stern Editor-in-Chief: Everything is getting more expensive - are we being ripped off? Gregor Peter Schmitz on the current star

Dear reader,</p>the joke is corny, I know, but given my state of shock, I'm hoping for mitigating circumstances.

stern Editor-in-Chief: Everything is getting more expensive - are we being ripped off? Gregor Peter Schmitz on the current star

Dear reader,

the joke is corny, I know, but given my state of shock, I'm hoping for mitigating circumstances. When, unsuspectingly, I walked into an ice cream parlor on the Easter weekend and started paying, the requested sum seemed so astronomical that I could only stammer: "I didn't really want to buy the shop." 2.20 euros were called for each ball. Stunned, I looked at our seven-month-old twins in the stroller in front of me. Currently you can still fod it off with milk, sometimes with porridge; they're not crying out for ice cream yet. How (expensive) is that going to be in a year?

Of course, the owner of the ice cream parlor could give all sorts of reasons for the price increase: the skyrocketing price for sugar, for ice cream cones, even for a binding agent called locust bean gum that was completely unknown to me but was apparently essential. And then the higher costs for electricity, wages, rent ... No, of course he didn't take advantage of the situation to increase his margin on this sunny Easter weekend.

I heard the words well, but I lacked the faith like many price-plagued Germans. Food alone has become more expensive on average by more than 20 percent in one year. Our cover team around Stefan Schmitz writes: "It's been like this for three years. Crisis is followed by crisis, pandemic by war, delivery problems in Asia by shortage of goods in our country. Always - or at least almost always - prices go up. But who puts up with it money? And if we just accept what the new price tags say, could we be ripped off?"

Find answers here:

It sounded so harmonious: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France, wanted to travel to Beijing together - to present a united Europe. The travel details then turned out differently: Von der Leyen had to fly the line, she got a handshake and a short meeting from the Chinese. Macron jetted in in his magnificent presidential plane, was received with military honors and sat alone with President Xi for around four hours, enjoying tea. While von der Leyen then spoke rather coolly about China's role in the Ukraine conflict, for example, Macron was extremely understanding of the Chinese. He went as far as saying that Europe must become strategically independent of the Americans and should not allow itself to be embroiled in conflicts such as the one over Taiwan, which do not concern Europe.

Such sentences have been said by French presidents since Charles de Gaulle. We Germans were always well advised to classify them: the USA remains our most important partner, followed by France. Macron wants to come to Berlin for a state visit at the beginning of July. Then Chancellor Olaf Scholz will tell him personally, hopefully.

As head of Gesamtmetall, Stefan Wolf is the top representative of metal employers, and a vocal one at that. In interviews, for example, he advised employees not to ask for more wages, inflation or not – and people would have to work until they are 70, please. For himself, Wolf seems to apply less strict standards, according to stern research, he is said to have employed his cleaning help for years on the black market, which is why a case is being brought against him by the Tübingen public prosecutor's office. It has now become known that Wolf, 61, will be giving up his long-time job as head of the automotive supplier Elring-Klinger – and maybe soon his top position at the employers' association as well? Of course, the ongoing investigations are not to blame, emphasizes Wolf. But maybe they simply showed that not everyone up to 70 is suitable for managerial jobs?

Cordially you,

Gregor-Peter Schmitz

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