Munich Security Conference highlights US-German clash
The Munich Security Conference is a conference on global security that has taken place in Munich once a year since the 1960s. The idea is for international security policy decision-makers to come together and engage in a forum on current and future security challenges. Attendees range from politicians such as heads of states, ministers and Members of Parliament to representatives of businesses and media.
The 55th Security Conference was held this past week from 15th to 17th February with both the US Vice President Mike Pence and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending. Pence was part of a delegation representing the US government at the event.
Merkel used strong words during her remarks at the conference. Newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine saw her “settle a score with Trump.” “Merkel rejects solo runs and sanctions,” the paper wrote in its Sunday issue, while the daily version stated, “Merkel criticises Trump’s solo actions and advocates joint solutions.” Pence meanwhile “threatens with losses of security guarantees,” the paper observed.
Süddeutsche Zeitung similarly said, “Security conference searches for solutions,” but also emphasised the difficulty and urgency of the situation by summarising, “Between Russia and Nato the arms race looms, between US and China a trade war. And the US President declares state of emergency.”
Die Welt took it a step further and headlined, “Growing discord between Germany and the US.” The paper also noted Merkel’s open criticism and specified, “Chancellor Angela Merkel criticises the Trump government harshly for foreign politics and trade-related matters,” when confronted with Pence, who “insists on his positions.”
The outlets share a less-than-confident tone regarding the prospect of relations growing even frostier. Tagesspiegel called it the “puzzle of world order” and Die Welt summed up the conference in their headline “Sorting the chaos of the world.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 16/02/2019
Airbus stops manufacturing the A380
Airbus has announced it will end production of the A380 superjumbo passenger jet due to a lack of orders. Die Welt Kompakt reported, “The A380 is the biggest passenger plane in the world – the pride of Airbus and the whole European aerospace industry. Lately fewer and fewer buyers could be found for the expensive prestigious object. Now production is being ceased,” under the simple headline “Bye-bye” accompanying a picture of the plane flying away into the clouds.
“End of the A380-era,” the paper further stated and emphasised, “Consequences for employees are severe. For taxpayers the end of production means losses.”
Die Welt kompakt, 15/02/2019
The regular Die Welt issue was published with a photograph taken nine years ago showing Angela Merkel celebrating. “Sun’s shining, Chancellor Merkel is smiling and the Lufthansa is proud of the airbus A380, the biggest airplane in the world.” The picture is a snapshot from 2010, taken during the launch party for the A380. Under the headline “Hard landing” the paper continued, “But the high expectations for the giant jet didn’t come true: too big and too expensive many airlines thought and held back with orders. Now Airbus has ceased production. Workers fear for their jobs.”
Handelsblatt, a paper focusing on economy and finance, also dedicated its title page to the news. “End of a superjet” read the headline for their weekend issue published on February 15th. “Airbus ceases production of the A380. The development of the double decker once cost 12 billion euros. In the end, it was almost unsellable.” The paper showed a graphic depicting deliveries of the plane over recent years. Starting with 28 in 2016, the graph drops to 15 in 2017 and only 12 jets being delivered in 2018. “It is the end for the giant of the sky.”
Fourteen years after the first flight of an A380, production will end in 2021, Handelsblatt said and quoted from an interview with Airbus chef Tom Enders. “We mustn’t base decisions on emotions or wishes in business,” Enders is quoted as saying and the numbers were just not right, apparently. Airlines prefer smaller jets, which are more flexible in their use, Enders explains and concludes that instead, one has to “look at the facts.”