ministry shows, reported on the our editorial yesterday: It is not only the talk of the ubiquitous

Corona danger

, but from

infection risks by dead bodies and animal carcasses

, of

»Epidemics and vermin infestation«

, the

shortage

of

medicines

and

insufficient capacities for waste incineration.

The

debate continues as to why this catastrophe could not be prevented on this scale

.

The flooding could of course not have been stopped overnight.

But if you want to understand why so many people were surprised by the flood, you have to read the report by our author Hubert Gude today, who runs the small village of

Mayschoss on the Ahr

has visited. People are used to flooding here, and warnings of water levels of up to six meters were also received here at an early stage. But many in the village simply could not imagine such numbers. "They're crazy!" Was the reaction of many residents, including the now completely desperate mayor. One in four people in town has lost their home. What use are warnings if people ignore them?

My colleague Florian Gathmann

spoke

to

Armin Schuster

, the

head of the disaster control authority BBK

, and his article sounds much more understanding than much that has been written about Schuster and his office in the past few days. The Bonn authority had sent 150 warning messages to the responsible authorities in the federal states, and via the BBK app »Nina« directly to around nine million Germans, reports Gathmann, including 16 warnings in the highest category. But after that, Schuster could "just watch for the time being", because then it was the countries' turn. “The country's top civil protection officer? Schuster would like to laugh out loud at such media attributions, if he didn't feel completely different at the moment. "

The same frustrating mechanism is evident in the flood disaster as in the pandemic: The people in the state institutions want to warn, help, organize, but get tangled up in responsibilities and competencies until, in the end, no one is really responsible, and no one is responsible, if it is literally a matter of life and death.

In the end there is a consensus that something urgently needs to be changed.

And then life goes on as before.

  • »Cell Broadcasting«: Why the "Warning SMS" is not one

The press conference that will take place for the last time

Today

Angela Merkel

will give

her

summer press conference

for the last time as Chancellor

. This is also a well-rehearsed ritual: Merkel sits on the podium at the federal press conference, whose members are allowed to ask questions for an hour. Colleagues from foreign media are also allowed to ask, and one has to say self-critically for our guild that in the past some of their questions were sharper and more critical than ours. The question of the Dutch journalist Rob Savelberg, who approached Merkel in 2009, why she wanted to appoint Wolfgang Schäuble as finance minister, who would have tried to cover up his acceptance of the 100,000 mark donation from the arms dealer Karlheinz Schreibers, is legendary.

Wouldn't Schäuble be a strange choice for the most important financial function in the German state? Merkel replied, visibly annoyed, that Schäuble had their trust. The Dutch colleague checked twice (in fluent German) and Merkel became increasingly irritated, but refused to answer again (you can see the whole scene here).

This year there

may be even fewer critical questions

, but all the more attempts to ask Merkel about her feelings about leaving office - a pointless undertaking, since the Chancellor likes to talk about feelings as much as Wolfgang Schäuble about Karlheinz Schreiber. The reluctance this year could also be due to the fact that the

flood disaster overshadowed everything

. When at least 170 people have died, countless economic livelihoods have been destroyed and billions in damage have been caused - is this the time to grill the Chancellor on the question of whether enough vaccine has been ordered in Brussels?

In this respect, the flood disaster will overshadow the entire election campaign. My impression is that many politicians, including the three candidates for chancellor, are extremely unsure whether and how they can still campaign at all. First, the pandemic complicated all plans in practical terms: How many people can Annalena Baerbock meet at once? Should Olaf Scholz take media people with him on his bus? Can Armin Laschet greet his supporters in a tent? Now there is the question of how to hit the right note in terms of content. Can a candidate for chancellor be cheerful and encourage? Can he or she justify his or her position on climate change with the flood, or would that be an inadmissible instrumentalization? The strategists in the party headquarters are really not to be envied.

  • Chancellor Merkel's last trip to the USA: always at your service

The anniversary to deal with

Today is the

anniversary of the Utøya massacre

, and although you may have already read a lot on the subject, including in our magazine or on our website, I think it is important to deal with the terrible terrorist attacks on that day.

Jens Stoltenberg

, then head of government of Norway, reports in an interview on our website how he experienced this terrible day. “I was at home to work on a speech to give in Utøya. I speak to the participants of the youth camp that is taking place there every year. Suddenly I heard a loud explosion. Shortly afterwards my bodyguards stormed into my office, claiming that there had been an attack on the government seat in Oslo. "

The explosion was the car bomb set off by the assassin Anders Breivik and which is quickly forgotten in view of the murdered children and adolescents, although it also killed eight people.

