“History will judge Merkel and Macron harshly”

Yanis Varoufakis is not allowed to go out on the streets, but this is what happens to all Greeks. Given the circumstances, he considers Biden’s election to be a tragedy, as does the EU bailout. And the pop star of the left has also written a novel. A very specific word is missing from it. .

Lukashenka has an offensive plan for Russia

Experts explained the new strategy of the President of Belarus

Recently, Lukashenko arranged a meeting with the top of the Belarusian authorities, which took place at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. The meeting was attended by the prime minister, heads of both chambers of parliament, the Supreme Court, heads of law enforcement agencies, governors and so on. There was no official information about the results of the meeting – but it was leaked to the media from sources in the presidential administration. And judging by these data, not only the opposition, but also Russia should not expect anything good from Lukashenka’s plans.

First, according to Belarusian sources, the protesters will be deprived of social benefits, dismissed, and the criminal prosecution against them will be toughened up to the death penalty. The stake will be placed on targeted attacks by the KGB. According to Lukashenka, no one should escape punishment for protesting against the regime.

Second, it is expected that the European Union will lose interest in the protests in Belarus by the spring, and then Minsk will be able to begin to establish a dialogue with the West. In this context, trading with Russia on energy prices will resume. If an agreement fails, Moscow may forget about deeper integration into the Union State.

Thirdly, Lukashenka is not going to rush into the new Constitution. He is ready to vote for her only in 2021. At the same time, one should not harbor any illusions regarding the updated Basic Law. Because Lukashenko believes that he will not become a compromise and will not lead to a resolution of the conflict.

In short, Lukashenka’s communication with his inner circle can be reduced to assurances that the clouds will soon disperse and the ruling elite will heal as before. The West will lose interest in the protests, the opposition will flee, and Lukashenka and his friends will be able to continue to rule the country as they have been for the past 26 years. In the end, he simply cannot offer anything else to his electorate. And if he could, then perhaps the protests could have been avoided.

Nevertheless, experts interviewed by MK believe that it was not by chance that Lukashenko gathered his retinue on the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

Dmitry Bolkunets, Belarusian political scientist: “On the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum of Tikhanov’s passions are heating up. Lukashenka decided to assemble the government to prove that the situation is under control and there is nothing to worry about. August 9.

The fact that the situation is difficult, in particular, is evidenced by the fact that after the visit of the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin to Belarus, Lukashenko canceled a rally in Minsk, which had been scheduled for the weekend. About 300 thousand people from all over the country were supposed to come there. It was expected to be a counterweight to opposition protests. Apparently, Naryshkin recommended not to exacerbate the situation once again, so as not to lead to a civil war, but to start a dialogue. In addition, Lukashenka could have been informed that the regime already lacks the strength for a 300,000 rally.

Lukashenka, most likely, really hopes that the protest will dissipate by itself, and then everything will return to normal. He will negotiate with the West, trade with Russia, and so on. However, he is mistaken. The West is not interested in Lukashenko staying in power. This makes it impossible for him to maneuver in negotiations with Russia. “

Andrey Suzdaltsev, political scientist: “Lukashenka is lying to Russia when he says that he broke all contracts with the West. In reality, there is nothing of the kind. There was no promised closure of the borders with Lithuania and Poland. Previous supplies are in progress, including contraband. diplomatic contacts are maintained with the United States and the European Union. Lukashenko was promised to be included in the sanctions lists, but this did not happen. This is due to the fact that the West needs Lukashenko. He does an excellent job of discrediting integration in the post-Soviet space. And Russia pays for his work.

At the same time, Lukashenka blames the West for the political crisis, because he himself is not going to go anywhere. All the participants in his dialogue on the new Constitution are oppositionists imprisoned in jail and people who helped him steal votes in the presidential elections. Naturally, this does not lead to any settlement of the conflict. On the contrary, this is the path to its escalation. But if he manages to survive, he will continue to pump money from Russia, motivating his demands by the fact that he protected Moscow from the “color revolution”.


