Parity law in Brandenburg overturned: Parité ade

In Brandenburg, the electoral lists should be gender quoted in future. Now the Constitutional Court has overturned the law.

The “Occident” now saved? Plenary Hall of the Brandenburg State Parliament, Potsdam in February 2020 Foto: Christian Spicker/imago

POTSDAM taz | The parity law of the state of Brandenburg is unconstitutional. The law required an equal number of men and women to stand on election lists. The Brandenburg Constitutional Court now saw this as a violation of party rights and electoral principles. Such a law would only be possible after a constitutional amendment.

The Brandenburg state parliament passed the first German parity law in February 2019. After that, men and women had to be placed alternately on the election lists for the state elections using the zip method. People of the third gender were free to decide whether they wanted to run for a male or a female stand.

The Brandenburg state associations of NPD, AfD and pirates as well as four AfD members sued the law. The organ complaint of the NPD and the constitutional complaints of the AfD members were successful. In contrast, the AfD organ charge was inadmissible because it was too late. A decision will be made later on the pirates’ organ charge.

In the opinion of the Brandenburg constitutional judges, the parity law violates the Brandenburg state constitution several times and is therefore void. The judges saw rights of the parties, but also of the voters, violated.

NPD and AfD members sue successfully

“It is the essence of the principle of democracy that the formation of will in the state runs from bottom to top,” said Markus Möller, President of the Constitutional Court, when the judgment was pronounced in Potsdam. It contradicts this if the state gives the parties binding guidelines for filling the electoral lists.

It is also a question of political orientation whether a party has equal numbers of men and women on its lists, according to Möller. If all parties have to run with quota lists, that blurs the differences between the parties.

According to the judges, the parity law also discriminates against parties with a low proportion of women. Only 12.3 percent of the NPD members in Brandenburg are female. The NPD might have to propose candidates they are not at all convinced of. Or she might not put men she thinks fit on the voting list because too few women want to run.

According to the judges, the parity law is also an encroachment on the rights of citizens who want to run for candidates on state lists of the parties. Because of the zipper principle, candidacies are only possible in every second place on the list. This also restricts the opportunities for women, said Richter Möller. Men and women are also disadvantaged compared to people of the third sex, because they can run for any place.

The law interferes with the rights of citizens

It is undisputed that there could be such consequences for parties and citizens. The decisive question for the constitutional judges, however, was whether these interventions can be constitutionally justified. And here the answer of the judges was very clear: No.

The Brandenburg state constitution states that the state is obliged to ensure “equality between women and men” – including “in public life”. However, this determination of the state objective is not sufficient to justify fundamental changes in the electoral law. Such “modifications” of the principle of democracy would have to be made by changing the state constitution, according to the judges.

The verdict of the nine constitutional judges was unanimous. That means that the writer Juli Zeh and the director Andreas Dresen, who are members of the court, also voted for the unconstitutionality of the law.

Thus, the Brandenburg judgment is an even bigger setback for proponents of parity laws than the judgment of the State Constitutional Court in Thuringia in July, which declared the parity law there unconstitutional for similar reasons. There, however, three of the nine judges voted against it and thus gave a minority vote.

Only 32 percent women in the Brandenburg state parliament

The Brandenburg Parity Law now expires without any application. A constitutional amendment that would allow a new parity law to be passed is currently hopeless. The SPD, the Left and the Greens together have only 45 out of 88 seats in the state parliament, so they are far from the required two-thirds majority.

The proportion of women in the Potsdam state parliament is currently 32 percent. However, the parity law would not have raised him to 50 percent in the next election, because only half of the mandates are awarded via electoral lists. The parity law would have had no effect on the direct mandates awarded in the constituencies.

The Bundestag is not bound by the rulings of the state constitutional courts. He could therefore make a new attempt with suitable majorities and hope that the Federal Constitutional Court would reject any lawsuits. But nobody should invest too much hope on this either. In the last time the former left constitutional judge Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff spoke out vehemently against parity laws.

A constitutional complaint from 15 women and 5 men from Thuringia is already pending at the Federal Constitutional Court. The lawsuit, coordinated by the Thuringian State Women’s Council, is against the judgment of the Thuringian Constitutional Court. Here the Karlsruhe judges could already make it clear how they feel about parity laws.

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These counties are badly affected

Politicians want to prevent a nationwide shutdown and fight the corona virus locally. The focus is on a certain value: the so-called 7-day incidence. We show where the new infections are currently hrun up.

