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The Good and the Bad in 2019

Each year, there are stars who do the right thing, people who at least say the right things and individuals who come up with brilliant ideas. Unfortunately there are also contemporaries who talk BS and screw things up. These are ten examples.

Recently, Horst Seehofer has said and done all the right things. Photo: Henning Schacht/BMI

Yes, Horst Seehofer!

After endangering the government coalition a year ago, by taking an almost radical position against migration, Germany’s Interior Minister seems to have performed a 180-degree turn in 2019. He said the country needed to accommodate refugees saved in the Mediterranean. Seehofer also wants to fire far-right extremists who work for German authorities.

Scheuer’s Autobahn toll crashed. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

No, Minister Scheuer!

Andreas Scheuer: Your Autobahn toll gamble lead to a disaster even some of your own people at the CSU party convention criticized. Now you say you want to turn Germany into a “bicycle country”, in an attempt to make people forget the scandal. You crashed your credibility into a concrete wall. It is too late to try to look good.

Things are not easy for Michael Müller. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Yes, Michael Müller!

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller has been extremely busy in 2019. He performed well at all of those anniversaries, including that of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Air Lift. At the same time he successfully kept his coalition together, in spite of weird demands expressed by both the Greens and ‘The Left’. Still he was treated like a doormat by certain media and others. Michael Müller would have deserved more respect.

Greta Thunberg came to Berlin in 2019. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Yes, Greta Thunberg!

Many kept on bullying you this year. The fact of the matter is that they envy you for your courage and dedication. Your critics know what kind of influence you already have on environmental policies in Europe and they wish they could say the same about themselves. What you do matters a lot. You have the respect of millions around the world.

Extinction Rebellion shut down Berlin in 2019. They are getting ready to do more damage. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

No, Extinction Rebellion!

In 2019, you have been trying gain the kind of influence Fridays for Future has, by annoying residents of many cities. Your action looks like you want to promote yourself more than policies against climate change. The “citizens’ assemblies” you want to set up already exist. They are called parliaments and you took part in their elections. Give us a break.

Noam Chomsky is an intelligent man. Still he believes in conspiracy theories when it comes to Israel. Photo: Andrew Rusk

No, Noam Chomsky!

No, Noam Chomsky. The “Palestinian freedom” you are talking about in that newsletter sent out by the so-called ‘JVP’ is not being prevented by Israel, even though this conspiracy theory is very popular among antisemites. The Palestinian leaders are the ones who are putting their people in harm’s way and who are exploiting them. They could have had their own state decades ago had they not chosen hate over peace. Noam, just stick to your linguistics and whatever else you do, instead of supporting hatred and terrorism.

Yes, Jean-Paul Maunick!

Yes, Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick. You are still keeping ‘Real Music’ alive, 40 years into your life project Incognito. British Jazz-Funk and Soul at its best can be heard on your 2019 album ‘Tomorrow’s New Dream’. The instrumental ‘Say What’s On Your Mind’ is breathtaking!

Ludwig van Beethoven was born 250 years ago. Picture: Carl Jäger

Yes, Ludwig van Beethoven!

Beethoven, you are the Cadillac of composers, 250 years after you were born. You went through hard times during your lifetime and delivered like nobody else. Much later, in 2020, an entire year is being dedicated to you. You are the good German, the brilliant composer, the superstar. Even aliens might be listening to your Fifth.

Katharina von Schnurbein plays an important role. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Yes, Katharina von Schnurbein!

Katharina von Schnurbein has one of the most difficult jobs in Brussels, as the European Commission’s Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism. Still she managed to convince. “Given our history, we know when antisemitism is on the rise something bigger is going on”, von Schurbein accurately said this year. She even made it into the ‘Algemeiner’ publication’s ‘Jewish 100’ list.

Ursula von der Leyen got a promotion this year. Photo: Ministry of Defense, Berlin

Yes, Ursula von der Leyen!

As Minister of Defense, she was constantly under pressure, because of failing weapons, aircraft and ships, radical right-wingers in the armed forces and expensive contracts signed with advisers. Then Ursula von der Leyen was suddenly taken out of there, when she got a rather big promotion. As the new President of the European Commission, she made the fight against climate change a top priority. And she knows she needs to deliver.

Related articles:
Berlin 2019: Year in Review
Germany: What is New in 2020?

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