As Chancellor Merkel’s party continues to slide in the polls and remains beset by internal quarreling, Germans are increasingly weary of what they see as the mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. It is hard to say if the unravelling of her long-governing Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU, will come to define her legacy. What is, however, clear is that many Germans have lost confidence in the administrative aptitude of Merkel’s government. Jürgen Hardt is a member of the German Bundestag and serves as CDU/CSU spokesperson on foreign policy This week, Conflict Zone host Sarah Kelly spoke to the CDU/CSU parliamentary spokesperson for foreign policy, Jürgen Hardt. He defended the chancellor’s record and gave an assessment of the CDU’s prospects in the post-Merkel era, saying that most of Germany had come to trust the party's longtime record of leadership. The pandemic stress test The urgency and severity of the pandemic confronted Merkel … [Read more...] about Germany: Will Merkel’s legacy be a COVID mess?
Rhine river in germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) were left reeling on Saturday after a branch of the party backed a controversial former intelligence chief to run in this year's parliamentary election. Hans-Georg Maassen, the former head of Germany's domestic intelligence service (BfV), won the backing of party members in the region of southern Thuringia on Friday. Some 86% of party members in the small region voted in favor of Maassen becoming the party's directly-elected candidate on the ballot on Friday. The move means he has a shot at entering Germany's parliament during the upcoming general election in September. Why is the nomination controversial? In November 2018, Maassen was fired from his post at the head of the BfV following allegations of having sympathies with the far-right , and in particular their anti-immigration views. The agency he headed is in charge of monitoring and investigating political extremist groups — including antifa, … [Read more...] about Germany’s CDU under fire over nomination of controversial ex-spy chief
The warriors of the Iron Age bent the swords of their enemies after besting them in battle, an ancient hoard unearthed in western Germany has revealed. Archaeologists used metal detectors to reveal the ancient arsenal — which was found buried in the remains of a hillfort on the mountain of Wilzenberg. Among the finds from the site were also blunted tips of spears and lances, deliberately broken shield bosses and the remains of harnesses for horses. While the team have narrowed the finds down to around 300–1 BC, the nature of the artefacts means that they cannot be precisely dated, the researchers explained. Given this, it is unclear whether the arsenal of damaged weapons were deposited at the hillfort in the wake of one large battle, or accumulated over many centuries. The warriors of the Iron Age bent the swords of their enemies after besting them in battle, an ancient hoard unearthed in western Germany has revealed. Pictured: the two bent swords and blunted … [Read more...] about Iron Age warriors BENT the swords of their defeated enemies, ancient hoard discovered in Germany reveals
The European Commission filed suit against Germany in the European Court of Justice, the bloc's highest court, for long running violations of existing nature conservation laws. For years, the Commission in Brussels has been criticizing Germany for violating the EU's Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive, as have domestic environmental organizations . "According to the latest information from the authorities, Germany has still not designated a significant number of areas as special protection areas," the Commission wrote in a statement released on Thursday. "Therefore, the Commission is taking Germany to the Court of Justice of the European Union." When conservationism and construction clash in Germany A speed breaker or a roadblock? A German court has temporarily halted the clearing of thousands of trees to make room for Elon Musk's electric car factory near Berlin. Environmental activists moved the court just days after the cutting of trees began, citing threat to … [Read more...] about EU takes Germany to court for breaching environment laws
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg has ruled that German law is too restrictive in its rules for allowing citizens and environmental groups to challenge developments that have an impact on people or the environment. German nongovernmental organizations said this was a significant ruling that would have far-reaching implications. "Bund welcomes the ruling as an important step to strengthen the implementation of environmental law, as well as citizens' rights," head of nature conservation policy Magnus Wessel, of Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund), told DW. Individuals and NGOs had only been able to bring complaints against developments such as factories, roads and power plants before the authorities had issued a decision on the project. Raphael Weylands of Nabu said this was often extremely difficult for volunteer-dependent NGOs, which might only have a few weeks to examine thousands of pages of permit applications. DW recommends Court … [Read more...] about Top European court bolsters environmental challenges in Germany