The Bundestag has once again extended the “epidemic emergency” in the pandemic and thus secured extensive competencies. At the latest when every citizen had a vaccination offer, the democratic state of emergency must come to an end, demands Merkur chief editor Georg Anastasiadis.
Even if the zest for life returns and the Munich Schäffler want to dance again soon: The corona pandemic is not over yet. With this (correct) reference, the Union, the SPD, the Greens and the Left extended the “epidemic emergency of national scope” in the Bundestag yesterday until September 30th. It gives the federal government extensive powers in the fight against corona and, in particular, allows it to act with ordinances – and thus bypass parliament.
A final extension of the governmental state of emergency seems justifiable. We don’t yet know what damage the Delta variant will cause. But one thing is clear: the virus has come to stay. Politicians must not turn this into a permanent state of emergency for democracy. As soon as it becomes apparent that the situation is and will remain manageable, the federal government must end the emergency (the federal emergency brake, which is linked to high incidences, expires at the end of June) and let the – actually responsible – states take action again. In the pandemic, these have certainly not done worse than the federal government, which is making headlines with expensive intensive care bed fraud and test rip-offs.
Together, the federal and state governments are faced with a decision on how to deal with the virus from autumn, when all those willing to vaccinate have hopefully received a vaccination offer. If the health system is no longer threatened with overload, it is no longer up to the state to protect every citizen from possible infection with a draconian regime of measures. In a liberal order, it must then be left to each individual to decide whether and how to protect himself and what risk of life and contagion he is willing to accept.