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Angela Merkel’s corona crisis management is over

Good morning, dear reader,

when the mind is about to become as dull as the general situation, it is time for a breakout. I said that to myself yesterday, when the situation seemed particularly unfortunate again, the messed up Maundy Thursday quiet, Ms. Merkel’s excuse, you know, more on that in a moment. So yesterday when everyone chatted about the stupid Easter prospects, the even stupid politician decisions and the most stupidly felt lockdown weeks, I spontaneously got up from my desk, suppressed the curse on the stupid ceiling lamp, which is now also over, and stepped outside in front of the door. 150 meters down the street to the Turkish greengrocer, nice guy, I like his olives. Suddenly saw a little yellow sea at the edge of the road that hadn’t been there the day before yesterday: they stood close together Osterglocken, which are probably also called daffodils, botanically I’m not a lamp. I didn’t care about the name anyway, what was important was the yellow glow at the edge of the path, so graceful, so lovely, so encouraging after the long epidemic winter. I walked into the shop exhilarated, took the largest shopping basket and eagerly packed, with an empty stomach one buys more courageously, oh, and the delicious olives.

As I strolled back 150 meters When I passed the yellow sea again, there was an old couple standing next to them, I estimated them to be around eighty. The man bent down, picked an Easter bell and handed it to his wife: “For you, my darling.” She smiled. I smiled too. And still smiled when I was back at the desk under the broken ceiling lamp. A small break from everyday life, a small yellow flower, a ray of light in the heart: it can be so easy to escape the gloom of everyday corona.

The crocuses also bloom in Munich's Luitpoldpark.  (Source: dpa / Katrin Requadt)The crocuses also bloom in Munich’s Luitpoldpark. (Source: Katrin Requadt / dpa)

This little guy feasts on a meadow in Riedlingen in Baden-Württemberg.  (Source: dpa / Thomas Warnack)This little guy feasts on a meadow in Riedlingen in Baden-Württemberg. (Source: Thomas Warnack / dpa)

Great Britain, Moreton Morrell: Three newborn lambs run across a meadow.  (Source: dpa / Jacob King / PA Wire)Great Britain, Moreton Morrell: Three newborn lambs run across a meadow. (Source: Jacob King / PA Wire / dpa)


Political burnout

Trust is as precious as it is fragile. In politics, trust is irreplaceable. Only those who enjoy the trust of the citizens are elected; only those who can rely on their ministers remain head of government. The CDU has enjoyed the trust of so many people for almost 16 years that she has been able to win elections time after time and be the chancellor. But now trust is rapidly dwindling, the CDU and its sister party CSU are falling. The messed up Corona crisis management, the corruption affair around masks and dictator lobbyism, the lost state elections in the southwest, the unresolved candidate for chancellor, the missing program for the federal election and now also Angela Merkels Dwindling authority: If the Union continues like this, it will be at 20 percent in four weeks.

The night and fog campaign for Maundy Thursday break was a mistake: Angela Merkel apologized to the citizens yesterday with remarkable openness. That was a moment of disarming greatness, not everyone is capable of that, it deserves respect. But with the same ability to self-criticize, the Chancellor should now understand that the corona crisis management urgently needs to be organized differently – and that she and her Policy competence must provide the decisive impetus for this, federalism or not.

So far it works like this: Head of the Chancellery Helge Braun picks up the templates for the Prime Minister’s conferences, and Ms. Merkel serves them up in tiring marathon video summits to the country chiefs, who can then approve or reject them. One contributes this passage, the other deletes it, after all, the Merkel / Söder / Müller trio presents the decisions at night in front of the television cameras – but three days later they are often no longer worth the paper on which they are printed because every prime minister and mayor pulls his boot through anyway. So the rulers muddled through the biggest crisis in decades, so they lacked skills, foresight and the necessary calm. Even before Christmas, scientists had begged politicians to impose a tough but short lockdown in order to avert the danger of the British mutant. But Laschet, Bouffier, Schwesig, Günther, Haseloff and Co. prefer to rely on the principle Loosen up and hope maybe everything wouldn’t be so bad. Now it’s going to be exactly as bad as the epidemiologists prophesied, the number of infections is rising, the intensive care units are filling up – but some people in charge pretend that nobody could have suspected it. It’s pathetic. And it gets worse because the Chancellery is under the rule.

After a year of continuous operation on the virus front, the rulers in the federal and state levels are overworked, worn out and erratic. You have lost track, you are at the end of your tether. The cost of this political burnouts are high: poor organization in vaccination, testing and disbursement of state aid, confused communication, even more corona victims, even higher mountains of debt, frustrated citizens. Germany cannot and must not continue like this; crisis management needs a fresh start.

