Officially, of course, one pretends to support the state

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Officially, of course, one pretends to support the state

At first they had "Rheinische Post" and the "picture"Newspaper reports about it. The top group of the Social Democrats had proposed the Berlin MP Eva Högl as the new defense commissioner and thus decided against the budget politician Kahrs.

In his statement, Kahrs admitted that he would have liked to run for the post of Armed Forces Commissioner. However, the top of the group opted for Högl. "I accept this and wish her every success." Högl is to be elected to office this Thursday as the successor to Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD). With his application, Kahrs blocked his re-election, although Bartels was valued across party lines.

Kahr’s advance had caused headlines, unrest and some astonishment at Bartels too – especially since it was to be combined with an unexpected increase of four new positions in the office of the Armed Forces Commissioner. Bartels had been questioned by journalists about the process when he presented his annual report. "Well, I didn’t apply. The Bundestag administration did not demand it. Now they are registered in the budget and we will not occupy them"Bartels had explained. Several seconds of embarrassed silence followed. The defense commissioner of the Bundestag is considered the soldiers’ advocate.

Group leader Rolf Mützenich wanted to dissuade Kahrs from resigning in the last few hours, the dpa learned from the SPD parliamentary group. He regrets the decision very much, but ultimately has to accept it and thanked Kahrs for his work. Kahrs sat for the SPD in the Bundestag since 1998 – each time as a direct candidate for the Hamburg-Mitte constituency. He is also one of the leading figures in the Seeheimer Kreis, which represents the rather conservative wing of the party.

In Parliament, Kahrs was mainly responsible for budgetary policy, but had also gained experience in the Defense Committee. He was also a deputy member of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO and an honorary member of the Presidium of the German Atlantic Society. He was also active at the Helmut Schmidt University of the German Armed Forces and in the German Army Support Group.

Sharp criticism came from the FDP on Wednesday. Kahrs draws conclusions from the chaotic approach of the SPD parliamentary group leader, according to the FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who assigned Mützenich the responsibility for the internal party struggle in the SPD. "With the SPD, Germany becomes a factor of uncertainty in the world. The office of the Armed Forces Commissioner and thus the most important institution and contact point for soldiers is already badly damaged."

243 seriously ill children and young people are allowed to leave the refugee camps in the Aegean Sea.mla format to kill a mockingbird Three months after the relevant resolution was passed. There is strong criticism of the Interior Minister from the Greens. 

"The announcement by the Federal Interior Minister that he wants to continue the humanitarian admission of refugees from Greece is overdue", says Luise Amtsberg, spokeswoman for the Greens for refugee policy, She criticizes the fact that the March decision to bring at least 350 minors from the refugee camps in the Aegean to Germany was not implemented quickly. "Instead, those who have relatives in Germany and who are entitled to come to Germany as part of family reunification were ultimately no longer allowed to enter." This is not understandable, even taking into account the corona challenges.

And further: "Around two months ago, it was still possible to accept 47 children from the Greek hotspots." That this should not have been possible afterwards simply makes no sense, said Amtsberg. Several municipalities and federal states have repeatedly made their willingness to accept. "Against this background, the Federal Interior Minister’s weeks of inactivity are absolutely incomprehensible."

Sick children are allowed to travel with families

At the beginning of March, the decision was made to bring at least 350 people in need of protection from the refugee camps in the Aegean Sea. 47 children and young people have since been allowed to travel to Germany. Now 243 seriously ill minors with parents and siblings are to be allowed to enter, as well as six minor migrants who were initially unable to travel for health reasons. It should be ready by mid-July at the latest. 

Comment: It is only behind children’s eyes that it becomes apparent who we are

First of all, unaccompanied minors under the age of 14 should be admitted. There was a lot of criticism about that. The Federal Minister of the Interior also admitted that this group was very small. That is why Germany would now prefer to take in sick children.

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There was also criticism from the SPD. “After the first recording in April, nothing happened for too long. 37,000 refugees are still waiting under miserable hygienic conditions on the East Aegean islands, ”said the migration policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Lars Castellucci. He rated the admission of the 243 children and their families as "Act of solidarity with Greece and humanity towards the refugees".

