“It’s ten past twelve”: How Merkel’s Corona plan is torn apart – politics

Ralph Brinkhaus doesn’t talk that day, but he gets upset the most. Again and again the Union parliamentary group leader yells in the direction of Dietmar Bartsch, for example, the FFP2 mask almost slips off his face.

“It is reprehensible, Mr Brinkhaus, because you are so loud here that the Union is bothering the whole country with its personnel problems. It is reprehensible, these are the hardest days of the pandemic, and you are talking about Söder and Laschet, “calls out the left-wing group leader Bartsch from the desk.

On this day in the Bundestag you can experience a Union on the defensive, that starts with the Chancellor. She, too, takes a look at Bartsch: “You said to Anne Will that we don’t have a lot of time. That was three weeks ago. ”Nothing happened after that. “You say the virus does not forgive any hesitation,” he says to Angela Merkel. “It’s ten past twelve.”

On March 22nd, late in the evening, Merkel submitted her plans for an “Easter break” to the perplexed state heads of government, only to collect them again less than two days later. Now she is trying to reform the Infection Protection Act.

Bartsch welcomes the fact that the Bundestag is now involved, but only to disempower itself and to issue the federal government with a “blank check” for fighting pandemic, as he says. And he considers the recipes it contains to be unsuitable, but he also doesn’t have a big plan of his own.

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And so this first reading of a highly controversial law brings three main findings: The core piece, nationwide, mandatory curfews from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. from an incidence of 100 nine infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, is right up to the lawyers of the Bundestag and the Chancellery doubted as possibly unconstitutional.

Mainly because it disregards parameters such as the number of people vaccinated, the utilization of the intensive care beds and the type of outbreak and thus the increase in incidence (whether diffuse or outbreak, for example in a company). Second: The specification of the Corona emergency brake should not be enough to bring the numbers down quickly. And thirdly, the AfD suddenly applauds the left.

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Chopped up Merkel’s plans: Left party leader Dietmar BartschFoto: imago images/Political-Moments

Merkel makes the start, somehow she looks tired. And repeats the same words of her statement from Tuesday after the cabinet passed the draft of the federal lockdown law. The situation is very serious. “The intensive care physicians send one call for help after the other.”

The failed consultations on March 22nd are a turning point, a nationwide uniform solution is now needed. It is “a law of shame”, yells an AfD MP.

Schäuble had to intervene after only four minutes of Merkel

After four minutes, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) has to ask the AfD callers and a debate appropriate to the seriousness of the situation. “The virus does not forgive half-heartedness, the virus does not forgive hesitation. The virus only understands one language: the language of determination, ”said Merkel. Therefore, she no longer wants any test-based opening projects above an incidence of 100.

But with the determination of the federal and state governments, it has been such a thing since March 22nd. Karl Lauterbach is also sitting in the plenary; he believes that inadequate action would result in thousands of additional deaths. With each of these dead, “in the end there are children, partners or parents by the bed. Every time a little world is lost. And we’re talking about walks after 9 p.m., ”he says, stunned.

[Mehr zum Thema: Intensivmediziner appelliert verzweifelt – Wir sind den Tod gewohnt, aber so etwas gab es noch nie“ (T+).]

Merkel emphasizes that exit restrictions are necessary because the pandemic must now be about reducing contacts and mobility. It is less about risks outside, but more about “reducing movement from one place to another, including using local public transport”.

Bartsch countered this later, like so many others, that it was not proportionate that no one should be allowed out after 9 p.m. “They worked from home, they did homeschooling and then want to go out for another half an hour as a single mother at 9 p.m. – and are not allowed to,” says Bartsch.

Well loaded: Union parliamentary group leader Ralph BrinkhausPhoto: REUTERS

Merkel says at the end of her remarks: “Every day counts, every day earlier on which the emergency brake is applied is a day won. Sloppy applause from Union, almost no one from the SPD, only Karl Lauterbach claps vigorously.

