News Digest 9th October

The UK: a populist, rogue state? Several media outlets this week focused on Boris Johnson's handling of Brexit and the corona pandemic. The Welt quoted a speech from Lord Neuberger, former chairman of the UK Supreme Court, who criticized Johnson's Single Market Act for not only giving the government power to breach contracts, but also … Continue reading News Digest 9th October

News Digest 11th September

Brexit and the spätimperialistischer Oxfordschnösel Johnson As the prospect of a no-deal Brexit draws nearer, German media outlets have focused on Boris Johnson's threats and negotiating tactics. The Süddeutsche Zeitung commented that, "Basically, the more Johnson is under pressure, the more intense the attacks on Brussels. The attacks are usually brought by newspapers which are … Continue reading News Digest 11th September

News Digest 4th September

Right-extremists and the limits of free societies On Saturday, an estimated 38,000 people, including those protesting the corona restrictions, anti-vaxxers, Putin supporters, the far left and members of extreme right groups, such as the anti-state Reichsbürger and neo-Nazis, demonstrated in Berlin. The demonstration was organised by "Querdenken 711" (Lateral Thinking 711). Speakers included the nephew … Continue reading News Digest 4th September

News Digest 24th July

EU Summit The first EU summit of Germany's Presidency was a tough five day affair - the second longest summit ever. The EU countries met to agree the budget for the next seven years: the planned corona recovery program of 750 billion euros was to be added to the budget, taking the figure to … Continue reading News Digest 24th July

News Digest 17th July

The K question and the CDU leadership As discussed in the News Digest last week, in the coming months the parties will be choosing their Chancellor candidates for the federal election next year and the CDU is also due to elect its new leader in December. In February, the current CDU chair Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced … Continue reading News Digest 17th July

News Digest 10th July

EU presidency On Wednesday, Angela Merkel gave a speech to the EU parliament in Brussels setting out the programme for the German Presidency of the EU. Merkel spoke twice as long as the allotted time without having her microphone turned off after 10 minutes, as is usual practice - the Welt commented, "Merkel is Merkel … Continue reading News Digest 10th July

News Digest 3rd July

European Presidency Germany's Presidency of the European Union started this week and will have European recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as a central theme. The EU is planning a 750 billion euro grant and loan rescue plan. However there are deep divisions in Europe about the size and scope of the rescue … Continue reading News Digest 3rd July

News Digest 29th May

As the number of active corona cases continued to decline, the agenda shifted this week to post-corona recovery; but the debate about lifting restrictions continued, with some significant differences between states. Meanwhile the civil war in the Alternative for Germany intensified, and the Foreign Office requested an interview with the Russian ambassador over the hacking … Continue reading News Digest 29th May

News Digest 22nd May

The Union continues to dominate in corona times Polls this week showed the CDU/CSU Union maintaining its strong lead over the other parties, albeit with a small fall in support: an ARD poll showed a slight drop for the Union from last week - to 38% - while the Greens stayed on 18% and the … Continue reading News Digest 22nd May

News Digest 15th May

Corona crisis Increased debate and disagreement has come with the lifting of restrictions on public life, as well as rising concern about conspiracy theories, but the government's approval ratings remain high. Last week, following growing division amongst the sixteen states, it was agreed that states would now take responsibility for their own decisions on how … Continue reading News Digest 15th May

News Digest 1st May

May Day - also International Workers' Day - is a public holiday in Germany which is normally marked by rallies and demonstrations. This year is very different; the Trade Union Confederation announced an online day of meetings, speeches and band performances instead of the usual mass gatherings, although around 20 small May Day demonstrations in … Continue reading News Digest 1st May

News Digest 24th April

In a week when the country started to take some small steps towards resuming normal life, the range and tone of media reports changed. While the government still has extremely high approval ratings, there was a shift in mood in reporting, as well as more focus on other stories. Government unity, cooperation between the coalition … Continue reading News Digest 24th April

News Digest 17th April

An unusual Easter passed without church services, family visits and trips to the Ostsee; but the end of the restrictions were in sight. The number of new corona virus infections fell steadily this week; the doubling rate had slowed down to  29 and the re-infection rate was under 1.   By Monday there were 127,000 infections … Continue reading News Digest 17th April

News Digest 10th April

Corona crisis By Monday, the number of confirmed infections had hit 100,000, with 1,600 deaths; by Friday morning this had risen to over 118,000 cases, with 2,500 deaths (2.1%). The doubling rate passed 12 days - the figure at which the government said they would discuss easing restrictions on daily life. Although the rate of … Continue reading News Digest 10th April

News Digest 3rd April

Corona crisis The number of infections rose from 47,500 last Friday to around 85,000 this Friday. The government scientific institute, the Robert Koch Insititute, predicted that the number of deaths (currently at around 1,100) would continue to rise. Many states introduced harsh fines for people disobeying the social distancing restrictions this week. The fines are … Continue reading News Digest 3rd April

News Digest 27th March

Corona virus: 'the calm before the storm' The week started with over 26,000 corona infections recorded on Monday morning. By Friday morning, the number had hit 47,278, with 281 deaths. This rise in infections partly reflects the huge amount of testing being carried out in Germany. Angela Merkel said that the number of people infected … Continue reading News Digest 27th March

News Digest 20th March

Corona virus Last week's New Digest started with increasing alarm about the corona virus, but normal life. This week sees a completely different country - kindergartens, schools and universities were shut early in the week; by Wednesday all public gatherings, non-essential shops and leisure activities (including playgrounds) had been shut down, and public transport scaled … Continue reading News Digest 20th March

News Digest 13th March

Corona virus Concern about the virus accelerated this week, with the government moving into the delay phase of response. On the same day that WHO declared a worldwide pandemic, Chancellor Merkel announced that 60%-70% of the German population could get the virus. By Friday, the number of confirmed cases had hit 3,000, with thousands more … Continue reading News Digest 13th March

News Digest 6th March

Corona virus On Monday, it was confirmed that 10 of Germany's 16 states now had cases of the virus, totalling around 130 in all. Some large public gatherings, including international trade fairs, were cancelled or delayed, as were some flights. People started to stock up on longlife foods and other products such as toilet paper, … Continue reading News Digest 6th March

News Digest 28th February

Hamburg election Some rare good news for the SPD came on Sunday, as the party won the election in Hamburg with 39.2%. The Greens came second with 24.2% and the CDU vote sank by nearly 5% to 11.2%. Early indications were that the AfD would fail to pass the 5% minimum to be elected to … Continue reading News Digest 28th February

News Digest 21st February

Right-wing extremism: hatred, racism and violence raise fears inside Germany and abroad On Monday, police arrested a group of right-extremists, who had been planning to carry out a series of attacks on mosques in order to provoke a civil war. In the wake of the arrests, the Deutsche Welle interviewed Abdassamad El Yazidi, the General … Continue reading News Digest 21st February