Why the end of daylight saving time is overdue

Time change

When it comes to time change, nothing has changed in Brussels for a long time.

(Photo: AP)

Berlin Sleep an hour longer: In Germany, summer time ends at the weekend. Exactly at 3:00 a.m. on October 25th, the clocks will be put back one hour to 2:00 a.m. Then normal time applies again until the end of March, often also called winter time. On March 28, 2021, the hands will be turned back one hour.

The time change should actually be abolished next year, at least that is what the European Parliament decided in 2019. However, nothing has happened in Brussels for a long time. The reasons: There is no impact assessment by the EU Commission, what an abolition of the time change would mean for the economy and the internal market. For the transport and logistics sector in particular, turning away from the current principle would be a challenge.

And: Once again, the member states cannot come to an agreement. Would you prefer to use summer or winter time? And which country is in which time zone? The responses from the capitals are currently a patchwork of times; the preference of one country collides with that of its neighbor.

Korbinian von Blanckenburg, economics professor at the Technical University of Ostwestfalen-Lippe, thinks this is fatal. In his opinion, moving the clocks forwards and backwards does not bring any economic advantages. He also considers it counterproductive if, as a result of the abolition of the time changeover, there should no longer be a uniform time within a large economic zone such as the EU. “Time zone islands are economically a horror,” said von Blanckenburg. Accordingly, it should not be left to the Member States to decide what time they want to stay.

There are three time zones in the EU, the largest of which, Central European Time, extends from Spain to Poland. In the case of permanent summer time, it would not be light until the morning in the west – but also in the northwest – of the continent. In Vigo on the Spanish Atlantic coast, the sun would not rise until 10:01 am on December 21st, and at Brest in Brittany, France 10.07 a.m. and in Emden in northern Germany at 9.45 a.m.

With a permanent winter time, on the other hand, it would not only be dark in the beer garden or in the beach bar an hour earlier than usual. The sun would rise extremely early in the east of the EU: In Bialystok in Poland it would be on June 21 at 3:01 a.m., in Warsaw at 3:15 a.m. and in Berlin at 3:44 a.m.

Time change affects health

For the economist von Blanckenburg, now would be the ideal time to move forward with the decision to change the time. “Thanks to Corona, many companies and other institutions have developed a new level of flexibility,” he said. Home office and online conferences are now part of everyday life. “We are no longer pedantically at eight o’clock in the office, and somehow it still works surprisingly well.”

As an example, the economist cited business trips that are being replaced by online meetings. Schools and universities have also discovered the digital possibilities for themselves. At universities, digital lectures, working groups and meetings are indispensable.

The deputy head of the FDP parliamentary group, Michael Theurer, called on the federal government to use the EU Council Presidency for an initiative to abolish the time change. “It now depends on the federal government to organize a majority for a nationwide abolition of the time change,” Theurer told the Handelsblatt.

The FDP politician pointed out the disadvantages of the time change. They create health problems, especially in children and the elderly. “At the same time, the energy savings targets associated with summer and winter time were not achieved,” said Theurer. Therefore everything speaks in favor of abolishing the time change. “A uniform abolition of the time change in Europe without a patchwork must be achieved.”

Some years ago von Blanckenburg refuted that summer time supposedly helps to save energy. Based on an analysis of the data from two network operators in Kassel and Kempten, he calculated that the current time change system only leads to savings of 0.78 percent in electricity consumption in private households.

Energy savings not serious

From the point of view of the Federal Environment Agency, the current time change regulation does not save a significant amount of energy. Although the light is actually switched on less often in the evening due to the time change in summer, in spring and autumn there is more heating in the morning hours, argues the authority. “That cancel each other out.”

The Office for Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag also came to the conclusion that “at best only very minor energy savings can be achieved”. An evaluation of studies from different countries in 2016 showed possible changes in the areas of electricity consumption and space heating of no more than one percent.

