January 22, 2020

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Robert Habeck: The Opponent (neues-deutschland.de)

Robert Habeck, Federal President of Alliance 90 / The Greens

Robert Habeck, Federal President of Alliance 90 / The Greens

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

The shaky cell phone video is two minutes and 18 seconds long. It was actually intended for the ZDF Instagram channel. That says the reporter Katrin Eigendorf, who interviewed the Green leader, Robert Habeck, on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

"I am stunned," the latter replies to the question about Donald Trump's speech. This year, the meeting of the global business elite will be all about the climate. Greta Thunberg had opened it in the morning with an opening speech. »We don't have to reduce our emissions. Our emissions have to stop, «says the 17-year-old climate activist.

A little later, Donald Trump had also entered the stage in a blue suit and red tie. What followed was a hymn of praise to the United States and itself. The country's economy is prospering due to its policies and will solve the world's environmental problems, the US president said.

"Basically, it was a single disaster," commented Habeck in the ZDF clip. It was the worst speech he had ever heard. "He's the enemy," the Green politician said about Trump, repeating this sentence, then saying, "He represents all of the problems we have."

It was this sentence that united a broad smorgasbord of liberal-bourgeois users, climate change deniers, right-wing trolls, lies-press callers and fans of transatlantic friendship on the short message service Twitter under the hashtag #Habeck.

»I don't think the foolish stupidity of the Green Leader in Davos should be given too much importance. We know that he did not even understand the commuter allowance against which he opposed. Then where should he be able to follow a speech in English? «Commented user @Steinhoefel.

Former Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen (CDU) @n_roettgen was also concerned: »#Habeck manages to disqualify himself with his criticism of President #Trump. You don't have to like Trump, but Habeck would do well to remember that Trump is the country's democratically elected president who guarantees our security. «

The accusations against Habeck now extend to statements revising history that compare the Green politician with Hitler and Goebbels: "The last one who spoke like #Habeck ended with only a few cheering him in his bunker in Berlin", wrote @MoritzMichelson in a tweet. And added in another article: »The page on which hateful Germans like #Habeck stand who want a« fight »against US democracy is the wrong side. At least that's what history should teach. But in most German editorial offices people cheer about Habeck as they did back then in the Sportpalast. «

The derailed Twitter debate has long since detached itself from the real events at the economic forum in Cologny, Switzerland. Trump will be relatively uninterested in what a German Greens politician had to say on the margins of the WEF. Only the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, subsequently spoke up and asked Habeck to "listen better".

On the hashtag #Habeck, however, a general problem becomes clear: an illusory debate culture in which people talk more about each other than with each other. Because a real conflict – about climate change, for example – did not take place between Trump and Thunberg, nor between the US President and the Green Party chairman.

Protest march through snow and ice

Over 1,000 people march against the World Economic Forum in Davos

However, according to Habeck, there were real talks in Davos. Towards the end of the video, the Green politician was hopeful that he could find solutions there. In all discussions it became clear: "We cannot go on as before." Habeck said the politicians and company heads would also share this assessment. For him, capitalism, as the driving force behind climate change, does not seem to be an "opponent".

. (tagsToTranslate) Davos (t) The Greens (t) Donald Trump (t) Climate (t) Climate Change (t) Robert Habeck (t) World Economic Forum