When will the federal government finally set up a corona task force? What is so difficult about it To ask managers of German companies for support in dealing with the world crisis? Lawyers from BASF and Bayer could advise EU officials on negotiations with vaccine companies. Bofrost could deliver frozen doses of vaccines to doctors’ offices. Delivery Hero’s cyclists could deliver corona tests free of charge by phone call. Programmers from SAP and Telekom should urgently revise the Corona warning app. And when do logisticians of the Bundeswehr help schools and daycare centers to offer safe lessons for all pupils, if necessary in gyms? There is so much to do, so much to improve.

And then the agonizing corona peaks: Why don’t they start in the morning instead of the afternoon so that they end before none of the participants can think clearly? When does the government get this Parliament stronger – for example, by the Chancellor explaining her plans BEFORE the summits with the state leaders in the Bundestag, not AFTER THEY? This creates space for debates, for the exchange of arguments and ideas. Hundreds of brains do more than 20. This week, the republic saw the failure of the German corona crisis strategy and a lot of trust was broken. It takes more than nice words to fix it quickly.


The vaccine dealer

Turning hope into suspicion has to be done first. The management of the British-Swedish group Astrazeneca has succeeded: After the nebulous vaccine negotiations with the EU and the massive delivery problems are now also 29 million Dutch-made cans surfaced in Italy. Were they really intended for Europe, as the company claims, or were they secretly intended for export to Europe? Great Britain intended? The evidence is explosive. Only one thing is certain: a lot of trust was destroyed here too.


Now the President speaks

Of course, the new US president has answered reporters’ questions on several occasions since he was sworn in. However, even after more than 60 days in office, he has not yet held a formal press conference, which is why he is accused of “invisibility”. Today wants to Joe Biden in Washington provide detailed information to journalists for the first time. The timing is tricky: the American vaccination program is going well, more than 100 million US citizens have already received at least one dose. But at the same time stuck 15,000 children and young people stuck in reception camps on the southern border of the United States. You entered Mexico in the past few weeks after the US government declared that unaccompanied minors would no longer be automatically deported. Mr Biden will probably hear some critical questions about this today.

Am In the evening of our time, the President joins the video summit of the EU heads of state and government. German foreign politicians then get sharp ears: The top American wants to give them a few tacts on how to deal with Russia in the future.


Celebration without shine

Charles and Camilla upon arrival in Athens.  Both are already vaccinated.  (Source: Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP / AP / dpa)Charles and Camilla upon arrival in Athens. Both are already vaccinated. (Source: Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP / AP / dpa)

Around 80 years after the German Wehrmacht attacked Greece and the mass murder of the Greek Jews the question of possible compensation payments is still unresolved. The Greens are now making a new proposal: The federal government should admit that Greece never waived repayment of a forced loan raised by the Nazis. When Gesture of goodwill money could be given to towns that suffered under the occupation at the time.

In Athens people like to hear the proposal, but today we will celebrate a proud anniversary: The struggle for freedom against the Ottoman rule began 200 years ago. The big celebration with state guests from all over Europe will not come to anything because of Corona, after all, Prince Charles and his wife and the Russian Prime Minister have arrived. After the military parade will be premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis Click into the EU video summit – and at the same time confronted with a topic that should sound familiar to him against the background of the anniversary of the revolution: It is about the difficult relationship between the EU and Turkey.


Ball rolls, Uli talks

When our national footballers play against Iceland tonight in Duisburg for the World Cup qualification, this not only marks the beginning of the end of the Jogi Löw era. There is also a premiere to marvel at: Uli Hoeneß, eloquent honorary president of FC Bayern Munich, debuts at RTL as a TV expert. Will definitely be lively.


Read what

The one with the Easter rest was a mistake: With this admission by the Chancellor, more has failed than the attempt to contain the Corona crisis. Angela Merkel’s political style is reaching its limits – with unforeseeable consequences for herself and the country, as our reporter Johannes Bebermeier writes after a historic day.


Shortness of breath, tiredness, muscle pain: The list of possible long-term consequences of Covid-19 is long. New studies show that apparently there are also problems with the Ears May be a permanent symptom. My colleague Melanie Weiner reports on the latest findings.


Israel has voted again – and again there is a political stalemate: The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” explains the complicated situation in Jerusalem to us.


What amuses me

Humor is when you laugh anyway!

  (Source: Mario Lars) (Source: Mario Lars)

I wish you a humorous day.

Best regards,


Florian Harms
Editor-in-chief of t-online
E-mail: [email protected]

With material from dpa.

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