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Monday's coronavirus summit postponed as German states debate best course

Monday's coronavirus summit postponed as German states debate best course

Monday's coronavirus summit postponed as German states debate best course

Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to meet with the federal states on Monday to discuss next steps in the fight against coronavirus in Germany. However, that meeting has now been cancelled.

Coronavirus summit cancelled

The next coronavirus summit, scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon, has been cancelled. Instead, the federal government intends to launch a draft law next week, in close agreement with the federal states and the Bundestag, which "provides for a directly binding and comprehensive emergency brake for districts with an incidence of 100 or more." 

Below an incidence of 100 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants within seven days, the existing resolutions will continue to apply and the federal states will thus retain their jurisdiction. It is still not clear whether the conference will take place at a different time in the coming week. 

Government leaders had pushed for Bundestag debate

Ahead of Friday's announcement, a number of state premiers had cast doubt on the need for a new meeting, while leaders in the governing CDU / CSU and SPD parties suggested that a broad debate on the coronavirus situation should be conducted in the Bundestag ahead of the summit. 

In a joint letter, submitted to the German Press Agency, parliamentary group leaders Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU), Rolf Mützenich (SPD) and Alexander Dobrint (CDU) urged Chancellor Angela Merkel and the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, to hold a Bundestag debate on the issue ahead of the conference. “It is important for the two government factions in the German Bundestag to discuss the status of the pandemic and possible conclusions from it… before this conference,” they wrote.

German state premiers question need for renewed talks

Shortly before the announcement was made, a number of state premiers had suggested that there was no need for another round of talks in the first place. “I am not pushing for such a meeting,” the state premier of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther, told broadcaster ARD, adding that the resolutions adopted at the last coronavirus summit gave ministers a perfectly usable framework for combatting the pandemic. 

The leaders of Bavaria and Lower Saxony had also indicated that the appointment on Monday might be a little premature. The Bavarian state premier Markus Söder said that more time was needed to establish possible procedures before the meeting, while Lower Saxony’s state premier, Stephan Weil, said that there still wasn’t a clear enough picture of infection rates, after the Easter public holiday caused a dip in testing. 

Earlier this week, it emerged that Merkel was considering amending Germany’s Infection Protection Act to give more power to the federal government to take action on coronavirus. The chancellor is reportedly concerned that the federal and state government have been unable to agree on a joint approach at recent summits, with individual federal states increasingly pursuing their own strategies to tackle the virus. 

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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