Alemania

Al igual que el resto de los países europeos, Alemania atraviesa la tercera gran crisis en una década. Pero esta vez existe la esperanza de que las consecuencias políticas sean muy diferentes En Alemania, la crisis del euro y la de los refugiados provocaron el desgaste de los partidos de centro y reforzaron los extremos. Mientras que, hace una década, las grandes formaciones CDU/CSU y SPD sumaban alrededor del 70% de los votos, actualmente han descendido por debajo del 50%.

Sin embargo, en la crisis del coronavirus, los partidos centristas vuelven a subir en los sondeos, Alternativa para Alemania (AfD) pierde simpatías, y lo mismo ocurre con La Izquierda y Los Verdes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers of the German army at a coronavirus testing site in Sankt Wendel, Germany, on Thursday. Credit Ronald Wittek/EPA, via Shutterstock

Europe is in crisis.

Countries across the Continent are in lockdown. Borders are closed off. Health care systems are dangerously overstretched. Economies are contracting. And people are dying, in terrifying numbers.

Here is much the same. Though not in full lockdown, schools, shops, restaurants and theaters are closed; gatherings of more than two people are banned. The economy will shrink and jobs will be lost. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel self-quarantined after learning that her doctor was infected. (She tested negative.) Germany, it seems, is not immune to the ravages of the pandemic.

Except in one way: Very few people seem to be dying.…  Seguir leyendo »

As Covid-19 closes in on the United States, physicians and epidemiologists and crystal ball spinners are trying to forecast just how bad things might get. Right now, cases are already in the tens of thousands and climbing every day. The enormous costs to society and to individuals seem too staggering to comprehend.

The number of deaths, however, is the most important measure to define where this pandemic settles in the grim lineup of previous catastrophic infectious diseases. Worldwide, more than 4% of patients—nearing 19,000 — have died, with many more to come, and each death its own heartbreaking story.

As of this past weekend, nine countries had diagnosed more than 9,000 cases, and three — South Korea, Switzerland, and Germany — had deaths rates well below the others.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Greta Thunberg/Friday for Future float at Düsseldorf’s Rose Monday carnival parade in February. Photograph: BabiradPicture/REX/Shutterstock

A dead bird of prey lying in the grass near a windfarm is the stark image on the home page of a new German website. “Climate change – we have got a couple of questions” is the headline that greets visitors, but the questioners already seem to know the answers to their 16 questions. “Due to an alleged climate emergency, new laws are to be passed prescribing a new way of life for us, one that will have adverse environmental effects and could lead to the deindustrialisation of Germany.”

Klimafragen.org is the latest attempt to question the scientific and social consensus around the climate crisis in Germany.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mourners attend a memorial service for victims of the racist terror attack in Hanau, Germany, 28 February 2020. Photograph: Armando Babani/EPA

I have to admit that when I heard the news my first thought was: “I hope the perpetrator wasn’t a migrant.” The press would surely go at us hammer and tongs again, warning about the danger posed by immigration in general and Muslims in particular. There would be endless articles and talk shows discussing the threat. My second thought was: “Thank God it is a white guy.”

On 19 February, Tobias Rathjen went into two shisha bars in the town of Hanau, near Frankfurt, shooting people he described as “foreign”. In his “manifesto”, if you can call such a rambling text a manifesto, he stated he wanted to cleanse Germany from … us.…  Seguir leyendo »

Another CDU Leadership Race Begins in Merkel’s Shadow

Perhaps it will be second time lucky. At the end of April, Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will elect a new party leader to follow in the footsteps of Angela Merkel. An emergency party congress has been summoned to do that after the surprise resignation of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s chosen successor.

The plan is to leave the decision on who will be the CDU candidate for chancellor at the next election until after Germany’s EU presidency concludes in December. So Merkel will keep her job until 2021, and the new leader will have to learn to live with her.

The three leading candidates are Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen, all from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.…  Seguir leyendo »

La chancelière Angela Merkel a qualifié la tuerie de Hanau de « crime de haine ». Elle a ainsi mis ces tirs mortels sur le même plan que la série d’attentats commise par le Parti national-socialiste souterrain (NSU) entre 2000 et 2011, l’assassinat du préfet Walter Lübcke en juin 2019 et l’attentat contre la synagogue de Halle en octobre 2019. Ces quatre actes terroristes ont en commun d’avoir profondément perturbé la perception qu’ont les Allemands d’eux-mêmes.

