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A man with a long breath



Next DFB faux pas – Wikipedia demands clarification about Curtius

Sport “Nothing to do with sportsmanship”

Next faux pas – Wikipedia requires clarification about DFB officials

| Reading time: 2 minutes

Oliver Bierhoff (r), Director National Teams and Academy of the DFB, and Friedrich Curtius, DFB General Secretary, take part in a tour of the construction site of the new Academy of the German Football Association (DFB).  The construction will cost the DFB around 150 million euros, and it should be completed and opened in 2021.  +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

General Secretary Friedrich Curtius (left) next to Oliver Bierhoff, Director of National Teams, on a construction site tour of the new academy of the German Football Association

Quelle: picture alliance/dpa

The turbulent days at the world’s largest sports association continue. After the truce between President Keller and General Secretary Curtius, a controversial entry in the online encyclopedia now casts a shadow over the DFB.

Dhe online encyclopedia Wikipedia demands clarification from the German Football Association (DFB) about a possibly paid creation of the entry via its general secretary Friedrich Curtius. “It has nothing to do with fair sportsmanship. The DFB must now take a clear position as to whether and how the commissioning could come about, ”said the managing director of Wikimedia Germany, Abraham Taherivand, of the“ Frankfurter Rundschau ”.

The background to this is that the DFB is said to have commissioned an external service provider to edit Curtius’ Wikipedia entry. According to the news magazine “Der Spiegel”, the association should have signed a contract with a consulting company in 2019. The DFB confirmed to the “Frankfurter Rundschau” that the contract was completed “in October 2020”. The largest share of the controversial online entry comes from a Berlin consulting agency.

Strict rules

“Paid editing, that is, the paid creation or revision of articles, contradicts the idea of ​​voluntary work and is only tolerated if strict conditions are met,” said Taherivand. And further: “In particular, a possible paid revision of the article in question was not made transparent.”

Wikipedia added a warning to the entry on Curtius. “The neutrality of this article or section is controversial,” was on Tuesday morning directly under the name. There is also an entry under the heading “Image maintenance paid for by the DFB”.

ARCHIVE - 16.03.2020, Hessen, Frankfurt / Main: Fritz Keller (r), DFB President, and Friedrich Curtius, DFB General Secretary, come to the general meeting of the German Football League (DFL).  (to dpa: “DFB dispute in a decisive phase - power struggle without a winner”) Photo: Arne Dedert / dpa / POOL / dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Quarreled: President Fritz Keller (r.) And Friedrich Curtius

Source: dpa

The turbulent days at the world’s largest sports association continue. It was only on Friday that President Fritz Keller and Secretary General Curtius settled an ongoing dispute more badly than well. According to a statement from the association, the duo jointly declared after the extraordinary meeting of the executive committee: “After an intensive and constructive discussion in the DFB executive committee, we will immediately undertake a last joint attempt, rules and Discuss and define roles for future joint professional cooperation. “

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The meeting had been awaited with great anticipation, because of the power struggle between Keller and Curtius, personal consequences appeared possible. The planned procedure, which Keller and Curtius had communicated after the meeting of several hours on Friday, was “expressly and unanimously supported by all members of the Presidium”.


Lockdown extended, mask requirement, home office: all measures at a glance

Germany Tightened lockdown

Mask requirement, home office, schools – all measures at a glance

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Merkel ignites the next level of lockdown

The number of cases is improving, but concerns about mutations are growing. The tightening measures decided on at the federal-state summit are more moderate than expected – and still offer a lot of potential for conflict.

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The federal and state governments extend the lockdown until February 14th. It is mandatory to wear medical masks in public transport and in shops, and there are guidelines for working from home. The schools remain closed. Read an overview of all measures here.

DThe lockdown, which was previously limited to the end of January, to contain the corona pandemic in Germany, will be extended to mid-February in view of the continued high numbers of infections and deaths. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers of the federal states decided on Tuesday at their switching conference.

Merkel justified the extension of the lockdown with the danger of the mutated corona virus. “We have to act now,” she said. There is still time to prevent the danger. Otherwise the numbers could rise sharply. The hard cuts had an effect. However, these efforts are threatened with “serious danger”, which is seen more clearly today. Merkel referred to the mutation of the virus, which appeared mainly in Great Britain and Ireland. Previous findings indicated that this mutated virus is much more contagious. Individual cases are already known in Germany.

