German Ampel-Days: This is a traffic light 🚦!
There is a new government in progress in Germany - and a still unsolved question: Why is "Vaccination" such a complicated word in german-speaking countrys?
Red, yellow, green - the colours of the traffic light (german: “Ampel”) are the light of this winter in Germany 2021.
The most obvious reason for the Ampel-popularity is namend Olaf Scholz. He is not only leading this Brooklyn99-copy (thanks to SZ-Magazin) but first of all the new Ampel-called government - formed by Social Democrats (Red), Liberals (Yellow) and you will guess The Greens, who will occupy the posts of vice chancellor (Robert Habeck) and foreign minister (Annalena Baerbock).
There is this short clip by New York Times about the presentation of the joint coalition agreement that took place yesterday: “We are united by the belief in progress”, said Angela Merkel's designated successor Olaf Scholz, “and that politics can achieve something good.”
🚦 The Ampel-coalition framed its agreement with a reference to the former chancellor Willy Brandt (SPD) who used the phrase “Mehr Demokratie wagen” (“Dare more democracy”), the Ample uses the titel: “Dare more progress”.
And these are some of the important contents of the yesterdays presented paper:
Right to vote from the age of 16
Controlled dispensing of cannabis
Expansion of renewable energies
One billion euros bonus for care workers
Abolition of the ban on advertising abortions
More legal ways to escape into the country
Increase the minimum wage to 12 euros per hour
🚦 But there is a second reason why Germany is focused on the Ampel these days. And this one is related to the still unsolved Corona-crisis. The former German government used the metaphor of a traffic-light to show the risks of rising Covid-Numbers. If you are wondering why I am writing about the still unsolved pandemic situation, it has to do with the fact that too many Germans are not willing to use the solution (which was largely developed in Germany). I am talking about the possibility of vaccinating oneself.
The vaccination rate in Germany (and in the German-speaking countries as a whole) is staggeringly low. The Economist reports these days: “Germany, Austria and Switzerland have the highest shares of unvaccinated people in western Europe.” And this really is a problem here. Due to the fact this Newsletter is named "digital viral germany" I can tell you: a lot of my friends are more and more angry about the vaccination-situation heading straight in a forth wave - and a lockdown situation.
Sascha Lobo who is probably the most popular Internet-explainer in Germany nailed it in his weekly column on Spiegel with this title: Welcome to the weepy wellness resistance. And Miriam Meckel drew a parallel between vaccination and digital scepticism in this country (both texts in german).
If you want to dive deeper you can translate this interview my SZ-colleague Sebastian Gierke conducted with Michael Blume who is religious scholar and antisemitism commissioner of the state government in Baden-Württemberg. He says:
In the Alpine regions, in the Alpine valleys, self-governing linguistic communities have formed over thousands of years. But then came the central state and with it writing and science - these rubbed up against each other. The men's unions developed the idea of the federal state, which also prevailed in Germany after the totalitarian Nazi regime.