heute journal 25.07.23 Ukraine Getreideexporte, Waldbrände Rhodos, Bayreuther Festspiele (english)
WILDFIRES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN WHERE TOURISM IS HEADING SUNSHINE FROM THE FIELDS PROBLEM-SOLVERS IN BRANDENBURG THE MYTH OF BAYREUTH WHAT THE FESTIVAL IS MISSING And now, the "heute journal", with Gundula Gause and Dunja Hayali. Good evening. We begin tonight's program with a series of disasters triggered by heat waves, fires, strong winds, and rain. In northern Italy, there was even significant rainfall, strong squalls and hailstorms. The metropolitan area of Milan and much of Lombardy bore the brunt of the severe storm. A 16-year-old girl died after a tree fell on her.
Sicily is experiencing the opposite, with temperatures up to 47 degrees. The fire department is battling multiple forest fires. One was so close to the Palermo airport, that it had to close for several hours. In Algeria, around 8,000 emergency responders are also battling wildfires.
The flames spread rapidly due to strong winds. Approximately 1,500 people had to be brought to safety. 34 deaths have been reported. Heatwaves and wildfires continue on the Greek holiday islands.
Tragedy struck the island of Euboea in particular. A firefighting plane crashed, and both pilots lost their lives. On Rhodes, the emergency responders, supported by 11 EU countries, continue to describe the situation as challenging. Andreas Postel reports. The flames keep encroaching.
Malonas, in the east of Rhodes, had to be evacuated in the early evening for the second time in several days. There are not enough emergency responders to bring the fires under control. Many are volunteering. It's tragic that we can't save this situation. This is the end. We are from the neighbouring village.
We are driving through all the villages to help where we can. For Georgios Papageorgiou, help was too late. He explains that the flames robbed him of his economic livelihood. His bar in Kiotari had been popular among tourists. Now, he's left with nothing. He must start all over again.
It's a huge disaster. Our businesses have burned down. We need to channel positive energy in order to start all over again. While he gathers courage, the flames reignite for the seventh day in a row, due to strong, hot winds. Throughout the day, firefighters and aircrafts are working to rid the island of flames.
While hotel employee Popi Minikorou must continue working, her home is also threatened by the fires. Her husband and son are currently fighting the fires as volunteers. She proudly shows me photos and videos of them.
One of my sons is fighting the flames, alongside my husband. My other son is distributing water and relief supplies to all the villages in need. How are you coping recently? It's a lot of pressure. But we are very happy to be alive,
and that our guests survived. And we are doing the best we can. Her hotel was one of the first to be threatened by flames in Kiotari, and from which hundreds of tourists were evacuated from the beach.
In the five-star lobby, the only traces of guests are their suitcases. Some of them returned from the emergency shelters today to collect their luggage before the flight home. This Austrian woman, along with her children, endured terrifying hours. We travelled on foot, then by boat, followed by a bus on land and ended up at a hotel. We've been travelling with three children since Saturday. We're two families with four kids in total.
We secured a return flight to Salzburg. We arrived with a taxi, packed with the luggage we still have. While the tourists return home, employees are left with fear that guests may not return, putting their jobs at risk. We are waiting for the catastrophe to end. We don't know. The people here, the boss, we are all waiting.
I honestly don't know. I don't know. On the other side of Rhodes, tourists continue to enjoy their holidays, less impacted by the fires. An ambivalent issue. On the one hand, this significantly supports the island's economy.
On the other hand, the fire-affected regions continue to suffer from the extreme heat of this summer's wildfires. Tens of thousands of tourists and residents have been evacuated from hotels and villages. 150 square kilometres of forest and agricultural land are reported to have been destroyed.
What are the implications of all this for Rhodes, Greece, and, more generally, for the holiday destinations along the Mediterranean? Professor Harald Zeiss sheds light on the issue. He is a business economist, who worked for the TUI travel group for many years. He now conducts research at the Harz University, with a focus on sustainability and international tourism. Good evening, Professor. Good evening, Ms Hayali. The events that we are currently witnessing, and those of recent years, what are their implications for the Mediterranean region? Firstly, it indicates that the predictions, which were initially made at the first World Climate Conference in 1979, are now slowly coming to fruition.
