June 16, 2021

Big setback for Annalena Baerbock

Good morning, dear reader,

the higher you fly, the lower you can fall. No other party has seen such a boost in the past few months as this Greens, her front woman was even preparing to fly to the sun, which is called the Chancellery. In the polls she left her competitors Armin Laschet from the lazy planet CDU and Olaf Scholz from the wandering comet SPD far behind; against the rising star, the lords looked like dinosaurs from the political Pleistocene.

But if you get too close to the sun without being armed, your wings will burn. He becomes an Icarus. Like the high-flyer from Greek mythology, the two Green bosses are doing these days Robert Habeck and especially Annalena Baerbock. One of them stumbles through the Ukraine wearing a steel helmet and reveals his ignorance in terms of foreign policy. The other forgets to report special payments of more than 25,000 euros to the Bundestag and struggles with her own résumé, which was obviously not only incomplete, but also embellished. “I obviously made a mistake, and I’m very, very sorry about that,” she confessed on ARD yesterday evening.

The media have been reporting for days about the inconsistencies in the candidate’s official vita, and neither the party headquarters nor the boss gets the issue cleared away. If you can’t even get such a ridiculous topic under control, how does someone like that want to solve the major crises in the world: This is a question that more and more citizens are asking, and the daily requests for bans and mandatory requirements of the Greens base make skepticism even greater. Forbid short flights (although the effect on CO2 emissions would be small), increase the price of petrol (although it will rise anyway due to the CO2 tax that has long been passed), introduce gender language (although the majority of the population rejects it): the list of half-baked ideas could be continue, and if the Greens-Top manage their shop at the party congress that starts tomorrow as chaotically as in the past few days, Annalena’s Baerbock’s long-planned coronation mass could become an aerial number. Of the 3,280 amendments to the electoral program, 20 remain, but they have it all. Speed ​​limit 100 km / h on motorways, even higher CO2 prices, massive tax increases: “The green party base is rehearsing the uprising against Baerbock’s Realo course,” comments the “Handelsblatt”. “The party congress is nothing less than a school leaving exam,” writes our reporter Johannes Bebermeier.

Debates are an expression of a vibrant party and are important given the unprecedented challenge posed by the climate crisis. But three and a half months before a federal election you don’t win the trust of the population with maximum demands, but with a clever balance of ambitions and pragmatism, with a willingness to compromise and, above all, with Professionalism.

That is exactly what Ms. Baerbock and her team seem to be lacking. The consequences are documented by the new ZDF Politbarometer: On the question of suitability for chancellor, Ms. Baerbock smears down from 43 percent to 28 percent, even the sober “FAZ” writes of a “drastic slump”. It is now level with Union candidate Laschet, who is improving – while SPD pioneer Scholz is suddenly ahead with 48 percent. The ARD Germany trend shows a similar picture: There, the Green leader loses a whopping 12 points on the Chancellor question and is now well behind Laschet and Scholz. And this despite the fact that the majority of those surveyed named the green heart issues of environment and climate as the most pressing concerns. Have the Greens the wrong top candidate, is Ms. Baerbock not up to the task?

Surveys are just snapshots – on the one hand. On the other hand, they document moods – and the positive mood that the Greens allowed themselves to be carried into the election year has turned. Now the wind is blowing sharply in their faces. They have to attribute it to themselves. If you were to ask yourself on the evening of September 26th why you missed your election target once again, the sober analysis could be: Because of a bad life and stupid management. If you want to fly to the sun, you need strong wings. The green high-flyer does not seem to have them at the moment.


Europe between the door and the hinge

Angela Merkel and George W. Bush at the G8 summit 2006 in Saint Petersburg. (Source: imago images)

Tony Blair grinned his Tony Blair grin, George W. Bush frightened the Chancellor with a sudden back massage, Jacques Chirac, on the other hand, was, as always, gallant, Vladimir Putin was at least allowed to be there at the time: As Angela Merkel was allowed to take part in a round of the most powerful industrialized countries for the first time in July 2006, the summit was still called G8. From today’s perspective, the topics seem familiar to us: Escalation between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, dispute over the Iranian nuclear program, North Korea’s missile tests, climate change, plus world trade, education and yes, actually also the fight against infectious diseases.

With the exception of Ms. Merkel, none of the protagonists at the time will be there when the leaders of states meet from today for the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK. Formally, the list of topics is also long this time, but de facto only two focus: dealing with the consequences of the corona and the fight against the climate crisis. US President Joe Biden wants to use the summit, however, to get the Europeans on his side in the conflict with China. Instead of turning back to the USA after the crazy Trump era, Europe should rather emancipate itself: Not me, but the China expert Stefan Baron. In an interview with my colleague Marc von Lüpke and me, he explains, why Europe finally has to become independent – and the USA is actually no longer a democracy.


Finally kick-off

Italy will host Turkey for the opening game in the Olympic Stadium in Rome.  (Source: dpa / Matthias Balk)Italy will host Turkey for the opening game in the Olympic Stadium in Rome. (Source: Matthias Balk / dpa)

Well finally: The European football championship begins today with a one-year corona delay. The kick-off between Italy and Turkey is in Rome, All other games in eleven countries can be found here in our practical EM map to print out. Will the German team start a run for the fourth European title after 1972, 1980 and 1996 at Jogi Löw’s last tournament? In view of the recent, well, mixed performance of the national football team, many doubt this – but Germany is traditionally a tournament team that increases in the course of the competition. So we asked celebrities from sports, politics and entertainment for their opinion. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge gave my colleague David Digili a particularly detailed answer. The board boss of FC Bayern reveals which teams he trusts the title, who can become the outstanding player of the tournament – and which DFB star will surprise everyone. Look.


Overdue step

That companies will have to deal with the observance of human rights at their international suppliers in the future, is the goal of the long-discussed supply chain law. Today it will be passed in the Bundestag and should help to curb child and forced labor as well as environmental degradation. As is so often the case with projects of the grand coalition, it is a tentative compromise: In response to pressure from business, companies have not been made liable under civil law – instead, they must be obliged to breach their duty of care only expect a fine and the exclusion from public tenders. Nevertheless, the law is not a toothless tiger, but a step in the right direction, that at European level others can follow.


Read what

ECB boss Christine Lagarde counts on zero.  (Source: Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)ECB boss Christine Lagarde counts on zero. (Source: Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters)

If she wanted, she could lower inflation. But Christine Lagarde does not want to, the President of the European Central Bank leaves the key rate at zero percent. The Germans don’t think that’s good, a survey for t-online now shows: Many citizens fear the rising prices, as our reporter colleague Mauritius Kloft found out in conversations on the streets of Berlin.


Almost 19 million people in this country are fully vaccinated against Corona, and almost half of the population has received the first injection. But although the vaccination sequence has now been canceled and company doctors are now allowed to participate, many people are still trying in vain to get a vaccination appointment. My colleague Sandra Simonsen knows tips on how to do it as quickly as possible.


The Silas case makes headlines: The professional footballer at VfB Stuttgart lived and played for years under a false identity, which his agent presumably forced on him. How did it come about – and is Silas perhaps not an isolated case? My colleague Dominik Sliskovic spoke to someone who can explain the crude business model with African football talents.


What amuses me

Speaking of football: Did you know how incredibly difficult it is to convert a penalty? Yes it is.

Whether you like balls or not, I wish you a great summer day. The weekend podcast is coming tomorrow from Marc Krüger and Peter Schink, you will read from me again on Monday.

Best regards,


Florian Harms
Editor-in-chief of t-online
E-mail: t-online-newsletter@stroeer.de

With material from dpa.

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