Local news translated – Oct 30, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Oct 30, 2020

Merkel warns against trivializing the Corona situation

BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned all citizens not to oppose the renewed massive corona restrictions and against trivializing the situation. “With each other and for each other, only in this way will we get through this historic crisis,” said the CDU politician in the Bundestag. “The winter will be hard. Four long difficult months. But it will end.” The measures decided on by the federal and state governments are “appropriate, necessary and proportionate,” Merkel said.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 29)

Mayors in Baden-Wuerttemberg criticize new Corona rules

Thirty-five mayors in Baden-Wuerttemberg, including Lord Mayor Dr. Stefan Belz (Greens) from Böblingen, have signed a letter to Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) voicing their opposition to the new restrictions the Chancellor and Minister Presidents decided in their conference on 28 OCT 20. Calling the restrictions hardly reasonable and arbitrary, the mayors state, “We are asking ourselves, under what criteria were the areas chosen, that now have to close completely.” They note that theaters, cinemas, and restaurants have good hygiene concepts and have had little impact on the spread of the virus. Closing these facilities erodes citizen support for anti-Corona measures. Additionally, the mayors do not believe the claim that the measures will end in November and are concerned that the restrictions will continue into spring 2021. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 30)

Is it a clever way out or just an illusion?

Since the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (HIP), more than 30 professional medical associations and the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists called for a change in strategy in the fight against the pandemic, a lively debate has flared up about the HIP’s concept. A clever way out or a dangerous illusion, is the question. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) made it clear on Thursday that she rejects the concept. HIP’s head Andreas Gassen thinks that it makes no sense if the health authorities continue to try to track the individual infection paths. He thinks that the spreading of the virus is already too far advanced. Like the virologists Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit and Hendrik Streeck, he advises to focus on the particularly vulnerable groups, not only on residents of nursing homes, but also on elderly or sick people living at home. They are to receive FFP 2 masks and rapid tests for their visitors. Gassen believes that this approach makes more sense than a lockdown, which would not improve the pandemic situation at all. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 30)

The initiative “Querdenken 711” cancels demonstration

BERLIN (ECK). The initiative “Querdenken 711” has cancelled its demonstration in Berlin against the Corona restrictions planned for this Saturday. The reason given by those responsible was alleged harassment by the Berlin police. According to the experience of previous demonstrations in the capital, the police disrupted the protest marches instead of protecting them. The initiative has therefore, according to its own statements, filed a declaratory action and is having claims for damages against the state of Berlin investigated. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 30)

Stuttgart First Mayor Schairer retires in honor

Until his election as mayor of public order in 2006, Martin Schairer was Police Chief in Stuttgart from 1999. Franz Lutz, his third successor in this position, therefore appointed him “honorary police inspector” of the city on Thursday in the courtyard of the New Palace. Schairer was picked up in a police car from home and escorted by police officers to the new palace court yard, from where he was taken to a fire truck, and the firefighters took him to his office with the turntable ladder for the second last day of work. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 30)
[Note: Dr. Schairer, who retired in October, was the one who welcomed U.S. newcomers at the Stuttgart City Hall during the Capital City Visitation Program for many years, and answered questions they had about Stuttgart]

Christmas market and Christmas Garden at the “Wilhelma” Zoo cancelled

The head of the town hall is asking for understanding from the market traders: “We are offering to set up individual sales stands with typical Christmas assortments in the inner city area, in order to have a bit of a “Christmas atmosphere.” The booths would have to have large distance and are not authorized to sell food and beverages; thus “Glühwein” or mulled wine is not allowed. Apart from the stands, two Christmas trees will be placed on the Schlossplatz and on the market square. “This will create a nice ambience for shopping during the Advent season.” The Christmas Garden at Wilhelma was also cancelled. As a precautionary measure, Wilhelma will also be closing its doors this Saturday, although the Zoological-Botanical Gardens have so far been free of Covid-19 cases. “We want to avoid risks in view of the second corona wave,” says Wilhelma Director Thomas Kölpin. Tickets purchased are valid for the next year or can be returned for a refund. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 30)

Non-Corona related news:

Germany also vulnerable to Islamic terrorism

NIZZA/BERLIN/STUTTGART: After the allegedly Islamist-motivated knife attack in Nice, France, Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer sees a continuing threat in Germany as well. “In Germany, too, the danger from Islamist terrorism continues unchanged; for example the murder in Dresden only recently brought this painfully to our attention again,” said the CSU politician. Two men were victims of a knife attack there on October 4, and one of them died. Seehofer expressed his dismay at the attack in France. “Once again, our friends have been attacked by suspected Islamist criminals within a very short time. My sympathy goes out to all the victims and their surviving dependents,” he declared. “We stand by France in solidarity and continue our common fight against Islamism with all determination. We defend our common values in close cooperation with our European and international partners. At least three people were killed and others injured in the knife attack in a church in Nice. The perpetrator was arrested. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of an Islamist terrorist attack.  The Bishop of Württemberg and chairman of the German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation said it was terrible when places of worship become places of murder and terrible when blinded people desecrate the name of God. He called for prayers for the families of the victims. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 30) 

Stuttgart park areas offer an oasis

Spacious parks in the east of Stuttgart form small green oases in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. There is the park of the Villa Berg, a historic place where nobility once strolled. The park was built by order of the Wuerttemberg Prince Karl in the middle of the 19th century. The Prince and his wife resided in the Italian Renaissance-style Villa Berg, during the summer. The building was destroyed in the Second World War, and rebuilt years later in a simplified form. Today the park is used for walks, picnics, sports activities or sunbathing, however, marriage proposals have also been made at the Belvedere and the Rose Garden.

Another local recreation area is the Lower Castle Garden. This green strip, which stretches from the castle garden to the mineral baths, including the lakes near the mineral baths stop, is ideal for relaxing walks and bicycle tours. The meadows around the lakes and the Berger fairground have been beautified again. You can also take a walk and relax in the park behind the observatory, Zur Uhlandshöhe 41, which is operated by the Schwäbische Sternwarte or observatory association.  From the platform you have a great view over the north of Stuttgart and the Stuttgart main station, including the S21 construction site. Nearby, at Eugensplatz, you can also enjoy the wonderful view of the “Kessel” or the valley. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 30)