The intensity of the fires and need to evacuate tourists was certainly an isolated case. However, the overall picture emerging is deeply alarming. Namely that temperatures in the Mediterranean area are rising every year, which therefore makes these disasters more likely to occur. Is it true, as Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach tweeted, that the "era of holidays in Italy are coming to an end"? He said that, "If this continues, these holiday destinations have no long-term future." It's difficult to make long-term predictions.
The tourism industry in these countries will certainly not collapse overnight We must also acknowledge that this is a singular event, particularly emphasized by the fact that the fires are affecting tourist destinations. There are forest fires there every year. These are particularly intense ones.
Undoubtedly, the news reaching Germany right now is concerning to those planning a holiday there. So concerning, in fact, that one may rethink these plans. However the tourism industry will not collapse overnight. The minister of health's tweet was met with a lot of anger, especially from Italians.
However, to phrase it differently, does this imply a change in tourism patterns, in which some countries may become the losers as tourists seek to avoid the heat? Absolutely. If we look ahead to the next few years and decades, we can expect summers to keep getting hotter. these temperatures are particularly difficult to bear for children and elderly people. Vacationers will consider beforehand, whether it's worth traveling to the Mediterranean during these hot summers. However, temperatures are more bearable in the early and late season of spring and autumn. We will definitely see changes in tourism patterns, which will certainly decrease rather than increase in the Mediterranean.
The problem is that the summer holidays don't overlap with the spring or fall, and that's the opportunity many use to travel. Do countries have a long-term strategy for avoiding the disappearance or collapse of tourism? Tourism is quite important for southern countries. Tourism accounts for 20% of Greece's GDP. Compared to Germany, where it's 6 or 7%. It's therefore quite an important industry. I cannot personally answer which strategies may be in place there.
However they will thoroughly assess how to implement adaption measures. Perhaps through providing more shade, or through areas of the country that experience slightly stronger winds, to improve comfort for tourists. Ultimately, we're not going to be able to run from the effects of climate change.
The question remains: What happens as temperatures continue to rise? I don't see a solution at the moment. There are calculations, for example, from the Italian ministry of the environment, who said temperature increases of 2 degrees could result in potential losses of 15 billion, and with 4 a degree increase, the loss could reach 52 billion. If tourism were to decline significantly, along with its profit, and perhaps coupled with potential loss of farmland due to fires and other factors, might these regions face economic bankruptcy? I wouldn't use the term bankruptcy at the moment, but these are very severe financial challenges. These are not limited to the countries in the south, but also extend to central Europe, In essence, to all countries in the world. The effects of the climate crisis will have to be financially absorbed.
With every degree the global temperatures rise, adaptation expenses naturally increase significantly. This is something that the IPCC, or the climate council has been saying for years. Every day that we avoid reducing climate emissions, will ultimately increase the costs. It would be much easier and more cost effective to reduce CO2 emissions right now than to let them continue rising, which is sadly the case right now. We'll have to implement adjustments in the future, which will cost more than reducing CO2 today. And tourists may seek out other areas, such as Scandinavia, but that's another topic.
Professor, thank you for your assessment. Have a nice evening. Of course, have a nice evening as well. Extreme heat and drought are also causing grain shortages, which is being exacerbated by Russia's war of aggression. Day after day, we see how Putin continues to weaponise hunger. He is increasingly targeting food warehouses and port facilities, after terminating the grain agreement with Ukraine.
In the lead up to the Russia-Africa summit, which begins in two days, Putin has offered to replace Ukrainian grain on a commercial basis, or even free of charge. While Putin is scheming, the EU agriculture ministers search for solutions. How can they distribute the nearly 33 million tonnes of grain globally, that Ukraine was able to transport across the Black Sea despite the war? Alternatives include overland routes, but they would just be a drop in the bucket, and include their own set of problems, as Isabelle Schaefers reports. Slovakian farmer Dusan Krnac mainly grows rapeseed and wheat, about 50 kilometres from the Ukrainian border.
He is facing the impact of falling prices and a shortage of buyers for his crops. This is because more and more Ukrainian grain is reaching the EU eastern border states. Ukrainian grain is not being transported to Egypt and Africa though our countries. It remains here with us. The price of wheat in our country has therefore fallen. The EU faces a dilemma as it aims to support Ukraine in increasing its grain transport via land routes to global markets. Russia terminated the grain deal once again.
