Chancellor Angela Merkel quarantined and MPs vote five feet from each other. DW about the German Parliament during the epidemic COVID-19.
The pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 March 23, in Germany there are special quarantine measures. Citizens do not have to participate in mass events to appear in public places groups of more than two people to approach each other closer than 1.5-2 meters. But what about the sessions of the Bundestag, whose members 709 deputies? They cannot be cancelled – the fight against the pandemic demands new measures, including legislative.
The rules for MPs during coronavirus
Restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country, apply to the people’s representatives. That is why the meeting of the German Parliament 25 March – the first after the introduction of appropriate measures – some German media have described as historic. On the agenda were such important themes as the temporary waiver embodied in the Constitution a ban on the growth goszadolzhennosti (it is also called “black zero”), and a multibillion-dollar package of financial assistance to enterprises affected by the impact of the pandemic.
While the hall was attended by only about a third of the total number of deputies. Six parliamentarians have already confirmed the coronavirus, they are naturally quarantined.
As explained by DW MP from the party “Christian social Union” (CSU), Dorothea Baer (Dorothea B?r), come asked only of those who do not belong to risk groups and has held key positions in parliamentary committees.
Bundestag deputies supported measures to combat coronavirus
To respect the required distance in half-meter, the parliamentarians were allowed to sit only on every third chair. In other places, lay the sheets of paper with the warning: “Please do not take”. “1.5 meter you need to leave. What we expect from people in the country, we must adhere to”, – commented this precaution Chairman of the parliamentary faction included in the ruling coalition of CDU/CSU Ralph Brinkhaus (Ralph Brinkhaus).
Usually the members of the opposition parties have criticised the policy of the ruling coalition. However, given the pandemic coronavirus parliamentarians have demonstrated a rare unity. Here and Christian Lindner (Christian Lindner), the leader of the Free democratic party (FDP), has traditionally been opposed to any infringements on personal freedoms, has publicly supported the harsh measures of social exclusion, announced by Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel) on March 23. “I think it is not about statistics, but about their grandparents – said Lindner. – That is why I believe these restrictions are legitimate”.
The pandemic is Germany refuses to budget without debt
Even sitting in a truncated part, the deputies adhered to the principle of proportional representation of parties in the Bundestag. So they managed to avoid a situation where one faction represent several deputies, and the other almost none.
Absent from the meeting, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel placed under home quarantine – have made her a flu shot the doctor was discovered coronavirus. Her place was taken by German Finance Minister, Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Olaf Scholz).
Several dozen parliamentarians watched the vote on video, and went to the plenary hall only to vote. The fact that the decision to increase goszadolzhennosti needed the support of at least 355 of 709 members. And as it was about to change the rules enshrined in the basic law of the FRG, it was necessary to vote in person.
Due to quarantine ballot boxes this time were few and apart they were across the hall plenary sessions. In between voting the arms of the chairs wiped with a disinfectant solution.
How MPs plan to ensure the work of the Bundestag on
As a result of the rejection of the principle of the “black zero” vote of 469 MP, 55 abstained. Approved thus the anti-crisis package that includes funding for measures to combat the pandemic COVID-19 will be formed taking into account the debt budget in the amount of 156 billion euros. In addition, 600 billion euros will be allocated from the special Fund for economic stability (Wirtschaftsstabilisierungsfond), which will provide state support to private companies.
It is expected that the Bundesrat, representing the Federal States of Germany, will vote on anti-crisis package is already on 27 March. Thus, the decision, the discussion of which prior pandemic coronavirus would take several weeks, will be made in a matter of days.
The next meeting of the Bundestag to be held in three weeks, April 19. Most likely, the meetings will be held until 30 September, you will attend only about half of the deputies. In this way parliamentarians want to keep control of the situation and to ensure the efficiency of the Parliament, even if some of its members will become infected COVID-19, or be quarantined, explained Deputy from FDP Marco Bushman (Marco Buschmann).