Fear of truck traffic jams: Great Britain sets up an additional Brexit border

She political discussion in Great Britain has been about the island nation’s only land border for a good four years: 499 kilometers between Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough, which separate Northern Ireland from the Republic in the south.

All of a sudden, the government is creating a second border line for its Brexit preparations around the county of Kent in the south-east of the country. The port of Dover and the access to the Eurotunnel near Folkestone are the most important access points to the European Union (EU).

For the time being, only truck drivers are affected by the geopolitical reorganization. With the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1, you will need a “Kent Access Permit”, a kind of access permit, said Michael Gove, who is responsible for Brexit preparations in the government, in parliament on Wednesday.

Source: WORLD infographic

“If they do not have the necessary materials, we will do our best to ensure that Kent residents are not harassed through police surveillance, license plate recognition cameras and other means.”

Gove had recently warned that in the worst case, up to 7,000 trucks could jam at the entrances to the loading ports. The government is particularly concerned about drivers who come to the border with incomplete documents, at which extensive controls will again be necessary from the beginning of 2021 when the country’s membership of the EU internal market and the customs union ends.

A Kent access permit is issued to drivers who have completed the necessary documents to cross over to Calais on the ferry or cargo train. Anyone who comes to Kent without the paper faces a fine of 300 pounds (327 euros).

“Fear and Terror” campaign

Gove’s announcements should be understood as part of a “fear and horror” campaign, according to the British media with reference to high-ranking officials. It is not even 100 days until the Brexit transition phase ends.

Great Britain has not been a member of the EU since February 1, but the previous rules for the movement of people, goods and services will continue to apply until the end of the year. Gove is worried that companies are still insufficiently prepared for the upcoming changes.

Transport experts and logisticians reacted angrily to the allegations that they were not well enough prepared for the new situation. Robert Keen, executive director of the British International Freight Association, warned the government against pointing the finger at others because it had failed to provide the necessary tools that companies would need to prepare.

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British one pound coin in the water, lower pound rate [ Rechtehinweis: picture alliance/chromoran

Furcht vor No-Deal-Brexit

„Wir wissen ganz genau, dass (die Kaufleute, d. Red.) größtes Interesse haben, sich vorzubereiten, aber wie um alles in der Welt sollen sie das machen, wenn es immer noch keine Klarheit dazu gibt, was sie machen müssen“, ätzte Richard Burnett, Chef der Road Haulage Association.

An den Problemen, die in den Häfen durch Rückstaus drohen, würde der Passierschein nichts ändern, sind Logistiker überzeugt. Das zugehörige Programm frage zwar ab, ob ein Fahrer die erforderlichen Unterlagen habe. Dieser müsse aber lediglich die entsprechenden Kästchen ankreuzen, nicht belegen, dass er die Papiere tatsächlich hat.

Damien Green, konservativer Abgeordneter aus Kent, begrüßte dagegen den Vorstoß. So lasse sich sicherstellen, dass nicht zu viele unzureichend vorbereitete Lkw-Fahrer in den Südosten kommen würden und dort für Verzögerungen sorgten.

Neue Grenzformalitäten wird es auf jeden Fall geben

Bei den fehlenden Details, die die Branche der Regierung vorwirft, geht es nicht um die Frage, ob bis zum Jahresende eine Vereinbarung mit Brüssel über das künftige Handelsregime gefunden werden kann. „Nachdem es dazu immer noch Missverständnisse gibt: Die Grenzformalitäten wird es geben, egal ob ein Deal gefunden wird oder nicht. Das ist eine Folge davon, den Binnenmarkt und die Zollunion zu verlassen“, erläuterte Holger Hestermeyer, Dozent für internationale Streitbeilegungsverfahren am King’s College in London.

Smart Freight und das Goods Vehicle Movement System, zwei neue IT-Systeme, über die in Zukunft die Grenzformalitäten abgewickelt werden sollen, sind bis heute nur als Betaversion für Tests verfügbar. Frühestens ab November dürften sie so rund laufen, dass sie zum Einsatz kommen, heißt es aus der Branche.

