Who is waiting for Christmas? Helmstedt children answer

The church members in Helmstedt belonging to the evangelical Calixt congregation are working even more closely together these days. Because St. Thomas and St. Michaelis do not offer enough space to ensure compliance with the distance rules and the renewal of the heating on St. Stephani has not yet been completed, the gatherings during Advent are concentrated in the St. Marienberg monastery church.

Since this week, provost Katja Witte-Knoblauch has set up an “Advent room”. In addition, the church day-care centers will regularly leave a nice greeting under the question: “Who is waiting for Christmas?” The answer will be a Playmobil nativity scene designed by them.

Nativity scenes with Play-Mobil

Witte-Knoblauch explains: “In the stable, not only the shepherds will be waiting, but the people who the children bring us as Playmobil or Lego figures. In our preliminary considerations we thought that maybe nurses at hospital beds were waiting for Christmas and peace to come on earth. Or people in the fire service or in hospitals. But maybe we will just find children in the crib or animals or Star Wars characters, who knows !? ”

The provost was already surprised by the first idea. When Katja Georgi, director of the Marienberg Kindergarten, appears on December 1st with a delegation from the strawberry group, the young guests not only have their figures, but also this message: “The reindeer is waiting for Christmas because it will then have lots of carrots. Only then does Santa’s heavy sleigh pull in to bring all the children the presents. ”

Texts explain children’s fantasies

The plan is to take a photo of each nativity scene and to add a text that briefly explains what can be seen there. The children’s fantasies on display belong to the concept of daily devotions. “If the Christmas markets are already canceled, then there should at least be one room in which the Advent wreath lights up, music plays and there is also an opportunity for conversation,” explains provost Katja Witte-Knoblauch. A pastor from the parish will be on site for the offer of talks.

“The Advent Room”, open from 3 p.m., ends with a daily prayer, beginning at 4 p.m. The known hygiene conditions apply, registration is not required.


One year EU Commission head: “Overall grade 2- or 3+”

As head of the EU Commission, von der Leyen did not actually want to be driven from one crisis to the next like her predecessor. But in her first year in office she had little leeway.

By Stephan Ueberbach, ARD-Studio Brussels

“We are ready, Europe is ready. Let’s get to work,” said Ursula von der Leyen exactly a year ago. What the new Commission President had not planned: The EU should take on a global leadership role, it should become more digital, fairer, safer, and greener anyway. The goal: climate neutrality by 2050.

But plans are only one thing. The reality is often very different. Actually, like her predecessor Jean-Claude Juncker, von der Leyen did not want to be driven from one crisis to the next. And then that: budget debate, refugee crisis, Brexit, corona pandemic. The head of the Commission quickly faces a huge mountain of problems – and calls on Europe to unite:

“If we are united inside, no one outside can divide us.”

“Overall a bit too discouraged”

However, the cohesion is not particularly far off. When fighting the corona pandemic, everyone initially only thought of themselves. There is resistance to the ambitious climate plans, especially in the coal countries. The reform of asylum policy is also not making progress. And in the dispute over penalties for rule-of-law offenders, Hungary and Poland stand side by side, so the largest financial package in the history of the EU is on hold.

After all: in the fight against the pandemic, a lot is now going through the Brussels authority. The Commission ensures that Europe has access to promising vaccines and works to ensure that medicines are distributed worldwide at fair prices. In the European Parliament, after a year of “Team von der Leyen”, the results are rather mixed.

“Overall, I think that von der Leyen is acting a little too discouraged,” says EU MEP Jens Geier. The head of the European SPD misses initiative – and thinks that the Commission President should give the heads of state and government more contra.

