Retrospect on Germany: Friday, 08 May 2020

by Thorsten Koch

The end of WWII: against denial

At the central memorial event on the occasion of the end of the Second World War 75 years ago, President Walter Steinmeier emphasized that May 8, 1945 was a day of liberation: “There is no end to remembering. There is no redemption from our history.” Whoever calls for a line under the memory not only suppresses the catastrophe of war and the Nazi dictatorship. It also devalues ​​all the good things that have been achieved since then. The peaceful order should not come to an end. It is not the commitment to responsibility that is problematic, but rather denial. One has to get rid of “hatred and agitation, xenophobia and contempt for democracy – because they are nothing else than the old evil spirits in a new guise”. Steinmeier also commemorated the victims of the right-wing extremist, racist or anti-Semitic attacks in Hanau, Halle and Kassel.

ECJ says it’s responsible regarding ECB bond purchases

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) stressed its jurisdiction after the Federal Constitutional Court ruled on the purchase of bonds by the ECB. The EU legal order and the judicial system of the EU could be at stake, according to the ECJ, which, however, did not comment substantially on the judgment of the German court.
“In order to ensure the uniform application of EU law, only the ECJ created for this purpose by the Member States is empowered to determine that an act of a Union body violates EU law,” writes the EU jurisdiction in a statement. A preliminary ECJ judgment is binding up to the national level.

Life expectancy without Coronavirus would not be short

Opponents of the measures against the spread of the corona virus have got caught up in a fight for opinion. Things are often claimed for which there is no scientific basis. For example, it is claimed that the coronavirus is only dangerous for the group of very old people who, as some claimed, have but a short life ahead of them. The number of years of life that would have died of the virus without the pandemic can be statistically determined, however. An analysis by the NDR broadcasting network speaks of 10.7 years nationwide for men and 9.3 percent for women. However, there are regional differences, some of which are large. It is based on the data records of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

Corona pandemic leads to higher mortality

The Corona pandemic has already claimed an above-average number of lives. According to the Federal Statistical Office, referring to death reports from the local registry offices until April 12. Since March 23, the number of deaths has exceeded the corresponding calendar weeks from 2016 to 2019. During the last week of March at least 19,385 people died, between March 30 and April 5 at least 20,207, and between April 6 and 12 at least 19,872. If one compares the years with today, there were 18 percent more deaths between April 6th and 12th than in 2017 and four percent more than in 2018. The otherwise decreasing but currently increasing death rate indicates “an over-mortality in connection with the Covid-19- Pandemic”.

Is the upper limit set too high?

Critics have stated that the upper limit for new Corona infections agreed by the German federal and state governments is too high. The fact that more than 50 people per 100,000 inhabitants in a district or an independent city would have to be newly infected in a week could mean that it was already too late. Berlin health senator Dilek Kalayci emphasized this talking to the rbb broadcasting network. Stephan Weil, Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, does not want to wait until there are 50 new infections, locally, per 100,000 inhabitants.

Heil: more protection from occupational infections

According to media reports on “unsustainable conditions when it comes to the protection from occupational infection”, Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) asked “urgently” in a two-page letter to his counterparts in the federal states for more occupational safety and controls for seasonal workers in agriculture and the meat industry. “Particular attention should be paid to the situation in collective accommodation and when transporting people.”

Import and export numbers decreased

German exports fell noticeably in the previous month due to the Corona crisis – with a decrease of 11.8 percent in March compared to February. The companies exported goods worth 108.9 billion Euros in March. That was 7.9 percent less than in the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office announced. Compared to the previous month, this is even the “largest decrease since the beginning of the time series in August 1990”. Imports also suffered a negative development – they decreased by 5.1 percent to 91.6 billion Euros, which is the biggest minus since the previous month since January 2009.

Arrested after a series of attacks

After a series of attacks on shops of Turkish descent in Waldkraiburg, a 25-year-old was arrested in Mühldorf with explosives in his luggage. According to the police, he is “very suspicious”. He was traveling without a valid ticket. As a precaution, Mühldorf station was cleared and then largely blocked off. Four attacks on shops of people with a Turkish migration background occurred in Waldkraiburg. Several people were injured after an arson attack.

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