Corona crisis: difficult integration (neue-deutschland.de)

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) comes to the integration summit in the Federal Chancellery with Franziska Giffey (SPD, M), Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters-Pool / dpa

Integration summits are now established, for the 12th time on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) met with more than 130 representatives from migrant associations, religious communities, politics and business – albeit this time only as a video conference due to the corona crisis. This exchange, which has been taking place for 14 years, goes hand in hand with the admission of the conservatives that society is also shaped by immigration. After all, around a quarter of the population now has a migration background.

However, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), who is responsible for migration issues, was not there. A ministry spokesman said there was no particular reason for this. He was already missing at the summit two years ago; At the time, he did not agree that the journalist Ferda Ataman should attend the meeting. Seehofer disliked a post addressed to him that Ataman had written for the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. Merkel, on the other hand, used the summit for an appeal. She sees social cohesion being put to the test by the corona pandemic, so the integration of immigrants in particular should not be neglected, she said. The crisis will hit everyone, but with different degrees of severity. Given the current restrictions on protection against the coronavirus, it is “certainly not that easy to gain a foothold in our country.” Especially since integration offers and access to education and training are not available to the usual extent, and the economic downturn is having an impact on industries in which many people with a migrant background are active. The Chancellor’s assumption agrees with the results of an OECD study published on Monday. Migrants are particularly affected by the corona pandemic and its economic effects in many countries, including Germany.

According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, around 100,000 people came to Germany during the corona crisis alone. For them, some important language and integration courses were canceled or could only take place to a limited extent. The integration officer, Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU), has therefore announced a digital offensive. This involves online integration courses, language training and targeted advice in social networks, especially to support women when they start their careers.

The Chancellor emphasized that face-to-face teaching in daycare centers and schools is important for children from immigrant families in order to learn the German language. Young people should not become losers in the pandemic: »The earlier the immigrants learn the German language, find access to education and training and become familiar with our fundamental values, rights and obligations, the greater the chances of successful integration . ” Comment on page 8

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New corona infections at the highest level: Steinmeier in quarantine

A bodyguard for the Federal President tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, a first test at Steinmeier is negative. The Belgian foreign minister tested positive.

Better to keep your mask on: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is going into quarantine Photo: dpa

BERLIN dpa / rtr | Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier went into quarantine on Saturday. As a spokeswoman for the Office of the Federal President in Berlin announced, a bodyguard for the head of state has tested positive for the corona virus. A first corona test with the head of state was negative, as a spokeswoman for the Office of the Federal President announced. Steinmeier will be tested again in the coming days.

The Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes has been infected with the corona virus. She had tested positive she shares on Twitter. The infection presumably took place within her family. Already on Friday, she announced that she would isolate herself because there was a suspicion of Covid 19 symptoms. Wilmes took part in talks with the other EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on October 12th.

Sharp measures threaten in Berlin

Due to the increasing number of corona infections, a drastic tightening of the contact restrictions is under discussion in Berlin. According to information from Daily mirror A draft of the new Infection Ordinance provides that from next week a maximum of five people may be in public space – or several members of two households. Sports activities are excluded from this. So far, the five-person limit applied between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

But that has not yet been decided, the new rules are on the agenda of the Berlin Senate on Tuesday. Neither the Senate Chancellery nor the health administration commented on the paper on Saturday.

The background is the rapidly increasing number of cases in the capital. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants rose in the past seven days to 83.2 (as of Friday evening). Berlin is thus well above the critical threshold of 50.

According to the draft, a mask requirement should be introduced in markets and other busy public places, the paper reported. According to the plans, the previous maximum number of people at events should remain in place: until the end of the year, outdoor events with up to 5,000 people are allowed, and up to 1,000 people indoors.

Furthermore, private events and celebrations with up to 50 people outdoors and up to ten people in closed rooms should also be possible. For this a hygiene concept must be available and attendance documentation must be kept.

Health Senator Dilek Kalayci, SPD, disagreed with the idea that the current increase in infections in the city is primarily due to increased testing. The rate of positive tests in Berlin – after values ​​of less than 1 percent in summer – has risen to around 4 percent. “In the districts in which a particularly large number of contact persons were tested, we are even at 8 percent,” she said.

The City Councilor for Health at the Corona hotspot Berlin-Neukölln believes it is no longer possible to contain the virus, as in the summer in his district. “The fact that we can catch it again like in the middle of the year, I don’t think anymore,” said the CDU politician Falko Liecke: “We are in absolute crisis mode.” to protect – for example, by restricting the possibilities of visiting old people’s and nursing homes and regularly testing staff there.

