After the massive criticism of the Easter and lockdown resolutions of the Bund-Länder-Round, calls for a new style of government are loud. The Prime Minister’s Conference disappointed the people, said Armin Laschet, CDU leader and head of government in North Rhine-Westphalia. Negotiations were held from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Tuesday night. “We can’t go on like this,” said Laschet. And that is the self-criticism of one of those who were there.
“We can’t go on like this”
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had informed the Prime Minister in the morning that she was withdrawing the plan to give the country a five-day break from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday. It had originally decided this together with the Prime Minister’s Conference (MPK) on Tuesday night, although many detailed questions remained unanswered – such as the exact holiday regulation.
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) emphasized that the now overturned Easter rest regulation was a “joint decision” by the federal and state governments. “Nobody should shirk their responsibility,” said the finance minister. He hoped that there were no “memory gaps”. “It was all of us mistake that we did not question the consequences even more intensely on the night of the MPK decision,” said the head of government of Brandenburg, Dietmar Woidke (SPD).
Nevertheless, there is fundamental criticism of the procedure. The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) had already said on Tuesday: “MPKs that last 15 hours, during which the essential decisions are made between one and three o’clock in the morning, harbor the risk that not all details are clarified in the end so that communication, especially with such sensitive questions, becomes more difficult. ” The federal and state procedures must be improved significantly and “become more effective”.
Left and FDP are calling for Merkel to ask the vote of confidence
The parliamentary group leader of the Left, Dietmar Bartsch, spoke of “dilettantism in the Chancellery” https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/. “We now have a veritable crisis of confidence in the country’s political leadership,” said he the newspapers of the Funke media group. Like FDP leader Christian Lindner, Bartsch demanded that Merkel should put the vote of confidence in the Bundestag. Green parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt called this “populist election campaign games”, but demanded that in future the Bundestag and Bundesrat would have to make the relevant Corona decisions.
It has turned out to be impossible to define Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday as rest days with the help of the Infection Protection Act, said Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), head of government of Baden-Württemberg. In addition, it had become clear that it would have severely impaired the supply chain in many companies. The adage “the devil is in the details” has come true, said Kretschmann. The plan for the “Easter rest” had only come up in the federal-state switch in the middle of the night and was not sufficiently prepared.
Several heads of government expressed respect for Merkel’s decision. “In the end it is better to clear things up now if it is not legally possible,” said Söder. According to participants in the video conference in the morning, Laschet pointed out that everyone in the Bund-Länder group had said yes at the end of the night on Tuesday. Like Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU), he reportedly said it was good to take things back from time to time.
Günther rules together with the Greens. Their faction leader in the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament, Eka von Kalben, accused the federal government of an irresponsible zigzag course. “This is a very dangerous signal,” said Kalben in Kiel. “That means that something is decided that cannot be legally implemented, a mistake, so to speak.” The second signal is like an April Fool’s joke: “April, April, we don’t need a lockdown at all.” This could give the impression that one no longer has to behave carefully, although the corona numbers went through the roof in parts of the Federal Republic. “I would have liked the Prime Minister’s Conference to somehow implement what it decided two days ago in the night, in whatever form.”
Nonetheless, there was support for Merkel from business. “It is the right decision to withdraw the Easter rest period and allow the food trade to open on Maundy Thursday as well,” said Stefan Genth, General Manager of the German Trade Association (HDE). “In times of Corona, it has to be about distributing the rush of customers and not creating queues in front of the shops through additional closings.”
The Foreign Trade Association and the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) also welcomed Merkel’s decision: “I think it’s a sign of greatness when you admit mistakes,” said VDA boss Hildegard Müller, former Minister of State under Merkel. The VDA had serious concerns about the government plan that would have led to the shutdown of operations in the auto industry.