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Posts Tagged ‘Spiegel’

Germany and Europe Could Fall Short on Vaccine Supplies

Posted by hkarner - 21. Dezember 2020

Date: 20‑12‑2020


Subject: The Planning Disaster

The EU and Berlin have insisted there will be sufficient vaccine available, but delays in signing purchasing contracts mean that the elixir will arrive late and there might not be enough. The EU even declined an option that would have allowed for the purchase of hundreds of millions of extra doses.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn: Optimism hasn’t been matched by reality.

Such are images of hope: Nurses getting vaccinated. Pallets of packaged vaccines distributed on special flights. Mayors exulting over „the beginning of the end of the pandemic.” A president who is preparing the country for better times. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Land in Decay: Where Did America Go Wrong?

Posted by hkarner - 27. November 2020

Date: 26‑11‑2020

Source: DER SPIEGEL By Philipp Oehmke

Despite Donald Trump’s defeat, the United States still appears to be in a state of moral decay. A  correspondent reflects on his five years in America.

During the opening of the recent „Saturday Night Live” he hosted, comedian Dave Chappelle, asked if anyone could still remember what life was like before COVID‑19. Joe Biden had addressed the nation two hours earlier for the first time as president‑elect. People were celebrating in the streets of cities and Biden wanted to spread a sense of optimism.

Then came Chappelle.

It probably says something about the country that the most important political commentators at the moment are late‑night presenters and stand‑up comedians. In Germany, comedians tend to occupy a niche, but in the United States, they are among the most important voices in society – and Dave Chappelle has been one of the biggest, loudest and and most acerbic of them for years running. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Joe Biden’s Almost Impossible Task

Posted by hkarner - 8. November 2020

Date: 06‑11‑2020


Even if Joe Biden emerges victorious, the peaceful transfer of power still isn’t yet a foregone conclusion. And as president, Biden would face the almost impossible task of reuniting a deeply divided nation.

Will he leave?

He is, on this Thursday, just as he has been so often in his almost four years as president: huffy and cynical. More than anything, though, he is front and center, demanding attention. Donald Trump walks up to the lectern in the press briefing room at the White House and begins spewing invented accusations of voter fraud. „If you count the legal votes, I easily win,“ he said, „if you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.“ He claimed to have won the election with „historic numbers.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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“How Can You Not Be Worried?”

Posted by hkarner - 26. Oktober 2020

Date: 25‑10‑2020

Source: DER SPIEGEL Interview Conducted By Roland Nelles

Bob Woodward on the 2020 Election

Famed Journalist Bob Woodward brought down U.S. President Richard Nixon with his reporting on the Watergate scandal. Now he talks to DER SPIEGEL about Donald Trump’s „catastrophic“ handling of the coronavirus, the outcome of the coming election and his new book, “Rage.”

Washington seems dead amid the COVID‑19 pandemic. Many of the offices around the White House have been closed, and the few restaurants in the United States capital that have stayed open are usually empty.

Bob Woodward, 77, is also working from home. For decades, he has been among the most important chroniclers of political affairs in the capital. In the early 1970s, he uncovered the Watergate scandal together with his colleague Carl Bernstein at the Washington Post, leading to the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon. He later wrote books about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Woodward has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit Threatens to Become the Messiest of Messy Divorces

Posted by hkarner - 15. Oktober 2020

Date: 14‑10‑2020


Britain will be leaving the EU common market at the end of the year and there are still important issues to be hammered out. Both sides could be facing a disaster in the form of huge traffic jams, job losses and rising prices.

Truck traffic at the Port of Dover: From an economic perspective, there will only be losers.

Suddenly, everything screeches to a halt in the Port of Dover. It’s a Wednesday in September and dozens of semi‑trucks are backed up on the four‑lane road that leads out of the port to the highway. Diesel exhaust wafts over the compound as some drivers nervously pump the gas pedal.

A red truck has collided with a gray truck in a curve. Nothing major, just a couple of small dents and scratches on the trailers. Yet the column of trucks quickly backed all the way up to the ferries, which were supposed to have immediately begun loading up other trucks for the return trip across the English Channel.

Everyone is going to be late today: the ferry captains and the truckers. Yet the mini‑accident is just a precursor to the gigantic traffic jam that everyone expects to occur on January 1, the day on which the United Kingdom, after a year‑long transition period, finally leaves the European single market. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel und Macron sind genervt von den Sparsamen Vier

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2020

Date: 19‑07‑2020


Platzt der Brüsseler Gipfel?

Um den Haushalt und die Corona‑Hilfen, insgesamt 1,8 Billionen Euro, wird seit zwei Tagen gestritten, vor allem um die Kontrollmechanismen.

Merkels Problem: Sie will einen Deal auf jeden Fall ‑ das wissen auch die anderen.

Emmanuel Macron und Angela Merkel

Irgendwann kurz nach Mitternacht reicht es Angela Merkel und Emmanuel Macron. Der Gipfel ist offiziell schon seit einer guten Stunde auf Sonntag vertagt, doch die deutsche Kanzlerin und Frankreichs Präsident setzen sich nochmal mit Mark Rutte aus den Niederlanden, Österreichs Kanzler Sebastian Kurz und den Regierungschefs von Schweden und den Niederlanden zusammen. Auch die finnische Regierungschefin Sanna Marin unterstützt die „Sparsamen Vier“ inzwischen.

Merkel, so ist zu hören, ist genervt, weil die Vier immer geiziger werden. Nun wollen sie den Anteil der Zuschüsse am Corona‑Hilfspaket, die nicht zurückgezahlt werden müssen, auf unter 400 Milliarden Euro drücken. Geht es nach Merkel und Macron, sollen 500 der 750 Milliarden Euro im Wiederaufbaupaket als Zuschüsse ausgezahlt werden, Ratspräsident Charles Michel hatte am Samstag als Kompromiss 450 Milliarden vorgeschlagen. Für Sonntagvormittag wird ein weiterer, wohl erneut etwas nach unten korrigierter Vorschlag erwartet.

