heute journal vom 06.03.2023 Leopard-2-Ausfälle, Meseberg, Herausforderer Erdogans (english)
MISSION MESEBERG TRAFFIC LIGHT COALITION DOES TEAM BUILDING ANKARA ALLIANCE ERDOǦAN'S OPPONENTS UNITED WILD LIVING THE OAK - MY HOME And now, the "heute journal" with Hanna Zimmermann and Christian Sievers. Good evening, everybody. "And when you don't know what to do, you form a working group." So the saying goes.
"Team building sessions in friendly surroundings" sounds more modern, but the meaning is the same. The coalition government in Berlin, which started their administration with verve and joint selfies, has by now gotten stuck on many points. A visit to Meseberg was supposed to help. Two days in a baroque castle in northern Brandenburg. Issues include the future of combustion oil and gas heating and the question of how much of the budget who gets for what.
The SPD, the Greens and the FDP are at odds on the issues. Sometimes this way, sometimes that. So, what has two days of introspection brought? Andrea Maurer reports.
If something remains from Meseberg, it's this video posted by the chancellor himself. Olaf Scholz, a snowball, and the question of who it was meant for in light of the many issues within the coalition. I threw a snowball, but as is fitting for the chancellor, it was at no one. Nothing was decided in Meseberg. If there was a prevailing spirit in Meseberg, it was the effort to avoid any impression of a conflict.
An attempt at humour. If you want to know who I was sitting next to last evening, it was Steffi Lemke. And it was a lovely evening. The Liberal minister of transport looked at ease next to the Green minister of the environment. That alone seems worth mentioning in this coalition. The official programme did not include the major controversial issues, like the ban on new oil or gas heating systems or the basic child benefit.
But above all, the 2024 budget. None of which was on the agenda. Some of the guests sat together till 2 AM. Perhaps budget issues were cleared up in a smaller group? The budget preparation process doesn't depend on how late you stay up. I have no comment on that now, because I was in bed relatively early. It was meant to be a kind of a reset.
Back to the spirit of change that the coalition had promised the country: ecological transformation, digitization, growth. The chancellor was confident, calling it the opposite of a "therapy session." The meeting in Meseberg faced enormous challenges. It was more like a self-help group than a government coalition that met there.
In Germany, we have tremendous challenges: inflation, the war in Ukraine and of course energy prices. If we look at results of this meeting, they are very poor. There was a justified expectation that issues would be clarified. The FDP and the Greens are locked in a bitter dispute with each other. It's about climate protection and climate laws, heating and e-fuels. The chancellor just disappeared.
Team building in Meseberg and many unanswered questions. Some are hopeful, while others show signs of fatigue. We are committed to this county, and this commitment has dominated the talks. I think that's what we'll take from this meeting as we find answers to all the questions. The unanswered questions are known. but for the most part...
There are enough of them that we should answer those before we start asking new questions. The coalition committee is at the end of March. Then the party leaders will meet again.
That's when the big issues must be put on the table. While the government sits together in stately setting, the SPD party and faction leaders rumble to Kyiv on the night train. It's the first visit there since the beginning of the war for party leader Lars Klingbeil and faction leader Rolf Mützenich.
First, a meeting with the Klitschko brothers, then a tour of the capital. Also on the agenda: talks with Ukraine's foreign minister and then, surprisingly, with the president in the evening. The head of the SPD is with us now from Kyiv. Good evening, Lars Klingbeil. Good evening to you.
Mr Klingbeil, what have you been able to tell your discussion partners in Ukraine? We've got a federal government that went into their meeting with a lot of disagreement and came out of it without any kind of result, at least not publicly. Well, I can tell you that in Ukraine, people know that there's a broad consensus among all democratic parties in German politics that we support Ukraine in this brutal war that Russia has started against them. In the many open conversations I've had here, I've felt a deep gratitude for what Germany and the Federal Government is doing. And also for what the citizens of Germany are doing. They've taken in Ukrainian refugees since day one, for example.
