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

Parliamentary Digest 11th September

A round up of what's going on in the Bundestag, Bundesrat and state parliaments The Bundestag returned after the summer break this week, while some of the state parliaments either had plenary sittings or committee hearings. Right-extremism and hate crime On Wednesday, the first sitting day of the plenary, the Bundestag honoured the police … Continue reading Parliamentary Digest 11th September

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 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

Parliamentary Digest 3rd July

A round up of what's going on in the Bundestag, Bundesrat and state parliaments This week was the last sitting week for Parliament before the summer break; a host of very significant laws were passed in both Houses. Economic Stimulus Programme The government has announced a 130 billion euro economic stimulus programme to help the … Continue reading Parliamentary Digest 3rd July

Germany’s right-extremism problem

In mid May, a new Cabinet Committee met in Berlin: the committee against right-wing extremism and racism. The aim of the committee is to "develop an effective package of measures that will work in the long term to create a society free of right-wing extremism and accordance with the values of the constitution." The … Continue reading Germany’s right-extremism problem

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

Björn Höcke: extremist demagogue

Björn Höcke, right-wing demagogue and leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Thuringia, is a hugely divisive character in the party. He is known for incendiary speeches to his extremist core in the east, and has been described  as a ‘pin-up figure for the right’;  but in other sections of the party, particularly in … Continue reading Björn Höcke: extremist demagogue

The Alternative for Germany: from eurosceptic beginnings to far-right populism

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), which was founded as a eurosceptic party in 2013, has rapidly evolved into a far-right populist party, positioning itself as the voice of the people against the established elite. It has a powerful nationalist faction, and it has shaken up the political establishment with extremist statements, rejection of the post-war … Continue reading The Alternative for Germany: from eurosceptic beginnings to far-right populism

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 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