Night curfew in Paris and other cities

Due to the drastically increasing corona numbers, a night curfew is now in effect in Paris and other French cities. The new regulation came into force on Saturday night at midnight. The curfew is in effect for several weeks between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. At this time people are only allowed to be in front of the door for a valid reason. A health emergency has also been back in force this Saturday. With it, the government can enforce restrictions by regulation.

France has been struggling with rising corona numbers for weeks. On Thursday, more than 30,000 new corona infections were reported within 24 hours for the first time, on Friday there were around 25,000. France has around 67 million inhabitants. More than 33,000 people have died so far in connection with Covid-19. There is particular concern about the utilization of intensive care units in large cities such as Paris. More and more Covid-19 patients are occupying the beds there.

The Paris Ministry of the Interior published a form on Friday evening that anyone who has to go to the door during the curfew should carry with them. The following exceptions can be specified, among other things: commute to work, medical emergencies, care of relatives or care of children or the way to the airport or train station for long-distance travel. Walking the dog is also allowed – but only within one kilometer of the apartment.

New infections worldwide at a high level

The Robert Koch Institute reports a new high in Germany with 7,830 new infections. This increases the number of infected people to 348,557. More than 39 million people worldwide have been shown to have contracted the corona virus. More than 1.1 million people died with or from the virus. In terms of infections, the United States is still hardest hit with over eight million, followed by India (7.43 million), Brazil (5.16 million) and Russia (1.36 million).

Poland also reports a record increase of 9,622 new corona infections. In the Czech Republic, the number of new corona infections has passed the 11,000 mark for the first time; according to the Ministry of Health, there were 11,105 infections in the past 24 hours. Ukraine has a record 6,410 new corona infections. The National Security Council announced that 109 patients had died in the past 24 hours. This is also a maximum.

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg infected

The Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was infected with the corona virus. A spokeswoman for his ministry confirmed that Schallenberg had tested positive. The minister is symptom-free. He attended the cabinet meeting on Wednesday. All members of the government wore masks, but are now also being tested as a precautionary measure. It is possible that Schallenberg was infected on Monday. On that day, he and Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attended the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

Merkel warns in the podcast: “Stay at home.”

In view of the continuing increase in the number of corona infections in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged citizens to help contain the pandemic. “We now have to do everything we can to ensure that the virus does not spread uncontrollably. Every day now counts, ”said the CDU politician in her weekly podcast published on Saturday. “I ask you: Refrain from any trip that is not really necessary, any celebration that is not really necessary. Please stay at home wherever possible, at your place of residence. “

Angela Merkel in her podcast

“That is exactly my appeal to you today: meet significantly fewer people, whether outside or at home”

Germany is in a “very serious phase,” said Merkel. “The number of new infections increases by leaps and bounds every day.” The pandemic is spreading rapidly again, faster than at the beginning more than half a year ago. “The comparatively relaxed summer is over, now we are facing difficult months. How winter will be like our Christmas will be decided in the coming days and weeks. We all decide that through our actions. “

In order for the virus not to spread uncontrollably, the contact persons of every infected person would have to be notified in order to break the chain of infection, said Merkel. “The health authorities are doing great things, but where the number of infected people is too high, they can no longer keep up.”

Merkel asked: “So what can each of us do to ensure that the numbers go down again? A lot, most of it simply because each and every one of us consistently maintains the minimum distance, wears mouth and nose protection, and complies with hygiene rules. “

Science clearly states that the spread of the virus depends directly on the number of contacts and encounters everyone has. “If each of us now significantly reduces our encounters outside of our own family for a while, then we can succeed in stopping and reversing the trend towards more and more infections,” says Merkel: “That is exactly my appeal to you today: Meet deal with significantly fewer people, whether outside or at home. “

Dissatisfied with the results of the federal-state summit

You know that not only sounds harsh, it is also a difficult waiver in individual cases, said the Chancellor. “But we only have to do it temporarily and we ultimately do it for ourselves: for our own health and that of all those who we can save a disease. To ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed, that our children’s schools and daycare centers remain open. For our economy and our jobs. “

That is why Germany got through the first six months of the pandemic so comparatively well because “we stood together” and adhered to the rules. “This is the most effective remedy we currently have against the pandemic. Now it is more necessary than ever. “

The federal and state governments tightened measures to contain the virus in Corona hotspots last Wednesday. In the controversial ban on accommodation for vacationers from risk areas, however, there was no uniform line. In several countries, courts have now stopped the accommodation ban.

