By taking a leave of absence from Schloss Bodissey for two days, I allowed a massive backup of translations to accumulate in my inbox. To expedite posting them, I’ll collect related items on each topic into several large posts.
The six articles below, all translated by Hellequin GB, concern various aspects of the ongoing Wuhan Coronavirus crisis.
First, in this op-ed from PolitikStube, Alice Weidel of the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) takes issue with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s edict banning commerce and social activities over the Easter holiday:
Alice Weidel: Merkel takes an entire country hostage!
Anyone who believed that the federal government had long since exhausted its repertoire of arbitrary measures will now be taught better: From April 1 to April 5, i.e. before Easter and over the holidays, a complete lockdown will be decreed.
Traveling to see relatives?
Enjoy the sun in the beer garden?
But the arbitrariness and nonsense of the measures can be seen above all in the fact that the food retail sector has to be closed on April 1st, i.e. before Good Friday. Above all this proves the heedlessness of the resolutions. Because the reduction to opening on only three days during Easter week means a significantly higher rush in retail. Customers will either be crowded in the shops or find long queues. The risk of infection is not reduced, but artificially increased.
Unfortunately, these and other resolutions are not an April Fool’s joke, but the bitter seriousness of the Chancellor. Although yesterday the Higher Administrative Court in North Rhine-Westphalia overturned the restrictions, especially for the retail trade, another breach of the law will be committed. The measure is now finally full; the complete restriction of freedom is no longer reasonable for the citizens. Yes to the protection of risk groups, no to ongoing hostage detention by the Corona cabinet!
Mrs. Merkel was forced by intense opposition to withdraw her edict about Easter. From PolitikStube:
Criticism even in the left mainstream: Merkel rescinds Corona resolutions on Easter break
After massive criticism, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) decided to stop the federal-state decision on the so-called Easter break. Merkel announced this on Wednesday in a hastily convened switch with the prime ministers of the federal states, as the German press agency learned from several participants.
After massive criticism of the Easter resolutions of the Federal States Roundtable at the beginning of the week, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) again briefly consulted with the Prime Ministers of the States.
The German Press Agency learned on Wednesday in Berlin that there will be a call between the Chancellor and the heads of government at 11.00 a.m. It is expected to be about dealing with the ongoing criticism. Above all, displeasure was sparked by the fact that after the hours of Corona consultations on Tuesday night, the implementation of central resolutions was still open.
The government survey with the Chancellor planned in the Bundestag for 1 p.m. will therefore reportedly take place as planned. From sources in the federal states it was said that the new deliberations might involve the template planned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior to implement the resolutions of the Minister-Presidents’ meeting with the Chancellor from early Tuesday morning. According to DPA [German Press Agency] information, the model ordinance is to be sent to the federal states in the afternoon after a vote within the federal government.
An editorial from PolitikStube:
Corona: Citizens treated like subjects because they behave as such
On the website of NDR [Norddeutscher Rundfunk; Northern German Broadcasting], the author Cora Stephan comments on the corona measures: Dealing with the corona crisis and especially the vaccination strategy are a tragedy for a country that was once praised for its efficiency. And now?
So let’s talk about ourselves. About us people and about us citizens. As human beings, we are apparently no longer able to protect ourselves, we must be urged to be hygienic like children and be shown how to wash our hands — and finally let the nation’s kindergarten teachers tell us that we ourselves do not have anything to fear from a “jab”.
As citizens, we behave like subjects and allow ourselves to be treated as such. It is amazing the type of “new normal” that many in this country are willing to accept. And how willingly hard-won achievements are given up. Fundamental rights. Democracy. The constitutional state. There has been no legal security in this country for a year now; government rules according to the principle of emergency, parliament has overthrown itself, and citizens are bombarded from week to week with figures from which, as if from coffee grounds, you can read what is coming up next: celebrate Christmas or not, Easter holidays yes or no, children to school or maybe not, open the shop, close the shop. Anyone whose existence is disrupted or who is just unnerved is threatened with another wave or with an even more dangerous mutant, with illness and, if not immediately with death, with long-term damage.
Bodo Ramelow is the Minister President of Thuringia for Die Linke (The Left), the successor to the ruling party of the DDR, the Party of Democratic Socialism.
Below is a reaction to Mr. Ramelow’s Corona-related remarks from PolitikStube:
Communist Bodo Ramelow is becoming more and more popular!
Ken Jebsen: How does Merkel’s darling actually know that this woman does not suffer from asthma and therefore cannot wear a mask at all?
[Screen-cap of Ramelow Tweet: “A disturbing photo! Police officer shows a heart with her hands, shows solidarity with this demonstrator, who obviously violates the legal requirements, disregards the AHA rules and describes the protection against the pandemic as madness.”]
And forcing masks on children, forbidding them from playing with their friends and visiting their grandmother in the retirement home, or destroying their childhood, that might rightly be called “madness”.
But once again it is clear that left-wing extremists such as Bodo Ramelow have no problem with totalitarianism. How can you be so bold as to incite against this de-escalating officer? Ramelow is really “awesome”. Not even democratically elected, but opens his mouth wide…. This guy should be removed and placed behind bars!
