“I don't forget a single day”

During her government declaration in the Bundestag, the Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) warned in clear words of the dangers of new virus mutants. Diese könnten bisherige Erfolge in der Pandemie-Bekämpfung wieder kaputt machen.

You are essentially dealing with three mutants. The ones in the UK, Variants discovered in South Africa and Brazil are much more aggressive than the virus form previously widespread in Germany. Besonders die in Großbritannien entdeckte Mutation sei in Deutschland schon verbreitet.

According to studies, the proportion of mutated virus forms was in January 5,7 percent. “But experts tell us, that it was only a matter of time, until these mutants gain the upper hand and displace the virus of origin”, declared Merkel. “We have to, be very careful, not to come back into exponential growth”, mahnte sie.

Merkel also took a look back at the past few months since the beginning of the pandemic. What has been done together against the spread of the virus, cost a high price. “Eine in der Bundesrepublik so nie erlebte zeitweilige gravierende Einschränkung der Freiheit, schwere persönliche Belastung, Einsamkeit, wirtschaftliche Sorgen, Existenzängste. Das vergesse ich keinen einzigen Tag.

Alle Maßnahmen seiengemäß den Regeln der Demokratiebeschlossen worden, sagte Merkel und verteidigte sich gegen Kritiker, etwa von der AfD, die ihr Rechtsbruch vorwerfen. Die Maßnahmen dürften aber keinen Tag länger andauern als nötig.

After the high number of infections at the end of the year and in January, Germany is on the right track with the lockdown measures, said Merkel: “The necessary trend reversal has succeeded.” The number of new infections and intensive care patients has decreased. “An overload of our health system, we could avoid that. Gott sei Dank.

Because of the danger posed by the mutants, Merkel defended the decision of the Prime Minister's Conference, the lockdown until 7. March to extend. You don't think so, that a back and forth between openings and closings brings more for people, than waiting a few days longer. The virus is not guided by a date, “the virus is based on the number of infections and on questions, wie sich die Infektion ausbreitet”.

The next steps should be taken by the federal states, if there is a “stable incidence” from under 35 give. Stable hot, that incidence “at least three days” have this value, hatte Merkel nach der Ministerpräsidentenkonferenz gesagt.

Im Bundestag reported the Chancellor, she would have liked, to open the elementary schools later. However, this did not mean that she was able to prevail among the country leaders. However, you accept, that the federal states are responsible for educational policy. The Chancellor and the Prime Ministers had not agreed on a nationwide uniform regulation for opening schools.

Instead, the countries want to decide for themselves, when to take appropriate steps. This probably leads to it, that schools in Germany at different times, mostly in February, to be partially opened again.

In her speech, the Chancellor also strengthened Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) his back and defended them against criticism of the slow implementation of bridging aid III. It was promised, that the applications could be made in February. This is now the case “The, what was promised, is adhered to.” The aid should be paid out in March.

As expected, harsh criticism came from the AfD camp. Group leader Alice Weidel threw the Federal government in front, it not only plunges citizens privately into depression and loneliness, The lockdown also left a mark on the labor market “Trail of devastation”.

Christian Lindner too (FDP) displeased the government's actions. Among other things, he accused her of poor communication. That Merkel had not complied with the demands of three parliamentary groups, inform in advance of their plans and guidelines, called Lindner a missed opportunity. “That would have given the opportunity, that you present your package of measures, there would have been the possibility, to question the scientific basis and to develop alternatives.”

The SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich largely defended the measures that had been decided. But the questions about the timing of easing are also essential. “In view of the social importance of relaxation, children and young people should first benefit”, he stressed.

Referring to the AfD criticism of the legal legitimacy of the Corona measures, Mützenich recalled members of the opposition party, who downplayed the pandemic and compared the number of corona deaths with that of traffic deaths. In retrospect, it becomes clear, how irresponsible that was. “You are guilty of this, and if anyone in this house breaks the constitution, Is it you”, so Mützenich.

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