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News: Stiko boss Mertens would not have his children vaccinated, Sebastian Kurz, Kevin Kühnert


Compared to the chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission, the chancellor, the soon to be chancellor and the prime ministers communicate in an exemplary manner. Kevin Kühnert gets on, Sebastian Kurz gets out. That is the situation on Thursday evening


Corona clarifications, corona ambiguities

Perhaps the most important rule in crisis communication is: be clear, unambiguous and orderly.

As far as I can see, the Chancellor, soon-to-be Chancellor and the Prime Ministers tried to take them to heart when they presented the new Corona rules.

(From 2G to the ban on firecrackers - read here what should apply in the future.)

They also responded to what is probably the most uncomfortable question: Why is it compulsory to vaccinate, although almost everyone has categorically excluded it for so long (a review of the debate about compulsory vaccination can be found here in quotes from politicians).

Today, Olaf Scholz said that if the vaccination rate was higher, there would be no discussion of compulsory vaccination.

The too low proportion of vaccinated people is the reason why many, including him, have reoriented.

That doesn't sound like: We all made a mistake, apologized, it was a mistake, now we have to change course.

But at least.

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Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst / dpa

The approach taken by the federal and state governments looks like a prime example of communicative order and discipline, if you compare it with the appearances of the chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission, Thomas Mertens. Not because he is waiting for data, not because assessments can change, not because he defends himself against political and public pressure. I consider all of this to be exemplary for an independent scientist.

But Mertens acts irresponsibly when he keeps rushing forward and lets himself be carried away to make statements that unsettle at least part of the public. There was the performance at Lanz, where he gossiped the booster recommendation for everyone (he now seems to feel sorry for it himself - more on that here). Now he says in a FAZ podcast that he personally would not have his seven to eight year old children vaccinated. So if he had any at that age. After all, all the parents who are storming the practice would primarily want to avoid social disadvantages for their children. Mertens personally believes that he could "overcome such social restrictions."

Ten days before his committee's official statement on the age group of five to eleven year olds, Mertens makes an announcement - and insinuates that parents want their children to be vaccinated primarily for convenience. Sure, he gave a detailed report beforehand, the disease is often mild in children. In the case of previously ill children, he was also in favor of the vaccination. Too little is known about compatibility; Israel and the USA would vaccinate, but there is still no processed data. The children shouldn't have to pay for the fact that the vaccination rate among adults is too low. He points out that the official recommendation should be scientifically supported. All well and good. But no matter what the Stiko recommends in the end, it will stick:The Stiko boss would not have his children vaccinated. That may be a clear statement, but orderly communication is not.

  • All current Corona developments here: The news update


Conservatives saying goodbye

Sebastian Kurz announced his retirement from politics in Vienna.

He gives up the chairmanship of the ÖVP and his post as group leader in the National Council, the Austrian parliament.

All the obvious jokes about names have already been made after he resigned as Federal Chancellor (just google "short-cut").

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Sebastian Shortly after his statement: Retreat into private life



Kurz justified the complete withdrawal with a dwindling "enthusiasm" for politics in the past weeks and months. "Accusations and allegations have made my passion less." In his farewell declaration he appeared controlled, albeit more emotional than one is usually used to, as my colleague Oliver Das Gupta from Vienna reports. Kurz summarized his tenure in office, praised himself, but also his team, complained a little about critics and the feeling of being "hunted". Now the birth of his first child has "topped everything" that he has experienced so far. (More on this here.)

"Kurz was fascinating as a top politician of superlatives," says Oliver. "Youngest foreign minister, youngest chancellor - and now at 35 the youngest former chancellor." Kurz had the gift of deciphering people in direct contact: "Instinctively he knows how to take his counterpart and how to please." beyond the borders of his small country, as a smart young conservative he was well received by many German journalists for a long time. "The downside of Kurz is equally disturbing: friend-foe thinking and populism, political poverty of substance," says Oliver. "And finally, the greed for power and security of power, for which Kurz and those around him are suspected of having broken laws - even if they deny the allegations."