It is proven, however, that the previous back and forth when changing the time has a negative impact on health because our internal clock gets mixed up every time. The health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit writes on the basis of a representative survey that 29 percent of people in Germany suffered from physical or psychological problems after changing the time. They felt limp and tired or had difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. 76 percent of those surveyed found that the changeover was superfluous and should be abolished.

With agency material

More: Why the abolition of the time change has failed so far

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The fear of the second lockdown

Red alert

The dangers of the pandemic are as real now as they were during the first wave in spring.

(Photo: Smetek)

  • The fast increasing numbers of infections leave no doubt: Germany is in the middle in the second corona wave. New Restrictions on public life are inevitable – yet they could hope for a quick one wipe out economic recovery.
  • who against individual rules rebelled, sees himself quickly near mask refusers and virus deniers moved. This requires a debate about the correct understanding of Liberalism in times of pandemic.
  • The German citizen are very satisfied with the performance of their country in the fight against corona. But in other states some even succeeded even better. Was Germany from Greece, China, Uruguay, Thailand and Japan can learn.
  • “With Empowering laws we should very much be careful“Says Oliver Reichert in an interview with the Handelsblatt. Of the Birkenstock boss talks about one possible second lockdown, the cons of the Home office culture and about why the crisis his own brand not harmed hat.

In the past few weeks, Karl-Heinz Paqué has stayed in two hotels that are at opposite ends of the price and prestige spectrum. In his Saarland hometown of St. Wendel, the chairman of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation stayed at the “Auberge”, a small three-star hostel. A little later he was a guest for an event organized by his FDP-affiliated organization at the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof. In both houses, Paqué got the same impression: “The hotels practice corona protection both conscientiously and smoothly. You just wear a mask, keep your distance and the hotel bar closes completely or earlier. “

Paqué is all the more incomprehensible about the bans on accommodation that many federal states issued in October for holidaymakers from German corona risk areas. His impression: “This shows the fateful tendency of the state bureaucracy to keep any residual risk at bay with quickly issued prohibitions and to underestimate the freedom of those affected.”

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Only a third away – for Scholz, the crisis is turning into a billion-dollar bargain

Viel helps a lot. That was the motto of the federal government in the past months of the crisis. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) had the Bundestag approve ever higher debts. After two supplementary budgets, he had permission to take out additional loans of EUR 218 billion this year.

The money was earmarked for huge aid and stimulus packages, which were intended to support companies, employees and the health sector in particular. In addition, it had to be taken into account that tax revenues collapse with the economy.

Almost two and a half months before the end of the year, it looks like coping with the crisis will cost far less money than Scholz estimated. This is indicated by figures from his own ministry.

The effects of the lower level of new borrowing will extend into 2042

Accordingly, in the first nine months of the year federal spending exceeded revenue by just 72.5 billion euros. That means: In the last quarter of 2020, twice as much money would have to be spent on crisis management as before, in order to come to the 218 billion euros.

Initial estimates of the actual level of new debt in 2020 are well below the 218 billion euros: “If you take into account tax revenue, the previous outflow and 14 years of household experience, you are certainly not bad with new debt of around 150 billion euros at the end of the year” says Otto Fricke, budget spokesman for the FDP in the Bundestag. Fricke is not alone in this estimate among household experts.

also read

Germans can still benefit from the tax gift in many areas until the end of the year

Even if there were 150 billion euros in the end, a new record would still be reached. During the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010, the federal government made a total of just 78 billion euros in new debt. But it would be a lot less than initially estimated, which would ultimately have an impact until 2042.

Because this would also change the cornerstones of the 20-year repayment plan, as provided for by the debt brake. The annual rate of six billion euros would fall, which would at least give future finance ministers and generations more room for maneuver.

The year is of course not over yet, the corona crisis is back. Dennis Rohde, head of the SPD’s housekeeping, also points out that the 72.5 billion euros are “just a snapshot”. The required net borrowing at the end of the year cannot yet be calculated.

The second corona wave could significantly change the result

If the deficit then turns out to be lower than forecast in July when the second supplementary budget was concluded, he, as a budgetary politician, would of course be pleased. But that’s not the point in these times.