According to Merkel, the extension of the lockdown should noticeably strengthen the containment of corona. The aim is to once again significantly accelerate the decline in the number of infections. “It’s tough what we have to expect people to do again now.” But it is about precaution for the country and the citizens, but also for the economy and the world of work, which would suffer very badly from an explosion in the number of infections.

The federal and state governments have agreed on these measures

Contacts: Furthermore, meetings outside of your own household are only allowed with one other person. It is advised to keep the number of households involved as constant and small as possible.

Masks: Better protective masks should be mandatory in public transport and in shops. These can be surgical masks, FFP2 masks or KN95 masks, which have a comparable standard. Everyday masks made of fabric are no longer enough.

Daycare centers and schools: Daycare centers and schools will remain closed until February 14th or the compulsory attendance will be suspended.

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Retirement and nursing homes: Staff must wear an FFP2 mask when in contact with residents. Bundeswehr soldiers and volunteers are to step in so that visitors and staff can do quick tests several times a week. There should also be enough tests in facilities for people with disabilities.

Work and home office: Employers must enable work from home wherever possible. The Federal Ministry of Labor is to issue a corresponding ordinance for a limited period by March 15.

Read here the original resolutions of the federal and state governments

Tax incentives for computers: Anyone who purchases “certain digital assets” should be able to fully deduct them from tax in the year of purchase – retroactively from January 1st. It is about “computer hardware and software for data entry and processing”.

Services: Church services are allowed if the minimum distance of 1.5 meters is maintained. A mask with a higher protection standard is compulsory, singing is prohibited. Meetings with more than ten participants must generally be reported to the regulatory office at least two working days in advance.

Hotspots: In countries and counties where a particularly high number of people are infected in relation to the number of inhabitants, tougher measures should take effect if necessary. There, too, there should be a realistic chance of reaching the goal of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days (7-day incidence) by mid-February.

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Vaccinations: All residents of nursing homes who wish to do so should be vaccinated by mid-February at the latest. Almost half have already been vaccinated according to the decision. The federal government wants to try to give the federal states reliable vaccine delivery times for the next six weeks.

Virus mutations: According to a regulation that has been in force since Tuesday, the circulating variants of the coronavirus should be examined more closely for the exact virus type (sequencing). The federal government should present the first results by the beginning of February. The background is fears about the spread of new virus variants, such as in Great Britain or Ireland, which could be significantly more contagious.

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Health authorities: Students are to be recruited and trained to follow up contacts in health authorities for the semester break from mid-February to mid-April. The aim is to ensure contact follow-up at least up to an incidence of 50.

Corona help: Access to government support for companies and self-employed persons is to be made easier, and aid is to be expanded. The obligation to file for insolvency will be suspended until the end of April for companies that are entitled to assistance payments and have submitted a promising application in good time.

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Next Steps: The federal and state governments want to develop a concept for a “safe and fair opening strategy” by mid-February.

The following also applies: The retail trade remains closed. Exceptions apply to shops that cover daily needs. Hairdressers, massage practices and cosmetic studios are also closed. Alcohol consumption in public places remains prohibited.

The lockdown discussion

How hard will the lockdown be?  Controversial topics are on the agenda on Tuesday

Hendrik Streeck, Director of the Institute for Virology at the University Clinic in Bonn, and part of the NRW Expert Council

Concerns about tightening


Local public transport is to be reduced significantly - even if reliable study data on the risk of infection are missing there


How this bodyguard deals with mask grudges in the office

Düsseldorf, Stuttgart The first working days of the new year are done. And? Have you already had stress and arguments at work again?

If so, don’t worry. After all, it is quite normal that not only your colleagues but also the conflicts of the past year find their way back into everyday work. According to a study by the personnel company Orizon, arguments with colleagues in this country are even among the three biggest stress factors in the workplace.

In addition, in times of Corona, home office and video chats, communication with each other is already being put to a tough test. This can lead to misunderstandings – and thus to arguments. However, what distinguishes good from bad conflict management is the severity with which a dispute is resolved.

Heidi Prochaska knows how to de-escalate skillfully. As a long-term bodyguard for top managers in Germany and Austria, she passes on her knowledge of de-escalation in seminars, lectures and coaching. Her book “Security and De-escalation – What Makes Life Better” was also recently published.

