heute journal 22.03.23: UNO-Wasserkonferenz, Unruhe in Ampel-Koalition, Cholera in Malawi (english)
TARNISHED TRUST THE STATE OF THINGS IN THE TRAFFIC LIGHT COALITION WATER SCARCITY SUFFERING IN MALAWI INTIMATE INSIGHTS ONE-ON-ONE WITH LARS EIDINGER Welcome to the nightly news with Hanna Zimmermann and Christian Sievers. Good evening. Poor performance records. Failure to live up to promises. Trust tarnished.
That's a pretty grim report card for the governing coalition in Berlin. Interestingly enough, it was given by someone who is part of it himself. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck complained bitterly to ARD reporters about climate policy and the progress of work within the traffic light coalition. We can assume that he wants to send a signal to his own party, the Greens, who have viewed him in the past year as a supplicant to the Emir and as someone who did little to protect the climate.
Nevertheless, the question remains for the people in this country: How should we judge a government that doesn't seem to consider itself highly anymore? Daniel Pontzen reports. This afternoon, it seemed his pulse had gone back to normal again. Yesterday, he provided fresh insight into the inner life of the coalition that has nicknamed itself the "Coalition of Progress."
One of the issues discussed yesterday was the draft of the heating replacement bill. The bill was deliberately leaked to Bild newspaper to damage confidence in the government. And a government that gambles away trust has of course lost its biggest asset.
His sharp remarks astonished many. Decrying a deliberate breach of trust is a profound accusation. Habeck did not bring up any specific names. He maintained silence on that front today. I don't know that, because journalists keep their sources under lock and key. He has now started an active guessing game within the government as to where the leak came from, if indeed there was one.
Was it someone from the FDP, SPD or even the Greens themselves? There were no confessions, of course. However, there were reactions that spoke to the atmosphere in the coalition, both in terms of content and reading between the lines. I don't know how this bill was revealed to the public. But this has happened before from Green Party-led ministries.
I noticed that the Minister of Economy has a bit of pressure from his own party at the moment. The issues on the table are vast. But you shouldn't deal with that pressure by lashing out in all directions. There are quite a few among the Greens who have long viewed the Chancellor's party as a subtle rival within the coalition, who is standing in the way of the Greens becoming the next Chancellor's party. It is this tactical level that has already made the relationship more difficult and that in times of so many unresolved issues.
For example, whether the planned heating bill will come into effect in the new year or not. We have, of course, all possible constellations with gas floor heating, with different owners, with all kinds of technical restrictions due to the protection of historic buildings. That's why we are basically in agreement. But, of course, many fine details need to be worked out. But that's not all. Most of the unanswered questions revolve around the big gap between promises and reality on the subject of climate protection.
The coalition committee meets on Sunday, and internal appeals are already underway. This energy, which is flowing into this dispute right now should be channelled into working on the content and concept of our policy. So far, it seems as though this energy is primarily directed at other coalition members, come rain, wind or shine. One particular source of ire for the Minister of Economics and his Green Party colleagues is the FDP Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing. Good evening, Mr Wissing.
Good evening. What are we supposed to think of a government that, and I quote the Vice Chancellor, leaks draft bills and deliberately derails talks for the sake of cheap tactical advantages? I don't believe in these sort of things and don 't participate in them either. Times are serious. We have to govern seriously. We have an enormous amount of catching up to do in Germany. Issues have fell to the wayside for far too long. The country needs progress.
That's what I am working on. Governing seriously. Let's look at the case that is now under discussion: From 2024, there should be no more oil and gas heating systems in new buildings.
This schedule was decided upon by the coalition a year ago, including by FDP members. When a first draft law became known, the FDP then declared, it no longer supported the project. Is that good cooperation and serious governance? A government must take the concerns of the population very seriously.
People are worried that they could be overwhelmed by the phase-out process. People don't want to be restricted by more and more new bans. That's why we have to discuss and clarify these things within the government.
We have always said that we don't want to string one ban after the other, because we must have the population's support. But Mr Wissing, it is not about bans. It is about not installing oil and gas heaters in new buildings.
