Federal election 2021: Left-right-center model is out of date

Brexit was a catastrophic disaster – for the professional group of political experts in newspapers, think tanks and universities. It was disastrous, not because they were wrong with their predictions. It happens to all commentators. Forecasts are overrated anyway. The problem with expert political opinion is different. They stick to the same framework or model that is behind the bad forecasts.

A classic example of this phenomenon in the economy are inflation projections, which are based on the misconception that people adjust their inflation expectations to the central bank’s goal.

The equivalent mistake for policymaking is an outdated framework that divides politics into right, left, and center – a framework that failed to explain the major political events of our time. It failed spectacularly at Brexit. It was support from Labor constituencies like Hartlepool that drove the Vote Leave campaign above 50 percent.

Social Democrats in Germany, Socialists in France and New Laborists in Great Britain kept telling each other that elections can only be won from the middle. Armed with the power of false statistical inference, they kept losing choice after choice.

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They shaped their political views during the era of former US President Bill Clinton and ex-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and never looked back.

Left-right-center model is wrong and useless

What statistician George Box once said about models also applies to categories. They are always wrong, but some are useful. The left-right-center category is both wrong and useless because it doesn’t help us understand what’s going on.

The consensus among lazy experts after the 2019 election was that Labor lost because their then party leader Jeremy Corbyn was too left. That corresponded to the standard model. But as the by-election in Hartlepool shows, the Labor Party’s share of the vote continued to plummet under the centrist and Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer.

What was not addressed by the experts is Stamer’s role during the Brexit disputes: as Labor’s shadow Brexit minister, he was the driving force behind the shift in Labor’s position in favor of a second referendum.

If Brexit is Labor’s problem in the north of England, Keir Stamer is certainly not the answer. The fact that he’s managed to revert from his old position to a reluctant acceptance of Brexit doesn’t make it any better. One does not become trustworthy by shifting one’s position back and forth.

The solution to Labor’s problem does not lie in a specific position of the left-right-center axis, but in a lateral shift from the axis. I remember Joschka Fischer, the former German Foreign Minister, once defined that politics is the art of constructing majorities where there were none before.

Margaret Thatcher, ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, created the notorious C2 effect by selling public housing – skilled workers switched to the Tory party. Their art was to construct a political coalition that would overcome the left-right divide. That also happened with Brexit. Vote Leave was successful because it co-opted Labor supporters.

How to bridge the left-right divide

So what constitutes an idea that bridges the left-right divide in politics today? Success in a post-Brexit world requires a degree of lateral thinking that is largely absent from the UK debate.

In German politics, however, the answer is relatively simple: more investment, reforms of fiscal rules and a value-based foreign policy. All of these ideas are represented by Annalena Baerbock, the Greens’ candidate for chancellor. This is what the election campaign is about.

Baerbock is the anti-Merkel of German politics. But, funnily enough, both politicians are classified as centrist by intellectually lazy professionals. Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former advisor, recently suggested that the center of politics is an expert fiction.

The thing to know about experts is that, like the French aristocratic Bourbons, they never learn and never forget. The experts who were wrong about Brexit still peddle the story that this was all due to fraudulent campaigns or Russian interference and that Labor lost the election because Corbyn was too left. And they still peddle the prognosis that it will be an economic disaster.

The experts live in a bubble and encourage each other. But the golden age of the newspapers and think tanks that keep them busy is behind us. Opinion writers once formed an oligopolistic opinion cartel.

The better still know how to string a good argument, but the oligopoly has disappeared and their influence is waning. And that’s how it will end. The experts won’t change, but the ecosystem that feeds them will.
The author: Wolfgang Münchau is the director of eurointelligence.com

More: Polarization, Aggression and Hysterization – About a country that has lost its culture of debate

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Anyone who relies on Baerbock or Laschet abroad

When Annalena Baerbock traveled to Washington in the fall of 2018, her visit did not attract much attention. Baerbock held discussions in Congress and took part in a discussion in the German Marshall Fund (GMF) think tank. Karen Donfried, who she interviewed at the time, has now been nominated by US President Joe Biden as Vice Secretary of State for Europe at the US State Department. And Washington, like many other countries, has fallen into a little Baerbock hype.

