WHe has a bad conscience about co-financing Putin’s war in Ukraine with imports of Russian raw materials into Europe, and he should be happy about the EU’s oil embargo. Not so, but for those who can’t afford it when petrol, electricity and groceries are getting more and more expensive.
As for the latter, Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir (the Greens) had no good news Wednesday evening in the Meißberger: “If the war continues, it will have a greater impact on supermarket prices.” However, it is right to do without Russian oil and “the gradual reduction of dependence on authoritarian regimes.”
ALSO ON ARD: Should we expect new closures in the fall? American virologist Anthony Fauci and President of the World Medical Association Frank Ulrich Montgomery agreed: Probably not, but you have to be prepared. Also commenting were Theo Cole (head of studio ZDF Capital City), Hannah Bethke (journalist for “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”) and Sacha Lobo (columnist and author).
Suddenly Germany is advancing. First, the decision to supply anti-aircraft tanks “Gibard” type to Ukraine. Then with pressure in the European Union to stop imports of Russian oil by the end of the year. The German government has long been hesitant about both measures – especially Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).
Suddenly it is the Greens, the peace party politicians, who are struggling to hand over heavy weapons. According to Özdemir, this change did not occur first as a result of the conflict in Ukraine: “I think the Bosnian war was a turning point for us,” said the Federal Minister of Agriculture in an interview with Sandra Meißberger.
The German government has two options for supporting Ukraine: either it intervenes in the conflict yourself and thus becomes a party to the war, or it helps Ukraine defend itself. “If you say ‘no’ to both, you say ‘yes’ to killing, in which case it’s almost genocide,” Ozdemir said.
He said the notion that after the war, even in the event of a diplomatic solution, he would treat Putin as before, should be discarded: “As long as Putin is in power, there is no way to go back to what it was before the war. It was the war.” Putin, the West should support Ukraine and “strict with Russia.”
Ozdemir also touched on the embargo on Russian oil. True, Germany is now looking for other oil suppliers. “Unfortunately, we are temporarily dealing with little Putin, but we have to get out of there as well.” Agriculture should be involved, too. For example, mineral fertilizers from Russia should be avoided.
Many Germans notice war and severe sanctions against Russia in everyday life, for example at the exit from the supermarket. Most groceries are becoming more expensive. At the moment, Ozdemir does not see any improvement in this regard: “Energy prices and a decrease in fertilizer stocks – this will be reflected in prices.” That is why the government must exempt citizens: “minimum wages to twelve euros, pension increases with fuel prices and public transport.”
At the end of April, Özdemir supported the association’s demands to bring the value-added tax on some foods to zero. He has not yet been able to convince Finance Minister Christian Lindner. No decision has yet been made.
Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has already openly stated that an oil embargo will lead to “price jumps” in Germany. This message gets through to citizens when you feel the prices, Sacha Lobo said at Maischberger. He worries about the poor who will be hit hard by the price hike.
Theo Cole said the development was particularly dramatic “because we never saw the loss of prosperity in the Federal Republic”. With Russian oil disappearing, at some point it will have to discuss how prosperity is distributed in society. Hannah Bethke thought similarly: Even the social ladder can be threatened “if there is high unemployment or prices are so high that everyone is too nervous”.
The second major theme in the ARD program was whether the end of the pandemic or another shutdown awaited us in the fall. While hugely popular festivals like Oktoberfest in Munich in Germany are once again planned, people in China are still under strict lockdown. The difference: The Chinese government has a zero-Covid policy. Relatively small bursts lead to strict limitations.
Trend towards less-lethal aura variants
The caller from Washington d. Anthony Fauci, a virologist and adviser to the US government, does not think this policy makes sense: “If you impose a lockdown on this scale, you have to prepare the population with vaccinations so that the infection does not spread.” Chinese vaccines are however, not as effective as those in the United States and Europe. As a result, strict lockdowns were unsuccessful.
Fauci doubted that such drastic measures would be taken in Europe again. Nor does it assume that the corona variant will develop in the fall and be more contagious and dangerous than the omicron variant: “It is unpredictable what will happen in the fall, but the trend is that variants are more contagious, but not becoming more dangerous.” It’s over yet.”
More caution urged dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery: “I’m optimistic about summer, but we have to prepare for fall and keep immunity high.” Theoretically, a virus against which vaccination is not protected could still evolve and at the same time be as infectious as the omicron variant and lethal as the delta variant. But he doesn’t assume: “We can do much more now.”