The EU countries that border Ukraine, such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria are consequentially facing problems in the agricultural sector. We want to help Ukraine, but not at the expense of creating market difficulties for Slovakian food products. To this end, impacted Eastern European farmers are currently receiving payments for compensation. Affected countries have also restricted imports on some Ukrainian goods.
However, the exemption is set to expire in mid-September, and Ukraine is pushing for the EU to completely open its borders to Ukrainian grain. We assume that the European side will fulfil its obligations to us, when the temporary import restrictions cease to apply. Any extension is absolutely unacceptable and clearly un-European.
The EU therefore looks for solutions that will satisfy both sides. The problem is solvable. For example, we could ensure that Ukrainian products are transported to ports in the Baltic, for example, with proper seals. It could then be transported to where it is needed in the global South.
We would be able to export almost as much through European solidarity corridors as is necessary for Ukraine. The European land route cannot completely replace the Black Sea route. The EU nonetheless plays a central role in the distribution of Ukrainian grain.
It may be crucial for external appearances, and a sign of strategic communication to make a statement that promptly addresses and show concern for the humanitarian risks faced by global markets, so as not to leave a void for Russia to exploit. The EU continues searching for new routes to distribute Ukrainian grain, and for a balance between internal European concerns and the geopolitical task of supporting Ukraine. Stay tuned later, for a conversation on "the heute journal up:date" with the German head of an agricultural firm in Ukraine, Dietrich Treis, who describes the issue from his perspective. And we'll continue with the war and its impact with Gundula, including a new development in Russia related to conscription. In Moscow, the parliament raised the conscription age limit from 27 to 30 years old. In addition, young Russians are no longer allowed to leave the country after receiving draft notices.
While no conscripts are officially deployed in the war against Ukraine, even Russian media is reporting on the topic. According to Ukrainian sources, the capital Kyiv endured an hours-long attacks from Russian combat drones once again. Every projectile was intercepted. In order to speed up German military aid, the Scientific Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry of Economics is calling for simplifications in procurement. For example, certain contracts should no longer require approval from the budget committee.
Awarding contracts must become simpler and faster, the defence company Rheinmetall also demanded during a visit by Hesse's Minister President Rhein. At the same time, according to experts, the German arms industry is not prepared to deliver as quickly as demand requires. Missing now for weeks, China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang has been removed from office. He had last appeared in public a month ago. Since then, there has been speculation in China about possible reasons for his disappearance, ranging from illness to corruption investigations or private entanglements.
Without any reasons cited, Qin's predecessor Wang Yi been now been reappointed as foreign minister. Protests in Israel continue against the controversial judicial reform. Doctors and soldiers are refusing to go on duty, although a labour court has banned the strike by the medical workers. And even opposition leader Lapid has called on the soldiers to continue their service. Tens of thousands took part in the protests last night.
Some people were injured in clashes. There were dozens of arrests. Many newspapers ran the headline, "A black day for Israeli democracy".
Israel's Supreme Court, whose powers are to be diminished by the controversial reform, must consider several petitions against the law, which has passed now, for example from the Israeli Bar Association. Experts are warning of a constitutional crisis. A delicate salvage operation has begun off the coast of Yemen. The UN plans to pump some 200 million litres of oil out of the wrecked and damaged tanker, Safa. The ship is 47 years old and has been in danger of breaking up for a long time. The oil could then flow into the Red Sea.
To prevent this environmental disaster, the oil will be diverted to the UN ship Nautica. The action is supposed to last for 19 days. Solar modules for agriculture that can even be used twice for the same space. It sounds a bit like a look into the future, but "agrivoltaic" systems are already being tested. In Rathenow in Brandenburg, solar energy is collected practically from above for the generation of electricity, and below this, farm animals like cows, chickens or geese mill around, and still have a roof over their heads.
Reporting on the "two birds with one stone" principle that has many pros along with a few cons, Jan Meyer now has more. Christian Knees' cattle spend almost the entire year at pasture. Today, the farmer has brought them to the test facility in Rathenow. They are here to test how free-range farming works under solar panels. Christian Knees wants to generate sustainable solar power without sacrificing valuable farmland. If we already build a solar plant on the pasture, then we also want to make the area beneath the solar panels useful.