Whether in Japan or Italy, Great Britain or France: the media love the story of the 40-year-old and often compare her to Angela Merkel. “One is tempted to ask whether Merkel sees Baerbock as her political heir than the successor generation to the CDU,” comments the British “New Statesman”. And the French “Liberation” says: “It probably has the same quality as Angela Merkel, always having been underestimated.”

Politicians and analysts expect fresh momentum in German politics under a Green Chancellor Baerbock, but also a phase of foreign policy uncertainty. In France, for example, there is great concern that joint defense projects could be jeopardized, while the Greens’ tax plans are being criticized in Great Britain. But in the USA, Italy or Greece, for example, there is great sympathy for a Green Chancellor – for different reasons.

US Democrats sympathize with green foreign policy – and hope for an end to Nord Stream 2

In the USA, Baerbock has been invited to high-profile discussions at the latest since her election as candidate for chancellor. Next week, for example, she will be in the USA, invited by the Atlantic Council and the EU delegation, together with EU Internal Affairs Commissioner Thierry Breton, the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa and other political celebrities in a video session.

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Baerbock is the candidate who wants to “shake things up”, assesses the US broadcaster NPR. The magazine “Bloomberg Businessweek” speaks of the Greens as a “serious alternative”. Sympathy with the party is surprisingly high not only in the media, but also among the ruling Democrats. The fact that the Greens position themselves tougher than the CDU and SPD on human rights issues, for example vis-à-vis Russia and China, is met with approval.

“In Washington, one observes very closely how the Greens behave in foreign policy, towards Russia and China, on human rights issues and energy supply,” says Erik Brattberg, Europe director of the Washington think tank Carnegie Endowment. “From the US perspective, their positions are very much welcomed.” In the conflict over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and on many climate issues, the US Democrats and the German Greens are in line.

Daisuke Karakama, Chief Market Economist of the big bank, warns about a possible change in foreign policy Mizuho, before turmoil: If Baerbock became Chancellor, Germany’s political stance towards Russia and China would intensify. “I therefore think that the post-Merkel era will not only be turbulent domestically, but also externally.”

The Kremlin is hoping for Armin Laschet as the new chancellor

Washington’s hopes are Moscow’s concerns: “With a probable government by the Union and the Greens, it can be expected that the critical component in German-Russian relations will increase,” predicts Russia’s most important Germany expert, Vladislav Below.

Therefore, Andrei Kortunow, General Director of the Russian Council for International Affairs, concludes: “From the perspective of the Russian leadership, Armin Lachet is probably the best candidate for the post of Federal Chancellor.” -Russian dialogue and the search for compromise perceived.

Olaf Scholz

The SPD candidate Olaf Scholz is hardly mentioned in the race for the Chancellery.


(Photo: dpa)

The Russian experts agree that Baerbock would be an uncomfortable Chancellor for Vladimir Putin. “Annalena Baerbock will probably bring a radicalization of the rhetoric against Russia”, at least at the beginning, says Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the presidium of the non-governmental organization “Council on Foreign and Defense Policy”.

Baerbock has supporters among Russian opposition activists, environmental activists and human rights defenders, says Kortunov. “She is certainly an uncomfortable partner for Russia’s current leadership.” Under her as Chancellor, the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project will be difficult. Human rights would become a permanent issue in the negotiations with the Kremlin.

Poland is critical of Baerbock’s climate policy – British media warn against green tax and defense policy

The prospect of Laschet’s pro-Russia policy is causing skepticism in Poland. “Above all, his clear support for Nord Stream 2 is a cause for concern in Poland,” says Agnieszka Łada, Vice Director of the German Poland Institute. “Here the attitude of the Greens critical of Nord Stream and thus also Annalena Baerbock is much closer to the Poles.”

On the other hand, there is great dissent on climate policy and on the subject of democracy. “The Greens have criticized the current Polish government quite heavily when it comes to realizing climate targets and violating democracy. Laschet was much more reserved here. “

In Great Britain the conservative Daily Telegraph warns of the danger from the left. Baerbock comes from the Realo wing, but the Fundis dominated the party base, as in the Labor Party, writes columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. The Fundis “like to forbid things” and are hostile to free enterprise. If Baerbock ruled with the CDU, they might be able to keep their “hot-headed troops” in check, but red-red-green would be “the nightmare of the German establishment”.