Important note: The figures shown here come from the Robert Koch Institute and do not represent the actual occurrence of infection. As new infections are sometimes reported to the RKI by the health authorities with a considerable delay, the number of cases and the resulting incidence value are usually rather than stated too low. The effect of the delay in reporting is different in the individual districts. In individual cases it may be that a region has long exceeded the limit values. Please also inform yourself about current measures on the official website of your city or district.

The coronavirus pandemic is picking up speed again. Regional corona hotspots are emerging across Germany. The number of newly reported infections has been increasing exponentially since the beginning of October.

The federal government and the Robert Koch Institute urge caution. The mask requirement is being expanded again, in Berlin, for example, it is now also applicable in offices, in Baden-Württemberg also in school lessons. Some cities like Cologne, Hamburg and Munich require that mouth and nose protection be worn on busy streets and squares, even outdoors. Some restaurants and bars have to close earlier.

You can find an overview of the current corona rules here.

Corona upper limit: From 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, it becomes critical

Similar restrictions threaten wherever new infections are piling up. The decisive factor for countermeasures is the so-called 7-day incidence, i.e. the number of new infections reported per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days.

An accumulation of more than 35 cases applies according to an agreement between the federal and state governments as critical. From this value, contact restrictions and an extended mask requirement should come into force. If there is a value of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week, the state governments and municipalities must impose further measures.

Our interactive map shows which counties are breaking or scratching the upper limit.

Hover your mouse pointer over a county to see how many new infections there were over the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. The data come from the Robert Koch Institute and are updated daily. Please note: districts and district towns with the same name are shown separately. For example, to see the value for the city of Rosenheim in the Rosenheim district, you may have to zoom in on the map.

This is why the 7-day incidence is more meaningful than other values

The 7-day incidence was introduced to identify current hotspots in the coronavirus epidemic and to better assess possible risks for the population. In contrast to the Total number of laboratory confirmed cases the value rather reflects the current infection rate. Nevertheless, one must assume that not all cases will be recognized. In addition, there is a delay in reporting, which means that the number of cases reported is generally too low. Whether countermeasures are effective can only be read from the reporting data after about two weeks.

For the 7-day incidence, the number of new infections is related to the population. This is important because when looking at the absolute numbers, the hotspots in the big cities would stand out, but not in smaller communities with few inhabitants. By calculating 7-day intervals, statistical fluctuations due to weekends and holidays are at least partially absorbed.

The map below shows the total number of cases reported so far by district.

Why was the cap set at 50?

At the beginning of May, the Federal Government and Prime Minister agreed that the exemptions and restrictions that were enacted to contain the coronavirus pandemic will be gradually relaxed. The federal and state-wide bans should be replaced by regional measures to prevent outbreaks locally.

For this purpose, the upper limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week was set. The threshold of 35 was added in October. With this, the federal and state governments reacted to the sometimes dramatic developments after the summer. More about it here.

The decision in favor of these limit values ​​is based on empirical values ​​and assessments from politics and less on scientific knowledge. One of the reasons for this is that the local authorities must be able to cope with the outbreak administratively. For example, sufficient staff must be available to track contacts. Health care must also be ensured – for example in the event that mass tests are necessary.

If everyone reduces their contacts, this can already relieve the health authorities considerably.

Where the ceiling has been put to the test

After a violent coronavirus outbreak in the Tönnies butcher shops in the Gütersloh district, the regulation was put to the test for the first time and a “regional lockdown” was imposed on June 23. This was overturned in court on July 6th. More about it here.

Customers with face masks in a supermarket: The mask requirement is one of the most effective anti-corona measures. (Source: imago images)

In mid-October there are more and more counties in which the situation is tense or which have already been declared risk areas. Often the cause of an outbreak can no longer be traced exactly, the health authorities speak of a “diffuse infection process”.

The first regional lockdown after the summer was imposed in the Berchtesgaden district in Bavaria. What that means in detail and which rules now apply, find out here.

Experts had warned of a “second wave” in autumn and winter. Nevertheless, some were surprised by the dynamics of the infection process and the early timing. With falling temperatures, it is unlikely to be any easier to bring the infection process under control, as people are now more indoors again.

Regular ventilation can help reduce the risk of infection in enclosed spaces. Distance rules and hygiene regulations should also continue to be observed. In particular, wearing mouth and nose protection has repeatedly proven to be an effective measure to combat the pandemic.

