We’ve made it through the first week of lockdown... a week eventful for all kinds of other reasons. Below are some things you might have missed as well as a look ahead.
Jörg & Axel
What you might have missed…
As the US election campaign ends, the German one is just beginning and foreign policy might become a hot topic. Leading politicians from the CDU, SPD, and Greens are preparing for post-Trump America. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) extended a hand and made the case for a revived transatlantic relationship. The SPD’s Rolf Mützenich on the other hand believes that now is the time to bid goodbye to Pax Americana and for Europe to “emancipate” itself. Parliamentarian Franziska Brantner of the Greens penned a reply to the Defence Minister, calling her statement “a message of despair” and demanding that Europe moves on from its reliance on the US. Most bets are on the CDU and Greens forming a coalition after next year’s election. The last time the Greens were in government (in a coalition with the SPD between 1998 and 2005), they held the foreign ministry...
Speaking of the Defence Minister. Kramp-Karrenbauer has used some of the most hawkish language heard out of Berlin on China in years, accusing Beijing of having “ambitions for global supremacy.” Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the outgoing leader of the CDU announced that Germany would send a warship to the Indo-Pacific next year. She also said Berlin and Sydney would work closer on naval exercises as part of a multilateral approach to the “big issue” of containing China.
Today is the mayoral election in one of the Green party’s strongholds - Stuttgart. It was in the wealthy capital of Baden-Wüttemberg, Germany’s Autostadt, that the Green party started its rise to prominence in the early eighties. The party has dominated the political scene for the last decade in metropolitan Stuttgart, which is more populous than Berlin, . Despite its wealth, Stuttgart has its problems. Immigration and integration are one - this summer the city was hit by sudden and surprising inner-city riots. Another is the disastrous traffic situation. And if you think the Berlin Airport is a mess, try Stuttgart 21, which has turned large parts of the city into a gigantic construction site. But the main question for the three mayoral candidates of the SPD, CDU, and Greens (who are neck and neck) is how to deal with the demise of the automobile industry which the city is so dependent upon…
Monday is November 9th, the date known as Schicksalstag in Germany, due to the numerous momentous events that have happened on it, including the end of the monarchy in 1918, Kristallnacht in 1938, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Memorials will be held up and down the country to remember the Jews who were persecuted on the same day 82 years ago.
Like what you’re reading? German current affairs and news straight to your inbox three times a week. Subscribe here to get the Hochhaus newsletter:
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.