There is a lack of ecological agricultural policy and proximity to the citizens

In the opinion of the Greens, von der Leyen must finally turn their announcements into concrete policy. Fractional leader Ska Keller criticizes the fact that the Green Deal, of all things, is treading on the spot and that farmers still do not have to do enough to combat climate change: “It does not look as if the agricultural policy of the next few years will be in any way ecological or ecological And of course that’s a big problem. “

Criticism also comes from within our own ranks. The CDU MP Dennis Radtke praises his party friend for having implemented the multi-billion Corona aid fund. Overall, however, the Christian Democrat from Bochum from von der Leyen would like less pathetic headlines and more political leadership. “Keyword Green Deal: In my constituency in the Ruhr area, the largest steel location in Europe … the people there simply have existential fears,” he describes. “And that’s why I say: It’s not enough to talk to Greta and show yourself to Greta – but if you want to push something like that, you have to explain to people on site: What does that mean specifically for them? And what do we do about them Protect people? “

Achievements in coordinated health policy

The CDU man Radtke also sees a lot of room for improvement in the policy style of the head of the commission, for example in dealing with parliament, especially with the Christian Democrats.

The first year of the Brussels authority will of course be dominated by the corona crisis, says Janis Emmanouilidis, political analyst at the European Policy Center (EPC) think tank. Although he attests to von der Leyen some successes, for example with regard to the increased coordination of European health policy, he also predicts problems for the targeted goals in view of the pandemic – for example with climate protection.

Overall, however, the EU expert believes that the new head of the Commission is now doing a solid job after a few initial difficulties: “She had problems at the beginning. She had to find her way into the office, didn’t know the EU from the inside – and that would be more than enough been “, he says.

But von der Leyen said: “I think you can very well say good to satisfactory – in the overall grade that would be a 2 or a 3+.”

Inforadio reported on this topic on December 1, 2020 at 6:51 a.m.


Düsseldorf benefits from Brexit: New companies are coming

With Great Britain leaving the EU, Düsseldorf benefits from the settlement of new companies. Japanese companies in particular are increasingly coming.

Because of Corona and the US elections, Brexit has gotten into the headlines. But the UK’s exit from the European Union is important for the economy right now: There must be an agreement between the EU and the British by the end of the year – otherwise there is a risk of tariffs, export congestion and delivery bottlenecks due to long queues in front of ferry terminals and the Canal tunnel. And with it an economic chaos.

Düsseldorf also affected by Brexit: export uncertainty

Düsseldorf is also affected by Brexit, as Robert Butschen says. He is a consultant for international markets at the Düsseldorf Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The uncertainty has been high since 2016, especially among companies that export to Great Britain. That is why the volume of trade of companies from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry District (Düsseldorf and Mettmann District) has plummeted by 20 percent in the past four years. “Although things are looking good at the moment with exporting companies from our region,” says Butschen.

Because they manage everything that can be done by December 31st and fill up all possible storage capacities on the island in order to be able to sell there from January. Because if there is no trade agreement between the EU and the EU exiting Britain, according to the World Trade Organization, ten percent standard tariffs will be due on exports to Britain …

Subsidiaries simplify trading

Germany and Düsseldorf as a company location benefit from this fear. Because of the British exit from the EU, there are not masses of companies leaving for mainland Europe. But they are setting up subsidiaries on the mainland to make trade with the EU easier. According to Robert Butschen, there has been a significant increase in British companies based in Düsseldorf since 2016. That is 20 percent, as the trade expert says.

However, Düsseldorf is benefiting in particular from the settlement of Japanese companies that have so far mainly been based in London. “These companies don’t look far to come to Europe,” says Butschen. But they too are relocating business activities from the island and setting up subsidiaries with storage capacities in the EU in order to be able to work the market better and to prevent possible EU tariffs.

Their goods would then not first have to be imported into the EU via Great Britain, but would come directly here. And: Japanese companies have been relocating to Europe for years. Many do not even opt for Great Britain in the first place but come straight to the EU. The IHK knows cases in which Japanese companies have rejected British offers to settle and have come to Düsseldorf.

Japan: Düsseldorf is the number 1 location

That, in turn, is good for Düsseldorf: Although most Japanese companies across Europe are based in the city of nine million, Düsseldorf is still clearly number one when it comes to locating them on the European mainland. “Especially in the industries In the digital and chemical trade we have a lot of Japanese settlements in Düsseldorf, ”says Robert Butschen.

