The situation in the evening Can you still afford your life?
Good evening, the three question marks:
Rising prices – Evil inflation turns into good "greenflation?
Fatal traffic control – Who shot two police officers in Rhineland-Palatinate?
Corona policy, we are now 1G – simply annoyed?
1. The curse and blessing of rising prices
Inflation in Germany was 4.9 percent in January. For many low- and normal-income earners, this means that if their wages and salaries were just enough to get them to the end of the month a year ago, now they always run out of cash a day and a half beforehand.
The inflation rate of 4.9 percent is slightly lower than in December. Experts had expected a much steeper decline, however, because of a base effect. Since the beginning of the year, prices are no longer compared to those from the second half of 2020, when VAT was temporarily reduced from 19 to 16 percent due to the Corona crisis.
Board at the gas station: Many consumers feel the high energy prices
Photo: Peter Kneffel / picture alliance / dpa
Quite embarrassed is the European Central Bank (ECB), which until recently acted as if inflation worries were a German neurosis with no connection to reality. Even major economists such as Marcel Fratzscher of the German Institute for Economic Research, who liked to warn against "harmful inflation alarmism," have changed horses since price increases can no longer be denied. Now it suddenly says: "The higher inflation is welcome."Higher energy prices are necessary to educate consumers and industry to be environmentally friendly and thrifty. Evil inflation thus becomes good "greenflation". Maybe the thought of the world climate will warm you up when you turn down your heating.
How will prices develop further? Experts are divided into two camps. "Team Transitory" considers inflation surge a temporary phenomenon, sees cause in short-term phenomena such as corona-disrupted supply chains. Team Transitory" has been in the majority for a long time, but is more subdued than before, especially in the U.S., where inflation climbed to seven percent in December.
On the other side is "Team Permanent": Here, people fear that inflation will rise permanently, also because rising prices and rising wages will build each other up. The U.S. Federal Reserve is now taking these concerns seriously and is planning several interest rate hikes in small steps to counteract them.
This Thursday, the ECB’s Governing Council will consider the new figures. For the first time, the new head of the Bundesbank, Joachim Nagel, will also be present. My clear-eyed columnist colleague Henrik Mueller, who warned against the mainstream about inflation months ago, predicts a test of strength. Actually, the ECB should take countermeasures, end its securities purchases more quickly and raise interest rates. But Europe’s governments have become accustomed to the flood of money and have run up their debts at a ridiculous price. They won’t be coming down from this anytime soon.
2. "Known to police: The search for the death shooter of Kusel
During a traffic control in Rhineland-Palatinate early this morning at around 4.20 o’clock two policemen were shot: a 24-year-old police trainee and her 29-year-old colleague. According to the police headquarters Westpfalz, they were on patrol on the district road 22 in the district of Kusel, when they transmitted a radio message. They would have discovered dead game in the trunk of a car.
A little later followed another radio message: "They are shooting at us." When reinforcements arrived, the policewoman was already dead, a police spokesman said. The colleague had died shortly after the arrival of the rescue forces. He is said to have fired several more shots at the scene. The weapon of his colleague was obviously not used. Both victims would have worn uniforms and body armor.
Police vehicles in the district of Kusel: Search for the perpetrators
Photo by Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images
Police were searching for a suspect who was already known to police. She wrote the 38 year old Johannes S. from the Saarland to the manhunt out and published also a photo. In the afternoon, it announced, in the Palatinate, the suspect had been arrested. However, the search measures were continuing because it could not be ruled out that there were accomplices. We keep you informed SPIEGEL.de up to date.
When police officers are killed in the line of duty, it’s an attack on the state in addition to a personal tragedy. Many people reacted with dismay today. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser said: "This act is reminiscent of an execution, and it shows that police officers risk their lives every day for the sake of our security." Rhineland-Palatinate’s Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) ordered flags of mourning, as did Saarland’s Tobias Hans (CDU).
3. 1G – just annoyed
At the end of last week, I received a letter from the health department of my Berlin district. It said, "We’ve received word that you’ve been infected with the corona virus.". I would have to go "immediately in isolation. In addition I would like to communicate my telephone number and mail address. Now I have actually tested positive for Corona. However, 13 days earlier. At that time, I myself had also initiated the report to the health department. Including my phone number and mail address.
I don’t know whether to be amused or distressed. Do they still notice what? After two years of pandemic, shouldn’t there be routines and standardized procedures in place? Is the health department still working at all??
Health Minister Lauterbach: mixture of inconsistency, sourness and management failure
Photo: CLEMENS BILAN / EPA
Recently, Germany shortened the convalescent status from six to three months. Once again a German special way. Six months apply in the EU, nine in Switzerland. The German three-month rule was invented in the purview of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and introduced virtually overnight without much notice to anyone. Tens of thousands woke up the next morning and realized: whoops, my 2G is gone. Restaurant bans, swimming pool bans, shopping restrictions. So quickly you find yourself out there with the "contrarians" and vaccination refuseniks.
Lauterbach says shortening convalescent status to three months is medically correct. Surviving a corona infection with the delta variant does not protect well against a new omicron attack, he said. Perhaps Lauterbach has information not available in the rest of the U. But even if he is right about Omikron changing the situation: Wouldn’t the same then have to apply to those vaccinated as to those recovered? Biontech and Co. only help to a limited extent against the new virus variant, as thousands of vaccine breakthroughs show.
Admitting this, of course, would be counterproductive to Lauterbach’s call for a rapid vaccination requirement, which – another special form of dialectics – has just been declared a matter of individual conscience for members of parliament, but is to become a general civic duty for the general public.
I think it is this mixture of inconsistency, sourness, and management failure that is now turning many people against Corona politics. They’re 1G: just plain annoyed now.
If you happen to be in isolation right now, as so many people are at the moment, I would like to share with you the interview with infectiologist Michael M. Cooking recommend, which led my colleague Marthe Ruddat. Here’s what you can do to get better fast. A tip for older people is: take an extra dose of vitamin D3. It won’t help corona, but it may improve defenses against viral respiratory infections.
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