Merkel and the masks: the week in review

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Dear readers,

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Regards,

Jörg & Axel

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Merkel’s loss of control

In early September 2015 the dams burst. Fruitless attempts to find a ‘European solution’ to the refugee crisis ended in Angela Merkel’s Alleingang: In 2016 Germany took in 70 percent of all refugees seeking asylum in Europe before the EU-Turkey deal reduced the surge.

What’s happened this week?

  • The devastating fire at the Moria refugee camp on the remote Greek island Lesbos is a stark reminder that the refugee crisis is not over - the EU has just pushed the problem out of sight…

  • Among leading German politicians, opinions on how Germany should help varied from taking in 5.000 of the 13.000 homeless refugees to none at all

  • But the fighting spirit of 2016 which almost split the CDU and led way to the rise of the AfD is gone - Germany quickly settled on offering immediate help to 150 underage children


Masks at demos - danger or safety?

Berlin has just introduced a law making face masks compulsory at demonstrations. Which is a bit strange, as the city has another law banning covering your face at protests. We tried to get a coherent answer out of the interior ministry…

What’s happened this week?

  • Police will control who enters a left-wing demo in Leipzig today after three days of violence last weekend

  • Another corona demo was broken up by the police on Saturday, this time in Munich

  • An American tourist almost single-handedly caused a coronavirus outbreak in Garmish that has led to the city banning meetings of more than five people. She partied for several nights, each time in a different bar. Over 20 soldiers at a US military base where she was staying were also infected.


Sunday reading

  • Jörg visited the Baltic Sea port at the eye of the Nord Stream 2 storm to meet the local officials being threatened with US sanctions

  • What happened on September 4th, 2015? Die Zeit’s detailed chronicle of the events is a fascinating read (in English or German)

  • The Economist agrees with Daniel Brücker from the Institut für Arbeitsmarkt und Berufsforschung whom we quoted in our piece - Germany is better at integration than in the past

  • The Sommerloch award went to a naked man chasing a hungry boar and her offspring at a Berlin lake. This article from NPR nicely explains why we shouldn’t get too sentimental about the cute boar family

  • The BBC has an interesting piece on Germany’s plans to build a satellite launchpad in the North Sea


Who we are:

Jörg Luyken: Journalist based in Berlin since 2014. His work has been published by German and English outlets including der Spiegel, die Welt, the Daily Telegraph and the Times. Formerly in the Middle East.

Axel Bard Bringéus: Started his career as a journalist for the leading Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet and has spent the last decade in senior roles at Spotify and as a venture capital investor. In Berlin since 2011.

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