And now it is clear that the liberal-green coalition of Tübingen’s mayor Boris Palmer and FDP leader Christian Lindner rightly warned. “Historic decline: German economy collapses by five percent,” is the headline – both feared that for a long time, and repeatedly discussed it in connection with Corona.
Not because they deny the danger posed by Covid-19. Far from it: Lindner and Palmer have repeatedly insisted on dramatically expanded protection for the risk groups and, against this background, denounced the many serious illnesses among the elderly and the very old.
Rather, both, independently of each other, are calling for a different crisis management strategy. Incidentally, here again and again followed by the Left Party.
What drives you? Not to let the damage to the economy and society, described several times in the past and now occurring, not become exponential. Palmer sees bankruptcies roll in, sees retail falling into a coma using the example of his city. He does not want to accept appeasement here, any more than free democrat Lindner.
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It is the wrong way to first reduce the number of new infections below 50 per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, they say in unison, before consequences are drawn. Especially since the 50s incidence is a grasped quantity, has no scientific inevitability. Both therefore consider a new lockdown extension – according to the latest rumors beyond Easter until summer, and which officially ends shortly before the federal election in September – as unreasonable.
Lindner and Palmer urge the federal government to weigh more carefully between health protection and the damage “in social and economic terms”. And see the state as obliged to look for other means, creative, innovative.
Examples of more innovative, creative action against the crisis: air filters in schools; massive use of rapid tests everywhere; FFP2 masks by post for the risk groups, taxi vouchers instead of local public transport, special time slots for shopping. Just like in Palmers Tübingen. “It’s all much cheaper, also financially, than this lockdown with such great damage,” says Lindner.
Will the federal government substantially contradict him? Even with the demand for a step-by-step plan with perspective based on the number of infections for daycare centers, schools, retail and gastronomy, this is at least not that easy. But it has to be addressed. Somebody has to do it, that was once the FDP election campaign motto; today there are at least two.