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For millions of Germans, vacation becomes a drama

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Hooray, midsummer is here! Yesterday 30 degrees in the west and south, today 32 degrees in the east, even Hamburg breaks the 30 mark. North Rhine-Westphalia is the first federal state to start the summer holidays today, and more will soon follow. Up and down the country the anticipation of the Vacation. So let’s go before the Corona mess starts again: Quickly hiss to a nice place, enjoy life, wonderful!

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If only it were that easy. The way to vacation turns out to be a drama for millions of travelers this year. To the airports they stand in queues for hours in front of the security checkpoint or at the baggage carousel because there is a lack of staff. More and more flights are canceled completely. Many an airport already imposes a “passenger triage”. the Trains are overflowing with 9-euro mobile operators when they drive. Punctuality is passé on the train anyway. on the highways you sneak from construction site to construction site and shell out huge sums for fuel because the tank discount seeps away.

And if you somehow make it to your destination, for example in northern Italy, there is no water. No, not only no water in the pool, also no water from the tap. Because of the record drought, Italian municipalities are beginning to turn off the water for entire towns; the situation in Liguria, in Piedmont and around Lake Garda is particularly precarious. Those who jet to Spain or Greece may have better luck, but they will massively increased prices amazed: Rental car rental companies in many places charge twice as much as last year; even a family purchase in the supermarket or an evening meal in a restaurant can empty the holiday budget. Not to mention the hotel prices.

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Yes, the holiday joy is quickly fading away these days. Or you take it as it is and make the best of it: maybe now is a good time to try something completely different. Backpack on, out of the house and off into nature, as far as your feet will carry you: How about that? Or with saddlebags on the bike, and off? River banks and coasts, mountains and valleys, forests and fields: Germany offers so many beautiful landscapes that can be hiked or cycled through that everyone is guaranteed to be happy. The chaos at airports, train stations and motorways can then be left to the stressed.

Baggage stranded at Hamburg Airport.
Baggage stranded at Hamburg Airport. (Source: Michael Rummler/dpa-images)

Reform first, then grow

Now it’s official: The European Union has the Ukraine granted the status as a candidate for accession, in Kyiv one can now dream of membership in the most powerful economic association in the world. In addition, the voices are increasing Albania and North Macedonia want to record quickly after years of waiting. So much euphoria is swinging through the corridors of Brussels that one simply has to state soberly: neither one nor the other will happen any time soon. The EU is currently unable to accept any other countries. She is a bound colossus, and she bound herself.

The Union’s decision-making structures are not only sluggish and partly undemocratic, they are also impractical. The unfortunate requirement for unanimity allows autocrats such as Viktor Orbán, to block reforms and to blackmail the other states. The Council of Heads of State and Government is a non-transparent coalition. A citizens convention made concrete proposals in May on what needs to be changed in order to make the EU efficient and close to the citizen. Politicians from all states applauded loudly.

But nothing has happened since then. Although demand Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other heads of government in their speeches about reforms – but they do nothing concrete about it. Also the French whirlwind Emmanuel Macron has noticeably lost interest in European issues since his defeat in the parliamentary elections. As long as this gap between words and deeds persists, the swaggering promises of enlargement are little more than hot air.

Yes, for Ukraine candidate status may be a political symbol. Perhaps it can also promote economic development. However, it is better not to have too high expectations in Kyiv. In the current state, the EU would not be able to ensure the rule of law and its binding control in a corrupt country like Ukraine. It doesn’t make it in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Hungary. First the EU states have to reform their joint decision-making processes. If they don’t succeed, the EU will not grow. Instead, as a chained colossus, crushed between the blocs of America and China.

Away with it!

Demonstration against paragraph 219a in Berlin.
Demonstration against paragraph 219a in Berlin. (Source: imago-images-pictures)

In the Bundestag debate on the abolition of paragraph 219a, the regulates the advertising ban for abortions, Things got really busy: while FDP Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann Calling it “absurd” that doctors are not allowed to publicly offer detailed information about abortions, the CDU worried that the deletion of the criminal law paragraph could give the impression that abortions are normal medical treatments. In the opinion of the Union faction, this is incompatible with the constitutional protection of unborn life; the AfD parliamentary group also rejects the deletion. The left, on the other hand, does not go far enough: they would like to abolish paragraph 218 at the same time, so that abortions would no longer be punishable as a matter of principle.

When Parliament votes today to abolish the advertising ban, the majority should still be certain: The traffic light parties agreed on the project in the coalition agreement and agree. The best-known opponent of paragraph 219a will also sit in the visitors’ gallery: the Gießen doctor Kristina Hanel was first fined in 2017 for posting information on abortion methodology on her website. The draft of the traffic light parties provides for judgments like this to be reversed retrospectively.

Against hunger

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