“I won't forget that for a single day”

In her government declaration in the Bundestag, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) warned in clear terms about the dangers of new virus mutants. These could destroy previous successes in combating the pandemic.

You are essentially dealing with three mutants. The one in Great Britain, Variants discovered in South Africa and Brazil are significantly more aggressive than the form of the virus previously widespread in Germany. The mutation discovered in Great Britain in particular is already widespread in Germany.

According to studies, the proportion of mutated virus forms was in January 5,7 percent. “But experts explain to us, that it was only a matter of time, until these mutants gain the upper hand and displace the original virus”, explained Merkel. “We have to very much, be very careful, nicht wieder ins exponentielle Wachstum zu kommen”, mahnte sie.

Merkel warf auch einen Blick zurück auf die vergangenen Monate seit Beginn der Pandemie. Was gemeinsam gegen die Ausbreitung des Virus geleistet worden sei, habe einen hohen Preis gekostet. “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 been achieved.” The number of new infections and intensive care patients has fallen. “An overload of our health system, we were able to avoid that. Thank God.”

Because of the danger posed by the mutants, Merkel defended the decision of the Prime Minister's Conference, the lockdown until 7. March to be extended. 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 does not depend on a date, “but the virus depends on the number of infections and questions, how the infection spreads”.

The next opening steps should be taken by the states, if there is one “stable incidence” from below 35 give. Stable means, that the incidence “at least three days” have this value, Merkel said after the Prime Minister's Conference.

Im Bundestag reported the Chancellor, she would have wished, to open primary schools later. However, she was unable to get her way with the country leaders. However, she accepts, that the federal states are responsible for education policy. The Chancellor and the Prime Minister 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 this, that the schools in Germany at different times, mostly in February, partially reopened.

In her speech, the Chancellor also strengthened Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) their backs and defended them against criticism of the slow implementation of the bridging aid III. It was promised, that the applications could be submitted in February. This is now the case “That, what was promised, is complied with.” The aid should be paid out in March.

As expected, harsh criticism came from the AfD camp. Parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel threw it Federal Government before, It not only plunges citizens into depression and loneliness in their private lives, The lockdown also left its mark on the labor market “Trail of devastation”.

Also Christian Lindner (FDP) displeased the government's actions. Among other things, he accused her of poor communication. That Merkel did not comply with demands from three factions, to inform them in advance about their plans and basic guidelines, Lindner called it a missed opportunity. “That would have offered the opportunity, that you present your packages of measures, there would have been the possibility, to question scientific principles and develop alternatives.”

The SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich largely defended the measures adopted. But questions about the timing of easing are also essential. “Given the social importance, children and young people should first benefit from relaxations”, he emphasized.

Referring to the AfD's criticism of the legal legitimacy of the Corona measures, Mützenich reminded members of the opposition party, who downplayed the pandemic and compared the number of corona deaths with that of traffic deaths. Looking back it becomes clear, how irresponsible that was. “You are guilty, and if anyone in this House violates the Constitution, Is it you”, said Mützenich.


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