Not a few members of the Bavarian State Parliament are likely to regret having called on Prime Minister Markus Söder in the early phase of the pandemic to involve Parliament more closely. Since then, one government statement has followed the next. Because of another special meeting on Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Michaela Kaniber (CSU) was unable to personally open the carp season, other MPs had to return early from their vacation – and that for easing, which Söder had already announced several times. That was reason enough for the AfD to speak of a “farce”.
Söder, however, considered it right and important to present the “new reality” in the House. The decisive factor that distinguishes the now rolling fourth wave from the previous ones is vaccination. There are 60 percent fully vaccinated in Bavaria – to be precise, it is 58.8.
Incidence high among adolescents
In a country comparison, it is twelfth place, which encouraged the parliamentary group leader of the Greens, Ludwig Hartmann, to the request that Söder should act out his ambition to be the best everywhere, but also in this field. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister listed the incidences by age group: While the value for people over 80 years of age is only eleven, it is 184 for adolescents, among whom the vaccination rate is low similar language, as Martin Hagen, the FDP parliamentary group leader, carried out.
Vaccination is the key to overcoming the pandemic: that was shared by all political groups in the debate, apart from the AfD. So also from the coalition partner of the CSU, the Free Voters, whose Deputy Prime Minister Hubert Aiwanger had recently sent other signals. All the more remarkable was the emphasis with which its Parliamentary Managing Director Fabian Mehring emphasized that he had been vaccinated himself and that he was “firmly” convinced of it.
The fact that he even praised the cooperation with the CSU as the “gold standard” had to do with the fact that Söder’s reaction to the “new reality” largely corresponds to positions that the Free Voters have held for a long time, also in the certainty that they would become topical at some point.
A lot of approval, but also a lot of doubts from the opposition
In the private sphere, there should no longer be any contact restrictions in the future, in public indoor spaces the 3-G rule should apply regardless of the incidence, clubs and discos should be allowed to open from October, including for unvaccinated people with a PCR test. Finally, two levels of warning are introduced for hospital bed occupancy.
The opposition expressed a lot of general approval, but also many doubts, for example about the durability of promises. The parliamentary group leader of the SPD, Florian von Brunn, recalled Söder’s suggestion that a mobile air purifier should be available in every classroom at the start of school. The Free State made a lot of money available to the municipalities for this, but some of them felt taken by surprise. As much is becoming apparent, the goal will be clearly missed.
Von Brunn also complained that the new Corona regulation does not reveal what exactly follows when the red hospital level is reached. Even with the increase in the vaccination rate, the philosopher’s stone does not seem to have been found yet. In Bavaria there is a north-south divide, which amateur ethnologists explain with the obstinacy of the mountain dwellers.
Another attempt to explain this is delusion. The tried to counter Söder in the state parliament, leaving a lot of room for substantive deepening. Someone wrote to him that when he was vaccinated, Satan would come into body and soul. Answer by Söder: “The Holy Father has also been vaccinated twice.”