Naturally, there were wishes and demands. But these talks today were all characterized by a deep sense of gratitude to Germany. You just had a visit with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Did you explain the new SPD policy towards the East, since the old one has proven untenable? We did talk intensively about what has happened since 24 February.
We also discussed the matter of arms shipments. I told him I'd recently met with new Defence Minister Boris Pistorius in my hometown of Münster, where Ukrainian soldiers are being trained on the Marder infantry fighting vehicle and the Leopard 2 main battle tank. We talked again about when the Leopard tanks would be delivered.
He reported on shortages of ammunition. But we also talked about other issues, like the question of energy security and how Germany can be a support. We talked about the situation of Ukrainian refugees, and we talked about how we can convince even more countries in this world that the Russian position is wrong and that we should be standing by Ukraine. There are a lot of issues still to discuss, but the conversations we had emphasized friendship and solidarity.
Friendship and solidarity, you say. Did you have the impression, Mr Klingbeil, that, as SPD leader, you were in a delicate position when meeting with Zelenskyy today? The SPD has had to listen to a lot of criticism from Kyiv. We're addressing that criticism. I'll be in Warsaw tomorrow, I will be heading there from Kyiv today. I've invited all the social democratic party leaders from Eastern Europe to meet me there, because I want to outline our ideas for a new social democratic foreign security policy.
We've addressed mistakes we made in recent years. But based on our analysis of these mistakes, we're bravely looking forward. The Ukrainians can see that things are happening.
Above all, they see everything the German government is doing right now in terms of financial, political and military support to ensure that Ukraine is successful and Russia is not. Your faction leader is with you. He's received especial criticism from Kyiv. Is the goal to explain to Rolf Mützenich how Ukraine works, or to Ukraine how Rolf Mützenich works? If you look at what the SPD has done since 24 February, you'll see that the party has always stood together in support of Ukraine, whether it was the question of arms deliveries, or exerting political pressure, or, for example, the prospect of joining the EU. There was always discussion in the SPD on these issues, but we presented a united front. That's why it was important for me and Rolf Mützenich to travel to Kyiv together and send a joint signal.
The main signal of this visit is a message to Ukraine: Our support and solidarity continues even one year after the start of the war. That is the message we wanted to convey today. And all of today's talks were harmonious. Harmonious, you say. And yet, the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, now deputy minister for foreign affairs, was quoted today.
Andriy Melnyk said, "Mr Mützenich still thinks the same as ever. He remains the biggest stumbling block for epochal change and German arms shipments. He's a sad figure who has not recognized the signs of the times." That doesn't sound like harmony at all. That sounds like a frosty reception. Again, the conversations, whether with the president, with the chairman of parliament, with Foreign Minister Kuleba, or in the Ministry of Defence, were infused with a deep sense of gratitude for what Germany as a government, as a parliament led by certain parties...
So do you think Mr Melnyk's statement is a one off? Is it a solo opinion? Or how do you explain that? I can only tell you that I was in talks all day. I did not met Mr Melnyk, nor I do not know his demands. But the talks we had today were characterized by the fact that people in the Ukrainian government, in Parliament and in the public know what Germany has been doing since 24 February.
Today we gave a clear commitment that we will continue path without hesitation. Mr Klingbeil, what do you say to those in Germany and in the SPD who ask themselves: How can this war be brought to a quick end? What did you discuss there? I think we all want this war to be over quickly. That there will be a ceasefire tomorrow, that this war will stop tomorrow. But only one person can make that decision right now, and that's Vladimir Putin.
He is the one who started this war. He is the one who could end this war right now by withdrawing his troops. Right now, the federal government, the SPD sitting faction and the party as a whole all share the same priority: strengthening Ukraine militarily and politically to prepare them for negotiations that will inevitably come one day.
But the responsibility to end this war tomorrow lies with Vladimir Putin. Lars Klingbeil, SPD faction leader coming to us from Kyiv. Thanks for talking to us and have a good trip back.