Even if many Germans have long been annoyed by the subject of Brexit, the economy in Düsseldorf is following it with huge interest. Because she cannot use trade restrictions and tariffs and hopes that the talks between the EU and the EU dropout will end well. Robert Butschen: “We are cautiously optimistic that a trade agreement will be reached.” And thus also for clear prospects for the companies in Düsseldorf who do business with Great Britain.


Brexit deal can be finalized this week

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Monday that he believed a Brexit deal could be reached this week.

Additional Comments

“There has to be a give and take on both sides.”

“It’s key week because we’re running out of time.”

“Barnier will negotiate a balanced deal.”

Market reaction

GBP / USD has lost its gains and trades at 1.3335 which is still up 0.17%. Given the looming uncertainty around Brexit and the broad-based US dollar weakness, the course remains cautious.


What happens after Brexit ?: Race against the clock

The negotiations between London and Brussels are entering the final phase. According to the EU, the coming days are crucial. After all, there is not much time left to avert a hard break.

By Ralph Sina, ARD-Studio Brussels

“The work continues, even on Sunday,” said EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on the way to the meeting with his British negotiating partner Lord David Frost. Before leaving for London on the Eurostar, Barnier had informed the EU ambassador in Brussels about the status of the negotiations and made no secret of the still serious differences of opinion.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab told Sky News that there was little time left to resolve these differences on the issues of fisheries, fair competition and supervision. The British Foreign Minister underlined that the negotiations are likely to be the last week.

The goal is still a deal. The British government sees progress in negotiations on the issue of fair competition, i.e. compliance with all standards and rules of the EU internal market. But for the EU it is crucial that the British side not only pledges itself on paper to comply with EU social, environmental and consumer protection standards. She also urges London to recognize the EU’s subsidy rules in order to rule out all forms of dumping.

Highly competitive fishing

“We need robust control mechanisms,” emphasizes EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. To ensure that competition with the future third country Great Britain on the EU single market remains fair in the long term. What kind of competition supervision the British accept and which arbitral tribunal decides in the event of a dispute are among the particularly difficult negotiation questions.

The symbolic subject of fishing continues to be fiercely contested. This is a matter of principle, stressed the British Foreign Minister Raab to “Sky News”. With the end of the transition phase on December 31, Great Britain will be an independent coastal state from next year and must be able to control its waters.

No one in the EU questioned this principle of British fishing sovereignty in British territorial waters, stressed Commissioner von der Leyen. The EU Commission is well aware of the international law of the sea, which allows the United Kingdom to dispose of all fishing activities within the 200 miles of its exclusive economic zone.

Previous catch quotas not tenable

However, the EU continues to insist on clearly defined fishing quotas for EU trawlers. After all, continental European fishing boats have been sailing in British waters for centuries, von der Leyen emphasizes.

It is clear to all EU countries bordering the North Sea that the previous catch quotas cannot be maintained. Even French President Emmanuel Macron has signaled to his fishermen that they will have to put up with lower fishing quotas in order to get a deal with the British. The alternative is an absolute ban on fishing in British waters if a trade agreement is not concluded by the end of the year, stressed Macron.

French fishermen catch around 80 percent of the fish in the English Channel, while their British colleagues catch just nine percent. EU negotiator Michel Barnier is absolutely clear that such quotas cannot be maintained. The eight affected EU countries get around 40 percent of their herring, mackerel, plaice and sole from the British territorial waters of the North Sea and the English Channel.

Crucial days

British Foreign Minister Dominique Raab emphasizes the importance of British territorial waters for EU fishermen. In total there are 140 species of fish. According to the European Fisheries Alliance, up to 6,000 fishing jobs could be lost in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Most of it in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.

