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Merkel says lockdowns, curfews vital to break Germany’s third wave

Merkel says lockdowns, curfews vital to break Germany's third wave

Merkel says lockdowns, curfews vital to break Germany’s third wave

On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged lawmakers to approve new powers that would allow her to impose coronavirus lockdowns and curfews in areas where infection rates are high, claiming that a majority of Germans support tougher measures.

Merkel says lockdowns, curfews vital to break Germany's third wave

“The pandemic’s third wave has our country firmly in its grasp,” Merkel said in parliament, her speech disrupted by heckling from lawmakers from the far-right Alternative for Germany, who reject lockdowns.

“Intensive care nurses are making distress calls after distress calls. Who are we to turn a blind eye to their cries?” Merkel mentioned the following.

Her government wants the Infection Protection Act changed in parliament to allow federal authorities to impose restrictions even if regional representatives object, in order to relieve pressure on intensive care units.

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Curfews, as well as giving the federal government the power to impose them on Germany’s 16 states, have sparked outrage within Merkel’s conservative party, which polls predict would experience their worst ever election result in September.

Germany, unlike the United Kingdom and France, has been hesitant to enforce severe restrictions on movement in a country that is intensely defensive of individual freedoms as a result of its Nazi and Communist history.

Protests against the lockdown have taken place across Germany, but particularly in the former east, which is more sympathetic to the AfD. According to the far-right faction, sanctions have failed to stop the pandemic and are harming both the economy and people’s mental wellbeing.

Merkel admitted in her speech that the new powers were not a foolproof solution to the pandemic, which she claimed could only be beaten by vaccines.

The latest measures, according to AfD parliamentary leader Alice Weidel, are an unprecedented assault on fundamental democratic freedoms.

“The proposed Infection Protection Act amendments are a disturbing document of an authoritarian state,” Weidel said. “The chancellery and you, Madame Chancellor, are to blame for this relapse into authoritarianism.”

During the majority of Weidel’s voice, Merkel was engrossed in her tablet.

 

 

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