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Parity law: equality slowed down (neue-deutschland.de)

It was almost a courageous step in the fight for equality: at the beginning of 2019, the coalition of the SPD and the Left Party, in cooperation with the Greens, was the first state government to pass a law according to which parties are only allowed to fill their state lists for state elections equally. With the so-called zipper principle, the alternating occupation of the list places, equal opportunities for women and men should be guaranteed for a mandate.

The law came into force on July 1st of this year. So far, it has not been used – this should happen for the first time in the state election in 2024. The corresponding law overturned the constitutional court of the state of Brandenburg on Friday. The prescribed parity has an impermissible influence on the chances of the parties in the election, it says in the judgment. Through the Parity Act, the legislature withdraws a substantial part of the democratic decision-making process by influencing the composition of the lists.

For Kathrin Dannenberg, parliamentary group leader of the Left in the state parliament, this is “a defeat, but not a knockout.” It is true that the judgment is respected that the equality of women and men in parliaments still results for the left from the democratic principle of the Basic Law. “We’re sticking to it: The voice of the Brandenburg women must have greater weight in the state parliament. Parity does not harm democracy, it strengthens it. “

The state chairwoman of the Left, Anja Mayer, also declared: »The verdict is a bitter signal for the fight for equality. In the opinion of the court, of all things, the level of political decision-makers should be exempted from regulations that ensure equality legally. «The spokeswoman for women’s and equality policy of the SPD parliamentary group, Elske Hildebrandt, spoke of the fact that equal participation of women and Men in political decisions and processes continue to be the declared aim of the SPD in Brandenburg.

The extreme right could be happy: the national associations of NPD and AfD had filed the now negotiated lawsuits against the parity law. They saw the freedom of choice and the freedom of the parties to organize seriously impaired. The plaintiffs argued that the law violates the parties’ freedom to choose their candidates on their own terms. It also discriminates against men and violates the Basic Law and the state constitution. The NPD criticized that because of the low proportion of women it had little chance of meeting the requirements. The AfD may have felt the same way. Right-wing populists have the lowest proportion of women in the state parliament, at 22 percent. Greens and leftists, on the other hand, are already implementing a quota of 50 percent – without any law. Of the total of 88 members of all parliamentary groups, one third are women.

The Young Liberals also welcomed the court’s decision. That the red-red-green alliance gave the NPD and AfD the chance to present themselves as model democrats loyal to the constitution is scandalous, according to their state chairman Matti Karstedt. One now wants to work on “constitutional solutions”.

Decision like in Thuringia

With their verdict, the constitutional judges in Potsdam made the same decision as their colleagues in Thuringia before. In July, the Constitutional Court in Weimar had already declared the state election law reformed by Red-Red-Green to be unconstitutional. It affects “the right to freedom and equality of choice” as well as the “right of political parties to freedom of activity, freedom of programs and equal opportunities.” Both rights also apply to “preparatory acts” such as listing candidates, the verdict said. It was passed with six votes to three. The only two judges in this case and one judge gave separate opinions in which they declared that the law was in conformity with the constitution.

Renate Licht and Jens Petermann decided that the »structural discrimination that actually exists against women in politics« is misunderstood. In the meantime, a complaint has been submitted to the Federal Constitutional Court. It should examine the decision from Weimar. In addition, the parliamentary groups of Left and Greens had declared that they could imagine a new attempt at a parity law. The special votes had shown the legal leeway, said the left parliamentary group leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow after the judgment.

The chairwoman of the Brandenburg Left, Katharina Slanina, announced something similar: “In its judgment, the court has already given the first indications of necessary changes to the state constitution.” It is also assumed that the parties in the governing coalition are also interested in a speedy restart , and am available for appropriate discussions, said Slanina. Group leader Dannenberg said: “Right now we see ourselves strengthened in the fact that this area must also be examined as part of a constitutional reform.”

Nationwide initiatives

Despite legal concerns, there are also initiatives for parity laws in other federal states and at the federal level. As a list of the German Women’s Council shows, corresponding demands were made in May 2019 in all federal states except Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Saarland. The left-wing parliamentary group in Berlin presented a draft in March 2019. A month ago, a study by the SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation confirmed that the project was in conformity with the constitution. The author of the study, Silke Ruth Laskowski, comes to the conclusion: “A parity amendment to the Berlin electoral law is possible and also necessary within the framework of the current constitution of Berlin and the Basic Law!” When the draft law comes to the vote in the House of Representatives, is so far unclear.

