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News: Angela Merkel, Corona crisis, Catholic Church, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, Saarland

Germany, where are we?

I have not yet noticed that the Chancellor uses the word cool; but i may be mistaken. It’s not so very cool to use the word cool anymore, but there is no German equivalent, and I can’t think of another term to describe how the Chancellor stepped into the Bundestag yesterday morning, in high spirits, like her then kept her government statement, self-confident, as if nothing had happened in the days before: no screwed-up federal-state meeting at the beginning of the week, no request for forgiveness for the decisions made there.

She did not spare criticism of what was going wrong in Germany, made the EU, the countries, the regions responsible, the federal government cannot do everything. Aggressively, she came up with the weaknesses in digitization – as if someone else had ruled the country for almost 16 years. She also made a criticism of mentality. You can’t achieve anything if you only ever see the negative, if the glass is “only half empty, then we as a country will not develop any creative power to get out of this crisis.”

Later their Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus agreed, he cursed about »Malice and sharpness“, over “a bad culture in this country«Mistakes would be portrayed as scandal or failure with willful intent. “Where are we?” If things continue like this, at some point nobody will take responsibility for mistakes anymore. »The poison of anger seeps in

But criticizing the critics doesn’t make anything better. It’s already forgotten what kind of one There was support for the government a year agowhen the pandemic started and the first tough measures were taken? There was support in the Bundestag itself, in large parts of the population and in the media. It wasn’t much different in the summer, it was the time when Germany got through the pandemic quite well. Hard criticism only came when there was really a lot to criticize.

Of course we also live in a time of unbearable shitstorms and an anger on the street that is difficult to understand, but to attach too much importance to these aspects in the whole picture corresponds to the principle of notoriously viewing the glass as half empty.

The exhausted politics

The chancellor’s lively charisma was also noticed yesterday because many of the faces in the Bundestag that were captured by the cameras pitifully tired worked. They were half covered with masks, but that was how the eyes were emphasized: Here they stared into emptiness, there they almost fell shut.

Fatigue is not yet a category in the high-performance business of top politics, you simply don’t have it, but it is time to consider that the political blunders of the past few weeks could also have their cause here: Politicians simply lack months of sleep. In this respect, the fatigue factor would be highly political. If it were up to Sigmund Freud, the inventor of psychoanalysis, who says that the subconscious expresses itself where it wants, then at the federal-state meeting at the beginning of the week the desire to fight a pandemic would have combined with the longing for a little more sleep: And this is how the idea of ​​”rest days” came about. Nomen est omen.

Rattling storks, eunuchs and brave women

Since we are already at the signs: Uta Ranke-Heinemann, the first woman in the world to qualify as a professor in Catholic theology, died yesterday, exactly on the day on which two founders of Maria 2.0 announced that they would leave the church.

The two messages go together. Ranke-Heinmann has never shied away from criticizing what can be criticized in the Catholic Church. She described the virgin birth as “gynecological rattle stork theology«And criticized in her bestseller»Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven” again and again the Church’s hostility to sex. The church reform movement Maria 2.0, in turn, which was founded in Münster in 2019, fights for more equality for women in the church. The initiators state that they want to leave the Catholic Church out of anger about sexual violence by priests.

Uta Ranke-Heinmann has been heard, she was a welcome guest on talk shows for decades and once she even applied for the office of Federal President. But it was just not enough on them belongs.

The Ratzfatz summit

Back to the Bundestag session yesterday. FDP politician Christian Lindner has in his Reply to the government statement by the Chancellor a joke allowed.

He alluded to the Bund-Länder-Round from the beginning of the week and said that Merkel probably had her recipe, Delaying the EU summit into the nightsuntil it can break any resistance there, transferred to that Bund-Länder-Round. Should there be such a recipe for Merkel, she did not transfer it to the EU video summit, which also took place yesterday. That night I called my colleague Markus Becker, a correspondent in Brussels, to hear his impressions. He said he had seldom experienced such a short summit: »Without short it would have been even shorter«. Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had expressed the wish to change the vaccine distribution in Europe.


… could be in the foreseeable future the Saarland be. Hopefully things will turn out differently, but Wanting to loosen up in the middle of the third waveas the Saarland Prime Minister did Tobias Hans now for the time after Easter, that can’t really go well.

Nice today the RKI could declare neighboring France a so-called high incidence area. Commuters to Germany would then have to submit a negative corona test, which must not be older than 48 hours. This regulation already applies to border traffic between Saarland and the Moselle department. For a highly contagious variant of the virus, 48 ​​hours is a lot of time.

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

I wish you a good start to the day.

Your Susanne Beyer

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