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As an ex-bodyguard, Prochaska is of the opinion that every office war can be cooled down with the right strategy. “After all, de-escalating does not mean clearing up, but only taking the edge off the conflict.” Five basic rules are decisive, as the expert reveals in an interview with Handelsblatt:

  1. Prevention prevents boiling up: De-escalating conflicts in the workplace “80 percent of the time it’s about prevention,” says Prochaska. “Most dangers can be averted in advance if you know your employees and colleagues well and are attentive. Then you can better assess their behavior in difficult situations and react appropriately. “
  2. The other does not change: “At least not quickly and certainly not in acute situations,” says Prochaska. Rather, everyone has to start with themselves and adapt their own behavior, “even if that is often the most difficult. For example, I don’t always have to reply to a verbal punch straight away; I can accept it or avoid it, ”explains the expert.
  3. To listen: “Anyone who feels they are being taken into account and taken seriously usually shifts down a gear,” says Prochaska. This applies to employee interviews as well as to complaining customers on the phone. From the trainer’s point of view, the latter are only king if they behave like them.
  4. Talk less: “Otherwise the matter will rock up with every further comment or criticism.” In the event of verbal derailments, Prochaska reacts calmly with a calm “Aha”. “A referee in sport does not have to react to every curse a player has with a warning.”
  5. Caution, humor! Not taking yourself so seriously – that can relax a situation. Just like being able to show weakness in certain situations and laugh at yourself. But: “When it comes to humor, you need a sure instinct,” warns expert Prochaska. “Jokes – especially from the line manager – can easily be seen as making fun of someone.” That quickly comes across as arrogant, disrespectful or even hurtful. On the other hand, even a boss cannot feel taken seriously when an employee ridicules problems.

So far so good. But how should specialists and managers react if the situation in the workplace escalates despite all this? The Handelsblatt confronted conflict manager Heidi Prochaska with four explosive situations and asked for tips on de-escalation.

Conflict 1: The mask refuser in the office

The situation: An employee has been saying for days that he is always on the road to lateral thinker rallies and that the Corona measures destroyed a lot more than the virus itself. After the last demo, to which the employee once again invited the entire department, decides he, in future, will only come to the office without a mask. What to do?

The expert advises: “The employee deliberately breaks the rules, and he knows it too. He must therefore explain why he is doing this. To do this, I separate him from the rest of the workforce and let him talk first, I’m interested in his point of view. When he’s blown off steam, it’s easier to talk to him and explain why the rules apply to him too. ”

Conflict 2: Racism in the workplace

The situation: In customer service you hear that three colleagues are bullying a new employee from Nigeria. There are insults, the new employee is intimidated and calls in sick. You did not notice the verbal attacks yourself. However, the situation was described to you by two colleagues, and it would not be the first time that the employees had attracted attention through xenophobic comments. What to do?

The expert advises: Prochaska would speak to the victim first, “to clarify the situation for me. When I know what happened, I have to speak to the perpetrators and ask why they are attacking someone who is weaker. This leads the perpetrators to explain their behavior. If I can’t reach the perpetrators, I can still try to build up the victim. For example by talking to him about his strengths. If that succeeds, bullying no longer works so well. “

Conflict 3: conflict of the generations

The situation: A young department head takes over a team with three experienced employees. The older men hardly trust the new boss and reminisce about their old boss. The sentence keeps coming up: “Well, your predecessor always did it that way …” The manager ignores the comment for the first time, but wonders when the right time has come to address the topic. What to do?

The expert advises: “Definitely not justify! The superior doesn’t have to. If there are experienced colleagues, it helps to flatter them, value the experience, give them responsibility, involve them and discuss goals. That loosens the hardened fronts a bit. ”If that didn’t help either, Prochaska would address the employees individually in a one-on-one conversation and make their own point of view clear. Tenor: “We no longer do everything as we used to, unless there are good reasons for it. So what do you expect from me specifically? “

Conflict 4: The physical confrontation

The situation: In a transport company a manager has to give notice to two of his employees due to operational and crisis reasons and asks them to do so in his office. After receiving the message, one of the employees begins to insult the manager, the other threatens him with violence and leans over the table to him. What to do?

The expert advises: With a little preparation, the conversation might have turned out differently, says Prochaska. Her tip: “When it comes to dismissals, only speak in private! If you notice that it is getting tough, then open the door so that your assistant can listen in if it gets louder. And when someone bends over your table, you get up (actually, you get up when someone gets up from their chair). The hierarchy has to be clear in such a situation. The superior must have the upper hand. “

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Sports betting: Documentary “Verzockt” – “The betting addiction destroyed my life”

Sport New documentation

“The betting addiction destroyed my life”

| Reading time: 3 minutes

“Gambled away – like a gambling addict lost everything”

Tobias Blümel tells his dramatic life story. In a documentary, the 35-year-old gamer unpacks about his 15-year gambling addiction tragedy. The drama begins with 2.50 marks – and it leads him to jail. Here is the trailer for the three-part documentary “Gambling – how a gambling addict lost everything” – now on “Bild plus”!