According to information from the German Press Agency, Merkel had shown that she was dissatisfied with the decisions during the consultations with the Prime Minister in the Chancellery. “The announcements from us are not tough enough to avert the disaster from us,” said the CDU politician, according to participants who agreed. “It’s just not enough what we’re doing here.”

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China’s economy is growing in the third quarter

Beijing, Berlin, Düsseldorf In view of the economic growth in China, German industry is drawing hope for its own export business. Car manufacturers, mechanical engineers and logisticians are reporting growth. “Business in China is going well again,” says the Cologne engine manufacturer Deutz. The mechanical engineering company Trumpf is also looking forward to attractive business.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are currently expecting that China will be the only large economy with growth in relation to the full year with around two percent plus. “The official Chinese figures must always be viewed with suspicion,” says Gabriel Felbermayr from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy to the Handelsblatt. “But the good trade data in particular are hard numbers.” Because they are confirmed by the relevant statistics from China’s trading partners.

The fact that the upswing in China is sustainable despite all the doubts about the official statistics is also shown by the figures from German corporations. Even in normal times, China is the most important sales market for German cars. Now the People’s Republic is even mutating into a lifeline for an otherwise starving industry.

The main reason for the surprisingly good result is the rapid recovery in business in China. While Mercedes sales in China fell by a fifth compared to the same quarter of the previous year in the first quarter as a result of the corona lockdown, after nine months the sales statistics show an increase of 8.3 percent compared to the first three quarters of 2019.

In the third quarter alone, Mercedes delivered 224,000 cars to customers in the Far East – an increase of more than 23 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The result: The dividend from the joint venture with the Beijing state-owned company BAIC amounts to a whopping 1.2 billion euros and thus represents more than a third of Daimler’s total operating profit in the third quarter.

“Asia is definitely the locomotive,” says BMW CFO Nicolas Peter when looking at the global sales figures. In the third quarter alone, BMW sold 30 percent more cars in the People’s Republic than in the same quarter of the previous year. Since the beginning of the year, the Munich-based company has even sold twice as many cars in the Far East as on the once dominant US market.

Competitor Audi even reports “the best performance since entering the market 32 ​​years ago” for the third quarter in China, wrote Stephan Wöllenstein, China chief of the parent company Volkswagen, on LinkedIn.

The large German logisticians and mechanical engineers are also reporting that business in Asia is picking up again. “Freight traffic between Asia and North America has increased sharply throughout the industry,” says Deutsche Post. “There is also considerable demand for transport between Asia and Northern Europe.” Hapag-Lloyd, the largest German shipping company, has made a similar statement.

Other countries in the region such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia have also significantly expanded their exports again in the past few weeks – and have thus made a significant contribution to the recovery. After both Deutsche Post and Hapag-Lloyd cut their forecasts at the beginning of the pandemic, they have corrected their profit forecasts for the current year upwards again in the past few days. Shipping company world market leader Maersk also raised its expectations again last week. Container shipping companies and sea freight forwarders are currently benefiting from the steep rise in freight rates.

“Germany benefits from recovery in world trade”

So is China going to become the growth engine for the global economy again, as it was ten years ago after the financial crisis? Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research, believes this is possible because China was able to successfully contain the virus and restart its economy faster than Europe and the USA.

“Germany is benefiting greatly from the recovery in world trade, which is being driven primarily by Asia and China,” Fratzscher told Handelsblatt. The economic recovery in China is more robust than in most other parts of the world, as the government in Beijing has launched large stimulus programs and the Chinese economy is less and less dependent on the rest of the world.

China expert Max Zenglein, chief economist at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics), doubts that China will pull the world out of the recession. Like Fratzscher, he is convinced that the economic recovery in China will continue in the fourth quarter. “But the expectation that China will become the locomotive for the global economy is wishful thinking,” he told Handelsblatt.

For one thing, the growth in China is not enough for this. On the other hand, the trade balance is different from ten years ago: “China’s exports are growing much faster than imports,” said Zenglein. It is therefore not ruled out that China’s export industry will suffer setbacks if the upturn in the buyer countries is a long time coming.

In the first three quarters of the year taken together, China’s growth was in any case only 0.7 percent higher than in the same period in 2019. Even if the world’s second largest economy will still achieve an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of around two percent in 2020 as a whole, as the IMF and World Bank expect, this would be the lowest growth rate in decades.

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Official figures from the People’s Republic, experts have warned for years, should be viewed with caution anyway. Local governments often report embellished dates to Beijing in order to be better off in front of the central government. Because of the assessment basis alone, the Chinese GDP figure cannot be compared with the values ​​for Germany, for example. The economist Michael Pettis from Peking University points out.