The FT, on the other hand, commented that some green doctrines such as tax policy against wealth and the reluctance to spend on defense would be cause for concern. But after years of crippling grand coalition, political change can only be good. The commentators in “Financial Times” and “The Economist” emphasize how conservative Baerbock is for a Green.

Italy and Greece are hoping for Euro bonds under Baerbock

In Italy, “La Repubblica” describes the Greens as a “mature party” that has overcome the earlier conflict between Fundis and Realos. Berlin correspondent Tonia Mastrobuoni predicts that Germany’s attitude towards euro bonds could now change: Baerbock had already spoken out in favor of “corona bonds” a year ago in order to strengthen Europe in the crisis.

And it was SPD candidate Olaf Scholz who decided to push ahead with the reconstruction fund. Under him, euro bonds should no longer be “a mirage”. Hardly ever else is Scholz even mentioned in the race for the Chancellery.

Armin Laschet

The Russian government is hoping for him as the new chancellor – and for policies that are as friendly to Russia as possible.


(Photo: dpa)

The hope of greater integration in the euro zone is also one of the reasons why the Greeks are betting on Baerbock. “The Greens take positions on several issues that are viewed positively in Greece,” says George Pagoulatos, Professor of European Politics and Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Director of the Greek think tank Eliamep. Others are the Turkey policy and the reparations issue.

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the attack by the Wehrmacht on Greece, the Greens advocated a “remembrance policy initiative”. At the same time, the Greek reparation claims, which the Federal Republic has so far strictly rejected, will also be discussed.

In addition, the Greens want to take in more refugees from the Greek camps and ensure a fairer distribution of asylum seekers in the EU. And also in Germany’s Turkey policy, the Greens, from the Greek point of view, are setting much clearer accents: They are calling for a stop of German submarine deliveries to Turkey – an issue that the Greeks face in light of the dispute with Ankara over the economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean burns under the nails.

The German policy towards Turkey is felt to be too ingratiating in Athens. Relations with Berlin are at a low point. Even if the Greek government does not comment on the German election campaign, a certain resignation is unmistakable. Regardless of the outcome of the election: it can only get better, according to government circles.

“Pro-Europeans with a handicap” – that’s what the French media think of Armin Laschet as a candidate for Chancellor

In France, the news magazine “L’Express” advertises Laschet. As Chancellor, he would be the “ideal interlocutor” for Europe, a “pro-European” who was “compatible” with President Emmanuel Macron. But here, as in “Le Monde”, reference is made to his “handicap”: poor poll numbers, union disputes and an “unpredictable” attitude in the corona crisis.

The business newspaper “Les Echos” criticizes Laschet’s lack of “charisma” and ponders: “There is a little of François Hollande in this man of compromises, more tactician than strategist, whose strength is never overestimated by his friends to be or to be underestimated by his enemies. ”

More: “Lost strength” – this is how Germany’s reputation abroad is suffering

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Vaccine Supply Chains: Why India’s Disaster Affects Germany

MIn the middle of March, the government of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi unceremoniously stopped the delivery of five million vaccine doses intended for Great Britain. At that time, a second wave of infections was already emerging in India, which has now fully gripped the country. As a result, the British vaccination program, which had been rapid to date, suffered a noticeable setback. It is to be feared that the Indian export ban could be repeated in view of the infection situation there, possibly with consequences for Germany.

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The new climate protection goals are changing our lives

Good morning, dear reader,

Welcome to the break of day, today is about a serious change in our lives, a scandal and a cross-examination. Oh yes, and about a remarkable action by German actors against the Corona measures:

Our new life

The scene was a bit reminiscent of the Jedi Council. If you like futuristic films, you know what I mean: In the space epic “Star Wars” there is the gathering of great minds who direct the fate of the galaxy in the service of peace and justice. As they sat in front of the video cameras yesterday, Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Xi Jinping and more than 30 other state leaders actually looked a bit like a body of wise minds who work together to avert an existential threat. While at every other international conference the first squabble begins after five minutes, the one convened by the US President left behind Climate summit an almost suspiciously harmonious impression.