“It is now important to continue to implement the various measures of the crisis and economic stimulus package at full speed in order to combat the health and economic consequences of this crisis,” said Rohde.

also read

For Germany, the IMF now expects an economic slump of only six percent this year

This sounds similar with Eckhardt Rehberg (CDU), the head of the Union parliamentary group. “We don’t know how the second corona wave will affect the economy and tax revenues,” he says.

From the numbers up to September one could not infer the whole year. Especially since by the end of the year, among other things, the allocations to the energy and climate fund in the amount of 26.5 billion euros, the second tranche of the child bonus and the failures due to the VAT reduction for the fourth quarter are still missing in the figures until the end of September.

In the first nine months, federal tax revenues fell by 12.7 percent compared to the first nine months of the previous year. For the year as a whole, the tax estimates are so far from a minus of 16.3 percent compared to the previous year. They will meet again at the beginning of November to review the forecast.

Structural problems prevent the billions from being used

There is a lot of psychology involved in drawing up a budget in times of crisis. At the beginning of the crisis, politicians did not want to leave any doubt as to whether the money would actually be enough in the end.

The government has done well so far, as opposition representative Fricke points out. “The government has proceeded according to the motto: We announce as much as possible to show the market and everyone else that Germany is serious,” he says. Even then, the ministries involved knew that certain parts were unlikely to flow away.

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However, it is questionable whether large parts of the billions in aid have not yet been used or whether it was simply too complicated to apply for them. Sven-Christian Kindler, budget politician for the Greens, sees structural problems in the federal government’s programs, which is why they can hardly be used despite great hardship.

“The emergency aid is characterized by a lot of bureaucracy, and for those who urgently need it, such as the event industry and the self-employed, it ignores reality,” he says.

also read

Unemployment insurance is voluntary for the self-employed - but it is not open to everyone

Of the 25 billion euros earmarked as bridging aid for companies, just over one billion euros have so far been called. The federal government urgently needs to improve this.

What is necessary is financial support for the self-employed with living costs and targeted support for the event and cultural sector.

A transfer of the credit authorizations after 2021 is not easily possible

Finance Minister Scholz and Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) have already announced such programs, which are specifically tailored to a target group, but whether and when they will come is still open. There is no question that there is still room for maneuver in the budget.

The possibilities to use the credit authorizations amounting to 218 billion euros for completely new projects, however, are limited. After all, the expenditures are clearly assigned in the individual plans of the 2020 federal budget.

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Federal Constitutional Court pronounces ruling on broadcasting fees

Carrying over to the coming year is also not that easy. “Unused credit authorizations expire at the end of the year,” says SPD housekeeper Rohde. This is expressly regulated in the Budget Act.

It will now be exciting to see to what extent the emerging lower spending in 2020 will affect the budget for the coming year. In 2021, Scholz wants to incur new debts of 96 billion euros and again suspend the debt brake.

FDP considers the 2020 budget to be “unnecessarily inflated”

Eckhardt Rehberg of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group says that the draft of the federal government is available for the deliberations on the 2021 budget. The next tax estimate and current developments in the corona pandemic would be included in the final budget, which will be negotiated in the Bundestag’s budget committee and decided by parliament.

Rehberg wants to avoid at least an increase in net borrowing. “In the best case scenario, we can reduce new debt,” he says.

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Criticism comes from the FDP. “The grand coalition has inflated the 2020 budget unnecessarily, now there are spending and new debt that is not needed in the amount, at the expense of transparency and parliamentary control,” says Fricke.

With a view to 2021, his party will analyze exactly what is actually needed for efficient crisis management and what additional expenditures are necessary and sensible in these times.

It cannot be about simply putting money in the shop window for everything and everyone in the next year as well. Investments could be counted among the expenditure items in the current budget that belong under this heading. The “investment expenditure” this year should actually be a good 71 billion euros.

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The SPD is fighting for its identity.  No wonder that Olaf Scholz feels the same way

According to the monthly report of the Federal Ministry of Finance, only 25 billion euros were lost by the end of September. It is hard to imagine that the rest of the amount will be called up until the end of December.