Family and small businesses, along with mid-sized farms, also want to continue farming in the future. Climate Protection Minister Habeck visited the research facility in the afternoon. There is enough space beneath the three-metre tall photovoltaic elements for livestock farming. They produce electricity when the sun shines and provide shelter in all weather, including for chickens and geese. The project aims to show how agriculture and energy production are possible on the same space.
If you arrange the panels right, the growth is very good, because the cows can stay outside year-round, and diseases are reduced. So all of that speaks for this as a future form of land use. You have a win-win situation with farming yields and energy. The expansion of solar energy is reaching its limits in Brandenburg. The town of Werneuchen has already banned further construction, as residents feel hemmed in by no less than four facilities, including the largest solar park in Germany. I live in a village, and every way out leads past a PV system.
Then this village life loses its vibrant character for me. I can actually just move to the city. Energy production above, agriculture below: This could generate even greater acceptance. In Rathenow, even the tomatoes are ripening. But the costs are five times higher than those of conventional systems.
The facilities are taller, and they have glass/glass modules, so they can seal the surface. They let in light from above and distribute water, and they're much taller, so they cost more. But an investment on this scale overwhelms many farmers, even though the solar power feed-in tariff was significantly increased early this year. An agrivoltaic system is of course a good deal more expensive investment than a standard open-space facility.
So we need a bonus in the Renewable Energy Sources Act to really get this thing up and running. But today in Rathenow, Minister Habeck provided little hope for higher funding rates. In contrast, I also see a demand for agrivoltaics, so we have to cross this critical threshold. Then I think the system costs will also go down. Minister Habeck wants to triple the share of solar energy by 2030.
Just how big the agri-solar system contribution will make toward this goal is an open question. And now news from the economy continues with you, Gundula. Despite high inflation, despite all the consequences of Corona, despite the war, the global economy is showing itself to be quite robust overall, according to the International Monetary Fund. Only the German economy doesn't look so rosy in the current IMF forecast. Stefanie Barrett, the report claims the decline is even more significant than expected.
Yes, so significant in fact that we are actually at the bottom of the class. This brings back old memories of when Germany was once "the sick man of Europe". While the IMF sees global growth at 3% this year, the German economy is shrinking by 0.3%. This makes Germany the only G7 country not to achieve growth. Even the southern Europeans are doing much better than Germany. They are benefiting from the current travel boom.
And even for Russia, despite sanctions, the IMF expects growth of 1.5%. In contrast, German industry is suffering from high energy costs and a weak Chinese economy. Most recently, the order buffers have shrunk further. When the IMF forecast arrived in the afternoon, the DAX briefly took a dive, but quickly recovered. After all, many of the companies listed here are still earning well, but mainly abroad. Are there no factors that provide hope for better times for the German economy, and if so, what are they? Hopes are really pinned on next year, when ideally inflation will continue to fall and wages and salaries will rise, then impulses for growth could emerge.
A Chinese stabilisation policy could also trigger more orders in our country again. But it's questionable whether that will be enough for a strong recovery, because the long list of structural problems in this country can hardly be worked out so quickly. And the economic miracle of the green transformation remains elusive. Stefanie, thank you very much in Frankfurt. Ever more young people with a high school diploma or technical college entrance qualification are starting an apprenticeship after leaving school.
Their share of all apprenticeships has risen from 23% in 2011 to just under 30% within ten years, according to the Federal Statistical Office. In some apprenticeships, for example in the IT sector, a high school diploma or university entrance qualification is practically a prerequisite for a training contract. The German women's soccer team's 6:0 opening victory at the World Cup in Australia was watched on ZDF by an average of around 5.6 million people. That was a market share of 60% on Monday morning. Today, Germany's next World Cup opponent Colombia won 2:0 against South Korea.
Co-hosts New Zealand suffered a setback with a 1:0 loss against the Philippines, and Switzerland and Norway drew 0:0. In Vienna, free events in the city's Cultural Summer are attracting thousands of spectators. Until mid-August, many open-air stages will host classical and modern music, cabaret and literature, dance and theatre. And they all feature free admission. The city introduced the cultural festival hosted outdoors in the wake of the pandemic. Vienna is continuing this outdoor approach with an investment of four million euros.
