Corona costs: Chancellor consults with Prime Minister | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – overshadowed by nearly 500 corona deaths in one day, state prime ministers met again on Wednesday for a video conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).

The pandemic may not be a focus of deliberations this time, but in any case, the recent federal-state dispute over corona relief funding should already play a role.

In the run-up, Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) had called for moderation: “Instead of mutual accusations, federal and state governments should work together to get through the difficult winter months of the pandemic,” he said. against the Rheinische Post (Wednesday). The chairman of the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU), had recently incited several prime ministers against him when he urged states to contribute more financially to the pandemic costs. States should “not always just pass resolutions and then present the bill to the federal government.”

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) said in ZDF “Morgenmagazin” that the charge had misunderstood Germany’s federal state structure. Only the federal government can levy taxes. After the pandemic, you need to make a “cash drop” and clarify from which sources the debts now accumulated by the federal and state governments can be financed. His Saarland colleague Hans also rejected the criticism: “We do not 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. “

Health authorities reported 487 deaths from coronavirus to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within 24 hours. This is the highest daily value since the start of the pandemic. Moreover, relatively many people in Germany are still infected with the virus. The number of new infections has decreased slightly in recent days, but the hoped-for effect of the partial lockdown has not yet materialized.

There are currently particularly high growth rates in Saxony. Prime Minister Kretschmer has therefore announced a tougher lockdown if the numbers do not fall by Christmas. ‘Then we won’t be able to open kindergartens after Christmas. Then the schools are closed for longer. Then we have to talk about whether the stores will be closed for a certain time, ” he said on the social network Instagram.

Meanwhile, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) is relying on swift decisions about the approval of corona vaccines in Europe. Nurses and doctors worked day and night and every weekend. Therefore, one can also expect the EU approval authority to reach a decision as soon as possible, Spahn said after a video conference with his EU counterparts.

Applications have been submitted in the EU for two vaccines: one from Mainz-based company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer, and one from US company Moderna. Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) asked for patience: even with the Covid vaccine, no abbreviations were used and no compromises were made in the requirements. “Only in this way can we further build public confidence in a vaccine.”

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