ANothing happened yesterday Monday – except for a veritable stock market crash, the impending collapse of one of the best healthcare systems in the world in Lombardy and then the proclamation of Italy as an epidemiological emergency area. This makes one of the largest economies in Europe in the same position as the People’s Republic of China in January.
Unfortunately, the world won’t be convinced by a state-run propaganda machine to have everything under control. That would even apply if Italy should build two hospitals at record speed, and certainly also for the Turkish Minister of Health in Ankara. He recommended domestic quarantine to all Turks in Europe. But there is no epidemic in his country because there is no confirmed infection with the virus, so it can be heard. Given this, there don’t seem to be any good reasons to leave Turkey.
Which brings us to the topic of “Hard but fair”: “European escape destination – what did we actually learn from 2015?” At the beginning, moderator Frank Plasberg found warm words: Of course, one could have done this program about the corona virus, according to his information two “expected deaths in Germany.” But then one would have had to talk about the “relationship between justified caution and hysteria.” As if nothing had happened outside of Germany.
Our cosmopolitanism is a chimera
This entry was paradigmatic for this issue, but probably also for the state of German politics. Our openness to the world is a chimera, it does not perceive the rest of the world. Our gaze doesn’t even extend to Lombardy, one of the economic powerhouses of the old continent. Instead, some contemporaries are inspired by their own emotion. At the same time, they are of the opinion that Germany is the navel of the world, curated by Nazism as a German unique selling point.
For 75 minutes, the five guests did not discuss a European crisis at the EU’s external borders, but mostly their emotional life. To avoid this, only two statements should have been noted. One was formulated by the Turkish president in a one-player game. There Erdogan asked Greece to open the borders to Central Europe. After all, the refugees did not want to stay in Greece. At the same time, he sees this as an opportunity to permanently destabilize the EU. On this basis, there is normally no need for any further debate on the need to protect Europe’s external borders. Ankara herself defines it as a hostile act and aggression. The archaic images of the attempt to violate the border fit with it, as did the reactions of the Greek border police.
Now one could rationally discuss the appropriate response by Europeans. The North Rhine-Westphalian CDU politician Serap Güler believed that the protection of the EU’s external borders was essential, while the activist Liza Pflaum advocated a policy of “open borders.” Which idea will prevail must ultimately be decided by the voters. Instead, there was a new edition of those symbolic debates where differences of opinion become the struggle between good and evil. In the opinion of the cabaret artist Florian Schroeder, the editor of the Bild newspaper, Ralf Schuler, is evil: He dubbed the migrants attacking the Greek border systems with medieval methods as “marauding hordes”. Schroeder then also complained about the “loss of control over the images and the language.”
However, it has remained a mystery since when there was an international right to violent border breaches. For Schuler, on the other hand, his opponent worked “as Erdogan’s idiot”. Schroeder himself documented the complained loss of control: He was shocked by “the indifference with which we treat the refugees at the Greek-Turkish border.” Europe is “almost barbaric,” said the cabaret artist.