Good morning dear readers,
yesterday politics seemed like a piece in the loop. Long debates, an angry Chancellor, doubting country leaders, a press conference hours late. Probably it is all the contradictions, omissions and volts of politics that lead to the loss of reputation of the German media. At least that’s what Renate Köcher, head of the Allensbach opinion research institute, noticed.
“We recently asked what has changed for people as a result of the crisis. Among other things, 40 percent drew the balance that they are now more critical of media coverage than before the crisis, ”she said in an interview with Handelsblatt.
The diagnosis was related to the television. This is where ministers unload their daily agenda from morning to night. When a topic dominates and fears so much over many months, according to Köcher, “it almost inevitably dulls a part, while others are psychologically extremely stressed.”
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There is next to no scientific knowledge about the new virus mutations. Just the idea to be more careful here – which is why the country is extending the lockdown to February 14, making FFP2 or surgical masks mandatory, making home office mandatory and keeping schools and daycare centers “generally” closed.
“It’s tough what we have to expect of people,” says Chancellor Angela Merkel, as at every lockdown press conference. She is said to have defended herself irritably to the Prime Minister: “I will not let myself be fooled into torturing children.” As resolute as Merkel appears, the short half-life of the measures adopted is certain. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann has already announced that elementary schools will gradually be reopened from February 1st.
There is much to suggest that the Chancellery in the group of experts on the previous evening was particularly pleased with those scientists who plead for a hard lockdown. The SPD states of Bremen and Lower Saxony, on the other hand, we hear, approached virologists with Klaus Stöhr and Hendrik Streeck, who argued more differently. They did not fit as opening act for Merkel’s main act. You order what you want to hear.
An economist was also missing from the group. He could have explained that, due to the second lockdown, economic output will be 1.8 percent or 60 billion euros lower in 2021 – Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research, publicly draws up this bill. Hairdressers, shops and restaurants are facing ruin. And the next economic problem looms. In the European Council on Thursday, Merkel wants to urge neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic or Luxembourg to issue a general decree on sufficient testing. Otherwise, the threat goes, the borders will be closed.
When theaters, cinemas, restaurants, concert halls and sports arenas are closed, what do people do? It streams through life. Corona is a major beneficiary Netflix, the mother of all streaming services. The US company, led by Reed Hastings, broke the sound barrier of 200 million global subscribers in 2020. The stockbrokers estimate the 203.7 million users as well as the strong sales in the fourth quarter of 6.64 billion dollars, while the profit fell slightly to 542 million compared to the previous year.
Older competitors like Disney, Warner Media or Discovery have begun “to compete with us in new ways”, writes Netflix to shareholders – that is the reason why the original content library was quickly expanded “to include a wide range of genres from many nations”. The price of Netflix shares rose 11.3 percent yesterday after close of trading. Economy runs according to an Abba tune: “The Winner Takes It All.”
Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and historian Gregor Schöllgen have put a bold Europe plan on paper. In the current issue we are bringing a preprint from your new book “Why we now need a new world order”. Henry Kissinger and Joschka Fischer were previously responsible for something like this, maybe that’s why Schröder-Schöllgen are all the more furious:
- “If Europe wants to have a future, it has to be more than a single market largely freed from stationary border controls with a partially applicable common currency. What is required is that revolutionary vigor, without which the founders 70 years ago would never have set the then modern Europe on its feet. “
- “The mountains of credit and debt show that repair work within the existing system is no longer enough. Without mutualisation of the debts, which can only be imagined in a reformulation of the European treaty, this permanent problem cannot be solved. “
- “Europe has no choice. If it does not want to fail irrevocably, some states, including the economic power Germany and the nuclear power France, must take action. If the initiators want a political union that deserves this name, they have to forego a significant part of their nation-state sovereignty without any ifs or buts. “
Brand: A former head of government than a current one can probably muster the courage to make such statements.
In Italy things are going well for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and badly for his former government partner Matteo Renzi from Italia Viva. After Monday’s 321:259 vote victory in parliament, Conte also won the vote of confidence in the Senate yesterday. The formation of a new government or even new elections in the middle of the corona crisis is thankfully refrained from. Conte had warned that Italy’s politics “runs the risk of losing touch with reality.” This is especially true of the vain ex-Prime Minister Renzi, who apparently dreams of a quick return to power. Loosely based on the Israeli politician David Ben-Gurion: “Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.”
And then there is Charles Koch, family entrepreneur in the USA, who, together with his brother David, who died in 2019, has supported right-wing conservative circles with a lot of money for decades. Among other things, he donated $ 100 million to the “Tea Party” movement, thereby indirectly promoting the rise of Donald Trump. Koch now regrets his political maneuvers. “My goodness, we screwed up,” he writes in his recently published book “Believe in People”, and adds: “What a disaster.” After the riots in the Capitol, provoked by Trump, he no longer wants to finance politicians who question the legality of the 2020 presidential election.
Sone word carries weight that can be measured in dollar amounts: With a fortune of 45 billion, Koch is one of the richest Americans. The repentant donor wants to get in touch with Joe Biden, who will be in office today, “in order to work together on as many topics as possible.” We know from Cicero: “No fortress is so strong that money cannot take it.”
I wish you a succesfull day.
I warmly greet you
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