EU chief negotiator Barnier is therefore ready to reduce the quotas by around 15 percent – and to renegotiate the quotas every ten years. The British are demanding significantly greater self-restraint by EU fishermen and renegotiating quotas after three years at the latest.

From the point of view of EU Commission President von der Leyen, the next few days of negotiations will be decisive. A treaty not only has to be translated into the 24 official languages ​​of the EU, but also ratified by the parliaments in Brussels and London by December 31st. Nobody in the EU has an interest in a possible deal provisionally coming into force on January 1st and only having it ratified afterwards.

After all: Great Britain signed a fishing agreement weeks ago with its EU economic partner Norway. And this weekend the government in London agreed with France to better control the English Channel in order to prevent migrants from crossing the deadly danger. That strengthens hopes in Brussels for a future EU treaty with Great Britain.


Brexit trade pact: tough talks with slight progress

There is more movement in the negotiations on a Brexit trade pact – but is the pace enough? Even if many detailed questions have been clarified, there are still important issues, including fishing.

By Ralph Sina, ARD-Studio Brussels

A last-minute deal between Brussels and London, between the EU and the United Kingdom on the future relationship is not ruled out: EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen speaks of progress and more movement. “When it comes to important issues, what is good,” stressed the Commission President in Brussels at the end of last week.

For example, the important question is how to prevent the UK from exporting highly subsidized products to the EU internal market at dumping prices from next January. It is now becoming apparent that the British side is ready to adhere to the EU subsidy regulations. The United Kingdom also wants to maintain the current EU environment, climate protection and occupational health and safety regulations.

However, it is still unclear which authority decides whether the British actually adhere to the rules of the internal market and what a yellow or red card looks like if standards are violated.

Fishing still unexplained

The question of whether and how much fish EU trawlers may continue to catch in British territorial waters is also unresolved, although it is economically third-rate but emotionally charged. For example, 100 percent of French herring comes from British waters because their depth is particularly popular with herring. “So there is still a lot to be done,” stressed Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

And as long as there is no agreement on the important points of contention, it does not count that the existing 600-page draft contract is now in agreement on many details.

EU driving licenses should also be valid in the UK

Driving licenses from EU member states should continue to be valid in the UK, trucks and cars with EU license plates should continue to be allowed to drive on UK roads and pilot licenses should be mutually recognized for flights between airports in the EU and Great Britain.

What is certain is that, even in the event of a deal, freight forwarders in the EU must obtain a digital access permit for the county of Kent, because Dover is the largest cargo handling port in the UK. Because whether deal or no-deal: From January 1st, an external border will separate the EU from the third country Great Britain. From 2021 onwards, it will no longer be as simple as it was before.

Digging should be prevented

But so that the EU’s external border does not become a ditch with the United Kingdom, the EU Commission is very interested in a future contract. The teams of experts worked day and night on the contract text, emphasizes von der Leyen. But a Covid case in the Barnier team caused a negotiation delay last week.

No final version of the text is in sight yet, although the EU Parliament expects an agreement by the beginning of this week at the latest. France and Italy are therefore worried that there will be enough time to translate the treaty into the EU’s 24 official languages. You are against using the English version as the basis for the ratification process.

Special session of the EU Parliament at the end of December?

There is already talk in Brussels of convening a special session of the EU Parliament on December 28th to put the treaty to a vote. France, Belgium and the Netherlands have asked the EU Commission to intensify their preparations in the event of a no-deal.

Credit insurer: Germany would be hard hit by Brexit

In a study on the consequences of an unregulated Brexit, the credit insurer Euler Hermes comes to the conclusion that a hard Brexit could cost the EU 33 billion euros in annual export revenues. According to this study, the Federal Republic of Germany would be particularly affected: Due to the threat of tariffs and higher costs for handling goods at the borders, German exports could decline by up to 8.2 billion euros.

In the past few years, German companies exported goods worth around 79 billion euros to Great Britain every year, thereby securing around 750,000 jobs in Germany.

B5 reported on this topic on November 23, 2020 at 11:21 a.m.