Nicht nur Frachtunternehmen stellen die offiziellen Vorbereitungsmaßnahmen infrage. „Die Regierung sagt uns, wir sollten ‚prüfen, ändern, loslegen‘. Der schwierigere Teil dabei ist herauszufinden, dass es um den Brexit geht“, sagte Jill Rutter vom unabhängigen Institute for Government.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of Prime Ministers Questions in Parliament in London, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. Britain officially leaves the European Union on Friday after a debilitating political period that has bitterly divided the nation since the 2016 Brexit referendum. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Steueroase Großbritannien

In der Kampagne „Check, Change, Go“, die seit Mitte Juli unterstützt durch Anzeigen und Werbefilme läuft, wird der Begriff „Brexit“ nicht erwähnt. Stattdessen ist von einem „Neustart“, „neuen Chancen“ und „loslegen“ die Rede.

Eine aktuelle Umfrage der britischen Handelskammerorganisation BCC belegt, dass nur 38 Prozent der Firmen im laufenden Jahr eine Risikoanalyse für den Brexit durchgeführt hätten. Im Vorjahr waren es 57 Prozent. Über die Hälfte der Unternehmen hat bisher keinen einzigen der von der Regierung empfohlenen acht Schritte zur Vorbereitung auf neue Regeln für den Warenverkehr umgesetzt.

Andere Schätzungen gehen noch von deutlich höheren Quoten nicht ausreichend vorbereiteter Unternehmen aus. Wenig überraschend sei das, sagte Rutter. „Angesichts der Corona-Krise hatte die Wirtschaft ganz andere Sorgen.“ Für die nötigen Vorbereitungen fehle es daher an Zeit und Geld.

Unklar ist noch die richtige Markierung von Lebensmitteln

35 Fragen, die die Mitgliedsunternehmen besonders umtreiben, hat die BCC zusammengestellt, viele davon sind relevant, egal ob ein Freihandelsvertrag ausgehandelt wird oder nicht. Nur für neun dieser Aspekte liegen ausreichend Informationen vor, um grünes Licht zu geben. In 19 Fällen ist die Information bisher lückenhaft, in sieben fehlt sie komplett.

Zu den Problemfällen gehört unter anderem die künftig notwendige Auszeichnung auf Etiketten für Lebensmittel und Getränke, die für den Verkauf in der EU und Nordirland bestimmt sind. Offen ist auch, wie Großbritannien bei den Ursprungsregeln behandelt wird, was für die Nutzung von Zulieferteilen wichtig sein wird.

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Großbritannien sucht seine Wirtschaftsordnung nach dem Brexit

„Kranker Mann Europas“

Über den Warenaustausch zwischen der britischen Insel und Nordirland herrscht ebenfalls noch erhebliche Unklarheit. Für den Handel am Neujahrstag und danach bedeutet das nichts Gutes. Und Rutter warnt: „Es könnte recht unangenehmen werden.“


1.3 trillion euros for a six-week climate effect

Man-made climate change must be addressed wisely. But the EU plans to drastically reduce CO2 emissions do not have this cleverness. They are very costly and will accomplish little – as the 0.004 degree effect shows. .

Podcast Deffner & Zschäpitz: Climate wall around Europe – is that the salvation or the end?

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Short vs. Merkel: The sudden return of the migration duel

PSuddenly the television viewers see a young man on the screen, whom at that time hardly anyone in Germany knows. It’s Sebastian Kurz, 30 years old and Austrian Foreign Minister for almost four years. “I will certainly not interfere in the German debate,” says the politician, who was tuned into the “heute-journal” on this January evening in 2016. And then immediately interferes. In the years that followed, Kurz became Angela Merkel’s central European opponent when it came to migration. With the fires in the Moria refugee camp, the old conflict between Kurz and Merkel has become topical again.