Even your chairman, Christian Dürr, said today, that none of the draft bills have to do with bans. Why are you talking about bans? It is crucial that we pursue climate protection in that way that we take people along. No one must be overburdened.
Building, housing and heating must also remain affordable. These are things we need to discuss in government. And once we have agreed on a draft law, we will stand behind it. But it must, of course, be possible to discuss different political views within the government.
We need to fight for the best solution and not write off better ideas. In Brussels, the EU is urgently expecting a statement from you, Mr Wissing. To explain briefly, the EU actually decided that no more cars with internal combustion engines may be registered from 2035 onwards. Then, surprisingly, you blocked this.
Now, a large part of the EU is wondering about Germany's approach. On the other hand, there are countries such as Italy, which is now saddling up and wants further exceptions. In the end, they fear, the entire legislation on the internal combustion engine will fall apart.
Do you want that? No, absolutely not. I want us to protect the climate, and pursue all possible pathways for climate protection. All technological solutions should contribute to climate-neutral mobility and organising our supply chains in a climate-neutral way. That's why I'm not fighting against this regulation, but I'm fighting for it to be improved. This regulation has a shortcoming, and that is an aversion to technological solutions.
That area should be more robust. I am committed to that. This does not come as a surprise. We made this clear last year. The EU has proposed a compromise for this.
It is on the table. You wanted to examine it. What did you decide? Well, it's not just the EU Commission that has made proposals. We also have come up with some. It is a very complicated procedure, also in terms of European law.
That's why we have agreed that things will be examined very closely. We were somewhat unhappy that the EU Commission did not put proposals on the table earlier, because we had expected that, especially after the talks we had last year. But we now have to look ahead. We need a solution. But the Commission is saying time is running out. Tomorrow, Mr Wissing, is the EU summit in Brussels.
Time is running out. Europeans are saying they need an agreement by Friday. That's not far off. Can we expect a green light from Volker Wissing by then? Or are you risking to topple the entire climate protection package of the EU? With respect, we are talking about a regulation for the year 2035 that will dictate how we proceed. Please, don't tell me that it all comes down to one day now. I am not out to delay anything, just to examine everything carefully.
It is in the interest of the Federal Republic of Germany that these questions are answered carefully. I would like to see a binding agreement for greater technological regulation and not just focus on a single mobility issue. How can we assume that less can be more? I think that's a mistake, and that's why it's very important to us. We already addressed that last year. And that's why it's no surprise to anyone that we're now calling for exactly the same thing that we called for last year.
And now we need the necessary diligence. I'm willing to get these issues resolved quickly. But I am not prepared to sign agreements whose scope and content I have not conclusively examined for the Federal Republic of Germany. But we have come a long way in the last few days. We are ready to negotiate.
And I am optimistic that if the EU Commission implements our request and is prepared to take it up, we will then also reach a result. Mr Wissing, I have to interrupt you. The interesting thing is, even the automotive industry and their lobbying associations are saying, we don't really want this technological openness that you are talking about.
We are fully committed to e-mobility, on electricity. The other thing that you want, which is e-fuels, that would be at most a small series market, so to speak. Can we assume that in the end, you are not very concerned about this detail, but instead you want to block and stop the combustion engine throughout Europe? I am responsible for ensuring that our society remains mobile, that people's needs are taken seriously, and that they have individual mobility options in the countryside.
And that's where I see the great opportunity in the openness of technology in the variety of driving systems, which of course have to be climate-neutral and not in concentrating policy into one avenue. My concern is not about what profits the industry will make with this, rather about what this regulation will mean for employees and, above all, for citizens who need affordable mobility options, not only in the next decade, but also in the decade after next. Let me emphasize something about the internal combustion engine: We in Germany have a better command of the technology than the rest of the world. And it makes sense, if not all questions of climate-neutral mobility have been answered, to keep this technology in our hands. What added value will it bring if we ban it now? Surely no one is helped if a technology is banned, that gives us climate-neutral mobility opportunities in the future and even today. It doesn't sound as if the FDP will come to an agreement with Europe in the next few days.
