The head of the Federal Network Agency brought good news. The total storage level of gas, explained Klaus Müller in Sandra Maischberger's ARD program, is at a "historic high" in Germany. This gives you enough gas for up to ten weeks in an emergency. Things are also looking good with electricity, blackouts are very unlikely. "We don't currently have a major concern in the event of a power outage."
The energy crisis was one of the major issues Maischberger dealt with – alongside the protests in China and the 80th birthday of the best-known German feminist Alice Schwarzer. Netzagentur boss Müller warned despite optimistic assessments to save energy.
“Private households are currently saving 17 percent on gas. That's not quite the 20 percent that we really need," said Müller. "Hence the urgent appeal: maybe not heat all the rooms in the apartment." The heating does not always have to be set to the highest level.
A saving of 20 percent is important in private households in order not to burden the gas storage too much. "This is for the scenarios that we have calculated so that Germany can get through this winter without a gas shortage." The industry is currently saving 25 percent on gas, said Müller.
The second topic of the program: the demonstrations in China. Thousands of people are currently protesting there against the no-Covid policy of the Xi Jinping government. The journalist Kai Strittmatter, who has been dealing with China for years, classified the corona measures: Although the government has been imposing lockdowns since the beginning of the pandemic, “the tough measures have only been in place since this year”.
People would be locked in their homes, and some would not come out in emergencies. "Children died because they didn't get to the hospital on time." The Chinese President did not expand the capacities of the hospitals and did not push the vaccination of the population enough when it was possible for a calmer phase of the pandemic.
Xi Jinping is in a dilemma, said Strittmatter. "If it opened fully now, there would be a huge wave of infections and deaths, which would also cause problems for the party," said the journalist. The high-tech surveillance of the population has recently become even more intensive. "Xi Jinping is an absolute control freak." Strittmatter assumes that this will remain the case after the pandemic.
The journalist described the Chinese protest as "historic". It's not just about the Corona measures, but also about freedom of the press and freedom in general. "Today the state is more totalitarian than it has been since Mao Zedong." But: "People want to be seen by the politicians who decide their future."
The well-known feminist Alice Schwarzer was also a guest on the ARD talk. A few days before her 80th birthday, she spoke to Maischberger about how she has been campaigning for women's rights for more than 50 years. Schwarzer said she was never interested in ideology: "I was interested in people's reality."
The editor of the feminist "Emma" magazine said of the women's movement: "We went ahead with seven-league boots. Women can be chancellors, astronauts or political journalists.” At the same time, achievements such as the right to abortion are again in danger.
Schwarzer criticized influencers on social media: “It is dangerous that young girls are fooled into believing that consumption makes you happy. And that you need smooth skin.” When you were young, you wanted to change the world instead of striving for beautiful skin. "I'm afraid young people are often given the wrong values and lose time with things like that."
Schwarzer said she was often confronted with counter-speech. But the hate is limited, she said and smiled. There is also a lot of love. And again and again people approach her and are happy that she addresses important issues and opens her mouth.
Alice Schwarzer has also repeatedly spoken out about the Ukraine war in the past. In April, she and other celebrities wrote an open letter to Chancellor Scholz calling for a halt to heavy arms deliveries to Ukraine. After nine months of war, does she still think so?
"More than ever," said Schwarzer. "War is prolonged with weapons." Germany should provide humanitarian aid, but also help ensure that negotiations begin soon. "One will negotiate, but one cannot raise the dead."
The fact that not everyone shares their opinion could be observed on the show. Schwarzer got into a brief but heated exchange of blows with ARD's Ukraine correspondent, Vassili Golod. Schwarzer claimed: "The war is not only a defensive war by Ukraine against Russia, but of course also a proxy war between America and Russia on Ukrainian soil." Golod intervened. "We have arrived in the area of conspiracy myths," said the journalist. Ukraine is "a democratic state that has been under attack for eight years".
Schwarzer replied: "Mr. Colleague, please don't engage in such polemics on such a bitterly serious matter. You don't want to say in all seriousness that the statement that America plays a decisive role in this dispute is a conspiracy myth." Golod countered: "There was no polemic involved." America "first of all had nothing to do with the fact that Russia attacking Ukraine.”