▷ Ford boss Europe warns of no-deal Brexit / Stuart Rowley: trade agreement between …

23.11.2020 – 01:00

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The European head of the automobile manufacturer Ford, Stuart Rowley, warns of massive economic damage from a “no-deal Brexit”. It is “absolutely crucial” that the EU and Great Britain agree on a trade agreement “that gets by without mutual tariffs,” writes Rowley in a guest article for the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” (Monday edition). A “no deal” would aggravate the economic misery and shackle hope for an upswing, Rowley continued. The automotive industry in particular would be affected. “A trade deal could cushion some of the disruptions that Britain’s exit from the EU’s internal market would cause and, with a waiver of mutual tariffs, enable trade to pick up again expected in 2021.”

It is estimated that in a “no deal” scenario the UK could lose 1.5 percent of its gross national product. This would correspond to a decrease of 42 billion euros. The EU countries would lose 0.5 percent of their gross national product or around 69 billion euros.

“That’s why we want to encourage governments across Europe to show their strength and to recognize free trade as the central approach to reclaiming the economic ground lost this year,” said Rowley.

The British manager cited the EU trade agreement with Mexico as a positive example. In 2018, it enabled an exchange of goods worth 61 billion euros and services worth 17 billion euros. “Projections suggest that every billion euros exported from the EU to the Central American country under this treaty will save 14,000 jobs. With the provisional implementation of the expanded agreement, Mexico can further expand its trade and create new opportunities in the EU. Everything should be done to implement this treaty. ”

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Original content from: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, transmitted by news aktuell


Between shark and Star Wars cult: Salzgitteraner collects Lego

The unmistakable sound of rummaging through a Lego box, that plastic-like rustling. “Wonderful,” says René Rudahl. The 41-year-old Üfinger is a fan of the do-it-yourself plastic blocks that the Danish master carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen registered for a patent in 1949 and with which he literally became extremely rich.

In Rudahl’s garage, Lego boxes are piled up to the roof; in the basement, shelves and cupboards are lined up in which collecting boxes full of studded stones are stored. Many boxes are in their original condition, they are unopened.

“When I order something, it is usually double or triple,” says Rudahl. Quasi as a spare parts store or as barter goods with like-minded people. “Yes, yes, you have to be a little crazy,” says the professional firefighter, who finances his filigree Lego tinkering hobby as a part-time scrap dealer.

“Collecting Lego costs”

“There is a cost to collect Lego,” says the 41-year-old. “It’s not a hobby for everyone’s wallet.” How much money has Rudahl invested in plastic stones and figures so far? He answers with a counter-question: “20,000 euros?” His wife Kerstin is more specific: “It’s probably a lot more.” She says she has an eye on the finances. “René likes to spend more than he should.” 500 euros a month is okay, says the enthusiastic collector, “1000 euros is the limit” ..

But he is a bargain hunter, assures the Üfinger. “I strike when it’s cheap.” If he grabs a Star Wars figure on the Internet or at flea markets for “only” 30 euros instead of the regular 50 or 90 euros, “then I’m just happy”. People usually buy in bulk, according to Üfinger, and shows a box with 1000 gray triangular stones. “This is how you build mountains,” says Rudahl. “18 cents each – I spent 180 euros.”

Stacking and tinkering with little stones

René Rudahl is currently unable to fully live out his hobby. The 41-year-old is converting his own home and the family has moved into the basement. Instead of books, there are Lego shelves in every corner, in the wardrobes next to T-shirts and jeans there are sorting boxes for the colorful bricks. “Lego boxes are even stored in the bed box,” says Kerstin Rudahl. “I sleep over and between Lego bricks.”

René Rudahl does not have much time to stack stones and tinker with work, part-time work and renovating the house. He misses the tinkering: “It calms me down, I get down.”

Rudahl is already making plans. When the house renovation is finished in 2021, the basement will become its Lego Eldorado. One room becomes a Star Wars themed room, another is intended for the Lego train. Sorting shelves with transparent collection boxes should make it easier to find the right stones and figures. But René Rudahl can only guess how many Lego blocks he owns: “Certainly several hundred thousand.”

