The Bundestag has extended the pandemic emergency to national scope. It serves as the legal basis for corona regulations, for example on vaccinations and test costs. Speakers from the Union and the SPD had advertised this. Despite criticism, the Greens agreed. MPs from the FDP and AfD as well as the left turned against an extension. The opposition combined its criticism of the coalition course with attacks against Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU).
“Epidemic Situation” is extended for three months
The established situation gives the federal government the right to issue ordinances directly without the consent of the Bundesrat, for example on tests, vaccinations, occupational safety or entry. The Bundestag first established the “epidemic situation” on March 25, 2020 and confirmed it in November. Without an extension, the epidemic situation would expire at the end of June. It is now being extended for a maximum of three months.
In September there is to be another Bundestag session before the Bundestag election. The expected end of the pandemic emergency, as it was called in parliamentary groups in Berlin, is to be advised.
“Serious threat to public health”
The CDU MP Rudolf Henke emphasized that the extension of the situation did not mean an extension of the lockdown. The countries should be given legal security for orders. Left parliamentary deputy Gesine Lötzsch replied to the coalition that parliament should finally get all rights again. Distance and hygiene rules can also be extended without an emergency, said FDP MP Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus.
According to the coalition motion, “there is still a serious threat to public health”. The pandemic situation is exacerbated by virus mutations: various variants are observed worldwide and in Germany. The AfD MP Karsten Hilse accused the coalition of a lack of announcements as to when the epidemic situation will end. “Because you want to keep people in this epidemic of national proportions forever.”
“Stop this bumbling at last.”
The Greens accused the Union and CDU / CSU of legal chaos and attacked Spahn. Spahn is currently deciding on billions of dollars alone, criticized MP Manuela Rottmann. “Stop this bumbling at last.”
The Federal Audit Office had accused Spahn’s ministry of lax handling of tax money. Among other things, it was about the distribution of millions of masks to those in need of protection in winter. Critics also countered the organization of nationwide citizen tests. This was prone to fraud.