Volker Wissing, Federal Minister of Transport. Thank you for the conversation this evening. Thank you, and I remain optimistic that we will reach an agreement. We shall see. We recorded the conversation 90 minutes ago for scheduling reasons. Heat transition and transport transition are not the only problems we're dealing with.
In the energy transition, too, the targets and the actual situation differ greatly. According to the German government's plans, at least 80% of electricity should come from renewable energies such as wind and solar power by 2030. Currently, it is about half of that.
Here, again, Climate Minister Habeck comes into play, He has already gone into turbo mode, but nothing seems to be getting off the ground so far. Habeck tried a new tactic today, sending out invitations to the wind power summit. Eva Schiller has more on that. If the north experiences heavy winds, one might think it's a good day for environment and electricity customers.
But that's not the case. Because in the south, which has far fewer wind turbines, they now have to buy electricity at a high price to keep the grid stable. We get a rare glimpse into one of the big control centres. Every day, they iron out the north-south divide because exchange channels are missing. That leads to us having higher costs.
And it actually leads to higher CO2 emissions, because we are essentially forced to turn to conventional power stations, which are mostly coal power stations. A long-standing dilemma that does not lend itself to easy fixes. That's why Energy Minister Habeck is publicly demonstrating his thirst for action. Yesterday, it was a ground-breaking ceremony for grid expansion.
Today, it's the wind summit. We are not seeing yet the approval speed necessary to provide more land and speed up permit granting procedures. It has therefore become a communal task and a societal obligation, and the spirit with which we have worked together with our colleagues reflects exactly that. Five new wind turbines a day is the government's goal. In 2022, it was five wind turbines per year in Baden-Württemberg.
Things often unfold as they did here, in Bretzinger. A citizens' initiative has been resisting the planned wind farm for more than eight years. The mayor has nothing against wind turbines, but he is annoyed by the dictates from Berlin. He is calling for communal decision making and an energy strategy. We are now making headway with wind turbines, but we've forgotten to push ahead with grid expansion and storage solutions with the same intensity.
We still have a big gap there. I can already see that we are building wind farms. We have wind turbines erected that are not operating. Of 14,000 kilometres of new grids, only 1,900 kilometres are in operation. 1,500 kilometres have been approved or are under construction.
We would have liked to have had some of these kilometres on the grid a long time ago. Some could have already been operational a few years ago, but looking back on past mistakes does us no good. Mistakes have been made, and we are now paying for them. And so they continue to buy dirty electricity from the control centres in the south, even though there is sufficient green electricity in the north. But they are under no illusion.
It will take many years before the expansion in wind power generation is matched by the expansion of the grid. Some say that "ambitious goals" is a euphemism for "near impossible." On the other hand, Lessing knew already that the slowest person who does not lose sight of their goal, still walks more swiftly than those who wander around without a goal.
And now over to you, Hanna, for a summary of today's news. Yes, and first let's take a look at a major raid on the Reichsbürger scene in several German states. In one such raid in Baden-Württemberg, an officer was shot at and injured. The shooter is in custody. He is now being investigated for multiple counts of attempted murder. According to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, a further five defendants have been charged with supporting a terrorist organisation.
According to media reports, this includes a police officer and a member of the Bundeswehr. Already during raids in December, several people from the scene had been arrested. They are accused of planning to overthrow the government.
Now to the situation in Ukraine. According to authorities, at least 14 people were killed there due to Russian airstrikes in various parts of the country. After a drone strike on civilian targets near Kiev, people are believed to still be buried under rubble. In Zaporizhzhia, in the south of the country, missiles hit a residential building.
Near the fiercely contested town of Bakhmut, President Zelenskyy handed honours soldiers. According to Ukrainian reports, people were also killed and wounded there. Following the passing of France's controversial pension reforms, President Macron defended the plan in a television interview. He said that the reforms were not a luxury but a necessity, adding that he regretted not having been able to convince the French people. Opposition politicians subsequently accused him of being arrogant and not listening.
