UOriginally things had been planned differently. On Friday, the CDU party headquarters had sent the message that there would be no press conference after the regular digital meeting of the party leadership on Monday. That made sense. Because a speech by party chairman Armin Laschet for Tuesday morning had already been announced. This should be the prelude to the “participation campaign” for the CDU election program. But then the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus announced a few minutes after 9 a.m. on Monday that Laschet would appear before the press at 12 noon. There he reported from the presidium meeting. The top topic was once again dealing with the corona pandemic. It was agreed that there would be a prime ministerial conference like the one a week ago “no longer”, said Laschet.
Since the heads of government of the federal states had met with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) until the early hours of the morning, the Easter rest had already been withdrawn by the Chancellor on Wednesday and a lot of details from the meeting had been made public through the media, there was broad agreement among those involved that something had to change. Negative headlines and comments had hit politics with such force that the pressure to change something was far too high for everyone to have a relaxed Easter break.
So Laschet said that the next MPK, the round of prime ministers, would have to take place analogously. Almost all meetings of this type since the spring of last year had been held digitally. Nobody could therefore control who overheard everything in the offices of the prime ministers or in the chancellery and passed on information. The fact that “60, 70, 80” people are involved does not contribute to efficiency, said Laschet. He demanded that the drafts had to be well prepared and that the federal and state governments should better manage the crisis. Participants later said that other CDU Prime Ministers had supported the North Rhine-Westphalian head of government’s demand for a presence event. The names Volker Bouffier (Hessen), Tobias Hans (Saarland) and Daniel Günther (Schleswig-Holstein) were mentioned.
Cell phones should stay outside
Another demand was made: the cell phones should stay outside. The participants of the conference want to work concentrated in the future so as not to give the impression that they are a bunch of chickens despite all the unreasonable demands on the population in the fight against the virus. There is enough space in the Chancellery for a working session with 20 or 25 participants. Right across from the room that the friends have seen press conferences every few weeks on TV or livestream for a year, when Merkel, the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder and another head of government present the results of the corona consultations before or, more recently, after midnight very large conference room. Tables and chairs are arranged in a round shape in this, so that sufficient distance is guaranteed.
Will there be advice in the future? Disciplined and Confidential? That is still open. In any case, no confirmation of Laschet’s analogous future plans for the MPK was to be received from the Chancellery on Monday. Even before Laschet, on late Sunday evening on the ARD, Merkel had called for the format to change. And that was the least thing the Chancellor had given the countries in an hour-long interview with presenter Anne Will. In her own calm manner, she had issued a tough threat in the event that the states did not pull the “emergency brake” against the spread of the coronavirus set out in the joint resolutions as soon as the seven-day incidence reached 100 per 100,000 inhabitants exceeds on three consecutive days.
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