Federal Council approves law: power struggle for protection against infection

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Status: 19.11.2021 4:20 p.m.

The Union used the Federal Council meeting on the new Infection Protection Act to give it a go – and then agreed. But that is a “concession”, so NRW state chief Wüst.

By Sarah Frühauf, ARD capital studio

No time limit. Everyone can talk as long as they want. Federal Council President Bodo Ramelow is generous. The topic is too important to shorten the debate. It is about the amended Infection Protection Act, which passed the day before with the votes of the possible traffic light coalition by the Federal Council.

In the morning, the Federal Council will deal with the law. It is a special session with one point on the agenda: Decide on the Corona timetable for the next few weeks. That sounds like a formality that needs to be dealt with quickly. However, it turns into a power struggle on the open Federal Council stage.

Volker Bouffier is the first Prime Minister to take the chance to vent his frustration. The CDU politician from Hesse shoots against the plans of the traffic light parties. The law is an imposition, harmful to the country and bad style anyway. The Union is dissatisfied with the fact that the SPD, Greens and FDP are letting the epidemic situation run out on a national scale. This regulation enabled the federal states to enact anti-corona measures by ordinance.

What do 2G, 2G-Plus, 3G and 3G-Plus mean?

The access restrictions 2G, 2G-Plus, 3G and 3G-Plus play a major role in the Corona measures. The meaning in detail:

– 2G means vaccinated or recovered. People who received the final vaccination at least two weeks ago are considered vaccinated. People who have corona infection with a PCR test are considered to have recovered. This test result must be at least 28 days old and not more than six months ago.

– 2G-Plus: like 2G, the plus stands for additionally tested the vaccinated and / or recovered persons. The negative result of a corona rapid test is required as a test.

– 3G means fully vaccinated, recovered or tested. A negative rapid antigen test, which must not be older than 24 hours, is required as a test.

– 3G-Plus means vaccinated, recovered or PCR tested. A negative PCR test is required from unvaccinated persons. This must be renewed every 72 hours for longer stays.

That gave them a lot of leeway. One too big, the Greens and FDP had repeatedly criticized and called for the corona measures to be discussed in the Bundestag. Now that the two parties can rule, they have prevailed and revised the Infection Protection Act.

Union wanted tougher measures

The traffic light parties have created a kind of toolbox for the countries that they can use. But the Union is missing something: tougher measures, such as the ability to close businesses or shops. In the Bundestag, the Union must first of all come to terms with the role of the opposition.

In the Bundesrat, however, the traffic light parties are dependent on the goodwill of the countries in which the Union is involved in government. Without them there is no majority. Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff was only too happy to draw attention to this again in his speech in the Federal Council, packaged as a well-intentioned message: The Federal Republic is not a central state. Political coexistence should not be called into question.

It was the Union that had rehearsed the uprising in the past few days and threatened to block the traffic light bill in the Federal Council. The traffic light parties gave in and sharpened the law again.

Martin Schmidt, ARD Berlin, on the approval of the Federal Council to the new Infection Protection Act

tagesschau24 11:00 a.m., 11/19/2021

In the Bund-Länder switch, the likely future Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised another meeting at the beginning of December. Until then, one would see what the previous instrument case had achieved and rework it again. The Union is pacified. At least initially. The blockade in the Federal Council does not come.

Wüst speaks of “accommodating”

Even the third CDU state chief Hendrik Wüst from North Rhine-Westphalia, who took the floor in the special session in the morning, never tires of mentioning that it is again an act of the Union to agree to the law.

The Union versus traffic light parties: Ramelow also seems to be afraid that similar situations could repeat themselves in the Federal Council in the coming weeks. At the end of the meeting, after a unanimous vote in favor of the law, Ramelow thanks and emphasizes that a lot of solidarity will be needed in the coming weeks.

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