Söder announces regional corona lockdown

IIn the fight against the extremely increased number of corona infections in the Upper Bavarian district of Berchtesgadener Land, Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) wants to impose a “lockdown”. There will be a “comprehensive package of measures” “that corresponds to a lockdown,” said Söder on Monday after a virtual board meeting of the CSU. Bavaria’s Minister of Health Melanie Huml (CSU) should work out the details together with the district and the government of Upper Bavaria.

With a 7-day incidence of 252.1, the district is the hardest hit in Germany, with a surge in recent days. Obviously the situation has arisen there that one always wanted to avoid: According to Söder, the contacts “can no longer be traced”, so they must be “fundamentally restricted – as far as events are concerned, as far as external contacts are concerned”. You have to “apply the toughest protocol at this point in order to get control of the infection process again as quickly as possible”. Söder named the proximity to the Austrian hotspot Kuchl in the Salzburger Land and a party as the reasons for the outbreak.

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Meanwhile, the CSU supports an expansion of the special corona rights for Health Minister Jens Spahn. This has the “backing” from Bavaria, said Söder. He rejected criticism from parliamentarians that parliaments should decide more in the fight against corona. The parliaments would be involved in all laws. Respect for the constitutional order also means that there are laws that regulate “statutory powers for the respective executive”.

In this context, Söder sharply criticized the FDP. He called on her to “think again whether the course she is imposing on herself together with the AfD is really the right one for the country.” Even before the meeting he had said: “There is not only the AfD, there are others too political forces who try every day to put all measures into perspective and almost call on the population not to participate. ”However, looking for excuses for circumventing pandemic measures does not do justice to the situation. Liberal heads of government like Mark Rutte in the Netherlands also showed this. He decided on the “toughest concepts”.

Söder for a uniform mask rule

Previously, for example, the FDP chairman Christian Lindner demanded that the corona situation should not be “overdramatized”. The deputy FDP chairman and Bundestag vice-president Wolfgang Kubicki warned against damage to democracy if the main decisions in combating the corona pandemic were to continue to be made by the federal government or the state governments instead of the Bundestag. Kubicki said on Sunday evening in the “Bild” talk “The right questions”: “If we as a parliament do not perform our task now, then democracy will have permanent damage.”

Before the board meeting, Söder had already demanded nationwide mask requirements for regions with high corona numbers. If there are more than 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, a mask requirement should apply in schools, in highly frequented public places and also at work, if minimum distances could not be observed, said the Bavarian Prime Minister.

When asked what he thinks of the fact that the sister party CDU intends to hold a presence party congress in December, Söder said: The party must decide for itself. He added: “We have made a very clear decision that we do not consider a meeting of 1,000 people to be justifiable at the moment.” It is very important in the next few weeks, “to keep the motivation and participation of the population, that there are no special rights and privileges for parties or politicians.” Everyone must adhere to the same rules – “and I can’t imagine that we approve another event with 1000 people ”. Maybe there is the possibility of postal voting, “that even seems to be possible in the USA”. So he is amazed that “people still hold on to it – but we don’t decide that, it’s up to the CDU”.


CDU chairmanship: candidates with legal drift (neue-deutschland.de)

Photo: dpa / Michael Kappeler

One thing is certain even before the election of the new CDU leader: the party will drift to the right. The only question is who she will do this with. Friedrich Merz, Norbert Röttgen and Armin Laschet are available and they exchanged blows for the first time at a Junge Union event at the weekend. For the winner, it will be a matter of keeping the good poll numbers. An important reason for the Union’s popularity is that many citizens initially trust the executive branch in a crisis situation. In the medium term, the conservatives will also think about how they can beat the AfD out of the running.

Many who still support the AfD today could imagine a return to the Union if Merz took over the chief position. He moves homosexuals closer to pedophiles and threatens that Germans should not get used to a life without work in the corona crisis. But Laschet also has a lot to offer here. He is considered a hardliner in the fight against crime in North Rhine-Westphalia, where certain migrants are placed under general suspicion. The transatlantic Röttgen should have no chance. It’s not a coincidence. He is much less likely to get down to a regular table level than his two competitors.


More and more retirees continue to work

Older workers

Compared to 2005, 547,000 or 73 percent more pensioners are in employment.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The number of retirees in gainful employment continues to rise. In 2019, according to statistics from the Federal Employment Agency, around 1.29 million people who had reached the standard retirement age were still gainfully employed.

That was around 400,000 or 45 percent more than in 2010, according to a response from the Federal Government to a request from the AfD that the German Press Agency has received. Compared to 2005 there were even 547,000 or 73 percent more pensioners who are gainfully employed.