Usually Unity in diplomacy is an unmistakable sign that either the subject is irrelevant or that the real battles are being fought behind the scenes. Neither was the case yesterday, and it should not happen today, on the second day of the virtual summit. After four years of Trump theater, Washington has returned to a sensible work rhythm, and right after fighting the corona, Mr Biden has the Climate protection chosen for his second most important task. This is remarkable not only because effective environmental protection would be illusory without the world’s second largest polluter nation. But also because the White House has raised its climate targets and has also moved other countries to do so. By 2030, the US wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52 percent compared to 2005. The EU wants to reduce its CO2 emissions in the same period by at least 55 percent compared to 1990.

Numbers are always relative: They sound big to one person, and small to another. This is all the more true at the climate protection bazaar, which has been haggling over reference values, decimal places and accounting values ​​for years. Accordingly, one now hears great praise from government representatives (“huge effort”, “big step”) and bitter criticism from Fridays-for-future activists (“too little”, “too slow”).

Who is right? You don’t have to delve too deeply into the subject to see that the climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time is. If we want to live more or less unscathed on this planet in the future and if we also grant our children and grandchildren this right, there is no other way out than resolute climate protection: through new technologies, through the reorganization of economic sectors, transport and housing construction, but also by Waiver. That’s when things get tricky. We humans cannot do without, it is not in our nature. We have to learn, and the hardest thing is to ask not only others to give up, but also from yourself. It starts with the question of whether you allow yourself the flight to Malle and extends to a dispute between heads of government about which country how many coal-fired power plants have to close.

For years the climate debate was a political niche. That changed fundamentally with the emergence of the climate-affected youth protests two and a half years ago. The young people put their fingers in the wound of our abundant life. Politicians reacted helplessly and ambitiously and received harsh criticism for it, also here on t-online. But because the public pressure did not ease, because more and more companies are switching to sustainable production, and because politicians are naturally also capable of learning, they began to improve. This can be aptly shown using the example of Germany: First, Ms. Merkel’s grand coalition in the Federal Council let the Greens get a higher one CO2 price wrestle, then she bowed to the “Green Deal” the new EU Commission, and now Mr. Biden comes around the corner and demands even more speed with climate protection.

And Germany goes with it. Even if one may criticize the all too vague details of the European climate protection plans – the new goals are groundbreaking. In the 30 years between 1990 and 2020, the EU countries reduced their greenhouse gases by 25 percent – now they want to save a further 30 percent in just 9 years. And our country, the fourth largest economic power in the world, is at the forefront. “It’s a huge task for Germany,” says Ottmar Edenhofer, the President of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. In order to keep the promises that Ms. Merkel and the other EU leaders are making to the global community these days, we will all have to turn our lives upside down. In the future, we will have to travel differently, commute differently, live differently, shop differently and work differently – but very few of us are likely to understand today what that really means.

I don’t want to scare you, but please be prepared for changes. At the latest on the Glaswegian UN climate conference In November, the promises of the heads of government will be reviewed and substantiated – including those of the Chinese, including those of the Brazilian jungle harvester Jair Bolsonaro. Before that, by June, the EU member states and the Brussels Commission want concrete laws and regulations propose how the ambitious climate targets are to be achieved. An important lever would be a high European, later global one CO2 minimum price and an international one Funds, to enable countries like South Africa and Indonesia to phase out coal. Fossil fuels should no longer be subsidized anywhere, neither coal nor gasoline nor oil – which can only be achieved if poorer countries receive support. Air travel would have to become more expensive, as would the transport of goods by shipping container between Asia, Europe and America. We’ll see the result at the till, whether we’re buying sneakers or smartphones. So far, on average worldwide, every ton of CO2 has been subsidized with 150 dollars, so climate pollution is also rewarded.

That and much more has to change, and that is going to be really expensive. If you now object: Wait a minute, how do we finance the reduction of the Corona debt, the digitization of schools and administration, social housing and all the other incredibly important projects? Then you are right in the middle of the dilemma that the will shape future years: As a society, we will have to think carefully about what is worth how much to us, what billions of taxes should be spent on and what not. We face tough political struggles for distribution and heated social debates.