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It is a particularly difficult week for Ralph Brinkhaus, at first he was annoyed by – Brinkhaus – “comrade pigs” in his own ranks, which resulted from the now historical trial of strength between CDU boss Laschet and CSU boss Söder for the candidacy for chancellor passed every word outside during the group meeting.

Merkel must fear defusing the emergency brake

And then many of his MPs also rebel against Merkel’s emergency brakes law, especially because of the curfews. There is also great resistance in the SPD, so that next week there could only be a decision to defuse the emergency brake regulation. Merkel is increasingly threatened with a difficult and little Romanian end of her chancellorship. Much is no longer running smoothly.

FDP leader Christian Lindner calls on Brinkhaus to stop the Merkel project. “You cannot be interested in this law failing in Karlsruhe because you do not take any objections seriously.” He reminds people from socially disadvantaged families who live in confined spaces, quoted Lauterbach, who, because of the high incidences, has been subject to curfews for many weeks sees coming to the country.

And also refers to all the objections of lawyers, as the Perre has been conceived in the draft so far, based solely on the 100 incidence. “Take the constitutional concerns seriously, don’t make it as easy for yourself as your colleague Brinkhaus.” He and Lindner have a difficult relationship anyway, the Ostwestfale Brinkhaus seems to be boiling inside because of the teachings.

“Ah, the court jester,” calls the AfD to Lauterbach

Lauterbach signs up for an intervention. “Ah, the court jester,” echoes from the ranks of the AfD. He, who has received death threats from the far right, has an important point. On the one hand, he feels that Linder has reproduced it in a shortened form, he wants to emphasize that curfews are inevitable for him.

In no country was it possible to get a wave with the B.1.1.7 mutation under control without using this instrument. Lindner counters that in France, where it started at 6 p.m., studies had shown that it was counterproductive, with full shops before the start and longer hours in closed rooms.

[Behalten Sie den Überblick: Jeden Morgen ab 6 Uhr berichten Chefredakteur Lorenz Maroldt und sein Team im Tagesspiegel-Newsletter Checkpoint über die aktuellsten Entwicklungen rund um das Coronavirus. Jetzt kostenlos anmelden: checkpoint.tagesspiegel.de.]

“With this attitude that we explain to each other in a complicated way everything that doesn’t work in Germany, but what not only works abroad, but also worked, with which one could break the wave there, with which one came to incidences below 30 – with We are not getting any further with this debate. We need pragmatism and no mutual clarification of what is not possible, ”says Lindner. He and Lauterbach agree on one point: stretch the intervals between the first and second vaccination so that many more people can already be vaccinated.

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Angela Merkel has to listen to a lot of criticism in the Bundestag, here from FDP leader Christian Lindner.Photo: Geisler-Fotopress

Green parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt says that too little is being talked about one of the pandemic drivers: the workplace, and in schools it has to go back to alternating classes at an incidence of 50. After all, the first federal states are now going to tighten their own rules.

The others don’t have any better answers either

Because the day has shown that Merkel’s draft should not come through like this. When the CDU member Thorsten Frei passed the law, which is supposed to praise the federal government with permanent rights of penetration, with the words, “More parliamentarism is not possible”, the left-wing politician Klaus Ernst asked for the floor.

The Union has been blocking strict test obligations in factories, industrial companies and companies for weeks. “There you close your eyes.” After all, there should now be the obligation for weekly test offers.

Instead of fighting the pandemic in a targeted manner, there is now a power of attorney for dubious federal measures. “This law is nothing other than that the Bundestag should decide that the government can do what it wants,” shouts Ernst. Loud applause from the AfD. “Mr. Ernst, how do you think that this is a carte blanche for the government asks Frei Ernst. Before he can answer, an AfD MP yells from the other side: “Because it’s the truth.”

At first, Merkel relied on a large, non-partisan agreement in order to give the actions the greatest possible legitimacy. With the exception of the AfD, all of them somehow emphasize the seriousness of the situation, but how it should be fought, there is a lack of answers and unity. Merkel had emphasized at the beginning that the virus only understood the language of determination.

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