Tobias Blümel was 16 years old when he first bet 2.50 marks on the outcome of a Bundesliga game. A little later sports betting determined his life, tore him into the abyss and ultimately put him in prison.

“Everything went like in the film …” This sentence comes up again and again when Tobias Blümel, 35, tells his life story. Match manipulation, escape from the betting mafia, homelessness, jail. The tragic low points of a 15 year long gambling addiction tragedy, which he now reveals in the video documentary “Verzockt” by “Bild”.

It all began with 2.50 marks, which he and friends bet on Bundesliga games as a 16-year-old. During his apprenticeship as an automobile salesman, Blümel became addicted: “My entire salary was actually always in bets.” Five days before the end of his apprenticeship, he withheld 20,000 euros. Blümel is supposed to put the money in the safe, but he plays with it – and gambled everything away. Just out of compassion he was not reported back then, his professional future should not be destroyed.

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The Mönchengladbacher slides deeper and deeper into the betting scene and ends up in criminal circles: “A football professional at the time asked me to pick up 50,000 euros and bring it to Holland.” It works on the third attempt. “In the end we made 200,000 euros out of the 50,000 euros.” Ten percent goes to Blümel, who now works successfully in sales at a bank.

Money, friends, job – Blümel loses everything

But he quickly gets to feel the dangerous side of the betting mafia. “One day they suddenly drove up to my parents’ front door in a black van and wanted money from me.” He had to hide for months. He never goes back to his apartment.

At the same time, the addiction to competition drives Blümel into a depression. Money, friends and his job – he loses everything. Blümel says: “That destroys your life. At some point I thought: I no longer need all of this, I broke everything anyway. ”In 2010 he attempted suicide. His best friend saves him from the rails, he goes to psychiatry.

Tobias Blümel is 35 years old today

Tobias Blümel is 35 years old today

Source: Christopher Nordhausen

Blümel fights back. A job at Borussia Mönchengladbach’s fan magazine will be his new start in 2011. He’s been close to the team for two and a half years. But contact with the stars is also dangerous. “Money didn’t play a role here, bills were waved. I wanted that again. ”Blümel relapses.

He cheats good friends over large amounts of money, which he then gambled away. He cheats several betting shops by a total of 100,000 euros. He uses the relationship of trust that has built up over the years to always play on credit. There are hailstones of advertisements, Blümel even falls into homelessness: “In the end I only had my cell phone.” In order not to have to sleep on the street, he does “hospital hopping”.

“I would go anywhere for a job”

He was finally arrested in 2017. “In handcuffs and shackles – like the greatest felon,” he says. In 2018 he was convicted: 39 months in prison for serious financial fraud.

In a closed prison, he experienced the toughest seven months of his life: “Security detention, locked in for 23 hours, that was really awesome.” Blümel does everything in his power to get released on the half-punishment date – and achieve his goal.

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He has served his sentence, but the way back to normal life is difficult. He is currently not being employed. “I would go anywhere for a job,” says Blümel. Today he only wants one thing for the story of his life: a happy ending.

You can see all the documentation here.

If you have problems with gambling addiction or are worried about relatives or friends, you can find help on the free hotline of the Federal Center for Health Education: 0800-1372700.


Pfizer is also reducing delivery quantities for “three to four weeks” in Germany

economy Covid-19 vaccine

Pfizer reduces delivery quantities – Lauterbach criticizes EU failures

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Pfizer Reduces Vaccine Shipments

The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer is temporarily delivering less corona vaccine than promised. The reason is the rebuilding of a plant in Belgium. From mid-February, however, deliveries are to be increased.

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The vaccination campaign will not be expanded as planned in the next few weeks. The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has informed the EU Commission about delivery bottlenecks for the corona vaccine. The Federal Ministry of Health regrets the delay.

Dhe US pharmaceutical company Pfizer will temporarily reduce the delivery of its corona vaccine, which it developed together with Biontech, to European countries. The Federal Ministry of Health stated that it took note of the information from the group with regret.

A message from the ministry states: “At short notice, the EU Commission and, through it, the EU member states were informed that Pfizer will not be able to fully meet the delivery quantities already promised for the next three to four weeks due to renovations at the Puurs plant.”

