News: Olaf Scholz, Dresden, jewel robbery, Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow

the budget debate in the Bundestag, the spectacular jewel theft of Dresden and the first meeting of the new Thuringian state parliament – these are the topics that concern us today.

The red with the black zero



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Issue 48/2019

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Olaf Scholz wants to become SPD boss. At the weekend, when the result of a torturously long selection process is announced, it should be clear: The party base wishes Scholz together with Klara Geywitz as a double top. That's what Scholz expects.

  Until then, he can concentrate fully on his actual job as Minister of Finance. And he offers him the stage for campaign appearances in his own right – a not to be underestimated advantage over the rival duo Walter-Borjans / Esken. On this Tuesday morning, for example in the Bundestag: Scholz opens the budget week in parliament, at the end of the budget for the next year to be adopted. The Confederation wants to spend 362 billion euros in 2020, and even if the economy is weakening and the tax revenues are not quite so bubbly, the top treasurer will again submit a budget without new debts. It's the seventh black zero in a row.

  This comes not without tricks: More than ten billion euros flow to balance the budget from the refugee reserve, also plans Scholz with about five billion so-called global shortfalls – so money, the resorts in the end but not spend, although they would have.

  Scholz, on the other hand, will say that you do not have to be a clairvoyant, that you have counted properly, that you have a sound counter-financing and that the budget is sound. Neat, sensible, solid – these are the political superlatives of Olaf Scholz.

  Whether that's enough for the SPD presidency? And if so, will the black zero be so important to him?

Filmreifer Jewel theft from the Green Vault


"Not only the state art collections were robbed, but we Saxons," says Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer. His Minister of the Interior Roland Wöller speaks of a "attack on the cultural identity of all Saxons and the Free State".

  Thus, the dimension of the crime is clear that occurred on Monday morning in Dresden. Unknown offenders stole diamonds and diamonds from the Green Vault, the famous treasury in the Residenzschloss, in film-ready fashion. The value of prey is not even named in sums, but only described as priceless or hardly measurable – a "treasure of the 18th century".

  Of the thieves so far no trace. What could you do now with their prey, which they apparently chose very precisely? The jewel trimmings are so well-known that they are hard to sell on the open market. It is possible that the perpetrators have to mince the jewelry in order to make money. A "terrible idea," says Marion Ackermann, director-general of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

  Equally dreadful is the idea that the perpetrators seem to be able to penetrate through a window in the museum with simple, mechanical tools, smash the display case with an ax and disappear again with their prey through the window. A spectacular coup with pretty unspectacular means. How can that be?

Test Laboratory Thuringia


In Erfurt, the new Thuringian state parliament meets for the first time after the election at the end of October. There is still no prospect of governing majorities, and that is unlikely to change:

  The ruling red-red-green coalition lacks four votes.
    Black-Red-Green-Yellow (also called Zimbabwe) lacks seven votes.
    AfD, CDU and FDP have a majority together – but with the right-wing populists want neither Christian Democrats (at least most) nor liberals.
    Also for black and dark red it would be enough, but after a short flirtation the CDU made it clear: not with the left.
  What now? For the first time left-prime minister Bodo Ramelow remains in office. And he wants to do it permanently. If nothing changes in the situation, then Ramelow could be confirmed early next year in office – as head of a red-red-green minority government or, if necessary, a "technical government" with non-party ministers, as Ramelow now announced. In a third ballot, he would receive a simple majority.

  The state parliament would then have a special significance. Because the Prime Minister would have to search there for all projects changing majorities. So more power for Parliament? Or is the Free State ungovernable? Thuringia will become the test laboratory for the new political complexity.

Loser of the day … …


… are all who are traveling by car in Berlin today. If you have considered that, but are not going on, think again about it. Because the capital will be on Tuesday to the tractor parking lot. Thousands of farmers from all over Germany are chugging with their tractors by way of a rally in the direction of the government district, demonstrating against the agricultural policy of the Federal Government.

  Stricter environmental protection and fertilizer restrictions endangered their existence, complain the farmers. But their tractors endanger the traffic flow today. Only as a house number: Already on Sunday to have made 159 tractor from the Bavarian Schweinfurt on the way. It is said that the column on the highway was up to 14 kilometers long. In Berlin 5000 tractors are expected.


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  Come well through the day.

  Sincerely, Philipp Wittrock

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