Status: 03/24/2021 3:58 p.m.
The withdrawal of the planned Easter rest is met with respect and sharp criticism at the same time: While many prime ministers stand behind the chancellor, parts of the opposition are calling for Merkel to draw conclusions.
FDP leader Christian Lindner has welcomed the withdrawal of the Easter rest regulation and at the same time spoke out in favor of Chancellor Merkel asking the vote of confidence in the Bundestag. “The Chancellor can no longer be sure of the unanimous support of her coalition. A vote of confidence in the German Bundestag would be advisable in order to check the ability of the Merkel government to act,” wrote Lindner on Twitter.
Left faction leader Dietmar Bartsch also called on the Chancellor to ask the vote of confidence. “We now have a veritable crisis of confidence in the country’s political leadership,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
The federal and state governments had decided to tighten the Easter lockdown from April 1st to 5th at a marathon meeting on Tuesday night. However, after strong criticism, Merkel decided to stop the Easter rest regulation and to take responsibility for it. She justified the waiver with too many unanswered questions about the implementation.
Greens: Corona resolutions in the future in the Bundestag
The Greens in the Bundestag did not join the demands of the FDP and the left for the vote of confidence. “The virus cannot be stopped by populist campaign games such as the vote of confidence,” said parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt. Rather, it takes serious efforts on all sides to get out of the crisis. After the short-term cancellation of the so-called Easter rest period, the federal government must now immediately submit a plan to the Bundestag on how to break the third wave.
“Admitting a mistake deserves respect,” said Goering-Eckardt. However, there remains an even deeper crisis of confidence. “The government’s corona crisis management has failed.” It is clear that the meeting of prime ministers with the Federal Chancellor can no longer be the place of decision. “With immediate effect, the relevant decisions about the necessary corona measures must be taken by the Bundestag and Bundesrat.”
The AfD’s criticism of Merkel’s crisis management was particularly sharp: “The chaos is perfect. Yesterday like this, today different, nobody knows what applies,” said parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel. Merkel takes responsibility, but nobody knows what this responsibility looks like. The decision shows a “bunker mentality” of the Chancellor who, with her “entourage”, has moved away from ordinary citizens and the world of work.
Scholz refers to shared responsibility
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz described the tilted Easter rest as a joint decision made by the federal and state governments. “Nobody should shirk their responsibility,” said the Federal Minister of Finance, referring to the participants in last Monday’s deliberations. He hoped that there were no “memory gaps”.
According to information from the dpa news agency, several prime ministers expressed their respect for the Chancellor and emphasized the shared responsibility in the short federal-state switch in which Merkel announced her decision today. According to participants, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder said: “I have personal respect for the Chancellor’s declaration. In the end, it is better to clear things up now if it is not legally possible.”
“We have supported this path”
According to participants, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet expressed his “great respect” for the fact that the Chancellor wanted to take responsibility for the procedure, which was so far unique in the corona pandemic. But: “We all have to take it on. We supported this path and did not contradict it.” It is right and imperative that politics take up justified criticism from practice and correct wrong decisions.
The Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer also took the Chancellor under protection. “I think you don’t have to take responsibility for it. This decision was made jointly by 16 prime ministers and the federal government,” he said. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann said with a view to the withdrawal that he wanted to “once again pay my great respect for this initiative to the Chancellor.”