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Söder announces regional corona lockdown

IIn the fight against the extremely increased number of corona infections in the Upper Bavarian district of Berchtesgadener Land, Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) wants to impose a “lockdown”. There will be a “comprehensive package of measures” “that corresponds to a lockdown,” said Söder on Monday after a virtual board meeting of the CSU. Bavaria’s Minister of Health Melanie Huml (CSU) should work out the details together with the district and the government of Upper Bavaria.

With a 7-day incidence of 252.1, the district is the hardest hit in Germany, with a surge in recent days. Obviously the situation has arisen there that one always wanted to avoid: According to Söder, the contacts “can no longer be traced”, so they must be “fundamentally restricted – as far as events are concerned, as far as external contacts are concerned”. You have to “apply the toughest protocol at this point in order to get control of the infection process again as quickly as possible”. Söder named the proximity to the Austrian hotspot Kuchl in the Salzburger Land and a party as the reasons for the outbreak.

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Meanwhile, the CSU supports an expansion of the special corona rights for Health Minister Jens Spahn. This has the “backing” from Bavaria, said Söder. He rejected criticism from parliamentarians that parliaments should decide more in the fight against corona. The parliaments would be involved in all laws. Respect for the constitutional order also means that there are laws that regulate “statutory powers for the respective executive”.

In this context, Söder sharply criticized the FDP. He called on her to “think again whether the course she is imposing on herself together with the AfD is really the right one for the country.” Even before the meeting he had said: “There is not only the AfD, there are others too political forces who try every day to put all measures into perspective and almost call on the population not to participate. ”However, looking for excuses for circumventing pandemic measures does not do justice to the situation. Liberal heads of government like Mark Rutte in the Netherlands also showed this. He decided on the “toughest concepts”.

Söder for a uniform mask rule

Previously, for example, the FDP chairman Christian Lindner demanded that the corona situation should not be “overdramatized”. The deputy FDP chairman and Bundestag vice-president Wolfgang Kubicki warned against damage to democracy if the main decisions in combating the corona pandemic were to continue to be made by the federal government or the state governments instead of the Bundestag. Kubicki said on Sunday evening in the “Bild” talk “The right questions”: “If we as a parliament do not perform our task now, then democracy will have permanent damage.”

Before the board meeting, Söder had already demanded nationwide mask requirements for regions with high corona numbers. If there are more than 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, a mask requirement should apply in schools, in highly frequented public places and also at work, if minimum distances could not be observed, said the Bavarian Prime Minister.

When asked what he thinks of the fact that the sister party CDU intends to hold a presence party congress in December, Söder said: The party must decide for itself. He added: “We have made a very clear decision that we do not consider a meeting of 1,000 people to be justifiable at the moment.” It is very important in the next few weeks, “to keep the motivation and participation of the population, that there are no special rights and privileges for parties or politicians.” Everyone must adhere to the same rules – “and I can’t imagine that we approve another event with 1000 people ”. Maybe there is the possibility of postal voting, “that even seems to be possible in the USA”. So he is amazed that “people still hold on to it – but we don’t decide that, it’s up to the CDU”.

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This is how Christian Lindner thinks about the future of the car

DThis time we swapped roles: I traveled with the Porsche while FDP chairman Christian Lindner drives an emission-free Mercedes fuel cell vehicle to one of Berlin’s five hydrogen filling stations. In Germany you can now inject hydrogen into your car at almost 100 stations. Of course, thanks to the plug-in hybrid, I also had the opportunity to get around the place with zero local emissions, but only incidentally.

That brings us to the first point: Do cars with electric drive only fulfill an alibi environmental function? Or do they really help to sustainably reduce carbon dioxide emissions? Because that is essential to stop global warming.

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Union increases, SPD, Greens lose

CDU-Logo

The Christian Democrats and their sister party CSU are gaining approval.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf, Berlin If there were a general election today, Sunday, a conceivable black-green coalition would still have a solid majority. The CDU and CSU can even expand their position as the strongest party in the latest poll by the opinion research institute Kantar (formerly Emnid) on behalf of “Bild am Sonntag”.

