Being in Spain as a German at the moment means facing the situation that many Spaniards are angry about the German government who thought that Spanish cucumbers have been the reason for a virus that is spreading in Germany right now.
It happened to me that people here asked me where I am from and I said Germany and their reaction to that was about the cucumbers. So often I was told that the Spanish cucumbers are fine! I know that! I have never even considered not eating them here in Spain! And now the German government knows as well.
Of course, I can understand that for the Spanish farmers, it means a massive loss and considering the economic situation in Spain this can have serious consequences. But nobody is going to die! In Germany, on the other hand, people have been dying from is virus and even if scientists have been wrong about the cucumbers, I think that it is better to give out a wrong warning about something than not giving out a warning and in the end more people die. The saying “Better save than sorry” applies perfectly right here! Scientists are also just human beings and human beings can make mistakes! Both situations are bad – for both countires! I fully understand that but in such a situation it is better to go for the less evil.
I feel sorry for the Spanish farmers but I feel even more sorry for the people who died from this virus and whose families as well as the rest of the population still don’t know where the virus comes from. And it is not only Germans who are affected! There are people from other countries as well. Even a Spaniard! If it would have been the cucumbers, would this Spaniard not have been happy if German supermarkets would have stopped selling them?
If it would be the other way around and it would be the German cucumbers and the virus would be in Spain, I am sure, Spain would have reacted the same way. It is a terrible situation and really difficult to judge as a scientist but I am not blaming them for being wrong. they were just trying to save the life of other human beings – and not just the ones of Germans and I am sure that they did not want to cause problems to Spanish farmers!