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Human rights, trade and politics in Russia

by archysport
Russia’s summer fairy tale

Russia celebrates the World Cup exuberantly, but behind the scenes things are simmering. Photo: Alexander Zemlinichenko / AP

(Photo: dpa)

Human rights activists protested violently against the host. As before every major tournament, innkeepers and retailers were hoping for good business with beer and fan merchandise. What happened to it? A balance sheet from a German perspective beyond football.

HUMAN RIGHTS: The media took the opportunity to take a critical look at the host country, says Peter Franck, Russia expert at Amnesty International in Germany. Young people who campaigned for a democratic and constitutional Russia had their say at the venues. “It was great that the Russian people were able to experience by celebrating with fans from all over the world that Russia is not surrounded by enemies, but that there is a“ we ”that extends beyond Russian borders,” said Franck.

The lesbian and gay association remains more critical: “At the World Cup, FIFA did not keep its promise to actively promote respect for human rights in Russia and to combat discrimination (..),” said a statement from the association. The organizers had failed to speak out actively against human rights violations and the ongoing discrimination and hostility against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

POLITICS: “The World Cup did nothing to improve the political situation in the country or in the wars with Russian participation,” says the Eastern European spokesman for the Green Group, Manuel Sarrazin. The FDP sports politician Britta Dassel says that Russia has shown itself to be an “exemplary host”. But hardly anything has improved. At the start of the tournament, both parliamentary groups asked the federal government in motions to raise the issue of the World Cup. Sarrazin now adds: “Outside the stadiums there were not only World Cup spectacles, but also new political prisoners, war in the Donbas and Syria and further tightening of the law against the media and civilians as well as massive restrictions on the opposition.”

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TRADE: The German retail trade has a mixed World Cup balance sheet. “Of course, as always, the World Cup brought additional impetus to retail,” says Kai Falk from the German Retail Association (HDE). The grocery trade has profited from the greater demand for beverages, snacks and snacks, other retailers from the sale of fan merchandise, balls and T-shirts or from the increased demand for new television sets. “Of course there was a bend in euphoria after the German team was out, but a lot was bought beforehand,” says the industry expert. The bottom line is that retail has ultimately benefited from the World Cup.

BREWERIES: Even at the German Brewers Association, the moaning about the early elimination of the German eleven in view of the persistently beautiful summer weather is limited. A spokesman for the association emphasized that experience has shown that more beer is drunk than usual during the summer weeks. But it also applies: “A good summer is still the best guarantee for beer sales. The summer temperatures in May and June have boosted demand considerably. “

RESTAURANTS: They had put up canvases, hired waiters, and stocked beer. But after the preliminary round of the German team, the World Cup was also rather disappointing for the innkeepers in this country. “The hopes of the restaurateurs for significantly higher sales through the World Cup have unfortunately not been fulfilled due to the early departure of the German team,” says the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. The result of the World Cup is therefore rather disappointing. “Hopefully the good weather will continue to attract many people to the beer gardens, beach bars and the restaurant terraces.”

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