An editorial from JournalistenWatch:
Corona “crisis management”: Merkel’s Germany is degenerating into a global laughingstock
Jumped as a tiger, landed as a bedside rug: after a year of Corona, the Merkel government is in front of a pile of broken glass. The former leader in fighting pandemics has become the joke of the Western community of states. The failure of the German government to lead came to light in full ruthlessness during the second wave in winter, and it has long been beyond question for any observer: If anything worked out in the first few months of the crisis, it was because of and not despite politics. Germany has meanwhile permanently forfeited respect and reputation.
When the other governments were still wondering about the “German miracle” of the low death rate in April, everyone wanted to know the secret of what Germany was doing differently than the states that were mainly affected, which were in a much sharper lockdown at the time. France, Italy and the USA had many times more deaths. Less than six months later it was clear: There was never a secret. Simply the fact that in Germany the over-anxious and state-owned population had taken the danger very seriously from the outset during the first lockdown and voluntarily kept their distance, and that the high-risk groups were brutally isolated away at that time, but also the significantly more efficient health system led to a low death rate .
In winter, as a result of the grandiose wrong decision to carry out a renewed widespread lockdown instead of selective risk flu protection, which was mainly directed against industries in which there was demonstrably no significant infection at all, ten thousand times the seniors among us died — mostly in one age group that was above the average age at death, but in a painfully high number. Gone were the myth of German crisis wizardry.
Even worse, however, is the unforgivable and hardly recoverable vaccine residue, for which none other than the Federal Chancellor is responsible, who put everything on the “European map” — and placed the procurement of the vaccine for 450 million people in the hands of a Commission President that Merkel knew better than any other European politician was completely incapable of leadership — her CDU party friend Ursula von der Leyen had already “effectively” left the Bundeswehr in ruins behind her. Vaccination debacle, increasing numbers, digitization backlog, deaths, now almost five months of endless lockdown — and now also looming test chaos.
There is therefore astonishment and malice abroad; even the pro-government media comment. Even China sees Germany meanwhile as a warning negative example. “The assessment could say: always trying, but then too strongly oriented towards the rules and too lacking in creativity,” comments Focus, and writes: “Is that still Germany?” And not only many Germans ask themselves this, but also abroad people are amazed.
While in those states that have always been ridiculed by Germany as autocracies ruled by idiots — especially Great Britain, the USA and Israel under their vilified populist leaders Johnson, Trump (until January) and Netanyahu — people are consistently vaccinated and gradually a real normality is returning, incidence hocus-pocus and surreal-looking requirements prevail in Germany with the risk of revocation at any time. Many medium-sized companies, if not yet bankrupt, fluctuate between resignation and rebellion. Nobody knows whether something like freedoms and routine everyday life will return again — even in autumn, when supposedly the “vaccination offers for everyone” have been made.
In the USA, on the other hand, where in retrospect Trump did a top job not only with vaccinations, more and more states are gradually lifting all corona restrictions. In Texas and Mississippi there is no longer even a mask requirement — in Florida, too, the lockdown is history. “Beach parties in Tel Aviv, spring break in Florida, British vacationers in Mallorca: the contrast with Germany is becoming more and more clear,” headlines the Tagesspiegel bitterly . And the UK will even lift all pandemic requirements just in time for the beginning of summer in June. Corona will then end there — and everyone can plan with it and be happy. In Germany, however, Merkel led her people into darkness without awakening.
Finally, a summary of Corona-related fraud in Germany from JournalistenWatch:
Berlin — As Above, so Below: Not only those up there abused the artificially created pandemic to get rich. No, there are of course bad guys down there too, who have taken advantage of this situation in their favor:
In the past year, more than 25,000 proceedings for fraudulent Corona emergency aid or other pandemic-related offenses have accrued nationwide at the public prosecutor’s offices. This is reported by the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland, citing a survey by the German Association of Judges (DRB) among state justice administrations and state prosecutors. “It should take at least until the end of this year before the police, public prosecutors and criminal courts have processed the sometimes complex suspected cases,” said DRB Federal Managing Director Sven Rebehn, the RND. With more than 10,000 cases, the investigators in North Rhine-Westphalia recorded the highest number of cases in 2020.
Around half of these concern suspected cases of subsidy fraud. Last year, Berlin saw the second-highest number of proceedings for alleged fraudulent emergency aid and other pandemic-related offenses. The public prosecutor’s office reached around 5,500 cases from March to December 2020, around a third of which are subsidy fraud.
In some cases, organized gangs are apparently trying to get funding from the various Corona aid pots. In addition to abusive applications for Corona aid, other scams such as the sale of counterfeit protective masks, drugs or vaccines are occupying investigators nationwide. The spying out of credit card data on fake pages, trickery against the elderly and violations of the Infection Protection Act occur again and again.
But the numbers are just the tip of the iceberg, of course. The investigators should definitely check out the parliaments again. There is certainly more to be gained.
(With material from dts)