In most countries, including Germany, the actual value added is measured when calculating GDP, i.e. what is actually produced and what services are provided. In China, on the other hand, the measurement is based on input – and this input in the form of state investments is largely determined by the government itself.

This is also the case this year: the recovery has so far been based primarily on the increase in industrial production, which is dominated by state-owned companies, and state infrastructure projects. “The Chinese GDP is a political figure and does not capture the true economic conditions,” commented Shezhad Qazi, Managing Director at the US analysis company China Beige Book, which specializes in the Chinese economy.

With all due caution towards Chinese statistics, IfW President Felbermayr is nevertheless convinced: “China has clearly supported the current German economic development, and this dynamic can continue to carry over the coming months.”

Because from June to August, German exports to China were 4.3 percent above the value of the same period in the previous year, while exports to the rest of the world were 11.4 percent below. But the impetus is manageable because only seven to eight percent of German exports go to China.

Alternatives to business in China

From China and Asia, it is mainly furniture, household appliances, kitchen and bathroom items that are shipped to Europe – products that are needed in your own four walls during the pandemic. In the opposite direction, notes a spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd, there is particularly strong demand from the Chinese side for chemicals and raw products. On the routes from Northern Europe to Asia, the level of the previous year was reached again after the massive slump in spring.

Business is going well again not only with China, but also with other Asian countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, emphasizes Siemens boss Joe Kaeser, who is also chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA). At the APA annual conference on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (both CDU) as well as Kaeser warned the industry to look for more alternatives to their business in China in Asia in the future.

They cited two reasons: the Chinese government’s declared policy of wanting to become less dependent on high-tech imports, and the temporary supply bottlenecks during the corona crisis for products that were only sourced from China, such as protective masks.

The fact that German economists also currently believe in the sustainability of the Chinese upswing is primarily due to a number from Monday: demand in retail. It has lagged significantly behind the recovery in industrial production since the beginning of the year, but is now showing a slight trend reversal. Retail sales in September increased by 3.3 percent compared to the previous year. Analysts had expected an average increase of around 1.8 percent.

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In August, the number rose slightly by 0.5 percent for the first time since the corona crisis. The “big jump” in September shows “that consumption has stabilized further,” wrote Iris Pang, China chief economist at Bank ING, “and there were also signs of more spending by the economy.”

In the course of the year so far, however, the retail sector is still down by 7.2 percent. The slowly recovering private demand is also based primarily on rising sales of luxury goods and cars.

Overall weak consumption is a particular problem for China, as growth in the world’s second largest economy has relied more and more on private consumers in recent years. Designated in June

Zhang Bin of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), which is under the auspices of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, described the sluggish demand as “worrying”. China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang recently pointed out that it was important to stimulate consumption.

Growth target is set

Starting next Monday, the country’s political leaders will meet for four days at the highest level to discuss the so-called 14th Five-Year Plan. The plan is intended to set the Communist Party’s goals from 2021 to 2026, especially for the economy, and will apply from the beginning of next year.

Usually a growth target is also set there. However, reports in Chinese state media suggest that there may not be such a determination this time around.

In the end, the further development depends above all on whether China continues to keep the number of corona cases under control. Occasionally, small, locally limited outbreaks had triggered violent countermeasures by the local authorities. Entire neighborhoods were quarantined after an outbreak in Beijing in June. A huge Covid-19 mass test was only ordered in the port city of Qingdao at the beginning of October after individual new cases became known.

Apart from that, everyday life in the People’s Republic is largely normal. Millions of Chinese had once again traveled around the country for “Golden Week”, a week of public holidays.

More: The pandemic strengthens China’s role in the global economy, says Handelsblatt reporter Stephan Scheuer.

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Merkel at the integration summit: better informing migrants – politics

Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to encourage migrants to comply with the corona rules. “This is of the utmost importance in order to reach everyone,” said the CDU politician at the end of the integration summit on Monday. Therefore, more government information would be translated into other languages. She and Health Minister Jens Spahn consulted with migrant associations on Thursday. On Saturday, her video podcast was provided with reminders to comply with the corona restrictions with Turkish and Arabic subtitles.

During the pandemic, particular attention is paid to keeping society together – and that includes integration. There is still a lot to do. The integration summit was held as an online conference for the first time. After the “National Action Plan for Integration” was drawn up at the first summits, the meetings now deal with the implementation of the five phases of the plan: pre-immigration, initial integration, integration, growing together and solidarity.

