Retrospect on Germany: Thursday, 07 May 2020

by Thorsten Koch

Eva Högl, the new military commissioner

Eva Högl, an interior and judicial expert politician of the SPD, is the new Military Commissioner of the German Bundestag. She was elected to succeed Hans-Peter Bartels. Högl received 389 of the 656 votes cast. The co-candidate Gerold Otten (AfD) received only 92 votes. Neither the SPD politician Bartels nor his party member Johannes Kahrs came into play. So far, Högl has had little to do with defense policy.

Robbe (SPD) criticizes SPD dispute

The former federal government military commissioner, Reinhold Robbe (SPD), is shocked by the internal SPD dispute over Germany’s nuclear participation. “Nothing is worse than the SPD, having dropped to 15 percent, now acting as if it could just start a debate with the left about the meaningfulness of the nuclear weapons stored in Germany and thereby win it,” quoted the magazine Cicero the former military officer. Robbe criticized the behavior of the SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich. The latter was guided by pacifist positions, despite having to take an overall view onn German interests into account.

Border controls until at least May 15th

Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, in concert with the federal government, wants to maintain border controls, despite critical voices, until May 15. In a joint statement, twelve CDU Bundestag MPs had demanded from Seehofer that, after more than seven weeks, “there should be an end to lattice fences and barriers in the heart of Europe”.
The Minister of the Interior emphasized that border controls were “part of our success so far in containing infections.” “There is agreement in the federal government to continue the controls until May 15,” he told the Bild newspaper. Cross-border traffic has declined sharply since border controls and travel restrictions were introduced in mid-March. Since then, according to the Ministry of the Interior, over 100,000 refusals to enter have been pronounced.

Controversial Heinsberg projection inaccurate

According to the controversial Heinsberg study, the number of possible infected people in Germany, if calculated correctly, is at least around one million and up to five million people. Several scientists confirmed to ARD that the University of Bonn had incorrectly extrapolated the figures for Gangelt, in the Heinsberg district, to Germany as a whole. “The correct recalculation based on the published study data results in a much less accurate estimate of the number of unreported cases than it was … presented to the public,” said ARD.

No common dossier on China

Several intelligence services allegedly said that the People’s Republic of China is covering up the Corona outbreak, it was reported recently. According to research by the NDR broadcast network, there is probably no common dossier, however. Participants in a confidential meeting with the officials of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag stated that BND Vice President Werner Sczesny had provided information on the existence, or not, of such a paper. The German foreign intelligence service, after checking, announced that there was no knowledge of any such paper.

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