The reform of the Infection Protection Act has cleared the first hurdle. A majority in the Bundestag voted in favor of the reform in order to put the corona measures on a new legal basis in the future.
The Bundestag has cleared the way for the changes planned by the grand coalition in the Infection Protection Act. 415 MPs voted for the reform on Wednesday in order to put the corona measures on a more precise legal basis in the future. 236 voted against, 8 abstained from the roll-call vote.
The final consultation in the Federal Council is also planned for this Wednesday, which has come together for a special session. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will possibly draft the law on the same day so that it can come into force.
When several thousand participants protested against the change in the law and the state’s corona policy near the Bundestag, there were clashes with the police and the use of water cannons in parallel to the debate in parliament. The police also spoke of more than 100 arrests.
Union and SPD defend the reform of the law
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn defended the corona restrictions in the debate and campaigned for further confidence in the crisis management. Rising numbers of infections sooner or later led to increasing suffering in the intensive care units and a loss of control, said the CDU politician. The SPD health politician Bärbel Bas rejected fears that the reform of the Infection Protection Act would expand powers for federal and state governments. “Just the opposite is the case,” she said.
The AfD fails with a postponement
At the beginning of the debate, the AfD had initially tried to take the topic off the agenda, but failed because of the unified resistance of the other groups. The parliamentary manager of the AfD parliamentary group, Bernd Baumann, said: “Today’s bill is an authorization for the government that has not existed since historical times”. MEPs from the other political groups rejected the allegations. The parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group, Carsten Schneider, said that the AfD was playing with the comparison with the Enabling Act of 1933. “They not only discredit our democracy, they make it contemptible,” he emphasized.
The opposition is still critical of the law
Speakers from the FDP, the Greens and the Left Party criticized the reform of the Infection Protection Act. The planned new regulations do not give the governments any guard rails, but rather issue them “a free ticket”, said FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Lindner. It is a fundamental democratic question that governments should never decide on such massive encroachments on fundamental rights and freedoms, said the parliamentary executive director of the Left, Jan Korte.