What is already known for sure: the coming decade will be the end of the atomic era in Germany. Belief in a peaceful atom was undermined by a series of global events - from Chernobyl to the Fukushima disaster. In 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami that led to a major radiation accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant (at the other end of the world!), Germany made the final decision to withdraw from nuclear power. And it keeps his word. Three dozen power plants have been shut down; their generation has been successively replaced by other energy sources. At three nuclear power plants, the reactors will be cooled next year. And three more will work at the latest until December 31, 2022.
Old-school pragmatists fear a shortage of electricity. But now, at the stage of completion of the nuclear energy exit program, there are no interruptions in energy supply. By 2020, the share of renewable energy sources in the overall environmental balance exceeded 18%. Just 15 years ago it was 5.8%. Threefold growth partially compensated for the loss of a peaceful atom. In a word, the year begins energetically - both in the literal and figurative sense.
And here is another leap in comparison with the indicators of fifteen years ago. In 2005, every fourth resident of the eastern lands regretted that there was a unification of Germany. Former Gadeaers believed that under socialism they had a better life. Under the new conditions, unemployment, weakening social guarantees, uncertain future prospects hit their self-awareness. This was primarily affected by the inequality of living standards in the former GDR and in the "old" Germany. A phenomenon such as intra-German immigration arose: the flight of the unsatisfied part of the population, especially young people, into the western lands.
In 2020, and this is the year of the thirty years of German unification, the contrasts of the “old” and “new” lands became history. The huge amount of budget investments in the development of new lands was affected, as well as the “solidarity tax” (German: Solidaritätszuschlag, or simply Soli), which West Germans regularly paid for almost three decades “to cover the costs of German unity”. The coming year is a turning point in the history of Soli.
It is believed that he is dying - as unnecessary: Germany, so to speak, has borne the burden of expenses. We are not talking about a complete cancellation, but for a significant part of the population, 2020 will be the last year of Soli. The calculated minimum income under this tax will increase by more than fifteen times. That is, the rich are still crying, but for those who do not soar in financial empire, you will not have to cry or pay.
2020 will bring an additional holiday (non-working) day to Berliners. This May 8 is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation from National Socialism. The Chamber of Deputies of the federal state of Berlin made this decision in an exceptional manner: on May 8, as a non-working day, only this year, anniversary. And March 8 becomes a calendar holiday all the time - and also only in Berlin, the city, on the one hand, the capital, and on the other, the east.
An important event for Eastern and Central Europe, and not only for Berlin, will be the opening on October 31, 2020 of the new capital's Willy Brandt Airport. Whether it will develop into the largest in Europe, time will tell. In the meantime, it is Europe’s largest civil aviation construction site. And, alas, one of the most expensive. The economic benefits of this large-scale facility are still not obvious. European Parliament Deputy Michael Kramer and other critics of the project over the years have been seeking an exhaustive financial examination of an expensive new product and calculating its profitability. But we are "growing" into the new decade, when it will be decided not only to criticize the Berlin airport, but also to use its services.
And in general, what will this decade be like?
A cautious allusion to the repetition of the “Golden Twenties” has not yet become a generally accepted cliche. Although the 1920s were golden (by the way, this is largely a Berlin phenomenon: the heyday of expressionism, the Berlin Secession, magical cinema, and much more), but what followed? The Great Depression and the Nazis' rise to power.
A lot of hope is placed on the development of high-speed Internet (5G) networks promised by the government in the twenties. In practice, this means a truly broad development of the “Internet of things”: self-driving transport, smart homes and other new products, thanks to which the 21st century should be very different from the 20th century.