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Merkel's Emergency Brakes Act comes into force today - Rule confusion feared: "Will unsettle people"


After the Bundestag, the Bundesrat approves a nationwide Corona emergency brake. But there is some serious criticism of Angela Merkel's legislative initiative by the German government. The news ticker.

After the Bundestag, the Bundesrat approves a nationwide Corona emergency brake.

But there is some serious criticism of Angela Merkel's legislative initiative by the German government.

The news ticker.

  • After the Bundestag *, the Bundesrat * also approves the federal corona emergency brake *.

  • The

    nationwide Corona * emergency brake is

    causing some serious criticism.

    Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signs the law anyway.

  • This

    news ticker on the tightened Infection Protection Act

    is updated regularly.

Update from April 23, 7:12 a.m.:

People in Germany have to be prepared for new corona restrictions from the weekend. The new Infection Protection Act comes into force this Friday, in counties and cities with a seven-day incidence of over 100 in the past three days, the federal emergency brake should automatically apply from Saturday, as the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Berlin explained. Ministry spokesman Steve Alter pointed out that in these counties and cities, the authorities responsible under state law would have to make known the action of the emergency brake from Saturday on Friday. The criticism from the federal states of the regulations has meanwhile continued, and local authorities are also dissatisfied.

Criticism of the new regulations comes from the German District Association.

"The federal emergency brake is not the beneficial instrument for which it is believed," said District Assembly President Reinhard Sager of the "Rheinische Post" (Friday).

The possibilities of the countries would be limited to react flexibly and precisely to the infection occurrence on site.

The regulatory situation becomes "even more confusing, because below 100 state and district regulations can still apply and above 100 there is the possibility of stricter measures," criticized Sager.

Corona lockdown: criticism of the Merkel emergency brake law - "will unsettle people"

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig complained that the law did not keep what Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had promised. The SPD politician criticized the "Rheinische Post" (Friday) for the fact that the rules change if the incidence value is above 100 for three days and below this limit after five days. “This can lead to constant back and forth with the exit restrictions, for example. That will unsettle people, ”warned Schwesig. Your country will stick to the protective measures that go beyond those of the federal government.

Update from April 22nd, 9:53 p.m

.: With the federal emergency brake, large parts of Saarland must return to lockdown: After the amended Infection

Protection Act

came into force, the federal emergency brake will take effect on Saturday in districts or cities, in which the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants is over 100 for three days in a row within seven days. And that is currently the case in three out of five districts in Saarland and in the Saarbrücken regional association (as of Thursday).

Saarland's Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) is quite critical of the changes (see update from April 22nd at 12.30 p.m.).

In the Federal Council, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's successor made a clear statement again on Thursday.

One has to ask the question: “Do we want to keep stereotypically answering with lockdown, with contact bans or exit restrictions?” He asked.

"We need something that does not permanently expose trade, industry, culture and people as a whole to this back and forth."

Merkel's Corona Emergency Brake: New Infection Protection Act published in the Federal Law Gazette

Update from April 22nd, 5:58 p.m

.: The amended Infection


Act with the federal emergency brake comes into force this Friday.

After it passed the Federal Council on Thursday and was signed by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, it has now been published in the Federal Law Gazette.

The statutory Corona emergency brake is heavily criticized because of the curfew.

Does Chancellor Angela Merkel * really have enough backing?

A search for clues (see link).

Update from April 22nd, 3:15 p.m.:

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has commented on her emergency braking law. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has since signed the law. The emergency brake had previously been literally dismantled in the Federal Council - also by the Prime Minister of the CDU. However, none of the critics had taken the necessary measures to prevent the law. “I am aware that the popularity of the emergency brake is limited,” said Merkel on Thursday in a pre-recorded speech at the digital “Family Entrepreneur Days”.

“But we need them as a breakwater for the third wave,” the Chancellor defended her law.

The nationwide restrictions on the amended Infection Protection Act would create uniform, clear rules.

"Because the problem was that the previous emergency brake was implemented too slowly or was designed differently in individual regions," said Merkel.

"That made it unnecessarily difficult for citizens to understand which regulations apply where and when."

Merkel's Corona emergency brake: Constitutional complaint from Bavaria's Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger

Update from April 22nd, 3:05 pm:

In an interview with "Welt live", Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs, Hubert Aiwanger, spoke again about the Corona emergency brake. The planned constitutional complaint of the Free Voters about the emergency brake had previously been presented at a press conference. “In this differentiated form, the curfew does not do justice to the situation. It's a huge encroachment on civil liberties, ”said Aiwanger. Exit restrictions measured in terms of an incidence independent of possible local clusters “missed the point. This can not be right".

Aiwanger believes that the federal government has "failed terribly in many respects."

The impression that “Berlin could do better” would be “disempowerment of one's own soul”.

Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs accuses the federal government of making decisions “on site” “outside the field” and far away from the citizens.

Some of the rules of the Corona emergency brake are "schizophrenic".

Update from April 22nd, 3 p.m

.: It's done.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed the new Infection Protection Act with the Federal Emergency Brake.

The Office of the Federal President announced on Thursday.

The law now only needs to be published in the Federal Law Gazette to come into force.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Federal President told AFP that the required test had preceded the issue.

Merkel's Corona emergency brake: Federal Council waves tightened infection protection law - with a lot of criticism

Update from April 22nd, 1:17 p.m.:

The amendment to the Infection Protection Act with the federal emergency brake has passed the Federal Council.

No motion to appeal to the mediation committee was made in the regional chamber on Thursday.

At the same time, several CDU and SPD ministers-presidents criticized the design of the legislative initiative of their own federal government.

As with many other points in the Corona crisis, there is still a lot to talk about.

For example, Saxony-Anhalt's Reiner Haseloff spoke of “damage to federalism that is difficult to cure”.

Due to the amended and tightened Infection Protection Act, significant competencies of the federal states are transferred to the federal government, for example in school policy.

In order for the amended Infection Protection Act, including the anchored Corona emergency brake, to take effect, it still has to be signed by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Among other things, the law provides for a night curfew from 10 p.m. if the incidence is high.

Merkel's Corona emergency brake in the Federal Council: Jens Spahn wants to lift vaccination prioritization soon

Update from April 22nd, 12.55 p.m .: 

"I assume that we can lift the vaccination prioritization from June," said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) in the Federal Council.

Update from April 22nd, 12:47 p.m.:

Before the vote, Federal Health


Jens Spahn (CDU) speaks.

He defends the corona policy - from the German test strategy to the vaccination campaign.

Germany could soon claim the title of “world champion” in testing, says Spahn, not without pride.

He would rather celebrate Germany's successes in the corona pandemic, "because we recently fell in love with failure."

He also rejects many of the prime ministers' criticisms.

“Nobody has to wait for the emergency brake,” says Spahn.

Each federal state could take the measures beforehand.

Merkel's Corona emergency brake in the Federal Council: Bodo Ramelow doubts the feasibility of the Corona rules

Update from April 22nd, 12:45 p.m.: It

is the turn of Bodo Ramelow from Thuringia, the only Prime Minister of the left, and the only state chief besides Winfried Kretschmann (The Greens) from Baden-Württemberg, who is not one of the parties from the grand coalition ( GroKo) in the federal government.

"All of the previous speakers spoke from the bottom of my heart," says Ramelow.

He regrets that there is still no “uniform step-by-step plan” and that only the incidence is looked at instead of the occupancy of the intensive care beds.

He would have been "happy if the Easter rest had come".

As a reminder: The "Easter rest" was planned as a complete lockdown of the federal government, but was immediately withdrawn by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) together with a public apology.

A swipe from the Thuringian?

“I have questions about what was decided.

For example, that public transport should be reduced to 50 percent.

That's what the law says.

But I don't know how to implement it, ”says Ramelow with a view to the corona rules of the statutory federal emergency brake.

Ramelow also criticizes the fact that gastronomy and culture are completely left out again due to the incidence threshold in federal law.

He, too, calls for new rules (and thus privileges) for those who have been vaccinated.

In the debate, Ramelow speaks directly to Health Minister Jens Spahn from the CDU, who is there as a representative of the executive.


Increasing criticism: Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in the Corona crisis.

© IMAGO / Political-Moments

Merkel's Corona emergency brake in the Federal Council: Tobias Hans (CDU) questions 7-day incidence as a benchmark

Update from April 22nd, 12.30 p.m

.: Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) had been approached by the federal government because of his Saarland model with openings and loosening accompanied by a close-knit test strategy. Now this country chief is also taking action on the statutory corona emergency brake of the Merkel cabinet.

The law is "a marked turning point". That shouldn't go uncommented, says the 43-year-old. It has not been proven that decisions made centrally from above bring better solutions. “This proof has not been provided, and a look at centralized countries does not suggest this proof,” says Hans, referring to France, which has been affected by the corona pandemic even more than federalist Germany for months. And that borders directly on its Saarland. Chains of infection have been broken, "and much more successfully than other European countries," he explains about the decisions of the controversial Prime Minister's Conference (MPK).

The law now passed in the Bundestag means “not inconsiderable interventions in the rights of freedom.

You have to look at that again, and my assumption is that it will be looked at again from a highly judicial point of view, "he says, assuming that the Federal Constitutional Court will soon deal with the tightened Infection Protection Act.

He too does not like the fact that the incidence value is the central core of the nationwide corona rules *.

This is "not a good and reliable reference value that depicts the infection process," says politician Hans.