In the Sunday trend, which the institute collects weekly, the Union comes to 35 percent – that is one percentage point more than compared to the previous week. The discussion about the increasing tightening of the Corona measures and in particular the controversial ban on accommodation have not harmed the sister parties.

In contrast, the current coalition partner SPD and the possible future coalition partner Greens each lose one percentage point. The SPD comes to 16 percent in the current survey, the Greens fall back to 19 percent.

SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans is still combative. With a view to the bad poll numbers, he emphasized: “We want to continue to govern, but without the CDU and CSU. They belong in the opposition. ”

He accused the Union of a blockade in the “Spiegel”. This is the reason why, apart from the policy against the corona pandemic, hardly anything is progressing in the grand coalition. With Olaf Scholz, the SPD wants to “provide the future chancellor – and draw a line under the time as junior partner of the Union”.

The FDP, on the other hand, recorded slight growth, which also grew by one percentage point to now six percent, as did the AfD, which now reached ten percent. According to the survey, the Left Party remains unchanged at eight percent.

On the other hand, the trend barometer survey by the opinion research institute Forsa for the television channels RTL and n-tv, which was published on Saturday, is a little less moving. There were only two minimal changes compared to the previous week: an increase of one percentage point for the FDP and a decrease of one percentage point for the Left.

In this survey, the CDU / CSU remain with 36 percent by a large margin ahead of the Greens (20 percent) and the SPD (15 percent). The AfD comes here to nine percent, the left to seven percent. The number of non-voters and undecided is then 23 percent.

More: German citizens favor Jens Spahn as the new CDU boss

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Politicians partly open to cordoning off corona hotspots

The federal government considers it possible to block areas. “The Federal Chancellor and the Prime Ministers noted months ago that there could also be restrictions on mobility in and out of the particularly affected areas as the most extensive measure,” said Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU) of the “Rheinische Post”.

Vice-government spokeswoman Martina Fietz had previously described restrictions on entry and exit “from a purely epidemiological point of view” as a way of preventing the virus from spreading. The aim is to “maintain as much as possible of public and private life”. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior was reluctant to comment on the RKI initiative. There are “no concrete scenarios” for a deployment of the Federal Police in the event of lockdowns.

The issue is assessed differently in the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag. “I do not think it is out of the question that interventions in the freedom of movement and freedom of movement may be necessary again if the health system is overloaded,” said the legal policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Johannes Fechner, to the Handelsblatt.

The prerequisites for when the government may order this would have to be specified by parliament. “We are dealing here with massive encroachments on fundamental rights,” emphasized Fechner. A strict proportionality standard must be applied. “Above all, this means that no milder means may be available.”

Contradiction comes from within the Union. “From my point of view, the cordoning off of entire cities or regions is unconstitutional and also makes no sense,” said the CDU domestic politician Patrick Sensburg, the Handelsblatt. “It is expedient to comply with and control the existing quarantine rules.” New measures are not needed if only the current ones are implemented consistently. “Here, however, all federal states and municipalities must also fulfill the tasks that they have.”

The CDU health politician Tino Sorge, however, did not rule out the closure of certain regions as a “last resort”. “We should only discuss blocking hotspots as a last resort if human life cannot be protected in any other way,” Sorge told the Handelsblatt. However, he also emphasized: “Alarmism and overbidding competition for potentially conceivable measures do not help to improve the situation.” Most people already limited their travels today.

Wieler had justified his advance with the aggravated corona situation. Nine months ago, he could not have thought of locking off corona hotspots. “I can now imagine that such measures would be carried out,” said Wieler on Thursday the television station Phoenix. “If the measures are not tightened, the number of infections will continue to rise,” warned the RKI boss and named a number of up to 10,000 new infections daily. “Mobility is one of the drivers of this pandemic,” said Wieler.

