Saturday, 16 December 2017 | News today: 0

What kind of crisis are the Germans preparing for?

German citizens recently had the opportunity to face the fear, panic and uncertainty that most of the Balkan citizens, almost, regularly have experienced in the last 70 years. Yugoslavs because of the conflict with Russia about the Informbiro, Slovenians in the 1991 June War, Croats and Bosnians during the four-year war from 1992 to 1995, Serbs, Montenegrins and Kosovars during the NATO attacks in 1999 and Macedonians in 2001, and without a request from the authorities, they found themselves in situations when they had to stockpile food, water, medicine and other supplies out of fear of war and other crises. The members of the wealthiest and most powerful European nation - the Germans, have now experienced that stress. They were advised by the German Federal Government to stockpile supplies for at least ten days.

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Columnist: Goran Momiroski

That the world is no longer the same as once was, besides the constant terrorist attacks, collateral bombing that kills innocent people, suicide attacks, shows the latest German concept of civil defence, which after being approved by the federal ministers it needs to be passed by the Federal Parliament or the Bundestag. And according to the new concept of civil defence, citizens need to stockpile water and food for at least ten days, as much as the period of emergency caused by natural disasters or other reasons caused by man would last. According to analysis, in the period of ten days after a catastrophe relief services might not be functional and therefore citizens should prepare to go through a crisis situation by themselves. Practically, in a situation when the German economy is flourishing, when unemployment is at a record low, when Germany increased the budget of the Army and the number of troops, when Germany has the most advanced system for tracking potential terrorists and natural disasters, the German government on Sunday for the first time since the Cold War has advised its citizens to stockpile supplies.

An attack on German territory is unlikely

The 69 -page document, which proposes a new concept of civil defence and is prepared by the Ministry of Interior in cooperation with experts from the Army and other government agencies and authorities, admits that an attack on German territory, requiring conventional defence of the nation, is unlikely. However, major threats to national security in the future are not excluded and that’s why additional measures are needed, such as stockpiling water and food. According to the opposition, the government is spreading panic and fear. For some of the opposition, the concept of civil defense of the Minister of Interior is artificially creating fear of crisis situations for political purposes. The proposed concept that is to succeed the old plan for civil defence, older than 20 years, was criticized on social networks, where under the hashtag “panic buying” people posted hundreds of critical comments on the request of the government to stockpile food for 10 days and water for at least 5 days. Minister De Maizière is noted to be needlessly unsettling the citizens, defocusing the public from the issue with the unpreparedness of the police to deal with radical individuals that several times this summer shocked the German public killing civilians in various incidents. The majority of Germans welcomed the advice of the Government with cynicism, but with no real reaction. Unlike the Balkans, where, even without a public call from the authorities, with every rumor of crisis shops are emptied immediately, in Germany the call of the Interior Ministry caused scarcely any crowds in the stores.

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Supplies

In Germany there are over 5,000 public bunkers and shelters built by the state institutions. They are located in schools, public buildings, private homes, but they can’t provide shelter for all citizens. For representatives of the Government there is a special bunker located 30 km from the old capital, Bonn, but there is no information whether there is a similar facility in Berlin or in its vicinity. According to the German legislation, all shelters built during the Cold War should be maintained and should not be used for other purposes. At the same time, the state has stored huge quantities of food that would be used in an emergency on secret locations.

What are the reasons for the Government’s call?

Many German citizens have recognized certain threats in the Government’s call. Some of them believe that the Government in Berlin is not telling the whole reason for the call to stockpile food and water. Some of them are convinced that the German security agencies have specific information about planned attacks on water supplies, rivers and lakes that have been providing drinking water for the population, about possible incidents that could contaminate large quantities of food, crops or water that is used for irrigation of fields planted with fruit and vegetables and other consumer products. There are others who believe that federal authorities have information about abrupt climate changes and natural disasters that could fundamentally shake the comfortable life of the most powerful European state. The truth lies, according to the writings in the media and on social networks, somewhere in the middle. The Government is not hiding that unexpected security incidents or natural disasters are likely to happen such as those in May, when intensive rainfall in the southern part of the country killed a dozen people and several towns and villages for weeks couldn’t stabilize after the storm that caused chaos and disrupted traffic for several hours in Berlin, which has a population of about 4 million.