June 16, 2021

Bundestag extends pandemic emergency again – strong criticism of Spahn

The corona numbers are falling sharply – nevertheless, the Bundestag has once again extended the special rights of the Minister of Health. Not all parties liked that in the plenary.

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. The Greens agreed despite criticism. 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).

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 health and 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.

Worry about mutations

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.

Corona warnings in the Bundestag: The pandemic emergency was extended to September 11. (Source: imago images)

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 group vice 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.

“Stop this bumbling at last”

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 forever in this epidemic of national proportions.”

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.