Fight against corona: chancellery wants regional differences

No broad relaxation, but greater regional differences in the fight against corona – that is the course of the federal government. NRW Prime Minister Laschet is promoting relaxation and pointing out damage to the measures.

The federal government does not expect a broad and uniform relaxation of the corona measures. This emerges from an interim balance of the previous restrictions by Chancellery Minister Helge Braun, which was sent to the MPs of the grand coalition last Friday and from which the news agency dpa quoted.

Accordingly, it says in the letter that when reviewing the measures with the federal states "it must also be taken into account that the epidemic does not spread evenly in Germany, but that the situation may vary from region to region". This could mean "that restrictions in certain regions must be maintained or tightened again after loosening them in the meantime," continues Braun. In order to avoid overloading the health system in the long term, it is "too early" to lift the contact restrictions..

Altmaier dampens hopes

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier urged caution and unity in order to avoid the later withdrawal of easing. He hoped that the federal and state governments could agree on a "common timetable" during the upcoming deliberations, he said on "Deutschlandfunk" with a view to different approaches from North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria. He does not see an early return to everyday life like before the virus crisis: "Nobody questions that we will have to endure the contact restrictions for a while longer."

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Soder did not rule out further easing for his state, but made them dependent on developments in the coming days. "If that works well now this week, then we can think about further relief," said Soder to Bayerischer Rundfunk. At the end of the week, a balance will be drawn, including with a view to trade and local transport. The line is: Better a week later than the others – and be on the safe side.

Laschet demands consideration

Next Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel will again consult with the Prime Ministers of the federal states in a switching conference. It is already becoming apparent that the positions will continue to diverge significantly. The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet underlined several times on Sunday that one had to "weigh up" the damage the measures would cause.

Laschet referred to Anne Will’s "children who have been at home for six weeks now, have not left the apartment", as well as sick people who no longer go to rehab or no longer go to the emergency room and have free beds in intensive care. The school opening, however, "went well all over Germany". in the Report from Berlin Laschet explained that he did not expect any "new fundamental decisions" from the next federal-state meeting on the corona crisis on Thursday. However, the situation of children and young people, amateur sports and how to deal with church services will be discussed.

Laschet was supported by FDP chairman Christian Lindner at Anne Will – both of them formed a coalition in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2017. Linder also advocated greater regional differences. He said he did not convince him why the hotels in Leverkusen had to remain closed because infections had occurred in Passau. The SPD politician Karl Lauterbach, on the other hand, criticized some of the easing, such as the school opening – they were not prepared for it.

Expecting concept for schools

Even before Merkel and the prime minister consulted, the conference of ministers of education should present a concept of how to continue with breaks, school bus traffic, hygiene and how to deal with smaller groups in schools. Merkel had one in the past week Government statement criticized the fact that the implementation of the easing measures was in part "too brash", which was generally seen as a reaction to Laschet’s course.

She also announced that further easing will not be discussed until May 6th – about two weeks after the first opening of smaller stores.

Dispute over virologists

As before, the findings of the virologists will also flow into the consultations. Their influence is also valued differently across the Union. Laschet massively attacked the medics at Anne Will and accused them of changing their minds every few days. That leads to uncertainty.

Soder contradicted this position without naming Laschet. It would be wrong not to listen to virologists, because they have so far advised politicians well, he said, according to dpa, in a video link on the CSU board.

CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt, on the other hand, tackled Laschet head-on: What Laschet does could be harmful, dpa quotes statements from participants in the switch. One should not simply move away from scientific knowledge. Rather, one has to act with the virologists and not against them, Dobrindt warned.