Berlin (dpa) – Before today’s premier conference, Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) called for an end to the dispute between the federal state over the funding of Corona aid.
“Instead of mutual accusations, federal and state governments must work together to make sure we get through the difficult winter months of the pandemic as best we can,” said Hans of the “Rheinische Post”. He rejected criticism of the states from his own parliamentary group. “We don’t feel left alone by the federal government. But conversely, we will not leave the federal government in the rain. As countries, we assume our financial responsibility in the Corona crisis. “
Union leader Ralph Brinkhaus last week criticized the division of corona costs between the federal government and the federal states in the Bundestag: The federal states should “finally be financially involved in this matter and not always just make decisions and then present the bill to the federal government. ”. His claim was supported by Union budget and economic experts – and raised a broad national front against him from within his own ranks.
Hans told the “Rheinische Post” that the Saarland alone had initiated an additional budget with 2.1 billion euros in corona-related special expenditures. That equates to half of a regular state budget. “We are pushing the pain threshold of what is possible for a budget crisis country like Saarland.” Hans told the Funke media group newspapers that the more federal and state governments spoke with one voice, the better the measures would be accepted and supported by the people. “Germany must stick together. The debates between federal and state governments over funding are damaging. “
The general director of the German Association of Cities and Towns, Gerd Landsberg, was on the side of the states. He told the “Rheinische Post”: “Without further massive help from the federal government, states and municipalities will not be able to cope with the corona crisis in the new year.” Under the Basic Law, the federal government is responsible for supporting the economy, not the states. “In this respect, I can only understand to a limited extent the Union’s demands for an additional burden on the countries.”
Federal Prime Ministers meet today for a video conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). Unlike the latest consultations of this kind, this time the focus is not on controlling the corona pandemic and resolving it. Rather, it should be about digitization, the energy transition and the German presidency of the EU Council.
Before switching to the chancellor, the heads of state first consult each other (12.30 pm). It probably won’t go completely without Corona here and later with Merkel. For example, some countries have recently started discussions about allowing people visiting their families for Christmas to stay in hotels. These states, including North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Berlin, do not see this as tourist overnight stays that are prohibited because of Corona. Chancellor Merkel criticizes that.