Als Rutte auch beim Thema Rechtsstaat rote Linien definiert, reicht es Merkel und Macron

Vor allem die unnachgiebige Haltung Ruttes irritiert Merkel und Macron. Als der Niederländer auch noch beim Thema Rechtsstaat rote Linien definiert, finden sie, es reicht. Mit roten Linien hat Rutte beim Gipfel bislang nicht gespart. Rutte gibt zurück: Wenn Deutschland und Frankreich ohne vorher zu fragen einen Vorschlag über 500 Milliarden Euro machten, könnten sie nicht erwarten, dass der Rest Europas den dann einfach abnicke. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The UK Steers Towards a No‑Deal Brexit in the Middle of the Pandemic

Posted by hkarner - 25. Juni 2020

Date: 24‑06‑2020

Source: DER SPIEGEL By Peter Müller, Michael Sauga und Jörg Schindler

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems to be planning to take his country out of the European Union at the end of the year, even without a deal. The Continent is trying to limit the damage, but it would spell disaster for the British.

Things are still going well for Thorsten Harke for the time being ‑‑ surprisingly well. The businessman in the western German city of Mülheim exports chemical and pharmaceutical products to the United Kingdom: pills, cosmetics, disinfectant. Because such products currently in high demand internationally, the gross revenues taken in by his group of companies went up by about 25 percent in the first half of this year.

Trade in the UK makes up a large part of that total, Harke says, because many market segments are „experiencing an exceptional boom because of corona.“

The situation, though, could change quickly. If British Prime Minister Boris Johnson doesn’t soon sign a wide‑ranging trade deal with the European Union, Harke’s 165 employees will soon be a lot less productive than they are now. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 15. Juni 2020

Date: 13‑06‑2020

Source: DER SPIEGEL Interview Conducted by Tim Bartz

Subject: Interview with Economist Nouriel Roubini

„The Stock Market Is Deluding Itself“

Prominent American economist Nouriel Roubini does not believe the global economy will recover quickly. He believes that the dire situation will produce a summer of protest in the U.S. and years of difficulties in Europe as well.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Roubini, the pandemic has brought the global economy to its knees, and millions of people have lost their jobs. Is the crisis as severe as the Great Depression of the 1930s?

Roubini: The crash is even greater than it was then. It took years from 1929 until the full extent of the crisis became visible. Compared to today, it was like a slow‑motion train wreck. Now the world economy has collapsed within weeks, and in the U.S. alone, more than 40 million people are unemployed. Many believe that the economy will pick up again just as quickly, but that is a fallacy.

DER SPIEGEL: You don’t believe in a V‑shaped recovery despite the huge economic stimulus packages? After all, 2.5 million new jobs were created again in the U.S. in May.

Roubini: Of course, we will see an upswing in the second half of the year. But it will not be a real one, but a delusion. The economy has fallen so steeply that it is practically inevitable that it will pick up again at some point. But that won’t compensate for the crash in any way. Even at the end of 2021, the U.S. economy will still be below the level of early 2020; too much has broken down. And the unemployment rate will level off at 16 or 17 percent ‑ during the financial crisis it was only 10 percent. The job creation in May was only 2.4 million after 42 million lost their jobs in the last few months. And the actual unemployment rate is much higher than officially measured. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel and Macron Find the Strength for Europe

Posted by hkarner - 24. Mai 2020

Date: 22‑05‑2020

Source: DER SPIEGEL by Peter Müller

France and Germany have once again banded together for the greater good in Europe. Their show of unity was long overdue.

Germany and France have restarted the EU engine.

When Emmanuel Macron talks about a weighty new initiative, it sounds something like this: „What we have accomplished here is sensational.“ When Angela Merkel introduces the same plan, she says: „We’ve patched things up, so to speak, between Germany and France.“

In this case, the euphoria of the French president seems more appropriate than the sobriety of the German chancellor. The two want to cushion the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic with a 500 billion‑euro ($545‑billion) recovery fund that would apply to the entire EU. It’s an historic step for the bloc and a strong sign of solidarity from stronger member states toward weaker ones.

If Merkel and Macron have their way, the European Commission will be allowed to take on significant amounts of debt for the first time. The money could then be distributed as grants to member states that have been hit particularly hard by the corona crisis. And, according to the concept as it stands now, they wouldn’t even have to pay the money back. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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„The Virus Will Continue To Spread“

Posted by hkarner - 28. April 2020

Date: 27‑04‑2020

Source: DER SPIEGEL By Hilmar Schmundt

Why Researchers Fear a Second Wave

Germany’s strict limitations on contact between people haven’t conquered the virus ‑ they have merely bought the country more time. Epidemiologists believe a second wave will come.

The hard work and privations to fight the coronavirus in Germany have been difficult: no daycare, no shopping, no vacation, no concerts. But the measures are having an effect. The country is letting out a sigh of relief, and many Germans are now yearning for a return to normalcy. Instead of telling people to relax, however, experts are sounding the alarm. A second wave, they argue, will spread across the country. It might happen this summer, or, as the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s centers for disease control, warned in March, it will happen „at the latest in the fall or winter.” That’s the point when many hospitals could reach their limits.

A number of leading epidemiologists agree that it is not a question of if, but of when. And when the highly infectious SARS‑CoV‑2 virus returns, the consequences could be worse than they were during the first wave. „A wave of infections like that would, of course, have a completely different impact,” Christian Drosten, the head of the virology department at Berlin’s Charité University Hospital, said in his popular podcast last week. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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