Merkel's Corona emergency brake in the Federal Council: Michael Müller (SPD) from Berlin defends the MPK

Update from April 22nd, 12:10 p.m.:

The criticism and doubts about the Corona Emergency Brakes Act in the Federal Council are immense.

“This law is a supplement, one more building block, no more and no less than one building block,” says Berlin's Governing Mayor Michael Müller of the SPD: “And the Prime Minister's Conference remains important. As early as next Monday when we talk about vaccination. ”The MPK has come under heavy criticism in the past few months. His sentences are aimed at the fact that the Merkel government wanted to bypass this decision-making body through the tightened Infection Protection Act.

And Müller sharply criticizes the federal government for the fact that the vaccination campaign is progressing too slowly at the same time.

"We have to talk to the federal government about this: When and how do we finally get the vaccinations from the company doctors?" Asks the regional chief from the capital: "How do we deal with those who have been tested and those who have been vaccinated?" The Merkel cabinet had all these questions , in which, by the way, his fellow party members also sit, not answered.

Merkel's Corona emergency brake in the Federal Council: CDU man Reiner Haseloff dismantles Merkel law

Update from April 22nd, 11.55 a.m.:

The debate in the Federal Council is


up speed.

Reiner Haseloff, CDU Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, criticized the nationwide corona emergency brake and the rules of the sharpened Infection Protection Act at the meeting.

"There was a patchwork quilt in Germany," says Haseloff about the course of the coronavirus pandemic * in the Federal Republic of Germany: "A nationwide corona emergency brake should counteract this." But in his opinion the "package of measures adopted by the Bundestag is not in itself." understandable and will even enlarge the patchwork quilt in Germany ”.

Another reproach Haseloffs against Merkel's law: "It took four and a half weeks."

The process for a federal law is "time consuming".

The 67-year-old goes on to speak of “a damage to federalism that is difficult to cure”.

The law, on the other hand, is an argument for those "who prefer a central state".

To categorize: The federal law requires the federal states to cede considerable powers, some of which they have been entitled to for decades, to the federal government.

The "pandemic situation in the central states of Europe" is by no means better, Haseloff continues in a very serious tone. In his opinion, “more intensive participation by the federal states” should now be “downright avoided” in Germany as well. The CDU man made harsh accusations against his own federal government. Haseloff, who is facing a tricky state election in Saxony-Anhalt (June 6th), further accuses the federal government of having chosen the model of an objection law and deliberately not a consent law.

Haseloff perceived "dissatisfaction in many places" and an "enormous loss of trust".

He can hardly be stopped.

"The restrictions on fundamental rights that the draft law provides are immense despite the moderation," he says, referring to the Basic Law.

The question of “proportionality” arises.

Another point of criticism is that the citizen would only have “the more difficult legal route” to the Federal Constitutional Court.

Saxony-Anhalt will still not object, "because that would only delay the law, but unfortunately not improve it", says Haseloff and harshly concludes: "Today is a low point for me in the federal culture of the Federal Republic of Germany".

Merkel's Corona emergency brake in the Federal Council: Hesse's Volker Bouffier has "significant concerns"

Update from April 22nd, 11.30 a.m.:

The Federal Council has started its deliberations on the nationwide emergency brake. Hesse's Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) said right at the beginning that he had "serious concerns". According to him, the federal government has not been able to take up the experience of the federal states after fighting a pandemic for a year. Bouffier particularly criticized the curfew planned in the law. In Hesse, this already exists at state level as an “ultima ratio”. If all other measures are not sufficient, such a ban would come into question. But now it will be prescribed uniformly nationwide. A weighing up can no longer take place.

It was expected that the new version of the Infection Protection Act will pass the state chamber despite the concerns.

Because it is an objection law to which the regional chamber does not have to actively agree.

You would have to call the mediation committee by a majority to stop the law.

But that wasn't to be expected.

Update from April 22nd, 10:10 am

: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) predicts a "ping-pong effect" in the corona infection numbers.

“The design flaw of this federal law is: They close at 165, then wait five days for them to be below 165 - say 160 - and then open again.

Then I can already predict: A week later they will be over 165 again and close, ”said Schwesig in the ZDF“ Morgenmagazin ”on Thursday.

"Ms. Merkel has announced that there should be an emergency brake to stop the infection process, and this emergency brake falls far short of the rules that we have agreed upon," criticized Schwesig.

"This law will not bring us down in the number of infections, but it will level off at a high level."

Update from April 22nd, 10:05 a.m.:

Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann would have liked to have the curfew from 9 p.m. for his state.

But now the Green politician has announced that Baden-Württemberg will implement the federal corona emergency brake as planned in state law.

That means: curfew from 10 p.m.

Kretschmann stated on Thursday that the law would be implemented one-to-one.

