Some 225,000 Germans have been repatriated in recent weeks

  BY JUAN CARLOS BARRENA

BY JUAN CARLOS BARRENA

Some 225,000 German citizens have been repatriated in the last four weeks within the air operation organized by the federal Foreign Ministry to rescue tourists stranded abroad due to the suspension of flights and the closure of borders and airports due to the global coronavirus pandemic. A ministerial spokesman said today that some 5,000 Germans are still waiting to be picked up to return to their country, mainly in countries like Argentina, Peru and South Africa. The largest repatriation operation in German history It is coordinated by the German Foreign Ministry in collaboration with national tour operators and the Lufthansa, Condor and TUI airlines, responsible for organizing the hundreds of special flights necessary for the operation. Some have also benefited from it 5,000 citizens of other countries of the European Union and about 1,000 from other nations.

The possible relief of the social restrictions dictated in Germany to fight against the expansion of the coronavirus divides the prime ministers of the 16 federal states. While the head of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, is supporter of reopening schools next Monday At the end of the Easter holidays, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Markus Söder, prefers to wait several more weeks and that of Baden Württemberg, Wikfried Kretschmann, does not intend to authorize that measure before April 27. “Less haste, a little more patience and serenity could help us all,” Söder told the public television channel ZDF. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to hold a video conference with the 16 German regional heads of government to coordinate possible relief, continuity or even tightening of measures to combat the coronavirus.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned against premature easing of contact and movement restrictions in Germany. “The view beyond our borders, where bitter death rates are recorded daily in some countries, shows that lifting contact restrictions too soon can have dramatic health consequences for many people,” Maas told the Rheinischen Post newspaper. A sharp spike in infections could force even more restrictive measures than those dictated so far, warned the head of German diplomacy. “We must do everything possible to avoid that scenario. We need an exit strategy that carefully weighs all the risks, “said Maas.

While the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the party of La Izquierda have suspended their congresses scheduled for the end of April and the month of June, respectively, due to the coronavirus epidemic, The Greens are willing to experiment. For May 2 they have announced the celebration of a “small digital congress” with a hundred delegates who will meet virtually via the Internet. “This is a democratic experiment,” said organizing secretary for environmental education, Michael Kellner. All will participate via videoconference and the speakers will speak from their own home instead of from the traditional tribune. The votes for the different papers will also be held virtually.

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