I wonder if it is a coincidence that Kurz chose the day of Angela Merkel's solemn farewell at the tattoo for his declaration.

  • Read the full story here: The Viennese child prodigy throws it away - forever?

  • And listen to the podcast here: This is how Sebastian Kurz resigned


career jump for Kevin Kühnert

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Social Democrat Kühnert


Fabian Sommer / dpa

So yes.

Former Juso boss Kevin Kühnert is to succeed Lars Klingbeil as general secretary of the SPD.

According to SPIEGEL information, a top round of comrades agreed on this personnel proposal, in which, in addition to the designated leadership duo Klingbeil and Saskia Esken, the deputy party leaders took part.

NRW state chief Thomas Kutschaty is to become party vice.

The proposal is to be decided on Friday by the presidium and the party executive committee.

The board members are invited for 3 p.m.

On the agenda: the preparation of the digital party congress on Saturday and the electoral party congress on December 11th.

  • Read more here: Kevin Kühnert is to become SPD general secretary

(Would you like to receive the »Situation in the evening« conveniently in your inbox by email? Here you can order the daily briefing as a newsletter.)

What else is important today

  • Baerbock makes the first personnel decisions for the external department:

    The Greens have announced their personnel sheet for filling the posts of parliamentary state secretary.

    Above all, there are two surprising personalities.

    The FDP has also filled its posts.

  • How the pandemic has changed migration:

    The corona crisis has restricted mobility around the world - with extreme effects for migrants and refugees, as a UN report shows.

    Germany is also feeling the consequences.

  • European banks have to pay a fine of 344 million euros:

    Secret agreements between foreign exchange dealers in chat rooms: The EU Commission is punishing several major European banks.

    One institute involved got away - the cartel had reported it to the authorities.

  • Withdrawal of money for Poland and Hungary is getting closer:

    The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has requested that Hungary and Poland's complaints against the rule of law mechanism in the EU budget be dismissed.

    This makes it more likely that funding will be withdrawn for both countries.

What we recommend today at SPIEGEL +

  • Is Lindner doing Lafontaine ?:

    The two super ministers of the Greens and FDP are faced with comparable and almost impossible tasks.

    They have to reconcile their parties with reality.

    Otherwise they are like Oskar Lafontaine once did.

  • "All cars are different - and ours is unfortunately the slowest":

    20 races without championship points: whoever sits in the weakest car usually follows behind.

    In SPIEGEL, Mick Schumacher explains why he is still satisfied with his first Formula 1 season - and believes in the world championship title.

  • "Everything about my job is strange":

    It's his year: Adam Driver can be seen in three main roles in the cinema this winter.

    Here he talks about the importance of luxury, the magic of film and toxic masculinity.

Which is less important today

Best sausage case scenario:

The Thuringian bratwurst could become a Unesco cultural heritage.

According to the State Chancellery, it is one of eight proposals from Thuringian regions that are applying for inclusion in the nationwide register of "Intangible Cultural Heritage".

This describes local customs and traditional craftsmanship, for example.

Typo of the day

, now corrected: "Seals and mock whales live in the Wadden Sea"

Cartoon of the day:

Twice 16 years

And tonight?

Read the full issue here

Could you, as much self-promotion is allowed, look back on the year 2021 before all the retrospectives are on television: The SPIEGEL CHRONICLE 2021 has been published, editorially supported by my colleague Barbara Supp and my colleague Alfred Weinzierl.

»Flood disaster in Germany, debacle in Afghanistan, storming of the US Capitol and Corona, Corona, Corona.

This year's dramas have to do with big questions: climate, health, democracy, «write the two of them.

"And after the federal elections, there will now be new staff on the political stage who will have to answer these questions."

A lovely evening.


Oliver Trenkamp

Here you can order the "Lage am Abend" by email.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-12-02

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