According to this information, the total number of retirees rose by 3.9 percent to around 17.11 million between 2010 and 2019. Eight out of ten employed pensioners – 1.02 million or 79.2 percent – were only marginally employed last year, according to calculations by AfD labor market politician René Springer.

Every fifth working pensioner – 268,000 or 20.8 percent – was employed subject to social security contributions. This number has risen continuously in recent years, from 11.9 percent in 2005 to 20.8 percent in 2019.

This shows that the proportion of women and pensioners from the new federal states who went to work at an old age has increased particularly, explained the Brandenburg member of the Bundestag. The proportion of women of retirement age had risen by 170,577 or 42.4 percent in the last ten years to 2019. And the proportion of employed East Germans in old age increased by 77,332 or 61.5 percent, the proportion of employed West Germans by 324,110 or 42.3 percent.

In its answer, the Federal Government argues, “Contrary to what is often assumed, gainful employment in retirement age is not an indication of poverty in old age.” It refers to a study by the Federal Institute for Population Research: called intangible aspects. This includes, for example, having fun at work, being in contact with other people or the feeling of being needed. “

Springer did not want to leave it like that: “I rather fear that many retirees will have to take a job in order to avert poverty in old age and social benefits.”

More: Kassensturz for retirement: What needs to be clarified financially before retirement


Union increases, SPD, Greens lose


The Christian Democrats and their sister party CSU are gaining approval.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf, Berlin If there were a general election today, Sunday, a conceivable black-green coalition would still have a solid majority. The CDU and CSU can even expand their position as the strongest party in the latest poll by the opinion research institute Kantar (formerly Emnid) on behalf of “Bild am Sonntag”.

In the Sunday trend, which the institute collects weekly, the Union comes to 35 percent – that is one percentage point more than compared to the previous week. The discussion about the increasing tightening of the Corona measures and in particular the controversial ban on accommodation have not harmed the sister parties.

In contrast, the current coalition partner SPD and the possible future coalition partner Greens each lose one percentage point. The SPD comes to 16 percent in the current survey, the Greens fall back to 19 percent.

SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans is still combative. With a view to the bad poll numbers, he emphasized: “We want to continue to govern, but without the CDU and CSU. They belong in the opposition. ”

He accused the Union of a blockade in the “Spiegel”. This is the reason why, apart from the policy against the corona pandemic, hardly anything is progressing in the grand coalition. With Olaf Scholz, the SPD wants to “provide the future chancellor – and draw a line under the time as junior partner of the Union”.

The FDP, on the other hand, recorded slight growth, which also grew by one percentage point to now six percent, as did the AfD, which now reached ten percent. According to the survey, the Left Party remains unchanged at eight percent.

On the other hand, the trend barometer survey by the opinion research institute Forsa for the television channels RTL and n-tv, which was published on Saturday, is a little less moving. There were only two minimal changes compared to the previous week: an increase of one percentage point for the FDP and a decrease of one percentage point for the Left.

In this survey, the CDU / CSU remain with 36 percent by a large margin ahead of the Greens (20 percent) and the SPD (15 percent). The AfD comes here to nine percent, the left to seven percent. The number of non-voters and undecided is then 23 percent.

More: German citizens favor Jens Spahn as the new CDU boss


Ex-Prime Minister of Thuringia: FDP is distancing itself from Kemmerich

Short-term Prime Minister Thomas Kemmerich (FDP) sees no problem for his AfD-supported election. The party executive pulls the rip cord.

Thomas Kemmerich is on the decline Photo: Martin Schutt / dpa

LEIPZIG taz | It is another bang in the struggle for political interpretation in Thuringia. After FDP parliamentary group chairman Thomas Kemmerich again defended his election as prime minister in February on Thursday afternoon on Twitter, the federal association immediately distanced itself this morning – and kept a lot of distance.

In a press release, FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing stated that the Presidium was dissociating itself from Kemmerich’s current statements. As a result, Kemmerich would – should he run again as the top candidate – be withdrawn from any “financial, logistical or organizational support”.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, member of the Bundestag and member of the FDP executive committee, also became particularly clear. Kemmerich was “at some point taken the wrong turn and no longer turned around,” she tweeted on Friday morning. “It is time you took the exit now. Bye.”

The decision shows how big the gap is among the liberals. “There are always these shots from Berlin,” said the Thuringian FDP parliamentary leader Tim Wagner on Friday morning of the taz. The state association also learned the news of the distancing only in the morning via the media.

“Shots from Berlin”

Nevertheless, there are no problems in the parliamentary group to support Kemmerich. “We don’t let ourselves be persuaded”, says Wagner. Should Kemmerich at the state party conference on 14./15. November will be elected as the new top candidate, he can count on the support of the state association – regardless of what the federal party says. “We are not dependent on the funds of the federal association.”

