BChancellor Angela Merkel sees no reason to talk about easing the measures to contain the corona pandemic. “It cannot be the time yet,” she said in Berlin on Thursday. At the moment, it still only takes four to five days for the infections to double. This period of time must be stretched much further. That is why she has to ask the people in Germany for patience.
Given an incubation period of up to 14 days, it could not yet be assessed whether the previous measures had worked, Merkel said after a video conference with the EU heads of state and government. “That is why we are not yet in the area to see whether these measures work.”
“Very courageously started certain things”
In the meantime, more than 43,000 infections with the corona virus have been registered in Germany. More than 260 infected people have died nationwide. The federal and state governments have adopted unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the virus, including a nine-point plan designed to minimize interpersonal contacts. This decision was only agreed last Sunday. The debate had recently started about when the measures could be eased again.
In addition, at their video summit according to Merkel, the heads of state and government of the EU committed themselves to solidarity in the Corona crisis. “We are determined to face this challenge together,” said Merkel. She praised the EU Commission, which “very courageously started certain things”. She called the initiative for the joint procurement of protective clothing. For example, this is very important for smaller member states. “I also hope that this will lead to success.” The EU Commission is also “incredibly quick” on the aid concerns of the member states and act very unbureaucratic. “It is very beneficial.”
The Chancellor also pointed out that after initially long traffic jams, goods traffic in the EU now work better. The return initiative of citizens stranded abroad is also a “solidarity action” because all those involved have also brought many citizens of other EU countries back to Europe. “These are all signs from my point of view, where it is said that we want to show solidarity with one another here.”
Merkel clearly rejected the demands of various EU member countries for the introduction of so-called common corona bonds: “I believe that with the ESM we have a crisis instrument, which opens up many opportunities for us, which are not the basic principles of our common, so to speak, but then again questioning responsible action, ”said the Chancellor.
The summit had asked the Eurogroup to come up with proposals in the next two weeks that would meet the unique challenge posed by the virus, Merkel said. In the longer term, when it comes to exiting the hard freedom-restricting measures, they have also asked the Commission and EU Council President Charles Michel to make proposals with other institutions such as the European Central Bank, “How we can then create a roadmap for an action plan will get”. The heads of state and government would discuss the proposals of the finance ministers again in two weeks.
Some member states had imagined such corona bonds, said Merkel. It had been made clear by both Germany and others that this was not the opinion of all member states. “That’s why the ESM is the preferred instrument for me because it was really created for times of crisis. “