There they are again

The situation in the morning Where is Olaf Scholz??

Dear reader, good morning,

today is about the location of Olaf Scholz. In order to reduce the loosening measures at our neighbors in Europe. And about the jungle on the street.

If you order leadership, you get the invisible man

On Twitter, which for us journalists is synonymous with the real world, many are wondering where Olaf Scholz actually is. So the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. I’m sure you know him, he used to be mayor of Hamburg.

Twitter is loud and unfair, of course, but in this case, unfortunately, amusing. "Someone needs to tell Olaf Scholz he’s on mute," tweets one user. Another says Scholz is the ideal DIY employee – I don’t want to go into that any further. Some ask if he might not have realized he is now chancellor of Germany. Hidden pictures in which someone claims to have spotted Olaf Scholz. Memes in which Scholz disappears into a garden hedge on the body of Homer Simpson.

Well, she’s long gone, but where is he?

Photo: Axel Schmidt/ AFP

Amusing until the dark thoughts come to you. Until one remembers the diplomatic traffic and energy Angela Merkel mustered in 2014 to keep Europe together – back when Ukraine had already been invaded once before.

The question of Scholz is not just a Twitter phenomenon. Many neighbors look to us with suspicion. Even if some of the criticism is excessive: The desire for clearer, also publicly audible words and something like a plan, is understandable.

Political observers are also asking the question. Ulrich Speck of the German Marshall Fund wrote something like: "French President Emmanuel Macron is on the phone with Vladimir Putin, the second time in a few days; the two may meet in the coming days or weeks. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson travels to President Volodymyr Selenskyj in Kiev, promises weapons, money and tougher sanctions against Moscow. Only Scholz does not talk to anyone and does not go anywhere.

Comedian Fabina Koster with a completely unqualified commentary on the situation

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It’s fair to ask how the German chancellor ("Whoever orders leadership from me, gets it") sees things. And what he actually thinks about the threat to Ukraine from Russia. What in his opinion should be the role of his country. It is understandable that he does not regularly comment on the Russia-friendliness of some SPD members or prime ministers and thus valorize it; but does he really have nothing at all to say about the dispute over direction in his party?

And since foreign policy, as SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mutzenich has said, is made in particular in the Chancellor’s Office, the Chancellor could explain it to them. You could even say: this is what you can expect from him.

Today, by the way, the chancellor should at least be visible to his ministers – he is chairing the cabinet meeting, according to his schedule.

France loosens up, Norway opens up – who will follow??

Not so long ago had France Still more than half a million infections – in one day. Today the country is gradually relaxing the corona rules: Among other things, capacity restrictions for events will be dropped, French people will no longer have to wear masks outside, they can continue to work in their home offices, but they don’t have to. They will soon be allowed to drink their coffee standing up in cafes again, and, from the German point of view, perhaps one of the most important relaxations: Eating and drinking on trains will soon be allowed again.

Such a restriction of one of the most important cultural techniques would not have been possible here in the first place.

Sometimes relies on more confrontation with citizens: French President Emmanuel Macron

Photo: Michel Euler / dpa

How is all this possible in France? Perhaps two reasons are decisive: First, France has a very high vaccination rate. According to the Ministry of Health, 93.5 percent of all French people aged 12 and older have at least one vaccination dose, 91.2 percent have two, and 55 percent are boostered. On the other hand: The government, but especially President Emmanuel Macron, dares what. The vaccinated are rewarded – they are the ones who will live more normally again. The unvaccinated, yes, they have to live with the consequences of their decision. And the Eiffel Tower has not yet collapsed because of it.

It is being relaxed, but the 2G rule also remains nationwide. After that, only those who can show proof of vaccination or recovery can participate in social life, there is no such thing as "freitesten". This is not mandatory vaccination through the back door, but pretty much straight through the front garden.

Surely not all French people think this is great, but they are not so keen on not being able to drink their coffee standing up anymore. So, what the heck, I’ll just get vaccinated, seems to be the attitude. Grumble, but make.

Macron recently struck a less than charming tone toward those willing to be vaccinated. And has not rowed back despite massive criticism. Now the majority of the country will enjoy new old freedoms, the result of a policy that has little fear of the citizen. This may hurt an unvaccinated minority, but in the end it is the more respectful attitude. Maybe it will pay off for Macron, the presidential election will take place in early April.

In many European countries, however, easing efforts are currently going much further. In Denmark all Corona restrictions have fallen since yesterday, since last night also Norway many measures are being repealed – and in Switzerland today, the government is deliberating on the next relaxation steps: Masks could soon come off everywhere, including the 2G and 3G rules. The beginning of a larger movement throughout Europe?

Consideration for the stronger

Perhaps you remember this horrible accident on Berlin’s Invalidenstrabe, late summer two years ago. A driver lost control of his SUV and crashed into a group of people. Four were killed, including a three-year-old boy and his grandmother. All happened in front of the mother’s eyes.

The question of guilt – among other things, it is about negligent homicide – will be further investigated in court today. A few weeks ago, the mother had a statement read out in court, which, according to the "Tagesspiegel", read: "The car takes everything in its path."

When did everyone become so aggressive and careless in traffic??

This accident, this one sentence, remind, how important a completely new view on traffic and traffic policy would actually be. The question is not so much whether SUVs are too big, too heavy and too ugly (which they are), or whether only male and female drivers are aggressive, careless and impatient (which they are not), but rather Why our roads have become jungles. Personally, I would be very interested in this, as it feels like there is hardly a day when I don’t almost get run over; get hit by other cyclists for whom a red light is just one of many options; have to protect pedestrians from themselves; or get hit by a car door. Unfortunately, too often no one cares if there’s another child in the back or not.

According to statistics Number of accident victims in road traffic although back, but among cyclists it has increased in recent years. In this context, I would be interested to know why it is actually so self-evident to show consideration for the strong road users. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

Traffic would perhaps be an interesting project for a transport minister. We have not heard much about the new one yet – what does he do??

losers of the day..

…are Ricarda Lang and Omid Nouripour. The party leftist and realo foreign policy expert were elected as their party’s new leaders at an online party conference over the weekend. But supporters of the Green Party are apparently not yet as convinced by the leadership team, as a survey by the opinion research institute Civey for SPIEGEL revealed.

The main thing is not to lose your good humor: Omid Nouripour and Ricarda Lang

Photo: bildgehege / IMAGO

Only half of respondents think Lang and Nouripour are the right choice for the job. 16 percent think the two are the wrong choice, the rest were undecided.

The shoes that Lang and Nouripour are stepping into are of considerable size; after all, their predecessors Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck led the party into a government. And possible that many sympathizers do not yet know the duo so well. But this level of skepticism when starting a new job is quite remarkable. How did the saying go? If you have party supporters, you don’t need enemies?

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