That's a great thing. We stay with culture now. Specifically, we're talking about a magic garden, a swan, redemption, regeneration and the Holy Grail. The penny will have dropped for most of you by now. You're right, we're talking about Wagner's "Parsifal".
The Bayreuth Festival opens this year with this work. As always, the discussions beforehand are actually about Wagner himself, but also about the increased ticket prices, the decreased demand, and a technical revival. This could bring two camps together: namely people who prefer, or better said, insist on the classical presentation, and those who'd like to see the work interpreted in a somewhat more modern way. However, not everyone who would like to take part in the enjoyment can, because they simply don't have enough money. Barbara Lueg reports. As if the heavens had seen it coming, downpours and towering clouds today for the premiere, almost like a premonition.
A temple struggles for its reputation, for age-old splendour, for its future. We are already concerned to a great extent with maintaining the myth of Bayreuth. But it is precisely this myth that's wavering. And today's premiere reflects this balancing act, and this plight. Digital Parsifal. With VR headsets, the action onstage is supplemented by virtual worlds.
The idea is spectacular, but there aren't enough headsets. So most of the premiere guests striding across the carpet in a storm today, can't see the highlight of the production at all, because they don't have the money. I have to say we would like to have had the headsets. But now during the first break we've heard some folks say it was a little distracting. There are some images that are really intoxicatingly beautiful.
But I can't really say that a new interpretative level has emerged. Somewhere between experimentation and "old school", the hill seeks its course and a new audience, because for the first time in history, the festival is not sold out. Behind the scenes, the sense of common cause is missing, because in the end it's also really a battle of generations and young Wagner fans like Emilia are still the exception. This music simply awakens emotions in me like courage, passion, love. Every time Lohengrin's overture is played, I start to cry. A theatre built exclusively for the works of Richard Wagner.
And yet, so entangled in internal squabbles. Festival director Katharina Wagner, who sees herself as an innovator, spars with the traditionalists and holds her tongue. But others talk. We meet a Bayreuth insider who sees no future in what's being served up there. For me this is a signal for Germany's entire opera landscape.
What do you do when you eat something with great expectations and you don't like it? You won't order the same thing again. At the end of the year, the festival's shareholders will discuss with Katharina Wagner whether her contract will be extended. Both sides are setting terms.
And the question remains as to whether everyone involved will pull in the same direction. And finally, some useless knowledge: Richard Wagner decreed that Parsifal was only allowed to be performed in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. And here perhaps some quite useful knowledge: At around 11:45 PM, Nazan Gökdemir will be here on ZDF with our "heute journal update".
And that's all from both of us. All the best wherever you are. See you tomorrow. WEATHER REPORT Good evening.
Before we get to the weather, let's have a quick look at the Zugspitze mountain, where today one of the most modern measuring stations in the world gained a new research group. And while the latest data on climate change will be collected here in the future, the mountain's dying glacier was commemorated here today. For example, the Southern Schneeferner already lost its status as a glacier last year. This is how icy it looked on the Zugspitzplatt plateau just 130 years ago.
The Southern and Northern Schneeferner formed a large glacier landscape. Today, very little of this is left. The reason is too little snow in the winter and too much melting in summer. This is because the Alps have warmed by two degrees since 1900 due to climate change.
And soon, the glaciers of the Zugspitze will disappear completely. You can climb the Zugspitze interactively in our "heute" app and learn even more. And by the way, it snowed a little today on the Zugspitze mountain, because the snow line in the high Alps is now dropping to around 2000 meters. Snow will continue there tonight, as a Scandinavian low directs cold air to us from the heights in the northwest. In the rest of the country this will cause widespread showers and short thunderstorms. And it's cooling off to between 7 and 14 degrees tonight, with single digit temperatures especially in the mountains.
Partly heavier rain will emerge in the south and southeast, initially with thunderstorms. Brief thunderstorms will develop in the northwest tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will see blue skies alternating with showers and thunderstorms, the least of which will appear in the east, where the air is drier. There will also be a brisk westerly wind and cooler temperatures of only five to 22 degrees. Goodbye.