Protests and strikes are expected to continue across the country tomorrow. Following the fatal attack on a trans man at Christopher Street Day in Münster last summer, the attacker has been sentenced to a term of five years in juvenile detention. The Münster Regional Court found the 20-year-old guilty of assault resulting in death and ordered him to be placed in a rehab facility for offenders suffering from addiction. Last August, the defendant had first insulted several people participating in the parade and then knocked down the 25-year-old trans man. The victim later died in hospital. We take it for granted when we drink from the tap, and indeed, clean water is a human right.
But one in four people the planet do not have access to clean water. From today, a major conference on water is being held at the UN in New York. The last conference took place 46 years ago.
The fact that two-thirds of the earth's surface is covered with water is of little help. Almost all of that water is the salt water of the vast oceans. Only a tiny fraction, three percent, is actually fresh water. And that's stored mainly as ice at the polar ice caps and in glaciers, leaving the world with barely one percent of possible drinking water. The good news is that even one percent would still be more than enough for all of us.
But water is not evenly distributed. Some regions, especially in Africa, have far too little water. Often, natural disasters like floods contribute to the problem, affecting even the cleanest water sources. In Malawi, for example, contaminated water is causing a devastating outbreak of cholera.
Barbara Völkel and Christine Elsner report. The people of Malawi in East Africa are sick because they have no access to clean water. The country is experiencing the deadliest cholera outbreak in its history. The numbers are alarming. The scale of the cholera epidemic in Malawi huge. For one year now, we've had cases across the entire country, in all 28 districts.
We have had over 55,000 cases, 13,000 of those were children. We've had 1,700 deaths. No sanitation and no sewage system. People live among the sewage.
In addition, huge amounts of rubbish are polluting the water. The children they have no choice but drink from this soup and play in it. The consequence? Life-threatening diseases. Worldwide, more than 1,000 children die every day from polluted water according to a recent study by UNICEF. Climate change and wars intensify the struggle for clean water.
In Africa alone, 190 million children are affected by the water crisis. Many humanitarian organisations are observing a worsening water crisis. The consequences are alarming. We are already seeing increasing conflict in regions where water is scarce, such as in the Horn of Africa, due to water shortages. Families are forced to leave their homes because they do not have enough drinking water or cannot find pasture for their animals. Unfortunately, water is increasingly being used as a weapon.
That is, water sources are deliberately being polluted. Thus, large parts of Africa are among the regions with the greatest water insecurity in the world. What we in the North take for granted is a precious resource in Malawi. There's either too little clean water or too much polluted water.
And that pollution is often due to toxic substances. A quarter of the world's population, around 2 billion people, therefore have no regular access to clean water. These are the issues being discussed at World Water Conference. The World Water Conference in New York is a unique opportunity.
And we must seize this opportunity because the goal is that by 2030, all people worldwide should have access to drinking water and sanitary facilities. We are still a very long way from achieving this goal. That means what we need now is a new global agenda for water, for sanitation. This includes new wells. That includes thousands, tens of thousands, of latrines and new sanitation systems. A big effort.
But achieving these goals, experts say, will require even bigger efforts. The US Federal Reserve, the Fed, has raised once more raised its key interest rate, this time by 0.25%. The decision had been eagerly awaited because the Fed finds itself in a quandary. Valerie Haller, why and what do we make of this interest rate increase? Yes, so the Fete is in a quandary because, on the one hand, it must fight inflation and raise interest rates to do that, but on the other hand, higher interest rates are a burden for banks.
The Fed has decided to raise interest rates and thus signals two things. Inflation must be stopped and the banking system is stable, stable enough to raise interest rates at least a little. In this respect, this interest rate rise should be seen as a sign of confidence in the markets. But unlike other times, the Federal Reserve remains vague about further interest rate changes. It is keeping its options open.
The Fed is not entirely convinced of its course. The uncertainty in the banking sector is not yet over. And in other important news today, the economic forecasts by the experts. Yes. Economists say we are not yet out of the woods. The energy crisis could catch up with us again next winter, But at least for now, they are not forecasting a recession. However, according to them, inflation will remain high and the pressure will only ease in 2024.
This year, experts expect growth to slow to 0.2%, rising to 1.3 % next year, thus confirming there will be little momentum in Germany.
