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What are the main policy challenges for Germany in 2022? – DW – 01/02/2022

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What are the main policy challenges for Germany in 2022?  - DW - 01/02/2022

The most important problem the Germans will face in early 2022 is the same as a year earlier: the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is a fundamental difference: at that time, the recently launched vaccination campaign still gave hope that the end of the pandemic was near.

But after a year and more than 100 million doses of vaccine, the number of new infections in Germany is significantly higher than at the beginning of 2021.

In order to get more people vaccinated, mandatory vaccinations may be introduced soon.

This, however, would mean breaking promises by leading politicians, as former Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel of the CDU, her successor Olaf Scholz of the SPD, and FDP leader Christian Lindner, now finance minister, have ruled out such a commitment. …

The measures taken to combat the pandemic in Germany are splitting society – while most people support vaccination, there is a vocal minority that is against it.

Ambitious climate plans

The new government of Center-Left Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) wants to maintain a positive momentum when it comes to action to tackle climate change. “Don’t be afraid of more progress” was the name of the coalition agreement, referring to the motto of the 1969 former Chancellor Willie Brandt (SPD) “Don’t be afraid of democracy”.

The ruling coalition promises to take steps to protect the climate with renewable energy and, preferably, phase out coal energy earlier than planned – perhaps by 2030.

What German voters think of the new government’s plans will determine the election results in four states: Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. According to recent polls, the Social Democratic resurgence is expected to continue after years of decline.

Will the CDU move to the right?

At the start of the new year, the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) are settling into their new role as an opposition party after 16 years in power and expecting a new impetus when a new party chairman is formally confirmed, now in January.

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Friedrich Merz, 66, won the backing of a majority of the party’s 400,000 members in December after two failed attempts to take office. Merz, a former parliamentary leader and enemy of Angela Merkel, is a staunch conservative and should push the CDU further to the right.

Friedrich Merz (center) will be confirmed as the new president of the CDU and will lead the party to the rightPhoto: Michael Son / AP Photo / picture alliance

In February, the choice of the German president should not come as a surprise. The current president of the SPD, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, wants to remain in office. His chances are looking good – so far no one has shown interest in the work.

In addition, the parties in the current government coalition have a majority in the Federal Assembly, consisting of members of the Bundestag and representatives of the 16 states responsible for electing the next president.

Foreign policy

In terms of foreign policy, 2022 could be a time for Germany to stand out, especially during its G7 presidency. The increasingly triumphant threats from Russia against Ukraine and China in world politics are just two of the main challenges in this area.

New Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of the Green Party has signaled that she will take a different approach from the government of former Chancellor Angela Merkel on China. She wants to pursue a values-based foreign policy and become more active in human rights issues in totalitarian states.

Annalena smiles shyly.  In the background, the flag of Germany.
Annalea Baerbock wants to do business with China based on valuesPhoto: Michael Kappeler / dpa / picture alliance

But political scientist Johannes Warwick of Martin Luther Halle-Wittenberg University (MLU) predicts that Berbock “will soon feel the limitations of office and the pressure of realpolitik” (politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical rather than ideological considerations).

“I see this especially in the question of whether human rights can really be considered the final reference point for foreign policy action,” he explains.

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Chancellor Olaf Scholz seems eager to continue his predecessor’s low-key foreign policy approach. “There must be cooperation in the world, including with governments that are very different from ours,” he told the German state-run television station ZDF after taking office.

In this context, it will be interesting to see if the new government will side with US President Joe Biden and get drawn into a stronger confrontation with China.

Henning Hoff of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) says Germany needs to “stop worrying that German industry has no future without a Chinese market, and take a much stronger and more strategic position and see China as a systemic rival. “.

Hoff believes that when it comes to Russia, it is necessary to use “the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to put pressure on Moscow” and “stop the project in case of aggression against Ukraine.”

Plans for Europe

As far as Europe is concerned, the coalition agreement articulates a long-term goal of transforming the European Union (EU) into a “federal European state”. These ambitious ideas have not been heard for a long time.

At the same time, the new government in Berlin is calling for a relatively liberal asylum policy at the European level, which may prove elusive.

The further unity of the EU and refugees is a controversial issue – this became clear at the end of last year in two countries of the bloc that are of particular importance for Germany: Poland and France.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), said that the policies of the new German government threaten the sovereignty of European countries.

Photo of Scholz in a suit and tie with a slight smile.  In the background there is a defocused Christmas tree.
Scholz wants to maintain a low profile in foreign policyPhoto: Kay Nietfeld / dpa / picture alliance

France has traditionally maintained a close partnership with Germany, but the two countries have not come to an agreement on some important issues.

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France will have a presidential election in April – and unwanted immigration should be the main theme of the campaign.

President Emmanuel Macron wants to use France’s imminent six-month change as president of the Council of the European Union to protect the bloc’s external borders, which is not a priority for the Berlin coalition.

Political scientist Hoff considers the “European political ambitions” of the new German government not only correct, but necessary. “If the EU wants to become more sovereign and confident – and it must, if it wants to hold out – it cannot avoid further restructuring.”

But Warwick dismisses the goal of a European federal state as unrealistic: “This will quickly collapse in the face of European political realities. Nobody in Europe really wants that. ”

Instead, he praised the concept of “service leadership” for Europe, which can also be found in the coalition agreement: “Because it is about using Germany’s power and influence in a way that does not elicit defensive reflexes, but instead makes room. for maneuver “.

in the footsteps of Merkel

Former Chancellor Angela Merkel has played a particularly important role in the global diplomatic arena and absolute leadership in European politics. Olaf Scholz will want to follow in her footsteps – and will he agree?

Henning Hoff notes that Scholz has demonstrated such important leadership qualities as “discretion and pragmatism, focused on finding solutions.”