Sources used: own research news agency dpa

The globalization-critical organization Attac wants to celebrate its 20th anniversary in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt. A panel discussion is also planned. But not everyone likes that.

The globalization-critical network Attac was founded 20 years ago. The anniversary will be celebrated this weekend in Frankfurt, where the organization’s federal office is also based. A panel discussion on the topic planned for this occasion "Civil society under pressure", to which the Mayor of Frankfurt Peter Feldmann (SPD) has invited, is now causing a controversy.

Criticism comes from the CDU, for example. The Paulskirche should not be left to an organization for an anniversary event, "whose activists had previously entered the same building through clear trespassing", said a spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group in the Römer with a view to an occupation in 2018.

The Paulskirche as the seat of the first German national parliament is the historical symbol of the republic, said the CDU spokesman. It is only the place for very important ceremonies and award ceremonies, such as the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, but not for current political events.

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"Paulskirche is exactly the right place to discuss democracy", however, emphasized an Attac spokeswoman. The CDU is also cordially invited to come to the debate: "We like to discuss controversially." The chairman of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB) in Frankfurt, Philipp Jacks, called the Paulskirche the "right" Place for the anniversary. "A democracy cannot function without extra-parliamentary engagement", said Jacks, who was involved with Attac in the early years. "Attac is a very successful example of civil society engagement in a modern democracy."

Sources used: dpa news agency

Berlin (dpa) – Former SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel has sharply criticized the party leadership for their no to a car purchase bonus in the economic stimulus package. 80 percent of the employees in the industry are still employed with internal combustion engines. "Many groups in society now see our politics as elitist, as aloof", he told the editorial network Germany.

Gabriel warned against one "Lausitz Effect" in the automotive industry: "Everyone cheered when there was an end date for lignite – and then there was utter horror at regional AfD values ​​of up to 40 percent." At Daimler, the first right-wing radical works councils have been on the road for some time. "It is not enough to write anti-fascism on the banners yourself. There must also be political forces that step into the breach for the normal economic and social interests of the people."

Working life in the same job as a whole is no longer a given today. The SPD wants employees to prepare better for changes – during working hours.

According to the will of the SPD leadership, employees should have a nationwide legal right to further training in everyday working life. "In line with three and a half years of professional training, one should plan for another three and a half years of further training in one professional life"said party leader Saskia Esken of the German press agency. That is about twelve working days a year – or half an hour a day. Different models are conceivable that would have to fit people’s work and life reality.

In several federal states there is already a right to five days of educational leave per year. "I think that we should make more possible, and I think that this legal right should apply everywhere in Germany"said Esken. It must be possible to constantly develop yourself in your job – in order to pursue your own goals, but also to keep pace with social and technological change. Such training does not necessarily have to be about the current job. "It can also affect competencies that open up social life or new opportunities in the labor market."

The SPD wants to discuss ideas for the future of the world of work at a board meeting on Sunday and Monday. Among other things, Verdi boss Frank Werneke is a guest. Any full-time job must be enough to survive without government support, emphasized Esken.

SPD wants to better protect the self-employed

In order to provide better security for the self-employed, the SPD leadership advocates models similar to the artists’ social security fund. "I am of the opinion that we need such facilities for other freelancers, because gainful employment is also changing towards more self-employment"said Esken. "We have to provide social security for these free activities." The artists’ social insurance fund gives freelance artists and publicists access to statutory health, long-term care and pension insurance.

The SPD leadership also criticized the fact that the working middle class in Germany is increasingly being turned against those who need help from the welfare state. "And with the intention of helping the highest income brackets to further advantages"said party leader Norbert Walter-Borjans. "The SPD has to connect the working middle and the people who need the welfare state as a support or to increase their salaries"he demanded.

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This works through a higher minimum wage for the lower income brackets and at the same time a tax relief for the middle. Among other things, the SPD is calling for the abolition of the solidarity surcharge for 90 percent of payers to be brought forward this summer. Income tax relief is also conceivable – but this would have to be counter-financed, for example by closing tax loopholes and increasing high incomes and assets.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Hamburg has been ruled by the SPD since 2011. Mayor Tschentscher wants it to continue like this. What are the chances of the party before the general election?

Anyone who expected Saskia Esken or Norbert Walter-Borjans in Hamburg to help out in the election campaign in the past few weeks was disappointed. The new SPD federal chairmen were not even invited to the numerous election events of the Hamburg comrades. In the race for party chairmanship, Mayor Peter Tschentscher had relied on his predecessor, Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, and had distanced himself from the new top SPD duo in view of the upcoming general election.

And the plan seems to be working: While the SPD is currently lagging around 14 percent in surveys nationwide, it could come close to 40 percent in Hamburg. If the Hanseatic city had already been elected last Sunday, according to the ARD area code survey and ZDF"Political barometer" can count on 38 and 37 percent respectively – far ahead of the green coalition partner, which was traded as the second strongest force at 23 and 25 percent respectively.

According to surveys, it is bad for the CDU

According to the polls in Hamburg, the CDU is again heading for a historically poor result with around 14 percent. The left is at 8, the AfD at 7, and the FDP has to fear re-entry into the citizenship with only 4.5 percent. Red-Green can therefore continue to build on a stable majority, albeit with a different balance of power.

Because compared to the 2015 general election, Peter Tschentscher will probably have to accept losses. At that time, the SPD had reached 45.6 percent under Scholz. The 54-year-old is still calm: "The political framework in Germany has changed fundamentally since the last election. We are ambitious in our election target, but realistic." And the goal is to lead the Senate.

As the strongest force in Hamburg, staying ahead of the game should consolate the losses, especially since surveys have now shown that the formerly much smaller coalition partner could take over the helm in the Senate this time. Only in the election campaign finals did the approval ratings for the SPD go so significantly high.

Climate protection is becoming an SPD issue in Hamburg 

Tschentscher has cleverly taken the issue of climate protection from the Greens as a unique selling point. "It doesn’t get any greener" than with his SPD, he promises the voters, pretends to be a doer and explains to the Greens and his challenger, the Second Mayor and Senator for Science Katharina Fegebank, the difference between willingness and ability.

The Greens stand up for it "Keep it up"says Fegebank, and would "Make even more of this city with courage, optimism, government experience and assertiveness" and above all want to lead Hamburg faster into a climate-friendly future. In the meantime, it was traded at just under 30 percent in surveys, but the Greens can still assume that their 2015 result will double (12.3 percent). And in contrast to Tschentscher, Fegebank can also score points with its popular federal chairmen Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck.

Tschentscher, on the other hand, attaches great importance to the independence of Hamburg’s social democracy, which since 1949 has always provided the city’s mayor for up to 13 years in the CDU. "This is an important message for everyone who has relied on us in recent years: Our course will remain, regardless of how the SPD develops nationwide."

Nahles’s resignation has added to the party

Despite the Hanseatic distance, the Berlin Willy-Brandt-Haus is hoping that after what feels like an eternity in the survey cellar, things will finally go a little better. The party is stuck with the resignation of its boss Andrea Nahles more than half a year ago, an exhausting choice of successors and several severe election defeats in the bones. After the election scandal in Thuringia, the comrades are happy that critical looks are now suddenly directed at the CDU – away from the SPD. Officially, of course, one pretends to support the state.

"I think the election in Hamburg will be confirmation of a social democracy that has carried responsibility in the state for decades"says SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich. There is no longer a fixed affiliation of voters to political parties as it used to be – people would only make decisions very late. "I wish the SPD every success in Hamburg, which will of course give us another tailwind for a strong and self-confident social democracy at the federal level."

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Mützenich calmly takes the distance between the electoral comrades in Hamburg, which makes the doubts about the new SPD bosses clear in their own ranks: "The fact that the Hamburg SPD does without electoral campaigners from the top of the federal government is not a new experience." That has already happened in other federal states – and is understandable. "There are no early federal elections – you want to measure yourself against what you have done for the country." That’s where the SPD has the most to offer.

Dodano: 1 January 2020
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