My pleasure. Have a good day. The SPD faction leader pledges his continued support for Ukraine in all necessary capacities. We recorded that interview in the evening. Meanwhile, his party colleague the defence minister has to deal with the problems of everyday life in the Bundeswehr during his visit to Lithuania. ZDF has received exclusive reports that a unit that is supposed to spearhead a rapid NATO deployment, of all things, is experiencing massive problems with its own tanks.
Thomas Reichart and Nils Metzger report. The defence minister arrived in Lithuania this evening to visit troops. German soldiers are training here alongside Lithuanian soldiers to defend against potential Russian attacks.
Germany has firmly promised much more support within the NATO framework to prevent against these attacks. With 8,000 soldiers deployed, Berlin forms the core of the NATO rapid reaction force this year. However, research by ZDF "frontal" suggests that the Bundeswehr is reneging on its promise to help because tanks are, yet again, not working. We need NATO, we want NATO. We want to be part of NATO. However, we're only fulfilling our obligations to a limited extent. This is now becoming apparent with respect to the dramatic global political situation.
We are talking about Tank Battalion 393 in Bad Frankenhausen, Thuringia, which has the most modern Leopard 2 tanks, known as A7Vs. NATO's rapid reaction force requires 30 of these tanks to be ready to go at any time. For example, for the defence of the Baltic States. On the evening of 8 February, however, an email alert reached von Butler, the general in charge of the tanks. ZDF has obtained exclusive access to this confidential technical report. It shows that the battalion will not be able to provide anywhere near the 30 tanks it promised this year.
It won't even be able to provide half of them by the summer. The reason: a large number of the tanks must either be repaired or serviced. On the one hand, of course, this would mean that Germany would not be able to meet its commitments as they currently stand.
This also means that there will be further issues regarding Germany's credibility. The reason for these failures, according to the confidential report, include having to wait months for maintenance on the Leopard 2s at the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann manufacturing plant in Kölleda. The manufacturer, however, claims that everything is running according to contract. The Bundeswehr is apparently hiding these failures from NATO. A soldier reports to ZDF: NATO, of course, knows nothing about it. We're reporting issues like crazy.
Everyone in the chain of command knows what's going on. But the top brass is only reporting good news. But the Bundeswehr is playing tricks.
For instance, by extending the TÜV inspection warranty for tanks. If not for this, even fewer tanks would be ready for action. The rapid reaction force is supposed to be able to intervene quickly. And it has to be equipped to do so. If there are no tanks, they can't do it.
And we are seeing in Ukraine just how important tanks are. That's why this is a dramatic signal, of course. And it is not made any better by the fact that it was concealed. The Bundeswehr, however, avows that it can continue to fulfil its duties within NATO without exception. The failure to deliver on the promised tanks, however, raises new doubts about Germany's reliability.
And we're staying with the war against Ukraine with your new overview, Hanna. Ukraine does not want to give up the fiercely contested city of Bakhmut in the east. They're continuing to strengthen their presence on the ground. This was affirmed in a statement by the Ukrainian Presidential Office.
The industrial city is now surrounded on several sides and is largely destroyed. Currently, there are still about 5,000 civilians there. Meanwhile, the head of the Russian mercenary force Wagner again attacked the Ministry of Defence in Moscow and again complained about a shortage of ammunition. In Belarus, a court has sentenced five opposition members to long prison terms, including exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
Her sentence is 15 years. Among other charges, she is accused of high treason and conspiracy to seize power. Tikhanovskaya announced after the verdict that she would continue to work for change in the country and for the release of political prisoners. In the summer of 2020, the 40-year-old had run against ruler Lukashenko in the presidential election. The latter had declared himself the winner and had violently suppressed protests. In Estonia, Prime Minister Kallas's Reform Party has won the parliamentary election with a clear majority.
The party took 31.2% of the vote, improving on its result from 2019. To form a government, Kallas will once again have to find one or more coalition partners. The election campaign was dominated by the dispute over military aid to Ukraine.
The 45-year-old prime minister is considered a staunch supporter of arms deliveries. The number of young people leaving school without a qualification remains high, according to a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation. In the year 2021, 47,500 young people left school without obtaining any secondary school qualification. That corresponds to about six percent of school leavers.