But we have to go through there, all together – It doesn’t matter whether Mr. Laschet is in the Chancellery or Ms. Baerbock or Mr. Scholz or at least Mr. Schäuble. Politics has less room for maneuver, and we will need all of the innovative strength of our society in order to master the greatest challenge of our time. “It’s about nothing more and nothing less than the transformation of our entire way of life and economy “, said Ms. Merkel yesterday. Feel free to read the sentence again, its meaning cannot be overestimated. But whoever has seen it in fast motion how our planet has changed since 1984, he can’t really help but determined to participate. So let’s do it!

______________________________

Merkel in cross-examination

What did Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz know about the Wirecard fraud?  (Source: Tobias Schwarz / Pool via REUTERS)What did Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz know about the Wirecard fraud? (Source: Tobias Schwarz / Pool via REUTERS)

Of course, the matter is not so explosive for Angela Merkel as for her vice Olaf Scholz, who was on yesterday. She doesn’t want to be Chancellor anymore. Nevertheless, it should not be a joke appointment for the soon-to-be-outgoing head of government to talk to the committee of inquiry about her role in the Wirecard accounting scandal to be questioned.
In particular, the fact that Ms. Merkel advertised Wirecard’s entry there on a trip to China in September 2019 – at the request of her former defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who worked as a consultant to the fraud company – is pretty embarrassing in retrospect. Even the experienced Chancellor will not be able to easily wipe the impression that a company has been politically pampered here, although allegations of fraud have long been circulating. “It’s about nothing less than the joint responsibility for the biggest German financial scandal”, writes my colleague Mauritius Kloft in his background article.

______________________________

If not, then not

Will there be European football matches in Munich in June? Uefa wants to answer this question today. The European Football Association had tied the decision to a guarantee from the city that the games could take place in front of spectators – and thus with the Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter understandably bitten on granite. Either the Executive Committee still accepts that no one can currently predict how the Corona will continue – or the German team will have to get on the plane more often from their quarters in Herzogenaurach. Oh yes, or you can stop flying around and postpone the EM to the next winter break. Would be the most sensible anyway.

______________________________

Read what

Armin Laschet, Annalena Baerbock and Olaf Scholz fight for the Chancellery.  (Source: t-online / imago images)Armin Laschet, Annalena Baerbock and Olaf Scholz fight for the Chancellery. (Source: t-online / imago images)

Armin Laschet, Annalena Baerbock or Olaf Scholz: Who should be the next Chancellor in autumn? What the candidates stand for, what they can and cannot do: Our political reporters Johannes Bebermeier and Tim Kummert will give you an overview.

______________________________

Thousands of people are vaccinated against Covid-19 every day. But what does the vaccination actually protect against – and are those who have been vaccinated really less infectious? My colleague Melanie has answers.

______________________________

Hatred and malice against women are the order of the day on Facebook, Twitter and Co. For the Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock, the election campaign should be particularly challenging, writes our columnist Nicole Diekmann.

______________________________

What amuses me

Since yesterday evening, half the internet seems to be chattering about the #allesdichtmachen campaign, in which German actors make fun of the corona measures. Sometimes that’s pretty funny, even if the faint-hearted Twitter crowd is once again fervently outraged. How did Joachim Ringelnatz say? “Humor is the button that keeps us from bursting.” Here you can see excerpts and then decide for yourself whether you want to laugh or scold.

For my part, I keep my good mood and wish you a happy day.

Best regards,

your

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

With material from dpa.

Florian Harms’ daily newsletter subscribe here.