CSU: RKI boss should substantiate the proposal

As if to confirm, Wieler’s authorities reported a new high on Friday with 7334 new infections within one day. It was only on Thursday that the authority recorded an all-time high since the outbreak of the pandemic with 6638 cases.

The FDP member of the Bundestag Konstantin Kuhle spoke of the “half-baked” proposals of the RKI boss that made many citizens “afraid”. “The drivers of the pandemic currently seem to be meetings in the private sector,” he told the Handelsblatt. It makes sense to cap and limit these. “A blanket restriction on mobility makes no sense at the moment, especially if it is announced in an interview without specific standards and criteria.”

The CSU internal politician Volker Ulrich also sees the RKI President Wieler’s duty to explain in such a proposal what he means by “locking off” risk areas and which authorities should implement such a measure with what means. From his point of view, closure is “neither an appropriate and certainly not a proportionate measure”.

The Greens were skeptical. “It is good and right to discuss all scenarios at an early stage, to weigh them carefully and on the basis of facts in order to then be able to make necessary and proportionate decisions,” said parliamentary group vice-president Konstantin von Notz. In order to achieve the necessary acceptance, however, Parliament and the public would have to be involved “as best as possible”.

“Mobility remains a key factor,” added von Notz. Therefore, everyone should think carefully about “which personal travel activities we can do without in favor of our solidary community in view of the current situation” – also in order to be able to jointly avert “extremely far-reaching” restrictions on freedom and encroachments on fundamental rights.

Bavaria lifts the ban on accommodation, Hesse is planning the same

In view of the escalating situation, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister decided on new restrictions at a crisis meeting in Berlin on Wednesday evening in order to get the infection numbers under control again. However, the measures have already been legally attacked – with success in some federal states.

In Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony, administrative judges declared the controversial ban on accommodation to be illegal on Thursday. Other countries lifted a corresponding regulation of their own accord. In Bavaria, the ban expires this Friday. In Hesse, the planned abolition of the ban on accommodation is on the agenda for the meeting of the Corona cabinet on Monday. In Berlin, where the ban does not exist, the administrative court overturned the curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

According to the Speyer constitutional lawyer Joachim Wieland, blocking off risk areas would not be constitutionally ruled out. It is indeed a “very drastic encroachment on freedom”, but it would be “constitutional as a last resort if there is a really great danger to life and health”.

The measure is also not out of thin air. It is already practiced in Spain. In view of the high corona numbers, the country’s government recently imposed a state of emergency on Madrid. In this way, the closure of the capital should be enforced against the will of the regional government.

Controls on the highway

In Spain, the Corona hotspot Madrid has already been cordoned off.

(Photo: dpa)

Gabriel Felbermayr, head of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), named Asia and, above all, China, where the sealing off of hotspots has proven itself in order to curb the spread of the virus quickly. “But it is a much more draconian measure than a ban on accommodation, and enforcement, as the example of Asia shows, requires greater use of resources, and potentially even police operations,” Felbermayr told Handelsblatt.

“Not an easy task for political decision-makers”

From an economic point of view, however, “targeted closures” are probably better than general travel restrictions because they concentrate the adjustment costs on the geographical areas in which the infection rate is strongest. “This would create the right incentives to do everything locally to reduce the incidence,” he said.

But you have to think very carefully about the definition of hotspots: “It would probably have to be municipalities, not districts, and whether the critical incidence rate should be 50 cases per week and 100,000 inhabitants is also unclear,” he said.

Ifo President Clemens Fuest, in turn, believes that the economic impact would depend on what exactly “lockdown” means. “When it comes to restricting non-professional travel for a limited time, the economic consequences are likely to be manageable, but a complete closure for passenger traffic would have high economic costs,” he said.

In addition, politicians must consider the general consequences for consumer and producer confidence: “The lockdown would be a signal that the crisis is worsening significantly. In my opinion, this should only be done if the yield in terms of containing the epidemic is sufficiently high, ”he emphasized. This weighing is difficult and must be made on the basis of very incomplete information. This is “not an easy task for the political decision-makers”.