In an interview with “nd.DerTag”, the President of the German Association of Women Lawyers (DJB) Maria Wersig explained that there are other ways of combating the underrepresentation of women in addition to quoting. “One could anchor equality concepts in the party law,” she said on Wednesday. “Or expand party funding that honors the results of these efforts.”

From the DJB’s point of view, both the Thuringian and Brandenburg parity laws were constitutional. After the Potsdam judgment, Wersig was nevertheless confident: »The Brandenburg Constitutional Court today missed the opportunity to cement the milestone set by parliament for democracy and equal rights. The debate continues anyway, “she said on the short message service Twitter. “Again,” said the President of the State Parliament, Ulrike Liedtke, after the verdict.

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Tragedy in Thuringia (neue-deutschland.de)

Almost empty stands instead of sold-out grandstands, but more organizational effort than ever: The World Cup in Oberhof is turning into a financial tragedy. The Thuringian biathlon mecca is threatened with a loss of more than one million euros due to the hygiene concepts to be implemented. The German organizers are also facing a financial fiasco with the Nordic, Alpine and tobogganists due to the corona pandemic.

In Oberhof, according to a report in the daily newspaper “Thüringer Allgemeine”, the state of Thuringia will pay for the deficit that has arisen. Despite the expected losses, the organizers even got involved in the double event required by the world association. There was no alternative to this, said Hartmut Schubert, State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Oberhof representative of the state government. “If we hadn’t said yes to the request of the world association and instead let Ruhpolding take precedence, we as World Cup organizers might not have been considered in the future,” said the SPD politician.

It is still unclear how many viewers will be allowed to attend from January 7th to 11th and January 13th to 17th. 25,000 people a day – as usual – will certainly not make a pilgrimage to the Rennsteig. “More than 9,000 a day” are hardly possible in view of the high print runs, Schubert was already dampening hopes.

The same problem plagues the organizers of other major winter sports events in Germany. Planning “into the blue” plagues the organizers a lot, said Florian Stern from the Sport- und Veranstaltungs GmbH of the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, after all, at such events, “a certain lead time is essential”. In the Allgäu, the world title fights are planned from February 23 to March 7 of next year with “at least 2500 spectators in the ski jumping stadium” and “2000 plus x in the cross-country stadium,” said Moritz Beckers-Schwarz, one of the managing directors of the Nordic World Ski Championships GmbH. Even a failover could not make up for the expected deficit.

The Four Hills Tournament will also have to deal with restrictions. A maximum of 2500 spectators are allowed for the opening competition in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is still playing for time. The Luge World Championships at Königssee and the Bobsleigh World Championships in Altenberg will also have to deal with such problems. “At the moment, it’s all about the task of averting damage,” said DOSB President Alfons Hörmann recently, referring to sport as a whole: “We are at a point where sport needs help to help itself.” SID / nd

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Children have been eating more sweets and snacks since the beginning of the corona pandemic – news

Study: Half of ten to 14 year olds exercise less

Munich (AFP) – Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, children in Germany have been eating more sweets and salty snacks and are sometimes moving less. This is the result of a survey that nutrition researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) presented on Friday. According to the study, the Covid-19 pandemic increases the risk of obesity and malnutrition in children.

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“Ritter Sport” square chocolate pieces

© AFP

The nutrition researchers at the Else Kröner Fresenius Center for Nutritional Medicine (EKFZ) at Munich University and the opinion research company Forsa surveyed around a thousand parents of children up to 14 years of age. According to this, 38 percent of parents state that their child has been less active since the beginning of the pandemic. This is particularly common among ten to 14 year olds – around half in this age group (57 percent) move noticeably less.

On the other hand, the older children in particular have been eating more fruit since the lockdown, but also more sweets such as chocolate, gummy bears and ice cream, as well as chips and pretzel sticks. Boys in particular use snacks (20 percent), sweets (22 percent) and soft drinks (twelve percent) more often than before the pandemic.

Among the different age groups, it was mainly the ten to twelve year old children who were less able to resist sweet (23 percent) or salty (28 percent) during the lockdown.

This has some consequences for the weight. According to the study, an increase in body weight can be observed particularly in children aged ten to twelve, with boys being affected twice as often as girls (14 percent) at 27 percent.

Overall, 14 percent of families say they have been eating healthier than before since the beginning of the pandemic. Seven percent eat less healthily, and 79 percent have no change. According to the study, these trends are largely independent of income and level of education.

