Germany’s future: How can things continue between crises?

Market: Capital Column
Politics, society and the economy: crisis in crisis in crisis

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In this war, many demands are clear. The reality is more complicated. Yes, our future suddenly became a pervasive gloom.

Olaf Schultz likes to play an unspoken game with his conversation buds: I see something you don’t. Especially when reporters ask stupid questions, which they usually do of course, it makes the audience feel that they don’t understand something (which he thought long ago) and didn’t expect (which he long predicted).

This game has reached its limits since the outbreak of the war due to the failure of Schulze’s communications. Silent arrogance form no longer works. Annalena Baerbock presents clarity, Robert Habeck’s typology, superstructure and skepticism all at once. The chancellor presents uncertainty in times of uncertainty. At least so it seems.

Nothing is clear and simple anymore. Everywhere you look you only see: a crisis

But that doesn’t mean he no longer thinks things through beforehand. In this struggle, we seem to have clear and unambiguous solutions. Even if it appears that there are clear moral obligations on the issue of heavy weapons or the freezing of gas. Basically, we only have one bet, a bet of shaky hope while there is destruction and killing: that if Russia is weakened enough, peace will soon come. But what does that mean if, on the one hand, it is not even clear what victory and defeat in a war that is not even called a war mean?

Nothing is clear and simple. Yes, I find the situation completely confused and distracted, and this applies not only to the war, but to the entire global economy, where hope for recovery since the beginning of the year, yes, finally, Corona-free growth into a pervasive gloom. The International Monetary Fund has just cut all expectations, almost halving them for Germany. The federal government also lowered its growth forecast this week from 3.6 to 2.2 percent — and immediately indicated that the sudden shutdown of Russian gas supplies would lead directly to recession.

Sometimes you no longer know where to direct your terror and anxiety – we look at Bucha and Mariupol, of course, but we are no longer in Shanghai or Shenzhen. Crisis managers, both in politics and in business, remind us of pedestrian musicians playing five instruments at the same time. Crises accumulate, overlap and intertwine. It’s actually a miracle that supply chains are still chains at all and not particles and waste.

Risk of boom collapse could tear Europe apart

I suppose the chancellor has this risk in mind, from chain reactions, and the chain of effects, be it geopolitical, military – or energy supply. Everything seems simple and clear at first: stop the gas immediately! More wind turbines, more solar, more heat pumps plus floating LNG plants. To Real Madrid? Experts doubt that the world’s fourth largest economy can be managed in this way in the short term and then in the long term; It’s like an athlete running a marathon with a drip stand.

We are not talking about scratches that can be ironed out with short-time work and KfW loans. This risk of losing prosperity, and even interrupting prosperity, is real and is not limited to Germany only. Europe could be torn to pieces. Our power supplies are teetering on a precipice.

I imagine Schulz constantly swinging through these scenarios. Which we shouldn’t feel. This does not mean that it is wrong to evaluate things or hesitate if you are clear about the matter with Moscow: you will not do more business with Putin’s Russia. Relax as quickly as possible, uncover what was tightly tangled, and go ahead and cross it off. Yet there is an illusion in some hasty demands, and self-delusion in the schedule: we say the crisis is historic and will shape it for decades. But many hope that the terrible ghost will end soon. In the summer, like Corona. This war is not a wave.

Appeared on Stern 18/22

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