Head-on from February 1, 2022

Lousy occupational safety at Tönnies?
Danger to life on the assembly line

Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil, SPD, promised that the meat industry would be thoroughly cleaned up in the summer of 2020 after a massive outbreak of corona in Germany’s largest meat plant.

At that time it was made clear to the whole world that temporary workers from Central and Eastern Europe were being exposed to exploitative conditions and intolerable living conditions in Germany. With the Occupational Health and Safety Control Act, which came into force in January 2021, the federal government wanted to combat these abuses in the meat industry. But has the situation of employees in the slaughterhouses really improved?

“Head-on” about old messes – and a new law that should prevent catastrophic working conditions.

Refusal to vaccinate in nursing
Are homes threatened with collapse?

In mid-March 2022, the facility-related vaccination requirement will come into force. Then employees in health and care facilities have to prove that they have been vaccinated or have recovered or cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

The law is to be implemented by the municipalities, but there it often meets with great resistance. The health authorities are unsure whether they can also issue professional bans on nursing staff if there is an acute emergency situation and people can no longer be cared for. According to studies, around ten percent of nursing staff in Germany do not want to be vaccinated.

“Head-on” about the refusal to vaccinate and the question: Is there a threat of collapse in care?

Out of the pandemic with Omikron?
Exploding infection numbers

Unlike in Germany, many countries in Europe are currently relaxing their corona rules: in Great Britain, masks are no longer mandatory almost everywhere, in France the discotheques will soon open again, Denmark announces the end of all measures.

In Germany, too, there are voices calling for an “exit strategy” with a view to neighboring countries. However, the federal government is sticking to all restrictions and cites the low vaccination rate and the very old population in the Federal Republic as reasons.

“Frontal” is on the move in the Omicron hotspots: the number of infections is exploding in schools, many health authorities are completely overwhelmed and the wave of infections is also reaching the hospitals.

New German China policy
Taiwan in the coalition agreement

For the first time in Germany, the Taiwan question is mentioned in a coalition agreement. Accordingly, the democratic island state of Taiwan off the coast of China should be more closely involved in international organizations.

But Taiwan is not recognized as a country by most countries in the world – including Germany – because the People’s Republic of China is claiming the island state and hardly anyone wants to quarrel with the world power. This will not change under the new Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock from Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. When asked by “frontal”, the Federal Foreign Office announced: “As part of its one-China policy, the Federal Republic of Germany recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only sovereign state in China. We are sticking to that.”

“Head-on” about the Taiwan question and the new German China policy of the traffic light coalition.


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