On Friday evening, Pfizer and Biontech announced: “As of the week of January 25, we will return to the original schedule for deliveries to the European Union (100 percent) and increase deliveries from the week of February 15 (over 100 percent) so that we will be able to deliver the full promised amount of vaccine doses in the first quarter and significantly more in the second quarter. ”The two companies did not provide exact figures.

Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) assumes that the short-term production cut at Pfizer will mean that Germany will initially receive a little less vaccine. “We assume that it will be slightly less,” says Spahn on a Facebook page. It is important that deliveries on Monday and Tuesday are safe first. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the deliveries should still take place as planned.

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According to Pfizer, the conversions at the Puurs plant in Belgium served to increase capacity from mid-February. According to the company, all countries in the world except the USA are supplied from Puurs. Despite the delays, the company is keeping its delivery commitments for the first quarter of 2021, according to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

She heard the reports and immediately called the Pfizer boss, said von der Leyen on a visit to Lisbon on Friday. He had assured that all guaranteed cans would also be delivered in the first quarter. He will personally take care of reducing the delay and catching up as quickly as possible.

According to Lauterbach, EU order is partly responsible for problems

For the SPD politician Karl Lauterbach, the delay shows errors in the procurement of vaccines. “This incident shows how important it would have been for numerous production sites to produce side by side in the EU,” said Lauterbach WELT. Because of the late purchases by the EU Commission, this is not the case.

In July, a “Europe-wide, state-funded production setup on suspicion” would have made sense. “That might have burned 10 billion, but then we would be safe and less dependent on a single Pfizer plant,” Lauterbach said.

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Political mistakes – a reconstruction

The health expert of the Green parliamentary group, Kordula Schulz-Asche, told WELT: “In our current situation, this news is hardly bearable and can only be accepted if a significant increase in production can take place after the renovation.” The question arises as to why with the necessary renovation work has not already started. She wanted to question the Federal Minister of Health at the upcoming special meeting of the health committee.

FDP health expert Andrew Ullmann calls for concrete figures about the delivery bottlenecks and transparency about the process. “Either the conversion of the plant is due to a bad planning by the company or to the late orders from the EU. Clarity is now required, ”said Ullmann WELT.

Six EU states responded to the bad news with a joint letter. Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania wrote a letter to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides to appeal to the EU Commission to ensure that Pfizer and Biontech vaccine production is effective and that vaccine batches are delivered quickly.

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The Norwegian health authority was the first to inform about the delay. “The temporary reduction will affect all European countries,” said the authority on Friday. Information about the delivery quantities for the whole of Europe was not given, only for Norway: Accordingly, only 36,075 vaccine doses are expected for the Scandinavian country in the coming week, previously it was 43,875. This corresponds to a minus of almost 18 percent.

Many EU states also complain about the delivery quantities of the vaccine from Pfizer and the German Biontech, which are below expectations, as EU representatives told the Reuters news agency. In addition, there is uncertainty about future deliveries. At a meeting of EU health ministers on Wednesday, around a third of the participants would have spoken of insufficient quantities, said an insider who attended the video conference.


Deutsche Bank boss: Sewing did not know anything about takeover plans from Wirecard

economy Deutsche Bank boss

Sewing was unaware of any takeover plans from Wirecard

| Reading time: 2 minutes

FILE PHOTO: Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, addresses the media during the bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt FILE PHOTO: Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, addresses the media during the bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt

The CEO of Deutsche Bank, Christian Sewing, only found out about the takeover plans from Wirecard in the summer


Christian Sewing only found out about Wirecard’s takeover plans in summer 2020 through a media inquiry. He said that in the investigative committee of the Bundestag.

Dhe CEO of Deutsche Bank, Christian Sewing, said he knew nothing about the takeover plans of the scandalous company Wirecard. He only found out about the “Project Panther” in the summer of 2020 through a media inquiry, Sewing said on Friday night in the Wirecard investigation committee of the Bundestag. A few months before the accounting scandal broke up, the top of the Dax group Wirecard had the idea of ​​taking over Deutsche Bank and had this checked by a consulting company.

Wirecard boss Markus Braun only spoke to him at the beginning of 2019 about whether it would make sense to work together in individual areas, Sewing said. Braun saw the future of Deutsche Bank as a tech company with affiliated banking business. However, the idea was not very specific and “hypothetical”. If you had known about takeover plans at this point, you would not have spoken to Wirecard about such a project.

