The German Parliament adopted, Wednesday, November 18, new legislation to allow the executive to act more quickly in the face of the health crisis without violating the Constitution. Thousands of demonstrators, dominated by the far right, once again took to the streets.
“Law reform [sur la protection contre l’épidémie] in a climate of strong contestation ”, title the Southgerman newspaper this Thursday, November 19, like many dailies. The day before, as Berlin passed a new fast-track law, several thousand demonstrators had flocked to the capital to express their opposition to this additional step towards what they called “dictatorship”, relate le journal.
After the experience of August 29 and the recent disaster in Leipzig, more than 2,000 police officers had been mobilized. They nevertheless took several hours to restore calm in the face of a crowd dominated by the far right and rallying “The old, the young, the conservative, the esoteric”, for some accompanied by children.
Another source of concern
The new law aims to better anchor the government’s action against the Covid-19 pandemic on the foundations of the Constitution, analyzes the liberal Munich daily, but it remains insufficient. Let the dispute happen “In the shadow of the extremists, […] which have no other purpose than to destroy the Constitution, […] only aspire to an authoritarian nationalist state and take every opportunity to shout it ”, is “Extremely regrettable”. Car “worries [d’un bon nombre d’autres citoyens, relativement à l’État de droit et aux libertés individuelles] are understandable, even justified ”, underlines the newspaper, before adding:
When there is a violation of fundamental rights, it is up to Parliament to decide. ”
As it stands, insofar as the new law further specifies the conditions required to be able to hinder fundamental rights at the federal and regional levels and where it strengthens the right to demonstrate, the newspaper sums up, we are far from slipping towards a dictatorship, there is on the contrary “a progress”. But there are still many elements that are too vague not to deserve to be improved in order to better guarantee democracy in the country.
The law was adopted by a strong majority in the Bundestag (415 votes in favor, 236 against, 8 abstentions). Approved in the wake by the House of Länder, it was ratified by the President of the Republic and will apply as of its official publication.