Ceux-ci se sont longtemps crus vaccinés contre toute dérive d’extrême droite grâce à leur maîtrise particulière du passé (le Vergangenheitsbewältigung) c’est-à-dire leur travail mémoriel sur le nazisme.…  Seguir leyendo »

La visibilité brutale de l’extrême droite allemande ébranle les certitudes. En Allemagne, comme chez ses voisins qui l’observent, c’est la sidération. Car cette réalité d’un extrémisme organisé et violent est choquante dans le pays qui a produit le nazisme. Elle est aussi d’autant plus stupéfiante que l’Allemagne a longtemps été un exemple, en n’ayant pas de droite radicale organisée en parti politique. Ce pays a semblé résister à la montée de l’extrême droite, constatée partout en Europe, et s’en est enorgueilli.

Or, en l’espace de cinq ans, le mouvement anti-réfugiés Pegida puis le parti AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) ont projeté dans l’espace public et le discours politique des motifs radicaux, puisant dans un fonds nauséabond qu’on croyait éradiqué.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando, en Fiesta, de Ernest Hemingway, preguntan a Mike Campbell cómo entra una persona en bancarrota, él da una respuesta muy clara: “De dos formas. Gradualmente y, luego, de repente”. No es muy distinto lo que pasa en política.

La semana pasada, cuando, tras la indignación provocada por el hecho de que no hubiera sabido impedir el coqueteo descarado de su partido con los ultraderechistas de Alternativa por Alemania (AfD), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (también conocida como AKK), la sucesora designada por Angela Merkel para dirigir la CDU, anunció que dimitía de la dirección del partido y que no sería candidata a canciller, quedó en evidencia que la crisis del sistema político alemán había dejado de ser “gradual” para volverse “repentina”.…  Seguir leyendo »

La ciudad de Dresde, en Alemania, tras los bombardeos de los aliados en 1945. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis Getty Images

Si efectivamente el espacio público, donde vivimos con los otros, es el lugar en el que mostramos lo mejor y lo peor que los seres humanos somos capaces de hacer, deben existir pocos sitios en la tierra como la ciudad de Dresde en Alemania donde se escenifica la crueldad de la guerra, la resiliencia de la reconstrucción, la esquiva reconciliación y la obstinada búsqueda de la metamorfosis del odio y la venganza por una convivencia pacífica. Siete décadas y media sintetizadas en este último 13 de febrero, una fecha mítica de significados encontrados sobre lo que sucedió aquel día de 1945 cuando, a tan solo un mes de la liberación de Auschwitz, el infierno desplomó como fuego sobre desprevenidos y orgullosos habitantes que confiaban que la sensatez iba a proteger los tesoros artísticos de esa Florencia alemana a la que le había cantado el filósofo Johann Gottfried en 1803.…  Seguir leyendo »

«La ira tiene un objetivo limitado y graves debilidades”, afirmaba la premio Nobel Toni Morrison en su conferencia de 2004 War on Error (“La guerra contra el error”). “Sofoca el entendimiento y sustituye la acción constructiva por un teatro sin sentido”. Quizá lo único bueno del desastre de Turingia (la maniobra fraudulenta que ha permitido investir al primer ministro con los votos de la formación de extrema derecha Alternativa para Alemania) sea que, por fin, ha quedado al descubierto la ira manipuladora que el partido radical lleva años disfrazando de preocupación compasiva. Se acabó el carnaval retórico que ha representado en la escena pública secundado por edecanes oportunistas dispuestos a dar crédito y tiempo en antena a su discurso mendaz como si fuese realmente necesario.…  Seguir leyendo »

People protested in Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia, Germany, on Saturday with a sign that read, “Better living without Nazis.”Credit...Christian Mang/Reuters

Germany’s conservatives are in a mess. And it’s of their own making.

On Feb. 5, the ruling Christian Democratic Union voted with the far-right Alternative for Germany, known as AfD, to install a liberal governor in the eastern state of Thuringia. The outcry was immediate and damaging. The governor stepped down, promising new elections. And soon after, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chosen successor and leader of the Christian Democrats, resigned. A sense of chaos has entered the usually placid atmosphere of German conservatism.

To help understand their current situation, German conservatives would do well to revisit an analysis the philosopher Ernst Bloch offered in 1935.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un terremoto está sacudiendo la escena política tradicionalmente plácida de Alemania, después que las elecciones el pasado mes de octubre en el estado oriental de Turingia generaron un atolladero que seguía sin resolverse hasta principios de este mes, cuando un liberal no favorito fue electo ministro-presidente con ayuda del partido de extrema derecha Alternativa para Alemania (AfD) y los políticos locales de la Unión Demócrata Cristiana (CDU). La cooperación de la CDU con AfD constituyó un rompimiento importante con el consenso alemán de posguerra que descartaba la cooperación de los partidos tradicionales con la extrema derecha, y produjo encono en todo el espectro político.…  Seguir leyendo »

Germany has been thrown into political turmoil after the resignation of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, head of the ruling conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and designated successor of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The move stunned the political establishment and underlined the growing power and influence of the German far right.