Coronavirus: EU threatens to be left behind when it comes to vaccine supplies

economy Corona

Germany and the EU are far behind in the race for vaccines

| Reading time: 2 minutes

Every second person in Germany does not want to be vaccinated against Corona

Confidence in a vaccine against the coronavirus is less than 75 percent worldwide. In Germany, every second person wants to forego a Covid 19 vaccination. One country surpasses all others with a willingness of 97 percent.

The approval of corona vaccines is getting closer. That is why governments are already securing millions of cans from manufacturers. But Germany and the EU are in danger of being left behind.

In the race to supply the population with vaccines against Covid-19, Germany and the European Union (EU) are significantly behind the USA and Great Britain. This is shown by a survey by WELT AM SONNTAG.

Accordingly, the US has secured 800 million vaccine doses from six different manufacturers under preliminary agreements. There is also an option for a further 1.4 billion at a later date. The UK has also signed contracts with six manufacturers for 340 million doses of vaccine. The country has a higher per capita quota than any other industrial nation.

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ARCHIVE - 19.06.2020, Baden-Württemberg, Tübingen: A man holds a syringe in his hand at the Institute for Tropical Medicine at the University Hospital of Tübingen, with which a possible active ingredient against the coronavirus was injected into a young woman, the first test subject.  The active ingredient comes from the Tübingen company Curevac and was injected for the first time today at the Institute for Tropical Medicine.  (To dpa "Researcher: Approval application for corona vaccine maybe still in 2020") Photo: Christoph Schmidt / dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

In contrast, the EU Commission has so far only signed a framework agreement for 446 million inhabitants in the 27 member states with the British-Swedish group Astra Zeneca for 300 million vaccine doses, with an option for a further 100 million. “We have already signed an agreement with Astra Zeneca and are working on all fronts to achieve the same with other companies with whom we have already concluded exploratory talks,” said the EU Commission upon request.

The number of vaccine doses that each EU country can purchase under these contracts is based on the population key. In the case of the already promised vaccine ampoules from Astra Zeneca, Germany would have contractually guaranteed access to around 56 million of the planned vaccine.

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Mask compulsory check at Dortmund main station: The city authorities are already busy

So far, however, it is still unclear how the vaccine will be distributed in Germany. “The approval of a vaccine does not yet mean that it will immediately be available for the entire population,” says the Federal Ministry of Health.

The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) is currently working on a recommendation as the basis for a nationwide vaccination program. According to the Robert Koch Institute responsible, there is not yet a specific schedule for the publication.

The full text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Source: Welt am Sonntag


Reconstruction funds: How business associations are campaigning for billions

DThe German economy almost unanimously welcomes the financial package decided by the European Council to rebuild the European economy after the Corona crisis. No wonder, many companies hope that they too will benefit from the huge sums.

“It is now the responsibility of the German Council Presidency to get the aid program through all instances as quickly as possible so that the support arrives quickly where it is needed,” said Josef Sanktjohanser, President of the German Trade Association (HDE). Many small and medium-sized retailers in particular are dependent on further help. The association of hotel and restaurant operators, Dehoga, also has great expectations for the package.

“The compromise proves that Europe can act even in this exceptional situation,” said Dehoga CEO Ingrid Hartges. The automobile association VDA pointed out that it is now necessary to strengthen the “industrial core” in order to maintain Europe’s global competitiveness.

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To Corona at half past five

The total is EUR 672.5 billion, which is available in the so-called building and resilience facility for investments and reforms in the European Union – of which EUR 360 billion in loans and EUR 312.5 billion in grants that do not have to be repaid.

It is still difficult to say exactly when the first funds will flow. “Please understand that I am currently unable to give you any details – neither in terms of content nor of time”, said the Federal Ministry of Economics from Peter Altmaier (CDU) on request. After all, the framework agreed on by the heads of state and government at their marathon meeting in Brussels has only been available since Tuesday.

It is crucial that the business associations and their concerns find a place on the national investment agenda for the years 2021 to 2023, which Germany, like all other EU countries, must submit to the Commission for review. They have to match the basic goals of the reconstruction plan. The criteria include “strengthening growth potential” and “job creation”. An effective contribution to the “green and digital turnaround” is also a prerequisite for a positive assessment.

A historical agreement with many question marks

The EU summit reached a historic agreement, but ambiguities and differences remain. Many are particularly upset in the EU Parliament: Hungary or Poland, for example, have not been put under sufficient pressure when it comes to the rule of law.

The Central Association of the Electrical and Electronics Industries (ZVEI) is looking forward to the coming months. “Now the allocation of funds and their concrete use must be made transparent and targeted – and thus also be useful for future generations,” said Wolfgang Weber, Chairman of the ZVEI management, WELT.

The demands of the mechanical engineering association VDMA go in the same direction. “Now it has to be a matter of not letting the aid money drown ineffectively, but rather of reviving the European economy efficiently,” explained CEO Thilo Brodtmann. “In concrete terms, we need technology-neutral and cross-sectoral measures – without further detailed state regulations and without new bureaucratic hurdles for companies,” he added.

From the point of view of the hard-hit aviation industry, the agreement between the European heads of state and government harbors the opportunity for progress in climate protection in aviation. “The most important lever currently is the replacement of older aircraft with new, energy-efficient models,” said Matthias von Randow, chief executive of the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry.

The replacement of fossil kerosene with a renewable fuel is equally important. Production facilities would now urgently need to be set up for this. The Federal Association of the German Food Industry (BVE) said that the funds decided were “absolutely necessary because we are at the beginning of a deep recession, the full extent of which cannot yet be predicted”.

For the food industry, it is important that no conflicting goals are sparked. For example, the agreed EU plastic tax should not become a German plastic tax that increases cost pressure, while the environmental benefits of such a tax are “more than questionable”.

Peasant President Joachim Rukwied welcomed the multiannual financial framework, which the heads of state and government also agreed on. Agriculture now has a planning basis, which is “too small” given the numerous challenges on the markets, climate change, resource conservation and the generation change.


Germany’s EU Presidency: The Chancellor’s pressing tasks

Dhe German EU Presidency from July 1st falls into a decisive phase for Europe: The economic consequences of the corona pandemic will be serious in many countries, an unregulated Brexit is imminent and the major construction site migration continues to tumble. The motto of the German EU Council Presidency is: “Together. Make Europe strong again. “

That sounds promising, and every other six-month presidency also has this beautiful goal. Most of the time, the presidencies do too much and in the end little comes out. One can only hope that Berlin will do better.

The Federal Government can do a lot in the European Union by the end of the year – if it focuses on the right topics. It’s not that easy: each ministry has its own agenda and, above all, looks at its own front yard.

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Each minister wants to emerge from the presidency as a winner if possible. There are a lot of mature ideas coming from the ministries these days – they all sound good, but they are mostly unrealistic. And there is often a lack of connectivity and an eye for the whole.

“We don’t want to be patronized, to go our own way and to be able to shape geopolitically,” said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) a little full-bodied Europe’s goals for the coming half-year. The past has shown that it is better to concentrate on a few realistic goals than on abstract visions or the lavish wish lists of ministries and local lobbyists.

What issues must the Federal Government address in the European Union in the next six months? This is WELT’s to-do list for Merkel & Co .:

The aftermath of Corona

Berlin should accept that Corona is currently setting the topics. The German Presidency must above all ensure that Europe comes out of the crisis again. This particularly affects the hundreds of billions of EU economic stimulus packages that are intended to cushion the economic consequences of the corona crisis.

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Chancellor Sebastian Kurz

The German Council Presidency will be put to the test in mid-July; then the Member States will agree on the billions in aid at a summit in Brussels. However, there are still disputes on almost all points of the plan – above all about the criteria according to which the money is distributed, about the conditions that states have to meet in return and about the financing.

Germany and the EU must also prepare for a possible second wave of infections in autumn and develop an early border management plan so that chaos at the borders, as in the first wave, does not repeat itself. Another point: Berlin must ensure that Europe’s independence from Chinese and Indian producers of medicines and medical protective equipment is promoted in the coming months.