You can find all the daybreak issues here.
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Moscow outraged by false accusations of involvement in explosions at Czech arsenal

https://mundo.sputniknews.com/20210420/moscu-indignada-por-las-acusaciones-falsas-de-implicacion-en-explosiones-en-un-arsenal-checo-1111380434.html

Moscow outraged by false accusations of involvement in explosions at Czech arsenal

Moscow outraged by false accusations of involvement in explosions at Czech arsenal

“It is a paradox, but there is practically no official material on this case. For seven years, the official authorities of the Czech Republic could not

2021-04-20T18: 16 + 0000

2021-04-20T18: 16 + 0000

2021-04-20T18: 16 + 0000

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Moscow outraged by false accusations of involvement in explosions at Czech arsenal

Moscow outraged by false accusations of involvement in explosions at Czech arsenal

“It is a paradox, but there is practically no official material on this case. For seven years, the official authorities of the Czech Republic could not answer the question of who is to blame, they could not even answer what happened there,” said the spokeswoman The day before, the Attorney General of the Czech Republic, Pavel Zeman, claimed that the suspects of being involved in the Skripal case – the Russians Alexandr Petrov and Ruslán Boshrov – are related to the explosions in Vrbetice in 2014. On April 17, the Czech Police declared that these two Russian citizens were being searched in the framework of an investigation “of a serious crime”, also accused by London of being behind the alleged poisoning of the former agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury with a Neuro-paralyzing substance in 2018, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis denounced on 17 April the alleged involvement of Russian intelligence in the explosions that caused two deaths and n an ammunition depot in Vrbetice, in the Zlin region, in 2014. In turn, the acting Foreign Minister, Jan Hamacek, announced the expulsion of 18 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague identified as alleged agents of the secret services Moscow, for its part, rejected the accusations as “absurd” and attributed them to the anti-Russian course of the Czech Republic in recent years and also to the “hand of the United States.” On April 18, the Ministry Russia’s Foreign Ministry declared 20 Czech diplomats unwelcome and gave them 24 hours to leave the country. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov considers that the Czech accusations of involvement in the explosions at the Vrbetica warehouse in 2014, in addition to being “gratuitous and unfounded, are, of course, outrageous.” On the Czech statement that the Russians Alexandr Petrov and Ruslan Boshrov are related to the explosions in Vrbetice, Peskov said it is baseless and “is not a reason for any kind of analysis.” The Kremlin spokesman also pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet planned to hold a telephone conversation with the Czech authorities.In other news, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) needs to maintain dialogue with Russia, declared this 20 German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in April. It would be “wrong” to close all channels of dialogue with Russia. The task of the Council of Europe is “to tolerate different opinions and positions.” That is important, because thanks to such discussions “people can be assisted” in different states, said the German Chancellor. These and other topics in El Punto .

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The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zajárova, highlighted the absence of any official material on the explosions that occurred in the Czech Republic in 2014, for which the authorities of the European country blame Russia.

“It is a paradox, but there is practically no official material on this case. For seven years, the official authorities of the Czech Republic could not answer the question of who is to blame, they could not even answer what happened there,” said the spokeswoman of the Russian Chancellery.

“I am outraged by the fact that for seven years details, causes and culprits of the explosions in Vrbetice were not revealed. There is no doubt that the Czechs were pressured, these actions are orchestrated by the US,” denounced the spokeswoman for the portfolio of Foreign of Russia.

The day before, the Attorney General of the Czech Republic, Pavel Zeman, claimed that the suspects of being involved in the Skripal case – the Russians Alexandr Petrov and Ruslán Boshírov – are related to the explosions in Vrbetice in 2014.
On April 17, the Czech Police declared that these two Russian citizens were being searched in the framework of an investigation “of a serious crime”, also accused by London of being behind the alleged poisoning of the former agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury with a neuroparalyzing substance, in 2018.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis denounced on April 17 the alleged involvement of Russian intelligence in the explosions that caused two deaths at a munitions depot in Vrbetice, in the Zlin region, in 2014.

In turn, the acting Foreign Minister, Jan Hamacek, announced the expulsion of 18 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague identified as alleged agents of Russia’s secret services.

Moscow, for its part, rejected the accusations as “absurd” and attributed them to the anti-Russian course of the Czech Republic in recent years and also to the “hand of the United States.”

Moscow does not rule out domino effect in the EU after the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic
On April 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry declared 20 Czech diplomats unwelcome and gave them 24 hours to leave the country.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, considers that the Czech accusations of involvement in the explosions at the Vrbetica warehouse in 2014, in addition to being “gratuitous and unfounded, are, of course, outrageous”.