On the surface, the resignation of Kramp-Karrenbauer, also known as AKK, is connected to her failure to command enough control over her party and deal with the fallout of the recent election in the German state of Thuringia, where a politician of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) was elected prime minister (and later stepped down amid massive protests) with the help of the CDU and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), in defiance of Kramp-Karrenbauer’s instructions to reject the racist and revisionist AfD.…  Seguir leyendo »

Thomas Kemmerich, newly elected governor of Thuringia, arriving for a press conference on Thursday.Credit...Getty Images

Sometimes, it takes an earthquake to reveal what’s below the surface.

In the eastern German state of Thuringia this week a regional election displayed the disastrous state of Germany’s political center — and how far the country now stands from the anti-fascist consensus it proclaims to maintain.

On Wednesday, the state Parliament of Thuringia elected Thomas Kemmerich of the Free Democratic Party as the new governor. The only reason Mr. Kemmerich was able to win, though, was because he received the backing of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, known by its German initials AfD. The Free Democrats in Thuringia, along with members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, agreed to the deal to ensure Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

El ánimo en Alemania es lúgubre, y no sólo por la desaceleración económica actual del país. La economía alemana, reconocida durante mucho tiempo por su experiencia en ingeniería y por sus productos industriales de alta calidad, hoy corre peligro de quedar rezagada en tanto el software y los datos se han vuelto cada vez más cruciales para la prosperidad futura. Y las noticias recientes de que la compañía tecnológica norteamericana Apple hoy vale más que todo el índice DAX de 30 empresas líderes de Alemania sin duda han profundizado el pesimismo entre los líderes empresarios y los responsables de las políticas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Troisième puissance exportatrice dans le monde et grande prêtresse de l’ouverture des marchés, l’Allemagne contemporaine revendique haut et fort les couleurs du libre-échange. Mais, entre fidélité au libéralisme et arrangements avec le nationalisme économique, l’histoire allemande semble naviguer entre ces deux pôles opposés de la politique commerciale. Au XIXe siècle, Friedrich List était l’un des premiers économistes à alerter sur les dangers du libre-échange, défavorable aux pays émergents d’alors (dont l’Allemagne), et à préconiser l’introduction de droits de douane élevés pour leur permettre de rattraper leur retard industriel. Suivant ses recommandations, une union douanière fut instituée en 1834 entre les Etats de la Confédération allemande afin de faciliter le commerce entre eux et de protéger leur production de la concurrence étrangère.…  Seguir leyendo »

Austria’s first green-tinged government — comprising the Austrian People’s Party and the Austrian Green Party — broke ground in the Alpine state earlier this month. Not only is the environmentalist Green Party in a national government for the first time, but the coalition’s agenda will make Austria a trailblazer in climate protection. Germany’s next general election, scheduled for 2021, however, might yield an even bigger bombshell: a Green chancellor for the first time in post-war continental Europe.

Indeed, the stars must line up for the party that embodies the environmental cause — these days in the form of climate protection — like no other in Germany.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstration for the right of sexual self-determination in Berlin, 26 January 2019. Photograph: Hayoung Jeon/EPA

It’s like the holocaust only worse, according to babycaust.de, the German website dedicated to abortion, or as they call it: “The mass murder of unborn children.”

Every country has its nutters. The problem with these particular nutters is that their website is your best bet if you need to find a doctor who performs abortions in Germany. It provides a full list of practitioners with the “licence to kill” by town and postcode, decorated with images of hacked-up babies in petri dishes, some of them made into gifs to show the blood still dripping. Whatever for? They obviously don’t want you to go to these doctors.…  Seguir leyendo »

Audi automobiles on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.Credit...Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Last month, Tesla announced it would be building a “giga-factory” just outside Berlin. The factory will create as many as 8,000 jobs and crank out up to 150,000 cars every year.

Two weeks after the Tesla announcement, Audi made an announcement of its own — albeit a less cheerful one. While Elon Musk and company are ramping up, Audi will be paring back, cutting 9,500 jobs in Germany between now and 2025.

These two pieces of news seem to confirm a narrative that is gaining traction. It goes like this: Germany has failed to embrace the future. It has been complacent for too long, economically and politically, coasting on former glories.…  Seguir leyendo »