Boys and students who have foreign citizenship are most affected. Because of the planned pension reform, several unions in France have again called for large-scale strikes. This evening, employees in the rail sector stopped work. From tomorrow, the strike will extend to waste collection and air traffic, among others. This morning, truck drivers had already set up roadblocks. In recent weeks, there have been widespread strikes against the government's reform, designed to gradually raise the retirement age and the number of years contributions are collected.
Who will govern Turkey in the future? There is keen interest in this question far beyond Turkey's borders. In any case, not the current president, Tayyip Erdoğan. The opposition in Turkey can agree on that. But that's all. The chaos we see within the various opposition parties currently is likely to please one person in particular, and that is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. After the worst earthquake in the history of his country, he was heavily criticised for weeks and was considered to be vulnerable.
But the opposition had no answer to the crucial question. Who should stand against Erdoğan? The election will be held on 14 May. Today, a common candidate is emerging. The opposition alliance against Erdoğan wants to appear united once again by agreeing on a compromise. Jörg Brase reports from Istanbul. Today in the city of Şanlıurfa, the clean-up of the rubble continues.
Many survivors have left the city out of fear. No one yet knows how an election can be held here in mid-May. But the catastrophe will dominate the campaign, and this man is expected to lead the opposition in their campaign against the president. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the largest opposition party, the CHP.
Today, he was chosen as the candidate of a six-party alliance. As the National Alliance, we want to govern Turkey by consensus. As leader of the parties that make up the national alliance, we have agreed on a roadmap for a transition to a strengthened parliamentary system.
This alliance was touch and go until the very end. The leader of the second-largest opposition party, Meral Akşener, rejected Kılıçdaroğlu's candidacy. She dropped out of the alliance last Friday.
Today, however, she was back at the table. For political expert Suat Özçelebi, this is not a good start to the campaign. Erdoğan will say, "If the opposition is already in crisis, what crises will we see after the election? How can they govern a country?" Erdoğan will say, "It's better, if you choose stability. Choose me." The chances of the opposition replacing President Erdoğan are not bad. Almost two-thirds of the population are dissatisfied with how the government has handled the earthquake. Erdoğan's poll ratings have dropped.
The latest dispute within the opposition was welcomed by the president. He scoffed at the opposition. An Iranian proverb says, "They sat down around the table, talked, and parted again."
And that is exactly what happened. While we care about the welfare of the people, they care only about power. Because this power now lies solely with the president, after the quake, many waited for the order from above. It took days for help to arrive. Critics blame the system.
We have seen the government make serious mistakes in how the disaster has been managed. And this weakness in management exists because the presidential system is not able to solve all the problems. The six-party alliance wants to abolish this presidential system, should it win the election. It is still a good two months until the elections, enough time to fight together, but also to fight against each other. We will keep watching with interest. Back to you, Hanna.
And now to an industry that suffered during the COVID pandemic and is now hoping for a record year. After a three-year break, the ITB tourism trade show opened today. There will be significantly more travel again, Stephanie Barrett. However, holiday-makers will need to dig deeper into their pockets. Yes, many holiday-makers will look twice at the current prices. A holiday in Majorca, for example, will cost 30% more this year than the year before.
Worldwide, energy and food prices have gone up, there are fewer hotels, fewer flights and more staff shortages, all of which is reflected in the prices. Still, the desire to travel is as strong as ever. Finally, travel without COVID restrictions, and holiday-makers are willing to pay. In January and February alone, twice as many trips were booked than in the year before, and even more than in 2019, before COVID. Sunny and warm destinations in particular are in demand.
The favourites among Germans are the same as pre-COVID. Everything around the Mediterranean Sea. It is noticeable that the eastern Mediterranean is more popular than the western part. So on the one hand, the travel industry is seeing record sales, but the high cost means that many can no longer afford to travel. Thus, the gap between high earners who can afford expensive trips and those who can only afford a break at home will continue to grow.