DIW President Marcel Fratzscher already fears that this consideration can only go wrong. “The success of corona measures depends first and foremost on their acceptance by people,” he told Handelsblatt.

Blocking off hotspots could not only be ineffective, but in the worst case even counterproductive if many citizens did not accept this and therefore opposed the entire strategy and other political measures. “Examples such as Spain and France show that tougher restrictions do not have to lead to a better limitation of the wave of infections in the long term.” Fratzscher therefore considers the sealing off of hotspots to be a “dangerous experiment”.

The Association of Towns and Municipalities considers it unrealistic to systematically cordon off entire hotspot regions in order to restrict mobility. General manager Gerd Landsberg spoke of “theoretical” considerations by the RKI boss that “generate additional fear”.

“What we need now is not fear, but prudence and discipline of all citizens,” said Landsberg. “It would therefore be important to have a communication campaign, not just in the hotspots, in order to repeatedly point out the need to comply with the rules via social media.” Landsberg emphasized that the key to fighting a pandemic lies in convincing people.

More: “Economically extremely expensive” – ​​The fear of the second lockdown

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German Property Group: New insolvency administrator responsible

Cologne The British investor is stunned. “We cannot understand how a modern nation like Germany can allow a company to steal so much money from so many different people around the world,” writes the man, who has lost a five-figure sum.

In truth, the picture is a pyramid scheme. In order to keep the promised returns, the deposits of new investors were apparently used until the system collapsed. Much of the money seems lost. Because the group only raised money abroad, German supervisory authorities did not feel responsible.

The Bremen District Court has now opened insolvency proceedings. The court appointed Justus von Buchwaldt as the insolvency administrator. This is a surprise, even if von Buchwaldt was already an expert in the case. Nevertheless, the process is unusual, because the lawyer is replacing Gerrit Hölzle, who was already in the middle of his work as the preliminary insolvency administrator.

The change was preceded by an attack by the former head of the German Property Group, Charles Smethurst, on Hölzle. Smethurst’s accusation: Hölzle sneaked the procedure. Smethurst was of the opinion that the court in Bremen is not responsible for the insolvency, but in Hanover. He couldn’t prevail with that, but Hölzle is now out of the game.

Hölzle described the allegations as “constructed”. “We would have liked to continue to accompany the mandate and will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition,” said Hölzle.

However, the change of manager does not change anything in the desolate situation of the German Property Group, which previously operated under the name Dolphin Capital or Dolphin Trust. Hölzle had estimated the value of the existing real estate at a maximum of 150 million euros. With investor deposits of an estimated more than one billion euros, there remains a huge hole of more than 800 million euros that will be difficult to fill.

The creditors organize

Now a group of important creditor representatives is forming, which should play a major role in the insolvency proceedings. The representative of around 1,600 British investors mandated the Kiel lawyer Wolfgang Kubicki. The FDP politician and Vice President of the Bundestag specializes primarily in questions of criminal law.

In addition to Kubicki, Peter Mattil will represent various investors, primarily from the Asian region. Large law firms from Greenberg Traurig and Gleiss Lutz work for larger investors.

The case also attracts criminal circles. Investigations are ongoing in both London and Hanover. The investigative authority from the Lower Saxony state capital has three suspects on its list, including ex-company boss Charles Smethurst. “The investigations are going in all directions,” said a spokesman for the authorities. In particular, there is a suspicion of investment fraud. Infidelity, bankruptcy and delay in bankruptcy are also conceivable.

In view of the size of the case, observers wonder about the rather hesitant approach of the public prosecutor. So far there have been no searches, and the group of suspects is comparatively small. Smethurst, it is said, will shortly explain to the public prosecutor. So far, the real estate entrepreneur has not commented on the allegations.

The interim managing director Falk Holtmann commissioned the consulting company EY to deal with the forensic investigation of the scandal. The EY team is in the process of unraveling an almost unmanageable network of around 200 companies that can be assigned to the group. The specialists also try to understand the payment flows.

