Virus’s radioactive effect in German vote, slowing internet worries business

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golsen Factory owners in East Germany want the next government to restore supply chains destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic. Breweries in the southern part of the country want a more predictable strategy and a better mobile network to deal with the virus. Western hoteliers want to get rid of their money quickly after devastating floods.

After Prime Minister Angela Merkel decided not to extend her 16-year term, many Germans became frustrated and were left undecided before the 26 September parliamentary elections due to crowd competition to succeed. became. Some of the issues voters say are most important to them, such as climate change and the economy, are global or domestic, but many have regional and individual preferences.


As in other places, the impending election in Europe’s biggest economy has led to uncertainty about how confusing the pandemic will be. Small business owners especially want new leaders to help them avoid the pain they have repeatedly experienced over the past 18 months.

But they are also working on projects unfinished during the Merkel era, such as rebuilding the area where the next prime minister was killed by a flash flood in July, improving Germany’s internet and mobile phone services and reducing annoying bureaucratic structures. Doing. I am also interested in how to guide.

In the village of Gölsen, in the eastern Brandenburg countryside, owner Christian Berend receives financial support from his seventh-generation family vegetable oil business as part of an effort by the authorities to consolidate his local business. Thank you.


But while he said parts of the eastern part of pre-Communism were developing well, many rural areas across the country still needed help.

“Rural structures should be strengthened in a coordinated and long-term manner,” he said.

In the short term, Berend, 37, hopes the next government will be able to ease the problems caused by the pandemic. His factory suffered from missing business at local markets and trade fairs, but consolidated direct shipments to customers. Still, supply chain disruptions for packaging and some seeds are troubling him.

“At this point, the delivery time is too long or we have to pay a terrible price,” he said.

Hundreds of miles (miles) southwest of Salz on the Loen Hill in Bavaria, winemaker Florian Reebock is also concerned about a pandemic and hopes the next administration will ease the blow. When restaurants and bars, which account for 85% of Rehbock’s business, were closed during the blockade, brewers were forced to throw away large quantities of beer, which took weeks to prepare. .


“There was no support for the destroyed beer—it just disappeared. This is serious for small businesses like mine and could even put their livelihoods at risk,” he said. “I… The new government should position itself more strategically. We don’t just move daily policies in one direction, one week, and the next. . “

Reebok, which produces beer at several smaller breweries, said some customers feared another blockade after the election. The average daily death toll from the virus has more than doubled in the past two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and vaccination campaigns are progressing slowly. Still, Germany generally manages the pandemic better than many other peers, and its daily death rate, for example, is lower than that of its less populous neighbor France. All three candidates for prime minister have said no new blockade is needed, at least for now.


But 41-year-old Reebok, who has been self-employed since 2016, said his concerns extend beyond the pandemic.

“Germany is not the best place for entrepreneurs,” he said, citing issues such as the complexity of registering with tax authorities and obtaining construction permits.

He also regretted that in rural areas like his, good internet connectivity is tough and reliable cell phone coverage is tough.

“If you’re on the phone with a customer, you can expect at least a third of calls to be interrupted from time to time,” he said.

Instead of talking about grand plans for a state-of-the-art 5G network, he said, “I think we will start with a regular mobile network. That should be enough for the time being.”

Throughout Gemond, near the Belgian border, Manfred Peche does not have time to focus on national issues. He is still cleaning up at the Waterside Hotel Frederick after the Little Wolf River flows into a stream in mid-July.


Last week, the German parliament approved a €30 billion ($35 billion) reconstruction fund for the flood-affected country’s western strips. Given that long-term effort will come to the next administration.

“Help must come really quickly,” said Peche, 55. “At this point, to be honest, it’s really important to solve the problem here. I’m facing such difficulties, so I don’t really have time to look at other problems.”

The floods added to the struggle he and others in the tourism industry had already faced as travel came to a halt during the pandemic and many staff members left.

“We should hope to find a way to revive the tourism industry and again cater to many young people,” he said. “It would be great if we can overcome the pandemic and look to a positive future.”



Morsen reported from Berlin. Associated Press journalists Christoph Noelting in Salz, Germany, and Daniel Niemann in Gemund, Germany, contributed to this report.

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