This time the results of the second (initial integration) and third phase (integration) were presented: This involves measures to help people get to know the German language and values ​​and to find their way around immediately after arriving in Germany and later their participation in the economic and social Promote life. In this context, vocational and educational qualifications are to be recognized more quickly.

The chairman of the Federal Immigration and Integration Council (BZI), Memet Kiliç, spoke at the subsequent press conference on the beheading of a teacher in France who had discussed Mohammed caricatures in class. Kiliç, who is also a Green politician, condemned the “heinous Islamist attack” and called for cohesion against Islamism and racism. It is important to realize the defensive democracy together and to defend the free-democratic basic order against extremists. “We must never allow ourselves to be intimidated” by terror, extremism and violence.

The Chancellor first invited to an integration summit in the summer of 2006. The background to this was the disputes about the Rütli secondary school in Berlin-Neukölln: In a fire letter to the school administration, the teaching staff asked the school administration to close the school, which was mainly attended by immigrant children. This triggered a nationwide debate about the integration of the second and third generation of migrants. In the meantime, the former problem school has become a model campus after investing millions.

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Parties in times of Corona: It was a party. Almost

Private celebrations are considered sources of infection and should be restricted nationwide. Different limits apply everywhere.

In the case of a few infections, singing is also allowed Photo: Erik Irmer

BERLIN taz | Private celebrations have emerged as a breeding ground for corona infections. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Conference therefore agreed to restrict meetings at private celebrations more strictly. While some states – including Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia – distanced themselves from the proposals on Wednesday, other states are now increasingly aligning the regulations – and are even tightening them in some cases.

The federal and state governments had agreed on a tiered model. When the seven-day incidence of 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded: only 15 people are allowed to come together in private and 25 people in public rooms for celebrations.

In hotspots where the incidence value rises to 50 or more, ten people are allowed in public rooms and the same number in private rooms, albeit limited to two households. How the measures are actually implemented is in the hands of the federal states.

Saxony opposed the joint regulations on Wednesday and initially allowed celebrants to meet with 50 people if the incidence was 35 and 25 if the incidence was 50. On Thursday, Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, CDU, announced that Saxony would conform to the requirements of the federal and state governments for private celebrations.

Lots of events, smaller parties

Schleswig-Holstein will also implement the measures as decided by the Prime Minister’s Conference. In addition to celebrations, the ordinances also apply to gatherings for shared private purposes, such as going to a restaurant or doing sport.

Marius Livschütz, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Schleswig-Holstein, tells the taz: “If the incidence value is below 35, up to ten people can do something together as a group – theoretically also singing or dancing”. Nevertheless, Livschütz appeals to the observance of the distances or hygiene measures.

Andreas Pinkert from the Ministry for Labor, Social Affairs and Integration in Saxony-Anhalt points out the low infection rate in the state. Saxony-Anhalt is also based on the resolutions of the Prime Minister’s Conference. At private celebrations, he says: “The most important thing is that the chains of infection are traceable. We assume that those present know each other at private parties. ”This makes it easier to establish contact in the event of an infection.

Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia define celebrations as events with a primarily social character, such as anniversaries, weddings, baptisms, birthdays and graduation parties. While Baden-Württemberg is based on the recommendations of the Prime Minister’s Conference, there is a resolution in North Rhine-Westphalia that only five people from different households may meet in hotspots and a maximum of 25 people may meet in public spaces at celebrations

In the case of a few infections, singing is also allowed

Stricter rules should apply in Bavaria. When the seven-day incidence there reaches 35, private celebrations and contacts are limited to a maximum of ten people from two households; if there are 50, only 5 people from two households are allowed to get together.

In Hamburg, the number of people allowed to participate in private parties has fallen from 25 to 15. It is unanimously that it is important to be able to understand who was part of the infection process. If the number of infections does not fall despite the measures, more drastic contact bans could come into force.

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“Great potential” in trade with the Far East (neue-deutschland.de)

Berlin. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) sees the negotiations between the EU and China on an investment agreement still “big chunks” on the way to an agreement. Altmaier said on Monday at a conference of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business in Berlin that there is great growth potential in relations with Asia. Equal access to markets is important, however. Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that she saw great potential in economic relations with Asian countries. At the same time, the CDU politician emphasized in a video message that the framework conditions had to be improved. This is about equal treatment and transparency, legal security and the protection of intellectual property.

In mid-September, the EU demanded far-reaching concessions from China before the negotiations on an investment agreement were concluded. If an agreement is to be reached by the end of the year, as planned, China will still have to do a lot on the topics of market access and sustainable development, said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after top EU talks with China’s President Xi Jinping. Negotiations for an agreement have been going on for more than six years.

