There is massive criticism of the easing plans in Thuringia in the CDU leadership. According to SPIEGEL information, several participants spoke out sharply in the Presidium. Criticism also came from other parties.
The federal states set the tone in the debate about easing the corona measures, which has most recently Bodo Ramelow proven. As of June 6, Thuringia’s prime minister wants to apply general, nationwide corona protection regulations dispense. The announcement has already brought him a lot of criticism, now it was also a topic in the CDU Presidium meeting, which took place on Monday morning via video.
According to SPIEGEL information, several participants expressed themselves with sharp words and great lack of understanding. Criticism reportedly came from, among others, the Vice Chairman and Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet, his Saarland counterpart Tobias Hans and Thuringia’s CDU chief Mike Mohring. The announcement by left-wing politician Ramelow was a “devastating signal,” it said.
Saarland’s head of government, Hans, criticized participants in particular that Ramelow’s announcements would also have an impact on sentiment in other federal states. No prime minister does anything without affecting others, the CDU politician said. Party leader Laschet was therefore particularly surprised at the way Ramelow communicated.
Bovenschulte warns: “We still have to be careful”
Bremen’s mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, SPD, also warned of the actions of his Thuringian colleague. “We still have no control over the virus, and we still have to be careful,” Bovenschulte told SPIEGEL.
The mayor emphasized that Bremen would not follow the suggestions from Thuringia and instead “stick to the contact restrictions until further notice”. Especially when shopping and on public transport, covering the mouth and nose remains mandatory in the northern city-state, he announced.
Also SPD health politicians Karl Lauterbach expressed sharp criticism of Ramelow again. “The decision in Thuringia threatens a nationwide race between the states, which would be catastrophic from a medical point of view,” said Lauterbach the “Rheinische Post”. “The Corona cabinet should definitely send a counter signal this Monday to prevent that.” The group consists of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chancellor’s Office Helge Braun and five ministers.
Places Ramelow his announcement um, nationwide rules on minimum intervals, wearing mouth-nose protection and contact restrictions no longer apply in two weeks. Instead of these requirements, there should then be regional measures depending on the infection process on site. A limit of 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week is under discussion.
Lauterbach called on the Thuringian head of government to turn around. Ramelow should rethink his decision and withdraw it. “He leaves the impression that he is buckling as a prime minister in front of aluminum hats and right-wing screaming necks and negligently jeopardizes important successes that we are internationally envied for,” said the SPD-Politician. With “aluminum hats” are Followers of conspiracy ideologies meant.
He also warned against excessive carelessness in the catering trade. Only a few such cases were needed like in the district of Leer, so that the current feeling of freedom of people gives way to a basic skepticism towards gastronomy. That would be the worst scenario for the restaurants. Therefore, extremely strict precautionary measures are still required and not the casualness that can be observed everywhere.
“No meal in the world can be so good that a visit to a restaurant would justify a lifelong function of the lungs, kidneys and brain,” said Lauterbach. An epidemic has been struggling for three months, but it will easily continue for two years.
Greens federal manager Michael Kellner called Ramelow’s move “wrong and too reckless”. It was an “everything goes message”, said Kellner in the program “n-tv Frühstart”. There is no therapy, medication or vaccine against Covid-19. “That is why people in top positions, like a prime minister, should brake rather than give the accelerator,” Kellner said.
Thuringia’s Environment Minister Anja Siegesmund (Greens) also distanced herself from her prime minister’s plan. “The lockdown demands a lot from us all,” said Siegesmund to the newspapers of the editorial network Germany. “But we have to be careful not to become frivolous about the successful pandemic management and to overdo it.”
The motto “non-risk groups first” should apply, said Siegesmund further. Kindergartens could be opened “not just a little”, emphasized the Green politician. The same applies to schools. In addition, Thuringia should “coordinate with the countries whose numbers also speak a clear language for the opening – that is the way,” she said.
Bartsch defends Ramelow – and warns of “easing race”
Left Bundestag faction leader Dietmar Bartsch defended Ramelow against criticism. His party friend did not want to abolish distance rules or the obligation to wear a mask, but wanted to regionalize the conditions, Bartsch said on Deutschlandfunk. He assumes that Ramelow and his government “remain extremely attentive”. Bartsch also emphasized that there should be “no relaxation race” among the federal states.
Bartsch also rejected the warning from CSU politician Florian Herrmann, who called the Thuringian plans “a highly dangerous experiment for all people in this country”. He does not understand that those who have the highest infection rate and most infected people “accuse Ramelow of endangering him, so to speak,” the left-wing politician said to the head of the Bavarian State Department.
There is a “significant difference” between the numbers in Bavaria and Thuringia. Herrmann’s statements were “somewhat improper”. With regard to the counties with the very high numbers of infections, Bartsch referred to Ramelow’s statement that action had to be taken “with the greatest consequence”.
The Thuringian head of government himself wrote on Twitter that he had neither “declared Corona over, nor ignored the danger”. The Thuringian strategy for defense should “be switched from crisis management to regular operation”. The virus will not go away, Ramelow continued. “So defensive standards are becoming the rule rather than the exception.”