End of the Hungarian blockade

In Stockholm you will breathe a sigh of relief today: the Hungarian parliament will - in all likelihood - approve Sweden's accession to NATO.

It is the final and decisive hurdle after Hungary and Turkey blocked accession for a long time.

In January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan finally gave up his resistance.

The Fidesz faction in the Hungarian parliament continued to refuse its consent.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán demanded that Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson come to Budapest.

Only then can consent be given.

Kristersson finally agreed to this.

On Friday he traveled to Hungary – a diplomatic success for Orbán and his Fidesz party.

At the meeting, Orbán and Kristersson announced an agreement under which Hungary will purchase four new Swedish Jas 39 Gripen fighter jets.

If the Hungarian parliament gives its approval to join NATO today, as expected, the eternal tug of war will end.

Sweden, with its modern military, is an asset to the alliance.

  • Government crisis in Hungary: cracks in the Orbán system 

Damaged Berlinale

“Perpetrator-victim reversal on an open stage,” Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger posted on

This refers to anti-Israel statements during the Berlinale awards ceremony.

The filmmaker Ben Russell spoke of a “genocide” in the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.

Palestinian filmmaker Basel Adra said it was difficult for him to celebrate while "tens of thousands of people were being slaughtered in Gaza."

In the audience: applause.

Classification or criticism of Hamas' atrocities?


In the meantime, posts with anti-Israel slogans appeared on the Instagram channel of the Berlinale Panorama section, which were deleted shortly afterwards.

The Berlinale wants to file criminal charges against unknown people.

This conclusion to the Berlinale was shameful for the cultural sector.

The scandal is likely to cause discussions well beyond the weekend.

The Union has already identified Green Party politician Claudia Roth as responsible.

“Under this Minister of State for Culture, one anti-Semitism scandal follows the next,” said CSU politician Dorothee Bär to “Welt”.

But before looking for culprits, the incidents should first be processed.

One thing is clear: the Berlinale is damaged after this weekend.

  • Reactions to anti-Israel statements: Berlinale scandal triggers wave of outrage

Faeser and the fight against the drug lords

Maybe you know “Griselda,” the new Netflix series about a brutal drug lord from Colombia.

Even the notorious cartel boss Paolo Escobar is said to have been afraid of her.

Critics complain that the series glorifies the ruthless murderer as a glamorous gang boss.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has to deal with the grim reality this week.

The SPD politician flew to South America yesterday.

Your topic in the next few days in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia: the fight against organized crime - especially against the cocaine trade to Germany.

My colleague Rasmus Buchsteiner is on the trip.

“Germany is becoming more and more important as a destination country,” he says.

"Within a year, the seized amount of cocaine that was shipped to us from South America rose from 20 to 35 tons." A lucrative business.

The problem: Faeser can make contacts with interior minister colleagues and security authorities on site and promote improved cooperation - but not much more.

She is unlikely to offer her interlocutors in South America the prospect of greater financial support for the fight against drugs.

  • Drugs in banana crates: "Part of the cocaine is always counted as a loss" 

Read the current SPIEGEL editorial here

  • How Germans could do more for their prosperity:

    Although the economy is sluggish, the Dax is reaching record highs.

    But millions of savers are left empty-handed.

    Time for a personal economic turnaround. 

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Today's starting question: Where is the employment agency headquarters located?

Winner of the day…

... are all technology lovers.

The Mobile World Congress begins today in Barcelona - one of the largest and most influential mobile communications trade fairs in the world.

The tech meeting allows a look into the future: Which products will we possibly use soon?

For example, there is the “Smartring” from Samsung: a ring that you wear on your finger and is intended to monitor health data and fitness activity.

The device will be officially presented in Barcelona.

But the most important topic will be artificial intelligence.

Telekom, for example, wants to present the idea for an AI smartphone together with its partners that does not require apps.

Instead, artificial intelligence on the device should help complete tasks.

For example, anyone planning a trip would no longer have to click through various apps, but could instead communicate their wishes to the AI ​​via voice input.

Admittedly, it sounds pretty futuristic.

But who knows, maybe this is actually what the future of our smartphones looks like.

  • When TikTok meets AI: Fake news is a thing of the past.

    The era of fake reality begins

The latest reports from the night

  • Israel's army presents operational plan for offensive in Rafah:

    An Israeli military action in Rafah is becoming increasingly likely: The army has now presented an action plan to the cabinet.

    This also involves evacuations – and measures against looting.

  • US fighter pilot sets himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington:

    A soldier set himself on fire in the US capital.

    The man is said to have shouted “Freedom for Palestine” in front of the Israeli representation.

  • Depardieu reported again for sexual assault:

    There is another complaint against the French actor.

    A set designer accuses the 75-year-old of “brutally grabbing” and touching her during filming in 2021.

I would particularly like to recommend this text to you today:

More livable cities without cars?

Thomas Weber was a Daimler board member.

He has spent a large part of his career developing new cars.

He is now president of the acatech technology academy and told my colleague Arvid Haitsch: Cities that not only improve their traffic, but also reduce it, are fit for the future.

I wish you a good start to the day.

Yours, Maria Fiedler, deputy head of the SPIEGEL capital office