Wagner defended Kemmerich’s tweet that “not accepting the election” was the mistake, “but rather how the other democratic parties dealt with the situation”. According to Wagner, when they supported Kemmerich with their votes, the AfD “played wrong”, not the FDP candidate who did wrong. Nevertheless, it is also clear to the regional association that “there is no cooperation with the AfD”.

The state party around Thomas Kemmerich once again rejects responsibility for the government-finding debacle in Thuringia. The federal association is different: The message clearly states that Kemmerich himself bears responsibility for the election of Prime Minister. Just one day later, Kemmerich resigned from the office of Prime Minister under pressure from the party.

In May, Kemmerich appeared as a speaker at an anti-corona demonstration organized by a Reich citizen in Gera, at which the AfD was also present, without mouth and nose protection. The federal leadership also sharply criticized this appearance.

The AfD is to blame, it is said from the Thuringian FDP

In an interview with the taz, Wagner defends that Kemmerich was not informed about the participation of the AfD and the political orientation of the event. At that time there were “content-structural problems” within the regional association, which is why the event “could not be checked appropriately”. “All of this has put him in a light in which he is not.” The parliamentary group has learned from this, but the support in the regional association for Kemmerich remains great.


Hotels closed to Berliners (new-deutschland.de)

In Berlin, the number of new infections with the corona virus on Saturday afternoon rose to 58.2 within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. Contrary to what Brandenburg’s Minister of Health Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens) expected, the value rose to over 50 a few days before the start of the autumn holidays on this Monday stay overnight in the state. Only those who arrived by October 8th can stay as reserved.

The ban hits the local tourism industry hard, because a large number of their guests come from the capital, reminded member of the Bundestag Saskia Ludwig (CDU). If the ban on lodging continues, financial support must be considered. “I’m worried that otherwise many providers won’t be able to survive the coming winter,” said Ludwig.

The state parliament member Andreas Büttner (left) called the ban on accommodation a politically wrong signal and a “completely senseless blow” against tourism. »It is important to continue to sensitize people to the hygiene rules. It is not important whether or where you travel, but how you travel. ”

Commuting, day trips and private visits remain permitted. 97 new infections were reported for Brandenburg on Saturday. So far, there have only been higher values ​​on five days in spring, with a peak of 187 new infections on April 3. The number of new infections is still comparatively low at 15.3 in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. However, the Oder-Spree district achieved a value of 39.1 and from the age of 35 a mask is required in offices in Brandenburg and the number of guests at private celebrations is limited to 25 indoors and 50 outdoors. Cottbus registered an incidence of 37.1 on Sunday.

On Friday, an investigative committee forced by the AfD was set up in the state parliament to examine whether the government’s measures to contain the pandemic were and are necessary. In January, for example, the committee is supposed to investigate the fraud in Corona emergency aid. “We are still in the middle of the crisis,” said the committee chairman Daniel Keller (SPD). Care will have to be taken not to obstruct the government in dealing with it.

The AfD is tying up “urgently needed capacities in hospitals, health offices and ministries” to summon them to the state parliament, complained MP Marie Schäffer (Greens). A well-founded processing of the corona measures is “absolutely necessary”. However, this cannot be done from the moving train, but only in retrospect. The MP Barbara Richstein (CDU) appealed to the AfD to “suspend the investigative committee for the time being.” The actions of the authorities could be examined later. However, infections with sometimes severe consequences cannot be reversed, warned Richstein. Vain! “I’m not scared of the virus, but the madness of the old parties,” said AfD MP Birgit Bessin.


According to the protection of the constitution, radicals are gaining influence in the AfD

AfD country and parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke
Image: dpa

The right-wing extremist “wing” of the AfD has officially disbanded. But supporters of the group around Thuringia’s AfD boss Höcke are increasingly in key positions of the party, according to the protection of the constitution.

TDespite the formal dissolution of the right wing “wing” of the AfD, the protection of the Constitution sees an increasing influence of its previous supporters. “The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution perceives that many supporters of the right-wing extremist wing” are fighting for more influence in the party, although the ‘wing’ has allegedly dissolved itself, “said the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, the” Tagesspiegel ” from Sunday.

In internal party elections, supporters of the “wing” would hold key positions. “The influence of the ‘wing’ is growing, even if the AfD tries to remove clearly recognizable right-wing extremists such as the former ‘wing’ spokesman Andreas Kalbitz from the party.” There is still a great deal of solidarity within the former “wing” and an exchange. “The defining personality” is the Thuringian AfD country chief Björn Höcke.

