Counterorder. The German government has lifted the tough lockdown decided just 24 hours before for the days of Easter. In a dramatic declaration to the country, Angela Merkel has taken full responsibility for what she called “a mistake only and mine alone”. The Chancellor said she was “deeply sorry” for the confusion and uncertainties caused by the announcement and asked “Forgiveness to German citizens and citizens”.

At the origin of the sensational rethinking, Merkel explained, there were the too many unresolved questions about the practicability of the measure, which provided for a total freeze on life in Germany between 1 and 5 April, when even the food shops would have to close except on the eve of Easter. Conceived “with the best of intentions”, in an attempt to stop what Merkel had defined as a “new pandemic”, the lockdown had been decided too quickly and without adequate preparation of the necessary accompanying measures. “We absolutely wanted to curb the third wave of the pandemic, but the idea of ​​the Easter break was wrong. There were good reasons, but it was not viable in such a short time, if anything, it is absolute since the costs outweigh the benefits ».


Among the problems, Merkel cited the payment of wages, internal organization of companies, logistics and procurement. Immediately after her statement, Merkel went to the Bundestag to answer questions from parliamentarians. “The road is hard and full of obstacles, but the virus will lose its charge of fear and together we will defeat it,” said the chancellor. But theopposition immediately launched the attack: the leaders of the Fdp, the liberal party, and of Linke have asked Merkel to submit to a vote of confidence, “because she can no longer be so sure of the support of her coalition”. Strong criticism and protests immediately followed the announcement of the lockdown on the night between Monday and Tuesday, which came at the end of a marathon of over 12 hours between the chancellor and the regional prime ministers.. Professional organizations had sounded the alarm about the negative consequences on trade and production. Broadsides also came from the ranks of the majority: Interior Minister Seehofer said he was amazed that the Christian Democrats were ready to sacrifice Easter masses, which the government asked the churches to celebrate online. “The outcome of the summit shows that the chancellor and the premieres do not have a realistic picture of the country’s emotional state,” commented the Süddeutsche Zeitung. that the pandemic is fought with vaccines, tests, creative digital solutions and not just by blocking all activities.

IThe real failure, writes der Spiegel, “is not having decided the lockdown, but the fact that politics no longer has other alternatives available”. In recent months, due to the responsibility of the government but above all the fault of the Länder, the vaccination campaign has stalled, an effective rapid test strategy has not been launched, the plan to do two swabs a week has never been fully implemented. all schools, no study has been done on which aspects of social life are potentially most dangerous for the spread of the virus. In addition, the regional premieres have never really accepted central coordination, always preferring to do their own thing, often opposing the measures, even ignoring the indications of the scientific community. The result is a situation of total chaos: «dysfunctional state» and «systemic criticalities», accuses der Spiegel. According to the Bild Zeitung, at the moment at the top of Germany “there is no plan, there is no idea, there is no courage”.

The pandemic situation in Germany remains worrying, with the vaccination campaign stalled (only 9% of the population received a first dose) and a weekly incidence rate of more than 108 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.. In the last 24 hours, there have been 15813 new cases and 248 deaths. According to Merkel, the English variant of the virus has opened a “completely different” phase: “We are facing a form of the virus that is more lethal, more contagious and for a longer time”.

March 24, 2021 (change March 24, 2021 | 14:22)

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