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Wirecard has granted air bookings in the amount of 1.9 billion euros

Sale of the core business

Deutsche Bank also participated in loans for Wirecard – and, according to Sewing, lost around 18 million euros due to the balance sheet fraud. The manipulation could not be seen in the usual checks of the bank, said the CEO. In such situations, the bank depends on being able to rely on annual financial statements, for example.

Sewing emphasized that the accounting scandal had cast a bad light on Germany as a financial center. He called for supervision to be strengthened.


Corona aid: The trade association attacks Olaf Scholz

economy Corona help

“Outrageous” – the trade attacks Olaf Scholz

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Corona aid is being paid out slowly

Many companies complain that the announced corona aid is being paid out slowly. Main sticking points: a lot of bureaucracy, ambiguous application forms and a lack of software. But that should now be different.

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Vice Chancellor Scholz sees the low level of utilization of the Corona aid as a good sign. The trade association finds this statement “outrageous”. Because the real reason is different – and the finance minister is responsible for it.

Dhe central association of the German retail trade accuses Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) of completely misjudging the serious economic situation of the companies. Scholz, who is also Vice Chancellor, took it as a good sign that the federal government’s corona aid was not being fully used.

“Many tax breaks or deferrals were only used briefly or not at all because the economic situation of many companies developed more favorably than feared and business quickly picked up again,” said Scholz. Stefan Genth, General Manager of the German Trade Association (HDE), rated this statement as “outrageous”. “I’m not sure whether this is due to complete ignorance or sheer mockery,” said the HDE boss to WELT.

The real reason for the incomplete use of support is that it is neither available quickly enough nor is it easy to apply for. “The entry requirements for the aids are not suitable. Scholz is responsible for that, “said Genth:” The money just doesn’t reach the company. “

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Federal and state governments agree-report: hard lockdown will be extended until January 31.

The stationary retail trade beyond supermarkets and drugstores was completely closed for the second time during the pandemic following a corresponding decision on December 13. Instead of feeling the favorable development perceived by Scholz, according to HDE, around 50,000 of the almost 200,000 retail companies in Germany are facing the end, a quarter of a million jobs could be carried away by the decline. “In particular in the fashion trade, regardless of the extended insolvency filing period, numerous companies are already in bankruptcy, thousands of businesses are about to”, the trade association says. The lockdown caused sales losses of 36 billion euros last year alone. Just this week, the Adler fashion stores with over 3,300 employees filed for bankruptcy.

Instead of sales, the bridging aid should in future be based on the gross profit of the company, suggests the retail lobby: This is essentially sales minus the cost of goods. From this gross profit costs for personnel, rent and other expenses have to be paid. Excluding the profit share of an average of five percent, the result is a fixed cost component of around a third of sales, which can be replaced as an operating cost subsidy for the closure phase. “That would be more productive and easy to calculate,” said Genth. This would result in expenditure of 0.22 billion euros for the state per day of sale, which the association considers manageable in view of the billions in aid paid.

At a distance from “We’re opening up”

In 2020, due to bureaucratic hurdles and an unfair treatment of the trade, compared to the catering trade, just 90 million bridging aids were received by trading companies. The HDE boss therefore expects a series of lawsuits, especially from the textile retail sector. If trade in the cities is to survive, instead of state aid, it will soon need, above all, an opening perspective and improved planning of disease control measures.

In future, these would have to take into account changes caused by the vaccination campaign. The current focus on the number of new infections may have to be questioned. “In the opinion of many experts, the incidence value of 50 does not seem attainable for the foreseeable future this spring,” said Genth. “You have to think about whether this is still the right target for dealing with the pandemic.” If the lockdown continues until Easter, hardly any company outside of the grocery trade will survive: “You are currently depriving the textile businesses of the business foundation.”

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Dark clouds move over the television tower and the Brandenburg Gate as the sun rises.

Improved protection against infection through a possible obligation to wear FFP2 masks, as is currently the case in Bavaria, could also help to develop appropriate strategies. The general manager of the trade association, on the other hand, categorically rejects the opening of a store contrary to the applicable rules, as propagated by some groups of merchants under the motto “Let’s open”. “I have great respect for the measures taken by the Federal Chancellor and the Prime Minister. We are not the smart ones who know everything better, “he explained:” We distance ourselves from the ‘We open’ initiative because non-trading forces are trying to use it politically. ”

However, there are other initiatives from the industry such as “Retailers stand together”, which clearly show how the measures affected retailers and thus aroused understanding for the industry. The initiative wants to use specific examples to make it clear what the struggle for local existence means and how life’s works are being destroyed by dealers.