In the Bundestag, the Chancellor defends the “breakwater shutdown” – and emphasizes that the debate about the new measures strengthens democracy. But during her speech, Parliament becomes uneasy.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed the broad debate about the tough anti-corona measures and warned against populism. “Critical debate does not weaken democracy, it strengthens it,” said the CDU politician in her government statement in the Bundestag in Berlin.
But she also warned: “Soothing wishful thinking and populist trivialization would not only be unrealistic. It would be irresponsible.” She added: “Lies and disinformation, conspiracies and hatred are damaging not only the democratic debate but also the fight against the virus.”
The speech was accompanied by heckling
During the declaration there were an unusually high number of heckling calls by the AfD came. President of the Bundestag German politican was forced to interrupt Merkel and urge MPs to discipline. You can see the scenes in the video at the top of the article or here.
Schäuble emphasized that the country was in an extraordinarily difficult situation. When the AfD MPs interrupted him with heckling, he warned: “If you interrupt the president, you will immediately get calls to order, that’s dangerous.”
“Suitable, necessary and proportionate”
Merkel defended the drastic cuts against the uncontrolled spread of the corona pathogen in Germany as necessary. “The measures we are taking now are suitable, necessary and proportionate,” said the Chancellor in the Bundestag.
The general contact restrictions should primarily serve to protect risk groups. The danger that more and more relatives are infected is great. It is simply impossible to completely shield those at particular risk, stressed Merkel: “That’s why the other concepts don’t convince me.” The only possibility is therefore to interrupt the increase in the number of infections by systematically reducing contacts.
“I understand the frustration”
Merkel showed understanding that many people are annoyed about the renewed closings – for example in the catering trade. “I understand the frustration, yes the desperation, especially in these areas,” she said. Many had developed hygiene concepts and were now wondering whether their efforts had been in vain. “They’re not,” Merkel promised. The concepts would soon come into effect again if the current infection rate was contained.
Merkel also called again to avoid unnecessary personal encounters: “Just as we humans have already overcome so many major problems in our history, each and every one of us can actively contribute to us in the pandemic Coping with the pandemic by joining forces, “said the CDU politician. “And actively contribute to it, which in this case means: renouncing any contact that is not absolutely necessary. That is precisely the core of fighting pandemic, on which all our measures start.”
Merkel put the population in the mood for difficult months, but she was also confident. “Winter is going to be difficult. Four long, difficult months. But it will end,” she said. In the past eight months we have already learned and stood by each other together. “That is what distinguishes this society. This willingness to help, this public spirit are what make me feel confident.”
The virus is a European challenge
With a view to Europe, Merkel emphasized that the common fight against the Corona-Pandemie decisive for the future of the continent. “How we deal with the pandemic at European level (…) will also have a decisive influence on how the performance of Europe and thus the legitimacy of our social and economic system are assessed worldwide,” she said. Europe faces tough global competition.
The neighboring countries are also badly affected by the virus. They would take drastic measures. “Nevertheless, I am convinced that we in Europe are better prepared for the current situation than at the beginning of the pandemic.” There is also European cohesion in the vaccine supply. So the preparations for the vaccination went – also in Germany. In addition, Germany is intensively coordinating with its partners about immigration and coordinating with them Corona-Warn-App.
The federal and state governments agreed on Wednesday to break the second wave of corona infections with strict protective measures. Strict contact restrictions for citizens will apply from Monday, and restaurants, cultural establishments and numerous other facilities will have to close. The rules should apply until the end of November.