Merkel said that the corona pandemic shows how important international cooperation is and how urgent it is to strengthen it. The German government is aware of the growing global importance of the markets in the Asia-Pacific region. New perspectives opened up for German foreign trade, and not just in trade with China. The People’s Republic is the Federal Republic’s most important trading partner. In 2019, both countries exported or imported goods worth around 206 billion euros to the respective other country. Germany imported more products from China than it exported.

The chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business, Siemens boss Joe Kaeser, said that the European Union had to formulate its economic interests more clearly and uniformly in competition with the USA and China. New economic figures showed that China got out of the corona pandemic quickly. This is due to the size of the Chinese market, but also to the actions of the government, Kaeser explained. The advocacy of Western values ​​is also important “because we see that the Chinese system was superior to Western systems when it came to combating crises.”

Altmaier said that the states and countries that had fought the Corona crisis particularly consistently would be the first to get back on their feet economically. Germany and the EU would have to show that the pandemic could be fought just as effectively with an open society model as with other forms of government and society. dpa / nd

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Merkel at the integration summit: Corona hits us “differently hard” – politics

In view of the corona pandemic, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has called for people not to lose sight of integration. At the beginning of the 12th Integration Summit in Berlin, Merkel said: “As vigilant as we have to be to protect the health and life of our fellow human beings, we must be just as vigilant at the same time as ensuring that solidarity remains strong in this difficult time.” This also serves those who have only recently lived in Germany. The phase immediately after arrival is crucial for integration.

“The pandemic hits us all, but it has to be said that it varies in severity,” said Merkel. Due to the restrictions, it is not so easy for immigrants to gain a foothold, for example because counseling and language courses are temporarily not held in face-to-face format. In addition, the economic downturn is having an impact on industries in which many people with an immigrant background are active and who now fear for their jobs.

In the afternoon, Merkel held a press conference in the Chancellery to inform about the results of the video integration summit. According to the federal government, about 120 representatives from migrant organizations, religious communities, business, politics and sport took part in addition to Merkel, including several federal ministers.

Even before the summit, the federal government’s integration commissioner, Annette Widmann-Mauz, had said that the pandemic was particularly affecting people with a history of immigration and refugees. They often worked in industries that were particularly struggling with the economic consequences of the pandemic. The CDU politician specifically named trade, logistics and the hospitality industry. “At the same time, important integration offers have failed or can only take place to a limited extent.”

You are relying on a “digital offensive,” said Widmann-Mauz. This involves digital integration courses, language training and targeted advice in social networks, in particular to support women in starting their careers and integrating them into the labor market.

Actually, Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) should also be present at the press conference after the summit. As a precaution, however, he is in isolation because, according to his ministry, the corona warning app has indicated an encounter with an increased risk. A first test was negative. Another test result is pending, it said. Hail be well. He doesn’t have any symptoms.

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Corona crisis: The Germans are hoarding again

Dhe citizens should stay at home whenever possible, a lockdown is getting closer from day to day: Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) have recently put out heavy guns verbally to encourage Germans to be more careful when dealing with the Coronavirus move. Now it is clear that the increasingly drastic warnings are not failing to have an effect. People are actually changing their behavior – albeit sometimes in ways that are politically less desirable.

Under the keyword # toilet paper, photos from supermarkets were making the rounds on social networks such as the short message service Twitter at the weekend, in which the shelves were already noticeably empty. As in the spring, consumers are apparently again buying in larger quantities than usual, especially when it comes to toilet paper, pasta and canned food. At least in some branches there is again a slightly increased demand, report the discounters Lidl and Aldi Süd. According to Lidl, hygiene products have mainly been affected so far. An Edeka branch from the Lake Constance region published a video on Twitter with their last toilet paper packs and wrote: “Not again, please normal household quantities”.

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CDU is planning a digital party congress with subsequent postal voting

From left to right: Norbert Röttgen, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Tilman Kuban

JU boss Kuban makes no secret of the fact that he and the party offspring would vote for Jens Spahn.

(Photo: AFP)

Berlin Within the CDU, there are increasing voices not to hold the federal party congress in December as a face-to-face party congress, but rather digitally. With the number of infections rising, concerns are growing about the signal the party could send to the public if it got together with 1001 delegates.

“Politically, it cannot be conveyed that we meet for a party congress while the rest of the country has to stay at home,” said the party leadership, as the Handelsblatt learned. This would again question when the party will elect a new chairman.