Looking at the DAX, it continued with last week's upward trend and reached a new annual high during the day. Since the beginning of the year, a gain of around 12%. Thank you, Stephanie, reporting from Frankfurt. By 2050, climate change could cost Germany between 280 and 900 billion euros, depending on how much the earth will warm up. This is the finding of a new study published today by the Federal Ministry of Economics and the Federal Ministry for the Environment.
Among other things, the study looked at damage to agriculture or buildings caused by floods, droughts or other extreme weather events. Federal Transport Minister Wissing wants to provide financial support for the construction of bicycle parking garages to the tune 110 million euros by 2026. Wissing wants to make climate-friendly mobility more appealing, for example, for commuters who ride their e-bikes to the train station and want to park their bikes safely. States and municipalities can now apply for grants to fund such projects.
And now to a movie premiere. With a leading actor who is making her cinema debut but whom you all already know well. Or rather, you think you know her.
Because this movie star can live for more than 1,000 years. It's about the oak tree, the queen of the forest, which symbolises constancy, and at the same time holds much fear, excitement, imagination and laughter. If only you look very closely. A piercing gaze. He's looking to play, he's looking for victims. Namely, the jay.
Not a particularly strong flyer, this shouldn't be difficult. This time, the jay was lucky. Landing in the undergrowth beneath its home, this 200-year-old oak tree. This oak is the focus and star of this documentary. The oak as a kind of "skyscraper" for many inhabitants.
Before we could start production, we had to cast the main characters. We had to select the birds, insects and the viewpoints. Then we had to find the tree on the edge of a lake.
This way we could also film from far away. With an oak in the middle of the forest, there's no room to move the camera. Here, we could do both. One of the stars of the film is the acorn weevil, a type of very small weevil. The female manages to drill deep holes in the acorns.
Then, the male comes visiting... and the female deposits her eggs into the acorn. After about two weeks, the larvae hatch, and in the spring, they emerge as new acorn weevils. They could have featured in Spielberg's "Jurassic Park". After being blown up a little, that is. They're fantastic! I'm still learning. Observation is a wonderful thing.
We don't know how lucky we are. Everywhere, there are oak trees in the neighbourhood with wonderful biodiversity and an incredible number of animals, living there together. I think that nowadays it's important to talk about living together. About living together and surviving. About the fragility of everything. What a movie! Entertaining, exciting, touching and educational, not just for a night at the movies but also perfect for the classroom, for a nice double period of bio.
The cycle of life, seen from a different perspective. Highly recommended by Claudio Armbruster. The movie starts on Thursday, and we will all walk through the forest with completely new eyes. With that, on behalf of the whole team in front of and behind the camera, thanks for joining us. And we'd like to remind you of "heute journal update", tonight at round 00:05 with Nazan Gökdemir.
We'll see you tomorrow. Bye. -Bye. WEATHER REPORT Good evening. Cornelis, a deep depression, will sweep over us tomorrow from west to east. It will bring snow, rain and gale-force winds. We can expect severe squalls and even gale-force winds here along the German coastline. Elsewhere, the wind is not quite so severe.
There will be rain and snow tonight already here in the northwest. The rain and snow will spread to Lusatia, and once again, there will be ice on roads and footpaths in eastern Germany, and also in the low mountain ranges. Temperatures will drop to -3° near the Alps and in the east. On the Lower Rhine, the night is milder with 4°. Tomorrow, we can expect maximum temperatures in the northern half of 1° to 7° and in the south, it will be between 3° and 10°. And tomorrow, too, it will rain and snow, especially in this area from the Eifel to the Spreewald.
The deep depression Cornelis brings thunderstorms to Schleswig-Holstein, snow to northern Germany. But between the Danube and the Upper Rhine, you will also have some sun. On Wednesday and Thursday, it will be fine in the northeast and chilly.
In the south, however, we expect persistent rain. These forecasts show us how much the weather will vary. First of all for Rostock. There you can see that the temperatures hover around 5°. In Rastatt, on the other hand, temperatures will be well above 10°, but it'll be raining much harder there.