The 1100 billion household

In parallel to the EU economic stimulus program, the upcoming seven-year budget for the EU will also be negotiated in July because the two should be interlinked. The so-called Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) from 2021 to 2027 is expected to be around 1.1 trillion euros, and Brussels expects Germany to shoulder a larger share of the expenditure than before.

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The EU budget is still wrestling hard.  But one thing is already certain: It will be expensive for the Germans

In normal times, these tough negotiations alone would be enough material for a six-month presidency. Berlin has to moderate, but at the same time defend the German contribution discount, which the EU Commission would like to delete.

Two-pronged Brexit

Brexit is also pressing. The British formally left the EU on January 31, but will remain in the EU’s internal market and customs union until the end of the year. An agreement that regulates trade issues and other important issues must therefore be in place by the end of the year and approved by the parliaments, otherwise there will be an unregulated Brexit with considerable consequences for companies and citizens – especially on the island, but also in the EU.

Negotiations stall; London is even questioning what has already been agreed. It is therefore important that the EU remains united in its tough stance during the German Council Presidency, also to deter imitators.

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Boris Johnson has so far survived the corona pandemic politically

Negotiations with London and preparations for a hard Brexit must take place in parallel in the coming months – a double burden for both sides. Berlin has to prepare for the fact that almost everything will revolve around Brexit in September and October. Merkel must not be provoked by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

European asylum system

Merkel’s top priority should be to push through the multi-year EU budget and the reconstruction plan. But she can’t put everything else behind. If Germany does not soon prepare the ground for a largely uniform asylum law across Europe, which, for example, prevents or punishes asylum tourism, an agreement in the near future should be impossible.

Merkel and Seehofer should first try to enforce new laws for faster deportations and early asylum checks at the external border. In the second step, however, there must be an increase in the EU border protection agency Frontex to at least 10,000 men by 2022 and a consensus-based proposal by the EU Commission on the highly controversial distribution of refugees in Europe – both of which Berlin must push through.

More pressure on China

In recent years, Berlin and Paris have repeatedly been the brakes on a harder pace than Beijing. The European economy is even more important for China than vice versa. So the Europeans have leverage to finally achieve fair competitive conditions and an investment protection agreement in late autumn after years of negotiations.

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Whistleblowerin Sayragul Sauytbay

In addition, Berlin has to campaign for a modern right to tender, which prevents state-subsidized Chinese companies – as in Croatia – from building a bridge with Chinese concrete and exclusively Chinese workers, instead collecting more than 300 million euros in EU tax money and collecting European companies in the Look tube.

Merkel also has to fundamentally reconsider her reluctance towards Chinese President Xi Jingping – especially after Beijing has now significantly restricted Hong Kong’s autonomy. Above all, the EU under the German Presidency must strategically counter the gradual rapprochement between Beijing and Moscow. Who else can do that if not the German Chancellor?

New dialogue with Central Eastern Europe

The division of the EU has deepened considerably in recent years. This is not only due to different views on the distribution of refugees. It is also about the fact that many countries in Central and Eastern Europe feel marginalized or even stigmatized by the old Europeans.

“You should see Poland and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe as partners and not as a problem. What is needed is a mental revolution in the EU that leads to people listening when we express our ideas about migration, sovereignty or culture, ”said Zdzislaw Krasnodebski, the influential Polish member of PiS Europe, WELT. Chancellor Merkel should travel to the countries concerned and seek dialogue with the government parties.


Simon Schama on populists: “Their strength lies in their rhetoric”

NOf course, Sir Simon Schama, one of Britain’s best known historians, has a lot of historical comparisons ready for the corona pandemic. However, he does not feel reminded of the black plague or the Spanish flu. If one takes into account all dimensions of this pandemic example, the comparison to 1945 comes to mind, the year in which the Second World War ended.

WORLD: Hasn’t this crisis shown that many of these simple populist solutions can only be fake? Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson and other rulers who initially cared little about the emergency were overwhelmed by the Covid 19 crisis.