“The behavior of the Czech government is absolutely baseless and destructive to bilateral relations,” Peskov stressed.

On the Czech statement that the Russians Alexandr Petrov and Ruslán Boshrov are related to the explosions in Vrbetice, Peskov said that it is without foundation and “is not a reason for any kind of analysis.”

The Kremlin spokesman also noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet planned to hold a telephone conversation with the Czech authorities.

In other news

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) needs to maintain dialogue with Russia, declared this April 20 the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

“We have many conflicts with Russia that, unfortunately, complicate our relations. But I am still that person who always says: we must talk to each other … keep the dialogue going,” said Merkel, speaking by videoconference at the PACE.

It would be “wrong” to close all channels of dialogue with Russia. The task of the Council of Europe is “to tolerate different opinions and positions.” That is important, because thanks to such discussions “people can be assisted” in different states, said the German chancellor.

These and other topics in El Punto.

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Germany remembers its almost 80,000 deaths from Covid: “Let’s not let the pandemic divide us”

Updated Sunday, April 18, 2021 –
20:18

An ecumenical service opens the day of tribute to the victims and also of consolation, especially to those who could not even say goodbye to their loved ones.

Angela Merkel at the tribute to the victims, today in Berlin.REUTERS

Germany remembered this Sunday the victims of the pandemic, when it already touched 80,000 deaths with or from Covid-19, and while it accelerated the search for remedies, either with the advance of vaccination or by activating a single brake of action wherever it was shoot the contagions.

An ecumenical office in the Gedchtniskirche -the Church of Memory, whose truncated tower recalls the destruction of World War II- opened the day of tribute to the victims and also of consolation, especially those who could not even say goodbye to their loved ones, forced into isolation by the pandemic. “Let us join forces on the way forward, on this path towards the end of the pandemic that we want to travel together,” said the country’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, main speaker in the solemn act that followed the religious, in the auditorium of the Berlin Konzerthaus.

“Let’s not let the pandemic, which forces us into distance, divide our society,” he added. The chancellor attend the event Angela Merkel, the President of the Bundestag (lower house), Wolfgang Schuble, and other representatives of the main constitutional bodies of the country. It was a solemn ceremony, with prerecorded musical accompaniment – an impressive Requiem by Johannes Brahms– and obviously restricted capacity, reflecting the restrictions in public life and personal contacts.

Next to the president five relatives of the deceased spoke, representatives of the pain shared by so many others. The widow of a doctor who died in an ICU, the daughter of a Turkish immigrant or the mother of a girl who died after eleven days in intensive care expressed the pain and some anger at not being able to accompany them in their agony, between messages of hope in the face of medical progress.

DECISION WEEK

With the memory of the victims, a week marked by the approval, on Tuesday, in the Council of Ministers, of the bill destined to apply unitary action formulas throughout the country. The project entered the parliamentary process on Friday and is expected to be submitted to the Bundestag on Wednesday for ratification by the Bundesrat (territorial chamber of representation) on Friday. Ah need the support of the “Lnder”, several of which reject some of the measures.

The project modifies the Infections Law, approved at the beginning of the pandemic. Contemplate the activation of a night curfew -from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.- as soon as the weekly incidence of 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded. From that level on, private meetings will be limited to cohabitants and a maximum of one other person from another household. In schools, face-to-face classes will be maintained up to 200 cases, but from 100 positives, two weekly antigen tests will be mandatory.

These measures represent a limitation for the “Lnder”, who are responsible for their implementation. This has led, in practice, to the consensus between Merkel and the regional powers to end in a certain lack of control, since each “Land” applies what has been agreed according to its criteria.

Merkel’s purpose is to establish homogeneous guidelines for the entire country. In parallel vaccination has been accelerated since the beginning of April the general practitioners joined the campaign. As of Friday, 21.3 million doses had been injected; some 15.6 million citizens have received the first injection -19.1% of the population-, while 5.4 million have the complete pattern -6.5%.

This week a daily maximum was achieved, by administering 738,000 doses in one day. Merkel, like President Steinmeier, Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, and the head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for virology, Lothar Wieler, received their first injection of AstraZeneca these days, as a message of confidence to citizens, after this vaccine was suspended in Germany for those under 60 years of age.