The first signals to cancel the planned election party conference in Stuttgart came in the middle of last week. In the preliminary meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers of the countries on the corona situation, it had been shown that a further increase in the number of infections in autumn and winter can be expected and then large events could hardly take place, as participants in the round afterwards reported. Therefore, there was quick talk among Union Prime Ministers of postponing the party congress.

In February, CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced her withdrawal. Since then, the party has been more or less leaderless. The party conference scheduled for the end of April to clarify the open leadership issue had to be canceled due to the corona crisis. “Lethargy” is now spreading, it was said.

So far there are only three candidates: Armin Laschet, head of the largest regional association and Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, who is supported by Jens Spahn, member of the Presidium and Federal Minister of Health; Friedrich Merz, representative of the economic wing, and Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. But how should the successor be determined?

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“In view of the increasing incidence for Germany and, in this case, for Stuttgart, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get the 1001 delegates to arrive and to let them stay at least one night,” said the Presidium. There are “new considerations”.

Initially, the Berlin party headquarters were considering moving the party congress to a city with a lower number of infections. In the meantime, however, the Chancellor’s decision to restrict events from 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants stands in the way.

“We are waiting for the party congress to be canceled and rescheduled”

Exceptions should only be made if the local health department approves hygiene concepts. There is indeed a strict concept for the party conference in Stuttgart. However, Merkel even canceled the informal EU summit on China policy in November in Berlin on Friday. “In terms of reducing contact, I think this is a necessary message,” she said, explaining the decision. The summit had only been decided two weeks earlier. Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus followed on Sunday.

The country is in the biggest crisis since it was founded, he said in the “Tagesspiegel”. “In the top five of our agenda is not who will be party chairman.” The CDU is aware of its “role model function”.

In the meantime, it is also said in the party: “We are waiting for the party congress to be canceled and rescheduled.” The discussion is to cancel the party congress and postpone it to the coming year. However, the goal remains to hold the party congress this year. This is the only way to have enough time to prepare the party for the federal election. The option: a digital party conference.

At the beginning of October, the Bundestag made digital party conferences and resolutions possible – in times of pandemics even with board elections. It is therefore possible to vote at different locations as well as to vote by post.

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The Junge Union (JU) demonstrated on Saturday how the digital party congress could run. Laschet, Merz and Röttgen met together on a stage in Berlin and answered the questions of the digitally connected party offspring. It was about education, innovations, digital, sustainability and intergenerational equity as well as modern party structures. Before that, each candidate was allowed to advertise themselves and their positions for five minutes.

“This is a special format,” said Laschet in his opening statement. He promoted “social cohesion” and his crisis management in the corona crisis. Merz campaigned for an “ecological modernization of the social market economy”. Röttgen emphasized that a “program of renewal” was necessary for the party and the country in this “epochal break”. A debate did not arise, 90 minutes later the questioning ended. JU boss Tilman Kuban then opened a two-week member survey at the push of a button.

The federal party congress could run similarly. Kuban has been promoting digital formats for a long time. “The CDU should come to an election in December, no matter how,” he said. However, there are still doubts as to whether the form of a party congress is really in accordance with the party law, which provides for face-to-face party conventions, especially for elections. The CDU, for example, wants to redefine not only the chairman, but the entire federal executive board – runoff elections are not excluded.

The Bundestag has decided to change the law, said Sophie Schönberger, constitutional lawyer from Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. In terms of craftsmanship, however, the regulation is “down-to-earth, and one may well have constitutional doubts about it, but as long as nobody attacks the law before the Federal Constitutional Court, which it does not look like, the CDU would be on the safe side for the time being”.

The left also faces problems

The only party that will elect a new board this year is the Left – and they too will react, as the Handelsblatt learned from party circles. “We try to choose the chairperson in any case,” confirmed the spokeswoman. The board of directors will decide this Monday how the party congress will take place in Erfurt. The discussion is that the candidates will present themselves digitally and that the on-site election will be made by the delegates. “It’s definitely not going to go as planned,” she said.

Since the party congress is to take place at the end of October, a digital format with postal voting is no longer possible, it said. In such a case, the question of how long applicants can still register should be clarified. In the case of the Left, this would be possible until the party congress – incidentally, also in the case of the CDU, which means that the postal voting documents could only be created later. The party would still have to decide on a corresponding rule change in advance.

The CDU is still officially covered and refers to October 26th. Then the presidium wants to decide whether and how the party congress takes place in order to elect a new chairman and board. “In fact, all of this will have to be assessed again according to the latest concepts,” Laschet said himself on Friday.

