Weekly roundup, Dec 3rd 2022
Germany is in a state of deep shock.
While some countries mourn the loss of a monarch, others are as deeply affected by a loss for their football team. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Germany just got kicked out of the World Cup at the group stage for the second time in a row. This has led to a deep existential crisis.
The question everyone is asking is whether these consecutive humiliations mean the national team is no longer a Turniermannschaft. The assumption has always been that - no matter how badly they play in the years between tournaments - when it comes to the games that matter the Germans show up.
Now, one could call this complacency, but who has ever accused the Germans of complacency?
Without getting too snarky, that does allow for a seamless transition into flogging the members’ article that I sent out on Friday. It concerns the rather alarming report that the German army only has enough ammo to last for a few days of war. While the government refuses to comment on these reports, a conversation I had with someone who knows a thing or two about the Bundeswehr didn’t exactly reassure me.
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In other news, this was a week in which two major reforms that affect the lives of immigrants were announced. I wrote about the first in Wednesday’s newsletter - most significantly, it will end the ban on holding a second nationality as well as the German one.
For many people who’ve moved to Germany and plan on staying here, that is great news. It means that they can keep all the rights associated with the country of their birth as well as obtaining a voice in German democracy.
But another reform was announced that will be even more critical for the future success of this country - an overhaul of immigration laws. Basically, Scholz’ government wants to allow people who “show potential” to be able to move to the country without having a job offer.
I’ll probably do a more detailed newsletter on this next week, but it is good to see that the government recognises the urgency of this issue. Or as Labour Minister Hubertus Heil put it this week: Germany has to “massively want” trained migrants.
Away from politics, a man who murdered two police officers after they caught him poaching deer was sentenced to life in prison this week. At the time of the crime, I took a closer look at the history of police dying in uniform in Germany.
China’s zero-Covid policies: Germany’s amnesia
Christian Lindner: the wizard in the Finance Ministry
Enjoy our weekend,