Classic toys connect

In the house of Rudahl it is clear that the classic toy connects generations. Daughter Tabea (7) and son Thorben (10) have been building a Lego underwater world with a research station and deep-sea gorges amid hammerheads, rays and corals for days. René Rudahl is beaming. “It’s great when the children can get excited about my hobby.”


Brexit diary: waiting for exit – or continuation?

Negotiations on a Brexit agreement are dragging on. The “Brexiteers” care little about the prospect of failure. At best, experts expect a dry deal.

By Annette Dittert, ARD-Studio London

The world has been waiting for the end of the Brexit negotiations for months. Deadlines are set and ignored, the weeks go by and nothing happens. But now the last ultimate deadline looms: January 1, 2021. Because on this day the transition phase ends and Brexit comes into force. With or without a deal.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated in recent weeks that Great Britain could easily leave the EU without a deal, and that the country would then also flourish economically. Unlike most of the British economy, many of the Brexit hardliners in his party see it the same way. In an interview with John Redwood, for example, John Redwood, for example, said in an interview: “We don’t need a trade agreement to do business. We now have a fantastic opportunity even without a deal to develop ourselves, then we produce our own food. “

The biggest advantages of an exit without a deal, the so-called no deal, is that you then no longer have to do things by halves, explains Redwood: “Our concern is freedom, we want to finally be an independent country again that is no longer controlled by the EU and being ordered around. “

It all depends on the atmosphere

Jill Rutter of the Institute for Government, an independent think tank in London, believes that a deal in the short time left can only be so thin and superficial that the practical consequences would hardly differ in practice from an exit without an agreement . “The real difference lies in the atmosphere. After all, negotiations have to be continued after January 1st, 2021, regardless of whether it is a deal or no deal. And a deal before the end of the year would be a much more positive basis for the future relationship between Great Britain and the EU. “

Whatever the outcome of the negotiations in the coming weeks, Great Britain and the EU countries will definitely have to prepare for turbulent scenes on both sides of the borders from the beginning of January.

Tagesschau24 reported on this topic on October 30, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.


New Brexit negotiations with the EU: High level of acting

In the Brexit negotiations, the climax comes at the end. It is a production with distributed roles.

Brexit opponents demonstrate in London during negotiations on Friday Foto: Henry Nicholls/reuters

How often has you heard it: “Time is of the essence” is always emphasized when a new round of Brexit negotiations begins. But it is already clear that there will be no “breakthrough” this week either.

The Brexit negotiations follow the classic rules of diplomacy: the climax comes at the end. It would be detrimental for all sides to come to an agreement now – although the final Brexit is due at the end of the year. Voters would believe that their governments did not fight hard enough. There must be drama. Negotiations are expected to run until just before New Year’s Eve, garnished with night sessions, and the EU Parliament will be torn from the Christmas break to ratify the treaty at the last minute.

The content fronts have been fixed for months. It is about three issues: fishing rights, “fair competition” and how disputes are resolved. An agreement is likely on the last subject, as various arbitration procedures could be envisaged.

The crux of the matter is fair competition: The EU must prevent Great Britain from gaining export advantages by fraudulent practice by tax dumping or subsidizing companies. The British have to obey the rules – what Brexit fans don’t see is their motto “Take Back Control”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can therefore only accommodate the EU if he has a triumph to show. So the EU pumps up the issue of fishing rights – although almost no one lives from fishing. Johnson is said to be able to claim that he personally saved the British fishing fleet.

The fact that French President Macron pretends to be the chairman of the Normandy fishermen’s association and is completely uncompromising goes well with this EU staging. The brighter the “victory” of the British will shine. For Macron and his fishermen, a few EU billions are likely to fall off to sweeten their “defeat”. Nice too.

But who knows. The future is fundamentally uncertain, as a famous Brit named Keynes once stated.