In a speech at the time, Stoltenberg announced that the Norwegian reaction to the attacks would be "more democracy, more humanity."

Our editorial team also spoke to Bjørn Ihler, a

survivor of the terrorist attack on the Utøya youth camp

.

Ihler suffers from this experience to this day and has difficulties trusting security guards - because Breivik pretended to be a police officer at the time.

Ihler tries to use the negative energy of the attack positively.

He wants to know: what drives extremists?

And how can a society arm itself against them?

  • Jens Stoltenberg on the terrorist attacks: "It was the worst day of my life"

The old-age provision that isn't

So far there has not been a specific issue that clearly dominates the election campaign.

There is one thing that is particularly urgent:

retirement

.

When it comes to the question of who will have how much money in old age, the debate will soon become very uncomfortable.

But so far, every party shies away from this insight in the election campaign.

In an analysis, my colleague Florian Diekmann dealt with the question of

what politics should do now to prevent a disaster in the future

.

Diekmann points out that in the coming legislative period the subject of the aging of society should really become noticeable for the first time. In the SPIEGEL economic monitor, German citizens already name pensions as the second most frequent when it comes to the question of where there is the most urgent need for action. And Diekmann has found concepts in the parties' election manifestos: "Some approaches could help pensions in the short term, others only in the long term - and they would have very different effects on the inequality between rich and poor." It is worth reading.

On the subject of intergenerational equity in pensions, I come seamlessly to the Federal Constitutional Court, dear reader. I owe you one answer from yesterday's situation:

Did the AfD now take part in the dinner with the constitutional judges?

No, announced the press office of the AfD parliamentary group.

No AfD representative would have attended the dinner that Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble had hosted for parliamentarians and representatives from Karlsruhe at the end of June.

So it seems that the group really has maintained the greatest possible neutrality here.

From my own experience with dinner hosted by Wolfgang Schäuble, I can say: you have probably missed a nice and interesting event.

However, this would probably not have increased your chances of a positive judgment about the behavior of the Federal Chancellor in Karlsruhe.

  • Election Campaign: The Truth About Pension - And Why The Parties Fear It

Winner of the day ...

… Is the French singer

Mireille Mathieu

who turns 75 today. Yawn, snore, says the critical readership, the good girl browsed the dpa's daily preview because she was missing someone, and she just took this worn-out French woman. Not even close! Mathieu is the winner for me because I read the text that Bastian Sick wrote for us on her birthday. Sick was our SPIEGEL colleague and “Onion Fish” columnist for more than ten years, before setting up his own business as an author and filling the stadiums with his bestsellers on intelligent German. There is much to suggest that Sick is the biggest Mireille Mathieu fan in Germany, and even Schlager haters will not be able to deny that he has formulated a wonderful declaration of love for his star.

The piece is also informative: Who knew that Mathieu was a working-class child?

The eldest of 14 siblings who were only saved from working in the paper mill by winning a singing competition.

She became world famous with her chansons and was the first European singer who was allowed to perform in China, as Sick writes: "She gave concerts in Moscow, Prague and in East Germany when it was still the GDR." And even today, at the age of 75 years old, she is still on stage in full halls (if Corona allows it).

The latest news from the night

  • Reactions to the deal for Nord Stream 2: Praise from Moscow - criticism from Ukraine.

    The dispute over Nord Stream 2 has been settled.

    Foreign Minister Maas is relieved.

    Poland and Ukraine warn of more instability in Europe.

    US diplomats also speak of a “bad deal”.

    The reactions

  • Republicans boycott committee on Capitol attack:

    The dispute over the committee of inquiry into the storm on the US Capitol has escalated.

    The Republicans withdraw all of their own nominees.

    Previously, two of their candidates had been sorted out - by Nancy Pelosi

  • Married couple accused of negligent homicide after "Gender Reveal Party":

    A couple in California wanted to announce the gender of their baby with a smoke bomb. However, it turned into a bush fire in which a rescuer died.

    Now the court proceedings follow

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

  • Flood disaster: "With today's knowledge we should have evacuated"

  • AfD lawsuit against Angela Merkel: "As Mr Braun said so flatly ..."

  • Dispute between nature and climate protection: How many wind turbines can the North Sea tolerate?

  • Ex-CDU General Secretary Tauber on politically explosive pictures: "Keep your eyes open when choosing photo partners"

I wish you a good start to the day.

Your Melanie Amann

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-07-22

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