DAs is well known, success has many fathers and mothers. After the first lockdown, all of Germany congratulated itself on its successful pandemic policy. The rest of the world wondered how the Germans do it – at least that’s how many Germans interpreted it. We viewed with horror the disastrous situation in the United States, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain and Great Britain. Almost a year later, disillusionment set in. Germany is adapting to international developments. Since the so-called “vaccination disaster”, the mood has even turned into its opposite: the pandemic political model student has become a failure who seems to have fallen behind others.
The failure, on the other hand, is an orphan, although Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left) formulated a kind of confession of guilt in the past few days. However, central and eastern Germany was largely spared the infection dynamics in the spring, only to be hit all the harder this winter. The force of the pandemic is now also reaching Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the state with the lowest infection rates to date.
Nevertheless, the Prime Ministers Reiner Haseloff (CDU) and Manuela Schwesig (SPD) could not bring themselves to admit guilt with Anne Will. Obviously, in terms of national politics, they have no communication problem comparable to Ramelow, where they would have to convey a brutal change of course to their voters. Haseloff pointed out that all resolutions passed in the Prime Minister’s Conference with the Federal Government were unanimous. These actually always functioned according to the same pattern: in the run-up to these conferences, the Chancellor let her wishes regarding tougher measures leak through the media in order to subsequently represent the compromise with the federal states rather half-heartedly.
Federal marshalling yard
But in our federal structure, the federal government is not responsible for implementing measures. The Chancellery is far away, even if it should affect the Berlin district of Neukölln. The Prime Ministers were responsible for every grievance, while the Chancellor saw herself as a warning. Federalism thus became a marshalling yard for political responsibility, which Martin Knobbe, as head of the “Spiegel” capital office, defined in the sense of the Chancellery: “This autumn you overslept as Prime Minister.” In fact, it was a much more mundane problem. If the federal government wanted to intervene even more deeply in the economic cycle, said Haseloff, the “Federal Minister of Finance and the Federal Minister of Economics would have to compensate.” Without the support of the Federal Chancellor, this would probably not have been enforceable.