They are not forecasting a financial crisis but warn that the regulatory authority's supervision of the banks is not adequate, should react faster to problems, and increase monitoring with stress testing. Thank you, Valerie, for these forecasts. Token strikes have again been held by public sector workers in some German states.
In Hamburg, the port was closed to large ships, and traffic was paralyzed in many cities. Tens of thousands of employees took part in the rallies. Further strikes are planned for tomorrow.
Employers and unions are no closer to a resolution, with the next round of negotiations starting on Monday. And now the lotto numbers for this Wednesday. They are 19,28, 33, 35, ,38, 40. The bonus number is three. As always, all the information is without guarantee. Have you ever wanted to know, how actors work? How they get into the role, how they live it? How they become someone else, for an evening in the theatre or for a film? One of the very best we have here in Germany is taking us along, allowing us to get up close and personal, not to the private man that is Lars Eidinger, but to the award-winning professional.
The cameras were with him for a year, but that doesn't bother Eidinger. On the contrary. The result is not just a film about an actor, but about acting itself, as Claudio Armbruster discovered. If I play something like this, then I want absolute silence. To be, or not to be.
When Lars Eidinger is acting, it's never boring. He exposes himself, both physically and emotionally. -Damn! -Lars Eidinger wants to be seen. Completely. I want fulfilment. that I can passionately hope for. Die for. This is not vanity, but wanting to go deep into acting. A scene from an interview with us a few days ago.
That's gonna be something. -A cutaway. When I'm not seen, When I don't have a counterpart to orient myself by, then I feel strangely lost. Yes, I only know myself through the other person. And there is a scene in the film, it's a pivotal scene, where I clash with the director because he pulls himself out of this connection. During the rehearsals for "Everyman" in Salzburg.
What are you doing now? It's a strange moment. What are you doing? What do you mean? Why are you walking over to talk to her? I don't fucking care! I don't fucking care about what you say. I respect you. Of course, I respect it. Of course, I respect that you're organising something. Don't you understand? I don't understand. -Can't you see it's a sensitive process?
It doesn't make me look very good. But… it shows me, with my contradictoriness and faults. A beer? No matter what role he plays… Music? …Hamlet, Richard III or whatever, it is possible that he breaks away… …from the text, from the piece, that he crosses the boundaries. There's the so-called fourth wall, where you say there is a separation between the audience and the actor. And I try to break through that. Simply to play the trump card of theatre, the immediacy.
And I think that's why the theatre will keep existing. Because no other medium can compete with that. And that's also something that fascinates people. Lars Eidinger is a godsend for the dramatic arts. And this film is a godsend for those who are interested in this art form. Lars Eidinger is incredibly vain and incredibly entertaining, film critics say.
And incredibly honest. All of this showing at cinemas from tomorrow. And here at about 00:30, you can watch "heute journal update" with Nazan Gökdemir. And now straight after this, "auslandsjournal." From all of us here, thank you for joining us. See you tomorrow.
Good bye. Good evening and welcome to the weather report. Our rainfall map shows the total rainfall until Sunday. By Sunday, we see it how the blue is deepening, especially the western central mountains. We will get up to 40 litres per square metre. To the east, there's significantly less rain.
We also see that on the south side of the Alps, towards northern Italy, there's no significant rainfall. Here, the drought continues. During the night, and the rain comes up from the southwest, moves to the northeast. It's dry there at first, and also in the south. The temperature drops to 3° in the Alps and 11° towards the west of Germany, for example on the Lower Rhine. Tomorrow morning in the north, much cloud and rain as well as squally conditions. In the south, the rain gradually eases and the sun shows itself more often. It'll be dry in the afternoon there.
To the north, there'll be showers and thunderstorms that can be quite intense. Temperatures will reach to 21° in Upper Bavaria, 17° degrees towards the east and 11° in Schleswig Holstein. That will be the coldest place. There will be more showers and thunderstorms on Friday with storms towards the North Sea. Temperatures will be 10° to 18°. On Saturday across the whole country there'll be some squalls along with showers and thunderstorms, and 8° to 14°.
It will be noticeably cooler on Sunday. Have a nice evening.