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Germany scraps Easter shutdown plan after widespread criticism

Germany scraps Easter shutdown plan after widespread criticism

Germany scraps Easter shutdown plan after widespread criticism

Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to scrap the idea of enforcing a so-called “Easter rest” (Osterruhe) shutdown, which has attracted widespread criticism since being announced on Tuesday morning. 

Idea was “my mistake”, says Angela Merkel

During a last-minute video conference with the heads of the federal states on Wednesday morning, Angela Merkel decided against enforcing a hard shutdown over the Easter period. In a brief statement made in the Chancellery after the conference, Merkel described the plan as a "mistake" that had its good reasons but was "not implementable well enough in the short time available."

She said that she bore "the ultimate responsibility" for the decision. Although it had been "drafted with the best of intentions" - to help curb the recent rise in cases of COVID-19 in Germany - the chancellor admitted that the "whole process has caused additional uncertainty, for which I ask all citizens to forgive me." 

Easter shutdown resolution provoked widespread criticism 

The idea of almost entirely shutting down economic, public and private life - which would have also seen supermarkets forced to close their doors - for five days in a row, from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, had in recent days attracted widespread criticism and confusion. 

Much of the resentment has revolved around the fact that the Easter rest resolution was a last-minute surprise addition to Monday night’s deliberations, having not appeared on any previous draft documents. Ministers were left unsure how the measure could, in practice, be implemented - for instance, it was unclear whether the Thursday and Saturday before Easter would be treated as public holidays

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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