Article from 10/16/2020

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Vacation in the GDR: How old travel guides show the country

“Due to its geographical location, our republic is the intersection of major tourist connections in Europe. Travelers often want to get to know this peace state and its people better.” “Every tourist can be assured of being hospitable here, because he is in a country, whose highest political principle is humanism. “

It’s amazing how the GDR advertised itself as a tourist wonderland in travel guides published by state publishers between the 1960s and 1980s. Anyone who reads them and does not know the second German state firsthand could consider it to be cosmopolitan and hospitable, a coveted travel destination in the first league of tourism.

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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.

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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.

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“You can’t lock yourself in from the virus” (neue-deutschland.de)

Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke), Prime Minister of Thuringia, at the municipal summit of the Thuringian State Chancellery on October 8th

Photo: dpa / Bodo Schackow

The number of corona infections is increasing significantly, many federal states no longer want to let tourists from risk areas stay overnight – or only with a negative test. Thuringia does not join this. Why do you think bans on accommodation are wrong?

We have a nationwide infection protection law. According to this law, the responsible body is the respective health department. If it orders that people are not allowed to leave or enter a region, then of course I obey the rules. And if the office orders quarantine, it will be enforced. What does not work: not to follow the recommendations of the health department. In the case of Gütersloh, the health department had concentrated on the Tönnies slaughterhouse. But then banning all people who live there from traveling is going too far.

In view of the increasing number of infections, do you trust the national health authorities to have the situation in their regions under control?

I trust that the federal states and the federal government will equip the health authorities so that they are able to act. When that was not the case in an office in Thuringia, we requested help from the Bundeswehr and immediately received support from a medical officer and two hygienists. The Jena University Hospital and the Robert Koch Institute also helped. Every federal state can organize this wherever the numbers are increasing.

In order for the system to work across Germany, we should talk more about the public health service. And the experience that we have been collecting for months into concepts so that we not only fend off this coronavirus, but are also prepared for future cases. We have to learn to live with an epidemic like this without getting excited. You cannot lock yourself up from the virus, you have to consistently follow the precautionary measures.

Does the rejection of accommodation bans also have to do with the question of how one should control it completely?

It has to do with my self-image: The health authorities make the decision in these matters. If you want to strengthen them, you shouldn’t assign the decisions to the hoteliers and restaurant operators. They should enforce the necessary hygiene rules in their areas; but it is not their job to control people.

I advocate taking a very close look at where infections take place – not in which region, but specifically in which building, on which occasion. The virus and disease are dangerous, but our healthcare system is now able to deal with Covid-19. And we can help those who get sick much earlier than in spring.

Now it is autumn holidays – for many people who are now looking for a vacation spot, Thuringia’s waiver of bans on accommodation will sound like an invitation.

Should I keep my mouth shut if I find something wrong – for fear that people will come to visit? Not all who come from risk areas are infected. I can’t tell if someone is having symptoms. Anyone who has any must seek medical help immediately. I ask that we panic less. And that we stop trying to regulate everything equally everywhere. What has to be uniform: that the local health department decides. I have to be sure that when I come to Berlin, the hygiene rules in the restaurants work. And I need to know whether or not the virus is spreading in the nd building, for example. The Berliners, on the other hand, have to be sure that we in Thuringia also comply with the rules. The corona numbers vary from region to region, but if something happens, the same pattern always has to be followed: Follow-up of contacts, information and, if necessary, tests.

Where you have to add: A test only says that you were not infected the three days before. Three days later it can look different again. In this respect, tests as a prerequisite for traveling only offer a sham security, and I don’t like that.

Would there be enough test capacities in Thuringia for residents who want to travel to other federal states, or does Thuringia currently have no hotspots at all?

We currently have a hotspot in Schleiz. It is about a disabled facility with over 20 infected people. There, residents, employees, suppliers and others who have had contact are identified and checked so that we do not have to close the entire district.

We have sufficient capacities that all Thuringians can be tested before a trip. Just want to point out, people have to pay for this themselves. And that means: if you have less money, you may not be able to afford it for your family. This is different from the German Football League, which simply said we put a few million euros on the table and test all the players who go on the pitch. The soccer league finances this from the television rights. A pensioner who wants to visit her grandson may not be able to afford that.

By the way, we will be holding a trade fair in Thuringia where we will only deal with topics such as better ventilation, clean, virus-free indoor air, etc. So with accompanying technical solutions to combat corona. We urgently need more research and development. Because in such a mobile world we will be even more confronted with the challenge of viruses in the future.

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