THE INCIDENCE DOES NOT GIVE TRUE

The rate of vaccination is on the rise. But the pandemic does not give truce in a country whose public life – from restoration to leisure, culture and commercial activity – has been almost paralyzed since the end of 2020. The weekly incidence today stands at 162.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants -In contrast to 65 at the end of February or 125 a month ago-. In the last 24 hours, 19,185 new infections and 67 deaths were verified. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the total number of infections exceeds 3.14 million – of which 2.8 million are recovered patients – while the number of deaths is 79,914.


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AMLO the second highest rated leader in the world: Morning Consult

SPECIAL.- The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), was placed in the 2nd place among the highest rated world leaders produced by the global data measurement firm Morning Consult.

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In its latest monthly measurement, which takes into account 13 internationally relevant world leaders, the Presidente AMLO obtained approval levels higher than those of its counterparts in United States (USA), Joe Biden, who placed third; Canadá; Justin Trudeau, which was positioned in the seventh place; and Brazil; Jair Bolsonaro, which occupies the tenth seat.

The Presidente AMLO was also placed at a higher approval level than European and Asian leaders such as the Chancellor of Germany; Angela Merkel, which climbed to sixth position; the British Prime Minister; Boris johnson, which reached the eighth position; and the President of South Korea; Moon jae-in, which is in the ninth position in the ranking of Morning Consult.

It is worth mentioning that, since January 2020 and until the last report, the Presidente AMLO has always occupied one of the first five places in the ranking of Morning Consult.

In accordance with Morning Consult the highest rated leader is the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, who for more than a year has occupied andl first place from the listing.

In particular terms, Morning Consult refers that in Mexico the Presidente AMLO has a 58 percent approval rating, compared to 30 percent who disapprove.

In the India Narendra Modi He has a 72 percent approval rating and only 22 percent disapprove of his management.

With click here to consult the full study.

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Joe Biden will hold a climate summit with 40 leaders, who will be the guests?

WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden will hold a virtual summit on climate change and decided to invite 40 global leaders, including Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

According to information from the White House, the meeting will be held on April 22 and 23.

So far, a total of 17 leaders responsible for 80 percent of global emissions have been invited, in addition to the leaders of other nations that suffer the effects of climate change or that show the will to combat it.

It was detailed that days before the event, “ambitious objectives” will be announced to reduce carbon emissions under the umbrella of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The goal will be for each country to make its own commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.

In addition to President López Obrador, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has been invited; from Colombia, Iván Duque; from Chile, Sebastián Piñera; and from Argentina, Alberto Fernández.

It is important that this will be one of the most important global meetings of the year, fortunately with advanced technology the covid-19 will not be an impediment.

With information from EFE

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La Jornada – Merkel calls for greater flexibility to combat Covid rebound

Berlin German Chancellor Angela Merkel attributed some of her country’s difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic – from the slow vaccination campaign to disputes over quarantines – to a “trend toward perfectionism” and called for more flexibility to combat the new one. rebound in cases.

In an hour-long television interview with the public broadcaster ARD on Sunday night, Merkel admitted that her government had made mistakes, for example in planning an Easter quarantine, which had to be canceled.

The veteran leader also expressed frustration at the actions of some German state governors, including some from her own party, who have resisted imposing restrictions that they had agreed to before.

But Merkel, who is not running again in September’s national elections, said she is keeping her promise to offer a vaccine to all adults in the country by the end of the summer, insisting that Germany remains fine compared to almost everyone. his neighbors.

“Maybe sometimes we are very perfectionists and we want to do everything well, because obviously whoever makes a mistake always faces a lot of public criticism,” said the president.

“But there also has to be flexibility,” he added. “I think that’s an attribute that as Germans we may have to learn a little more, along with our tendency towards perfectionism.”

He gave the example of the need for doctors and vaccination centers to have lists on hand of people who can receive leftover vaccines at the end of the day. By Sunday, around 10.8% of the German population had received a first dose, a much lower percentage than that of Britain, the United States or Israel.

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