The party had already canceled the debate on a basic program and cut the meeting from three to one day. The Greens, on the other hand, will discuss their basic program digitally from November 20-22. The party conference in Karlsruhe was canceled.

With a digital format, the CDU would still have to clarify the question of when applicants can register. There has been speculation about other candidates for weeks. A woman like Julia Klöckner was discussed, as was Jens Spahn, a member of the Presidium and Laschet’s colleague, who was planned to be the party vice.

JU boss Kuban makes no secret of the fact that he and the party offspring would vote for Spahn. He will “play an essential role in the party,” he said. At the 2018 party conference, the majority of the JU delegates supported Merz. Rumors about Spahn have been circulating for a long time and now also surveys that he is the most popular candidate for the CDU chairmanship – and that CSU boss Markus Söder should become a candidate for chancellor.

Spahn still supports Laschet and stubbornly denies, as Söder also adores when asked. But the fact that Laschet and Spahn are not friends is just as much an open secret in the party as the fact that the three current candidates do not spark any enthusiasm.

Söder is currently responsible for that: a good half of the German citizens and almost three quarters of the Union supporters consider him a good candidate for chancellor, as the latest “Germany trend” on ARD has shown.

More: Harmless application round without a winner – Laschet, Merz and Röttgen focus on the same topics.

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It is in the hands of the citizens

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach is counting on people’s behavior in the fight against the coronavirus – less on containment measures. “It will depend on how the population behaves. That is more important than individual measures. Many editions are difficult to check in any case, ”the doctor told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

If the corona virus continues to spread so quickly, Lauterbach expects local shutdowns in Germany. “It’s very simple. The R value is around 1.3. If we don’t get it down, the daily number of cases will rise so quickly within a very short time that the clinics and health authorities will be overrun. Then there are local shutdowns. ”The reproduction number, also known as the R value, indicates how many other people an infected person infects. According to the Robert Koch Institute’s management report from Saturday evening, the R value was 1.4.

Early on Sunday morning, the Robert Koch Institute reported 5587 new corona infections in Germany, a week earlier there were 3483 new cases. On Saturday a high of 7830 was reached for the third time in a row. The number of cases recorded is usually lower on Sundays and Mondays, also because not all health authorities transmit data to the RKI on the weekend.

Merkel calls for contact restrictions

Chancellor Angela Merkel asked people on Saturday to limit social contacts and to travel less in view of the skyrocketing number of corona infections. “We now have to do everything we can to ensure that the virus does not spread uncontrollably. Every day now counts, ”said the CDU politician in her weekly video message.

The CDU politician received support for her appeal from Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder. The CSU boss said “Bild am Sonntag”: “The situation is serious. If we don’t take countermeasures quickly, Corona will get out of control. If you hesitate, you risk a second lockdown. Carefulness, caution and solidarity have never been as important as they are now. “On the other hand, criticism came from FDP leader Christian Lindner, he told the newspaper:” If the Chancellor sees such a drama, she must immediately submit a government statement. A podcast does not replace the debate in the Bundestag when it comes to fundamental rights. “

SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans called on the younger generation to be more circumspect and solidarity. “We have to say very unequivocally to this generation, which is an important warning in our society on many ethical issues such as climate protection or international conflicts: This is not just about you, but your behavior is also endangering others, especially the weaker ones “, Said Walter-Borjans the” mirror “. At the same time, he emphasized that one should “not assume a whole generation of bad character”.


President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is still in quarantine in his service villa.
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Image: AFP

Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer is calling for greater support from the Bundeswehr in the health authorities in the fight against the corona virus. “We are in the exponential phase,” said the CDU politician of “Bild am Sonntag”. “We have to expect that the number of new infections will double every three or four days. This pushes the health authorities to their limits in the follow-up of contacts of positively tested cases and we can no longer break the chains of infection. “

According to Kretschmer, the health authorities urgently need to be upgraded. “The Bundeswehr has to be more closely involved and employees from the state ministries have to be seconded. The police must help the regulatory authorities to control the measures. “

According to a survey, more than two thirds of Germans tend to be satisfied with the federal government’s corona crisis management. 68 percent of those questioned rated the leadership in a survey by the opinion research institute Kantar on behalf of “Bild am Sonntag” as “rather good”. For 27 percent it is “rather bad”. 4 percent answered “don’t know”.

On Saturday, the Federal President’s Office announced that Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had gone into quarantine. One of his bodyguards had tested positive for the virus. A first corona test with the head of state was negative. Steinmeier will of course remain in quarantine, currently he is in his service villa in Berlin-Dahlem, it said. Steinmeier will be tested repeatedly in the coming days.

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