Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party leader said Germany should urgently improve its epidemic management and promote better cooperation between state and regional authorities to help test a new “third wave” of diseases.
Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and chair of the Christian Democratic Union of Merkel, was one of 16 world leaders who criticized Sunday for not setting clear enough limits. Merkel has threatened to overthrow the government’s authority over measures to stop Covid-19, highlighting his struggle for control in the face of the unpopularity of powerful regional premiers – who in some cases have chosen not to enforce the terms of their agreement with his superiors.
Laschet, who wants to run in Merkel’s last election when he stepped down after the September national election, defended his region from criticism of Merkel, saying the NRW had followed the rules set in the so-called “Germany brake”.
He acknowledged that the situation was serious, saying that the country’s leaders were taking it seriously, while demanding that the reduced and flexible negotiating team decide on the next steps.
A recent meeting between the country’s leaders and the Merkel government on March 22 lasted more than 11 hours and ended well at midnight.
“We cannot continue to have Prime Ministers and part of the provincial government sitting in front of screens for hours, that is not good for this problem,” Laschet said Monday at a press conference after the CDU leadership meeting.
The next talks, currently scheduled for April 12, should be held in person and should include only 16 Prime Ministers, including Merkel and her prime minister, Helge Braun, and not government officials including Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats, he added.
Laschet told the reporters that he is confident that if they get other proposals the country’s leaders will follow them. He also said that at the moment, he do not know any other proposals beyond what has been agreed between the provincial and regional governments.
Laschet urged residents to “stay home and reduce their contacts at Easter” to prevent the disease from spreading further. The German seven-day incidence rate for 100,000 people continued to rise on Monday, rising to 134.4 from 129.7 the previous day, according to the RKI public health center. It has doubled since it dropped to 56.8 on February 19 from a nearly 200 peak at the end of December.
Laschet said that they have to avoid small management. He said that the authorities they have in Germany are an obstacle, especially in vaccination, where there is not enough rapid development.
In an interview with ARD television last Sunday, Merkel expressed outrage at what she described as the broken commitment of 16 world leaders, who have the direct authority to regulate health and safety laws under the federal system.
He also asked them to follow the existing guidelines and set home repatriation rules, communication restrictions and homework rules as appropriate.
Merkel said that if that doesn’t happen in the foreseeable future, you should consider how that can be done in the same way. He also said that he have a legal obligation to contain these diseases. Right now, we can’t stop ourselves.