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The situation in the morning - details of the Nord Stream attack, debate about the debt brake, the head of the Chancellery before the Cum


The security authorities are looking for the perpetrators of the Nord Stream attack, after the "double boom" the question of debt arises, the head of the chancellery has to testify about Cum-Ex. This is the situation on Friday.

Now come the forensics

In a political thriller, it's usually like this: the perpetrator, usually an agent of a "foreign power," as the saying goes, makes the first mistake after a long error-free period and leaves a trace: DNA, electronic data, an object.

In the end it is usually clear who was bad and who was good.

In the case of the

sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines

, things are more complicated.

You may never get a definitive answer as to who is behind it.

Nevertheless, the investigations are now beginning: the Danish and Swedish authorities in particular will

forensically examine the

four explosions in the pipes off the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm

as soon as the hundreds of millions of cubic meters of gas have finally escaped: are there any traces of the explosive, how was it attached and when ?

The German Navy will send support, the Attorney General has set up an observation process.

The secret services are in the process of exchanging knowledge, weighing up plausibility and evaluating data.

The Federal Intelligence Service wants to evaluate all movements in the area retrospectively since January 1st.

One thing is almost certain now: there must have been a state actor behind the scenes.

The massive explosive devices alone indicate that each has developed the force of perhaps

500 kilograms of TNT

, as the German authorities estimate.

What is also certain is that the act points to a new vulnerability: the largely unprotected critical infrastructure, which is mainly found on the seabed.

At the bottom of the oceans run the most important nerve centers of world trade, ducts, pipes and cables for energy and communications.

A form of war of its own has therefore developed around them, the »Seabed Warfare«.

In the new SPIEGEL cover story, which can be read here later today, we describe

how hard the fighting is in this

underwater war.

  • Danish brigadier general: "It's about spreading fear" 

You can find more news and background information on the war in Ukraine here:

  • How Kiev's air force outwits the Russian strategists:

    The ancient MiG-29 fighter jet is making a comeback in Ukraine.

    The machine fires modern missiles with which it is actually incompatible.

    The tactic could be successful in other areas as well.

  • Is the West enriching itself with Ukrainian grain?:

    Almost two months after the launch of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Russian President Putin is accusing Western countries of securing the largest share.

    Export data show the truth behind the accusation.

  • EU wants to make it more difficult for Russians to enter the country:

    Vladimir Putin is mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Russians to flee.

    The EU now wants to make it more difficult for them to enter the country – also for fear of a new refugee crisis.

make it honest

There must have been that point of no return, that moment that made the path irreversible.

At some point, FDP leader and Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner decided that, come what may, the debt brake would not be suspended in 2023.



One wonders: Why?

Of course, a conscious and economical use of tax money is a core concern of the FDP.

Of course,

a further loosening of the debt brake arouses greed

: all of which suddenly could not be regarded as "extraordinary emergency situations", the prerequisites for releasing the brake are ...

Of course, with rising interest rates, borrowing becomes more expensive again and is therefore a burden for future generations.

And of course, the traffic light had clearly written in their coalition agreement: "From 2023 we will then limit the debt to the scope provided by the constitutional debt brake and comply with the requirements of the debt brake."

What do you want? Lindner could ask those who are calling for the debt brake to be suspended in the coming year, even from the SPD, the voices are increasing.

It's time to get honest.


Lindner has long been a big debt maker

: 60 billion euros climate fund, 100 billion euros special fund Bundeswehr.

And now the "double boom": 200 billion euros as a financial framework for the gas and electricity price brake, for which, by the way, the suspension of the debt brake must be applied for again this year.

Padded and not messed up

, just right in this crisis, the inflation rate has reached 10 percent.

So why generosity on the one hand and stubbornness on the other?

Lindner has maneuvered himself into something that he finds difficult to get out of.

A prisoner's dilemma, that's one explanation.

And the other: There is a fundamental question behind it.

The war will not be over anytime soon, energy prices will remain high, and so will the cost of living.

So how long does the state have to support with extra billions, when should it withdraw from the financial responsibility for the crisis?