The first results of the experts are sobering for the investors. In an interim report, EY writes in an interim report that “a wide variety of criminal offenses, from bookkeeping and balance sheet offenses and tax offenses to infidelity offenses to fraud offenses have been realized”. There is a lot of work ahead of the insolvency administrator Justus von Buchwaldt.

More: Abysses are opening up in the real estate scandal. A reconstruction

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Senate reaches agreement with occupiers (neue-deutschland.de)

Bremen. In Bremen, representatives of the authorities reached an agreement with parts of the squatting group of an empty building on Lahnstrasse. “There will be a FLINTA * space in Bremen,” said the group “Rosarote Zora” on Tuesday evening, a self-organized space for women, lesbians, inter, trans, non-binary and A-gender people. Apparently, however, the squatters had different positions on the question of whether the owner’s offer of a twelve-month temporary use and the conditions of the Senate should be considered. “People continue to live in the house, other people are still negotiating a long-term FLINTA * room in Bremen,” said the group. The negotiations were not conducted as “Pink Zora”.

The activists occupied the former cultural center “Dete” in the Hanseatic city on Friday in solidarity with the Berlin house project “Liebig34”. The co-governing Greens and Leftists showed solidarity – and were held accountable by the owner. The now negotiated agreement provides that another room will be found for the group if the occupied building is not suitable. seb

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Ex-Prime Minister of Thuringia: FDP is distancing itself from Kemmerich

Short-term Prime Minister Thomas Kemmerich (FDP) sees no problem for his AfD-supported election. The party executive pulls the rip cord.

Thomas Kemmerich is on the decline Photo: Martin Schutt / dpa

LEIPZIG taz | It is another bang in the struggle for political interpretation in Thuringia. After FDP parliamentary group chairman Thomas Kemmerich again defended his election as prime minister in February on Thursday afternoon on Twitter, the federal association immediately distanced itself this morning – and kept a lot of distance.

In a press release, FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing stated that the Presidium was dissociating itself from Kemmerich’s current statements. As a result, Kemmerich would – should he run again as the top candidate – be withdrawn from any “financial, logistical or organizational support”.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, member of the Bundestag and member of the FDP executive committee, also became particularly clear. Kemmerich was “at some point taken the wrong turn and no longer turned around,” she tweeted on Friday morning. “It is time you took the exit now. Bye.”

The decision shows how big the gap is among the liberals. “There are always these shots from Berlin,” said the Thuringian FDP parliamentary leader Tim Wagner on Friday morning of the taz. The state association also learned the news of the distancing only in the morning via the media.

“Shots from Berlin”

Nevertheless, there are no problems in the parliamentary group to support Kemmerich. “We don’t let ourselves be persuaded”, says Wagner. Should Kemmerich at the state party conference on 14./15. November will be elected as the new top candidate, he can count on the support of the state association – regardless of what the federal party says. “We are not dependent on the funds of the federal association.”

Wagner defended Kemmerich’s tweet that “not accepting the election” was the mistake, “but rather how the other democratic parties dealt with the situation”. According to Wagner, when they supported Kemmerich with their votes, the AfD “played wrong”, not the FDP candidate who did wrong. Nevertheless, it is also clear to the regional association that “there is no cooperation with the AfD”.

The state party around Thomas Kemmerich once again rejects responsibility for the government-finding debacle in Thuringia. The federal association is different: The message clearly states that Kemmerich himself bears responsibility for the election of Prime Minister. Just one day later, Kemmerich resigned from the office of Prime Minister under pressure from the party.

In May, Kemmerich appeared as a speaker at an anti-corona demonstration organized by a Reich citizen in Gera, at which the AfD was also present, without mouth and nose protection. The federal leadership also sharply criticized this appearance.

The AfD is to blame, it is said from the Thuringian FDP

In an interview with the taz, Wagner defends that Kemmerich was not informed about the participation of the AfD and the political orientation of the event. At that time there were “content-structural problems” within the regional association, which is why the event “could not be checked appropriately”. “All of this has put him in a light in which he is not.” The parliamentary group has learned from this, but the support in the regional association for Kemmerich remains great.

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