Photo: Andrew Merry / Getty Images
Do you remember October 5th, 2008?
That was the day on which Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück sat up in front of microphones in the Chancellery and promised: “The Federal Government says today that we will not allow the imbalance of a financial institution to become an imbalance of the entire system .
We tell savers that their deposits are safe.
The federal government is also responsible for this. "
Previously, numerous banks had speculated on the verge of ruin with some dubious financial transactions.
But the individual failure of the capital economy was generously absorbed by the general public.
The bank bailout cost taxpayers over 60 billion euros, possibly significantly more.
This Thursday, the Executive Chancellor Merkel wants to line up with her Executive Finance Minister and likely successor Olaf Scholz in the Chancellery in front of microphones. According to all that you can hear, she will announce the following: “The federal government says today that we will not allow the corona crisis to turn into a crisis for the entire health system. We promise health workers that we will take all the money to ease the burden. We promise to pay the staff for the duration of the pandemic and to improve working conditions in such a way that there is an incentive to return to work for those who have left it. The federal government is also responsible for this. "
Haha, that would be nice, as you can see, that will never happen.
In contrast to the banking crisis, this time we are not dealing with the individual failure of an industry, but with a natural disaster - nothing else is Covid-19.
In contrast to 2008, however, this time politicians did not believe for a long time that such an appearance as 2008 was necessary.
That short-term solutions meant that a crisis team would have been needed, that the hospitals and employees needed acute help.
There is something fishy in a country that allows the health sector to be left hanging around with its services of general interest - with all the foreseeable consequences that this will have.
Instead, Merkel last said in her regular online video address that it was now "very difficult weeks ahead of us." We just have to "stand together". How many times has she said that now? How many times has it appealed? And how long should the forces actually last - especially among those working in hospitals? Instead, the Chancellor went to Greece, France and the Vatican to say goodbye. Instead, she received the Danish Queen in the Chancellery for a coffee party, the Portuguese Prime Minister Costa and the Latvian Prime Minister Kariņš for dinner. It had to seem like an outstretched middle finger to the health workers. Especially when you can still remember the seriousness with which the banking industry was saved from collapse 13 years ago.
more on the subject
100,000 corona deaths in Germany: Those we lost by Dawood Ohdah, Bernhard Riedmann and Matthias Stahl
How can we grieve?: Solidarity in Times of the PandemicAn essay by Enrico Ippolito
Intensive care nurse about death: How does a person with Corona die, Mr. Lange? An interview by Nike Laurenz
We have 100,000 corona deaths to complain about in Germany.
Yes, the government reacted beforehand.
Last year it passed an economic stimulus package worth 130 billion euros.
This primarily supported the economy.
But now we are dealing with a new situation.
Before the last Prime Minister's Conference on November 12th, a total of 35 leading doctors and other experts from all over Germany published a fire letter.
The current pandemic situation has the potential to »overshadow the situation from spring and past waves«.
They demanded that politicians should finally "fully meet their responsibility."
The traffic light coalition has promised another bonus for nurses.
They intend to spend a total of one billion euros on it.
That won't be enough, and neither will the premiums for intensive care beds.
The hospital system is in danger of collapsing.
The staff in the clinics are finished and quit their job.
The number of patients also increased in the outpatient area;
the infection consultation hours are overcrowded.
"The workload there has also been over 100 percent for months."
There are enough suggestions on the table.
Gernot Marx, President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), came up with the idea of exempting intensive care staff from income tax for the duration of the crisis.
Others are calling for a temporary suspension of the fines hospitals must pay for admitting more patients than the minimum staffing key allows.
more on the subject
Corona front reports from the intensive care unit: They want to save lives - and have to watch them die Tobias Großekemper reports from Leipzig
Reasons for Germany's corona collapse: The lifesavers can no longerBy Cornelia Schmergal
None of this will be implemented in the short term, let alone discussed at all. That creates anger. Anger among those who have shown solidarity and have been vaccinated, anger among those who ask existential questions in the second autumn and winter, anger among the approximately 3.6 million people who work in the health care system with direct patient contact. It should give politicians food for thought when the manager of a hospital says publicly: “I am a democrat through and through. But it stunned me that we got into this situation. «If politicians do not have to think about it, they send the signal: The banks were systemically important, the health system is not. It is the perversion of the capitalist system.
Back in 2008, Merkel's guarantee ensured that savers would not have withdrawn all their money from their accounts and thus bring the banking system to collapse.
This time, in 2021, there should be a »Merkel guarantee« that employees in the clinics will find more money in their accounts that they can withdraw.
Otherwise the health system will collapse.
more on the subject
Health system before collapse: "We already have a kind of triage" An interview by Janko Tietz
Shortage of staff in clinics: Why there are now no beds in the intensive care unitsBy Milena Hassenkamp and Florian Diekmann
The system of living together works well as long as there is a reasonably fair balance of interests.
But if that no longer works - as it does now - and the carers see that the money was thrown after the bankers for their gambling, while there is hardly any money for their toil, then capitalism is moldy, then it rots, then that will destroy a society in the long run.