The right-wing national “wing” around Thuringia’s AfD state and parliamentary group leader Höcke broke up at the end of April after pressure from the top of the federal government. The spokesman for the current was the former AfD state chairman Andreas Kalbitz from Brandenburg. In May, the AfD federal executive had revoked his party membership and justified this with previous contacts in the right-wing extremist milieu.


Thuringia: damage limitation (neue-deutschland.de)

When the Thuringian FDP leader Thomas Kemmerich was elected Prime Minister in early February with the votes of the AfD, he underestimated the balance of power. Protests could prevent a government by the grace of Höcke. A fragile red-red-green minority government has since tried to work towards new elections in the country. In front of these, Kemmerich wanted to show his colors again: “The mistake was not the acceptance of the election (…), but the way the other democratic parties dealt with the situation,” he said on Friday. His commitment was too much for the FDP. The Federal Presidium announced that it would deny him any support should he appear again as a top candidate.

So has the FDP learned its democratic and overdue lesson here? Certainly not. The Liberals are likely to want to limit the damage. Kemmerich only took part in a demo against Corona measures, also organized by neo-Nazis, in Gera in May. Months before the elections, his flirting with the right-wing FDP leadership is too aggressive.

One should therefore not assume anti-fascist allies among the Liberals: In the state parliaments of Berlin and Hamburg, FDP members had repeatedly voted for AfD proposals, and many members are in favor of cooperation with the far right. And the party has long since set the right tone not only in refugee and climate policy. Kemmerich is simply too amateurish about the FDP leadership with his right-wing course. The only thing waiting for him now is political insignificance. Hopefully the same applies to an FDP that cannot muster an anti-fascist consensus.


Boehringer: AfD MP is in trouble because of the report – politics

The AfD and the specialist committees in the Bundestag are not a success story. After the dispute over the chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee, Stephan Brandner, who has now been voted out, there is another scandal. He could cost the chairman of the budget committee, Peter Boehringer, the office.

On June 20, Boehringer had a half-page ad in the Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ) published a text and thus, in the opinion of colleagues in the Budget Committee, “exceeded several limits”. This can be read in a letter that members of the Union, SPD, FDP, Greens and Left parties have written to Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU). In the letter, received on October 8, they ask Schäuble to examine whether Boehringer “has violated the rules of conduct for members of the German Bundestag as well as abusively used his role as chairman of the committee”.

The text ad looks like a guest post by Boehringer. Under the heading “More Europe through less EU: The market economy must be preserved”, he writes about “self-proclaimed elites”, “masters of ‘real counterfeit money'”, and “unrestrained credit creation”, “the Brussels Leviathan is becoming increasingly voracious”. He calls for people to defend themselves “with the necessary moral courage”.

The MPs from the Union to the Left now fear damage to the Bundestag. They criticize Boehringer for “spreading conspiracy theories about the EU, the ECB and refugee policy” in the NZZ ad. But he does not inform anywhere that he is a member of the AfD. Instead of referring to party affiliation, he has the eagle of the Bundestag printed next to his name and his office, chairman of the budget committee. “From our point of view, he deliberately suggests a view of the entire committee that does not exist,” the Boehringer colleagues use these words to distance themselves.

Since his entry into the Bundestag, the AfD man has repeatedly attracted attention for spreading conspiracy myths. On the Internet he runs the page “Madness with method against German interests – Boehringer speaks plain language”. In a tweet at the beginning of October, Boehringer emblazoned how “German interests are being betrayed and sold”, he uses comparisons such as “God versus Satan: truth versus total contrast”. Boehringer also attracted attention in his speeches in the plenary session of the Bundestag because he argued almost exclusively in superlatives and buzzwords.

From the point of view of the members of the Bundestag of the other parliamentary groups, the anger is even greater because Boehringer had this ad paid for in the NZZ. On his Facebook page on June 24, 2020, he announced that he was grateful to the sponsor of the advertisement, the Bernese private citizen Jonas Müller. He had reserved the last word in the advertisement: “My respect, dear Peter Boehringer!” According to the price list, the costs for such a half-page advertisement would be 17,000 Swiss francs – almost 16,000 euros. “This seems to be a violation of … rules of conduct for MPs in connection with party law”.

The Bundestag administration will examine “a possible violation,” it said on Friday from Schäuble’s press office. Should it come to the opinion that Boehringer has violated the rules, restrictions of varying severity are possible, ranging from a written call to order to a notice in the Bundestag. In the end, the committee has to decide whether Boehringer still has the trust of the colleagues – or how Brandner is voted out. The budget committee is the most important technical committee of the Bundestag, the MPs describe the budget negotiations as the supreme discipline.