Johannes Warwick believes that Scholz “cannot compete with the experience of Angela Merkel.” However, he adds that Germany has a lot of political weight, regardless of who the chancellor is.

Scholz, “with his humble and conciliatory nature, seems like a fitting successor to the ‘eternal chancellor,’” Warwick said.

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Barbudo defends CPI Petrobras and refutes the political point of view argument: when it was CPI Covid, nobody cared, right? :: News MT

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Barbudo defends CPI Petrobras and refutes the political point of view argument: when it was CPI Covid, nobody cared, right?  :: News MT
Federal MP Nelson Barbudo (PL) said the issue of protecting the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) to investigate the actions of Petrobras has been appeased within the PL, the party of President Jair Bolsonaro. According to him, the group wants transparency and does not have a political view: “When it came to the opening of the CPI on Covid, no one was worried, right? If there were pre-election elections, if there weren’t any, the Senate, in my opinion, to the detriment of Bolsonaro’s election campaign, opened [a CPI]”.

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The secretary says the creation of the consumer price index is a “political decision” but points out that the pricing of Petrobras must change.

As for Barbudo, Petrobras needs to explain the successive increases and explain why it is not using its “social purpose”. He even stated that he even considers the adjustments “a diversion that is carried out before the presidential campaign.”

“Is it not possible to increase oil by 14%? The dollar did not rise in price by 14%, the barrel of oil did not rise in price by 14%, so why did it rise in price by 14%? In 1.4%, 14%. We did everything with the leaders to remove ICMS, which is 24% in some places, the other day Petrobras gives a 14% increase, I mean … Petrobras also has to analyze the social function, this is what I hit hard,” he defended.

MP Bolsonaro also said that Bolsonaro’s point of view has not changed, he first said that high prices are due to taxes, and now he is turning to Petrobras. Barbudo said the government has held a task force and is trying to act on all fronts.

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“The government had a task force to remove ICMS from the states and replace it in the hope that the price would drop at the gas station. So Petrobras comes in and doesn’t cooperate? We will work on Petrobras and see what happens, because we need people to have a working position, regardless of the election period. Now Petrobras is growing by 14% every 30 days… in 90 days Brazil is not viable,” he lamented.

In yet another attempt, the MP said he would submit a proposal to the President to submit a PEC or LP for Petrobras to pay the fuel freight with a portion of the profits made in the first two quarters of 2022. Thus, according to him, all municipalities will receive fuel at the same price.

“Let’s take this idea from the president to see if the board accepts… [] another way to try download. What we are trying to do is to provide working conditions for the Brazilian people, especially for agriculture in Mato Grosso, tractors, big machines, agriculture. [usam gasolina e] Soon it will be unbearable. We, representing our people, must take action, whether it is with the CPI, with the PEC, with the PL, no matter what happens, we need to lower the price of oil,” he concluded.

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For Damaso, politicians must act transparently and honestly in order to earn the respect of the population.

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For Damaso, politicians must act transparently and honestly in order to earn the respect of the population.

“I want to be a politician only as long as I have the respect of the population, and there is only one way to earn respect: to do serious work, transparently and honestly.” The statement was made by pre-gubernatorial candidate Osires Damaso (PSC) in a press interview in Araguaín during his last visit to the city, this Friday 24. In addition to meeting with communication specialists, he met with the authorities and political leaders of the municipality to strengthen his name in a dispute for state government.

Asked about his motives for running for president, Damaso talked about his experiences as a three-term state deputy, Legislative Assembly president, as a businessman, and the beginnings of his personal journey. “And this experience allowed me to get acquainted with the resources that reach the state, their potential and the real needs of the inhabitants of Tocantins,” he explained.

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“We need a government that truly runs an administration focused on economic development, growth and the quality of life of our people. We need industrialized, modern and respected Tocantinas. I am sure that with my experience I will have excellent management, giving people real opportunities,” Damaso said.

The pre-nominee also advocates a partnership between state government and municipalities to develop public policies that primarily benefit those living in situations of social vulnerability. “I want to implement the program in partnership with city halls, municipal councils and leaders so that we can deliver basic food packages to the population, restoring the mood of many families. But, in addition, we need a state program so that these people can enter the labor market,” he stressed.

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As for the progress of the campaign, Damaso stressed that he was “very pleased with the receptivity of the population and the support received.” Among his main supporters are state deputy Junior Geo (PSC) and former mayor of Palmas, Carlos Amastha (PSB), who served two terms. The joints are in full swing and new weight bearings should be announced soon.

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Marcos Braz responds to social media politics after Maracanã controversy

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Marcos Braz responds to social media politics after Maracanã controversy

BUT Negative disagreement with Vasco over the use of Maracana rocked social media on this Sabbath day. Tarcisio Motta, Councilor of the City of Rio and federal candidate, published a publication saying that the stadium is for all fans. An irritated Marcos Braz, Vice President of Flamengo Football Club and also an adviser, responded to the politician.

+ Who is better: Botafogo or Fluminense? Watch the player vote in the LANCE newsroom!

– Maracana is public! It was built and renovated (several times) with government money! Its concession cannot run counter to the interests of all citizens. Denying the consortium is baseless, absurd and FORCE US TO ACTIVATE MP. Maraca for all fans,” Tarcisio wrote on Twitter.

– When it comes to paying operating costs, no, – said the vice-president of Flamengo.

+ The state government observes the violation of Flamengo and Fluminense and requests the release of Maracana for Vasco

The controversy began after Vasco applied for the loan of Maracanã against Sport in a match valid for Serie B on 3 July. A stadium consortium led by Flamengo and Fluminense rejected the request.

The clubs’ decision caused a huge uproar, and the state government decided to connect to the track. The stadium soap opera is divided and promises to open new chapters in the coming days.

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