Comedians, comrades and the climate
Once again international news headlines have focused heavily on Germany this week due to Olaf Scholz’ controversial decision to travel to Beijing weeks after Xi Jinping had himself appointed Chinese leader for life. Scholz insists he’s a man on a mission. In an op-ed for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he said that he was “going as a European” to make clear to China that there “could be no more business as usual.”
Whether all his European partners are rejoicing that Scholz is speaking up for them in Beijing is another matter. Reports from Brussels suggest that Germany’s stock in other European capitals has never been lower. Paris claims to be leading a Europe-wide revolt against Berlin over issues including China, energy price caps, and debt sharing.
There is another reading of the situation though. On Monday I looked at whether the latest rumours from Brussels aren’t just a replay of the hate that came Germany’s way in 2015.
Another issue that rippled through the public debate this week was the spectacular coup of a late-night comedian who managed to get his hands on a top-secret report on neo-Nazis that was originally supposed to be kept under lock and key for 120 years.
The report relates to the crimes of a trio of terrorists who were able to get away with randomly murdering migrants over a ten-year period at the beginning of this century. There has long been a suspicion that Germany’s intelligence agencies knew more than they are letting on. Does the leaked report provide any further clues?
Finally, the death of a cyclist on a Berlin street is perhaps most tragic for the fact that such an event happens so regularly. Despite German cities having comparatively good cycle lanes, hundreds of cyclists die in traffic every year.
An accident on Monday though ignited a national debate on the ethics of climate protesters’ road blocks after a rescue vehicle was prevented from reaching the scene on time by two activists who’d clambered up a motorway gantry. A look at exactly what happened and how it is likely to change the campaigners’ tactics in the future.
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