When will the crisis be over and the new - maybe not so nice - normality reached?

How many guns, bazookas, defense and rescue parachutes can and do we still want to afford?

It's a debate that should start soon.

  • Olaf Scholz and the anti-crisis umbrella: it's still there 

BBQ time

If there is loyalty incarnate, then it's called Wolfgang Schmidt.

The head of the Chancellery is one of Olaf Scholz's closest confidants, an empathetic man who not only understands networking perfectly, but rarely leaves the office before midnight.

Today Schmidt has to testify before the parliamentary investigative committee of the Hamburg Parliament on the "Cum-Ex tax money affair".

As has been the case for years, the question is whether the current chancellor, as the mayor of Hamburg at the time, exerted influence in order to protect the Warburg private bank.

In 2016, the city had refrained from reclaiming 47 million euros from Warburg, which came from criminal cum-ex deals.

The following year, a further million sum was only reclaimed when instructions from Berlin were received.

Scholz had met Warburg owner Christian Olearius three times.

Scholz has repeatedly testified that he cannot remember the content of the conversations.

The committee now wants to know what Wolfgang Schmidt can remember.

And what he has to say to comrades like the Hamburg SPD politician Johannes Kahrs, who found more than 200,000 euros in cash in his safe deposit box.

The members of the committee probably don't have too much hope of really learning something new.

  • Excitement about Scholz's statements: the Federal Ministry of Finance is apparently slowing down clarification in the cum-ex affair 

Here is the current quiz of the day

The starting question today: who chairs the meetings of the European Council?

Winner of the day... Sahra Wagenknecht, who has once again found a way to keep in touch and to get parts of the left faction in a frenzy.

As my colleague Timo Lehmann writes, the left-wing politician is considering filling the vacant position of spokeswoman on energy policy, to which, surprisingly, resistance is being formed.

Wagenknecht had just recently given a speech in the Bundestag that even die-hard leftists found difficult to bear.

With regard to Russia, she accused the federal government of “starting an unprecedented economic war against our most important energy supplier” – and called for the economic sanctions to be stopped.

However, the former parliamentary group leader was often criticized for not taking on a post recently – and thus saving herself a lot of work.

Now Wagenknecht can say: I only do what you ask of me.

A real Wagenknecht move.

  • After a controversial speech: the left faction makes a decision against Wagenknecht

The latest news from the night

  • Putin declares Cherson and Zaporizhia independent territories:

    Kremlin chief Putin is keeping his word and preparing a decree for the annexation of Ukrainian areas.

    Meanwhile, the Ukrainian President addresses the people of Russia in a video – with a clear message.

  • RKI registers 96,367 new corona infections - incidence rises to 466.0:

    It comes with an announcement: the number of corona infections will increase again in autumn.

    But the RKI also records an increased level for colds, coughs and hoarseness.

  • Ferfried Prince of Hohenzollern is dead:

    He became known through his relationship with reality TV star Tatjana Gsell: Ferfried Prince of Hohenzollern was long considered the Hohenzollern black sheep.

    He has now died at the age of 79.

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

  • "You can kill me, but you can't stop the emancipation of women":

    Restricting women through clothing laws has a long tradition in Iran.

    But already in the middle of the 19th century there was resistance.

    Iranian-American author Nina Ansary explains the complex history of the veil.

  • How Amazon is secretly mutating into a car giant:

    Autonomous driving, its own fleet of delivery vans, the world's largest charging network, Amazon software in the cockpit and an entire operating system: Jeff Bezos is shaping the tech group into a car powerhouse - and hardly anyone gets it.

  • When fracking with atomic bombs was thought to be a good idea:

    extracting natural gas from the earth using nuclear explosive devices – that seems absurd today.

    But engineers in the US actually tried it.

    Even multiple times.

  • Stop crying!

    I had made up my mind...:

    When the offspring moves out into their own lives, parents cry more than the children.

    With all love: Papapathos and Mamamythos are not good companions, claims our author.

    And still sighs .

I wish you a nice final spurt into the weekend!

Yours, Martin Knobbe

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-09-30

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