Merkel: government doesn’t take the easiest way

by Thorsten Koch

On the occasion of the Day of the Basic Law in Germany, German Chancellor Angela Merkel explained restrictions on fundamental rights during the Corona pandemic, defending them in parallel. “This virus is an imposition on our democracy,” she said in her weekly podcast, adding that the federal government cabinet is not making it easy for itself. Rather, government tries to keep the time-span of necessary restrictions short. Worries in the population are understandable, Merkel emphasized.

Justifications necessary

The Basic Law was announced 71 years ago. Fundamental rights are essential, explained Merkel. In particular, “Article 1 is important: Human dignity is inviolable.” Overuse of the health system was successfully prevented, Merkel said. There is a constant need to justify why restrictions cannot yet be relaxed “and why we can already relax an element”. A lot of activities are already possible once more, said Merkel, expressing her satisfaction.

Not only Germany, but all EU countries are affected by the Coronavirus, Merkel said: “Time to stand together in Europe and to show that we wish to remain strong together.” Aid programs should also be designed in a European way, Merkel pointed out. She also referred to the German Presidency of the European Council from July 1st.

The Basic Law, a “stroke of luck for Germany”

Meanwhile, the new president of the Federal Constitutional Court, Harbarth, emphasized that fundamental rights apply, but are currently different than before the looming crisis. Demonstrations are possible, but with minimum distances. Harbarth called the Basic Law “a stroke of luck for Germany”.

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