This is what the

Stuttgarter Nachrichten reports


Merkel's federal emergency brake at the next hurdle: Federal Council votes - “Outrageous” criticism in advance

Update from April 22nd, 9.25 a.m.:

Criticism of the nationwide emergency brake comes from German districts - the new regulation is seen as a discrediting of the work of health authorities.

Reinhard Sager, President of the German District Assembly, said on Thursday in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” that “well-known speakers” in the Bundestag pretended to be about protecting life as downright “outrageous”.

Because: "For 13 months we have been doing nothing other than saving and protecting human lives, that is our own best interest."

"One of the things that bothers us is that the federal legislature now wants to take the place of the states and the districts," said Sager.

Now rules are being put out that “suggest uniformity”, although no clear line can be discerned.

The federal emergency brake is also "far too general" and looks "like a woodcut".

The incidence value does not take into account factors such as the occupancy of hospital beds or the number of reproductions.

The Federal Council will advise on the Infection Protection Act passed by the Bundestag on Thursday

(see initial notification)


Nationwide uniform Corona emergency brake: Chancellery chief Helge Braun stands behind measures

Update from April 22nd, 7.30 a.m.:

Chancellery chief Helge Braun (CDU) commented on the nationwide corona emergency brake before today's decision in the Federal Council. "The current infection rate is far too high in most regions and threatens to overwhelm our health system," he explained to the

editorial network in Germany

. “The measures of the federal emergency brake are therefore urgently required there. They have already shown in many countries that they are suitable for slowing down the incidence of infections. And in view of the serious situation, they are also proportionate, ”continues Braun.

FDP general secretary Volker Wissing again emphasized

the negative attitude of his party

in the


“heute journal” on Wednesday evening.

“In a free constitutional state, the state has to justify very well why it interferes so massively with fundamental rights.

The Federal Republic did not succeed in justifying this ”, criticized Wissing.

The measure is clearly disproportionate and violates the Basic Law.

The Federal Council wants to debate from 11 a.m. today.

He could object to the nationwide Corona emergency brake and thus make renegotiations necessary.

However, several federal states had previously announced that they would not object.

Finally, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has to sign the law.

That could also happen this Thursday.

Corona emergency brake in Germany facing the next hurdle: Federal Council debated

First report from April 21:

Berlin - It should go quickly.

In any case, this was demanded from many sides when it became clear that the federal government was planning an amendment to the Infection Protection Act.

But legal procedures in Germany consist of several steps.

This is also the case with the implementation of the federal corona emergency brake.

Important cornerstones: First there was a decision by the cabinet, then coalition factions negotiated and on Wednesday the Bundestag passed the law with the government majority.

Now is the next hurdle: the Federal Council. On Thursday 11 a.m., the constitutional body will deal with the amendment of the Infection Protection Act. You can


here at


which rules should apply in the end

. What is special about the special session of the Federal Council: The states are discussing their own disempowerment, so to speak. Because so far the meetings of the Prime Ministers with Chancellor Angela Merkel *, some of which extend into the night, have been known in order to find a uniform corona line. But in the end it was often not that uniform. Each federal state insisted on its own decision-making authority. That should change urgently, according to Merkel's plan, which she presented to “Anne Will” a few weeks ago.

Nationwide uniform Corona emergency brake: The federal states will discuss this on Thursday in the Federal Council

If the law comes into force, however, the states would have limited room for maneuver.

Because as soon as a region exceeds the incidence of 100, the federal emergency brake should apply.

The federal states can only interpret the rules more strictly, as Bavaria, for example, intends to do with schools.

Thus, there were some objections to the federal plan from the federal states in advance.

Another special feature in the Bundesrat: Germany is currently governed by a large number of different coalitions at the state level.

While the left's no votes in the Bundestag were not decisive, the left-wing Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow represents the state of Thuringia in the Bundesrat *.

And the coalitions often do not consist of just two parties, so that there can be very different assessments of the issue within a state government.

If a government cannot come to an agreement, the coalition agreement often states that it will abstain from voting.

So it will be particularly interesting which Federal Council member decides how.


Armin Laschet at a meeting of the Federal Council (archive)

© Stefan Zeitz / Imago

Federal Corona emergency brake: Bremen and Lower Saxony do not want to block the law

When classifying the discussions, it is important to note that the Länderkammer does not have to actively approve the law; it would have to resolve an objection in order to stop the law.

In any case, Bremen and Lower Saxony will not block the planned federal emergency brake.

"We will not call the mediation committee," said Bremen Senate spokesman Christian Dohle on Wednesday evening according to dpa.

Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) also announced in the state parliament on Wednesday that the federal emergency brake would not be blocked.

Once the law has passed the Federal Council, it is forwarded to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has to issue it.

This would clear the way for the new regulation to come into force in the coming week at the latest.

(cibo) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

List of rubric lists: © IMAGO / Jens Schicke

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-04-23

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