Angela Merkel spoke out on Tuesday for an extension of the restrictions in place in Germany in the face of the pandemic despite their growing unpopularity, which places the CDU, the Chancellor’s Christian Democratic party, in an uncomfortable political situation a few months before the general elections September 26.
During a meeting with her conservative deputies, she estimated that the lifting of the constraints now would risk “to start the number of infections very quickly on the rise”, pleading for an extension until March, according to the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. As it stands, they are scheduled until February 14.
The Chancellor was speaking on the eve of a meeting scheduled on the subject between her government and the German regions which, a priori, support her, according to Der Spiegel. No date has been put forward for the end of the restrictions. The meeting takes place in a heavy political context. While the first great wave of Covid-19 in spring 2020 had politically revived Angela Merkel, thanks to a less strong impact in Germany than in neighboring countries, the new winter wave hits the country head-on and sharpens criticism in the country. against its management.
The pandemic disturbs his nights
Her popularity is starting to crumble in the face of German fatigue, and Angela Merkel recently admitted having a bad night’s sleep due to the pandemic. “It’s a difficult time for me too […] I turn things around in my head before making decisions and that worries me, it’s true, ”she told the TV channel RTL-Germany. In December she was on the verge of tears for a speech in the Bundestag on the pandemic.
Although widely leading in polls, his Christian Democratic party CDU fell to 34.4% of voting intentions in an Insa poll released on Monday, its lowest level since November. Confidence in Merkel’s party is declining “from week to week and has become decoupled from approval of anti-Covid measures,” said the head of this institute in Bild, Hermann Binkert. The Chancellor is completing her fourth and final term, after 16 years of reign.
The number of new infections is falling, but not yet enough according to the authorities. The latter are especially worried about the spread of the South African and British variants, considered more contagious. The latter could also become the majority in March.
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The Germans are currently urged to avoid contact as much as possible, by making teleworking more widespread as far as possible. Schools, kindergartens, non-food shops, restaurants, bars, cultural and sports venues are still closed.
In an attempt to regain the confidence of the public, the Chancellor has just launched a communication campaign, multiplying television interviews, things relatively rare on her part, to defend the vaccine strategy while her government is criticized for its slowness She urged the population to “hold on for a while […] Our nerves are on edge, we have a long way to go and the hardest part to go is during this winter ”.
Industrialists and craftspeople demand flexibility
Several economic sectors are also urging him to relax the measures. The president of the German Crafts Confederation (ZDH), Hans Peter Wollseifer, spoke of “dramatic economic consequences” if certain professions, such as hairdressers, could not reopen in mid-February. The president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Siegfried Russwurm, called on the government to “define a clear” and “fair” outlook.
While in “Austria, hairdressers are opening their doors, in France, people are jostling on the Champs-Elysées, in Belgium, even cinemas could soon restart the popcorn machines. Can Germany not also relax its restrictions a bit? “Asks the daily in Frankfurt, while schools have reopened in the Netherlands, like restaurants in Italy.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr