Letter to Merkel: Top managers call for an opening strategy on March 3rd

Bernd von Jutrczenka / picture alliance / dpa

The trade in Germany asked Chancellor Angela Merkel to present a “uniform opening strategy supported by the federal government and all 16 federal states” on March 3rd. Retail and its employees must finally be offered sustainable future prospects, demanded the President of the German Trade Association Josef Sanktjohanser and numerous top managers in the industry in a letter to the Chancellor. It is available to the German Press Agency.

The letter was signed by, among others, the head of the Otto Group Alexander Birken, the head of the Schwarz Group – Lidl, Kaufland – Klaus Gehrig, Edeka boss Markus Mosa, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof boss Miguel Müllenbach and Douglas boss Tina Müller. You complain: There is still no cleverly coordinated policy between the federal and state governments with a vaccination concept, adapted hygiene rules, test strategies and app solutions that work and where data protection rules are temporarily suspended due to the crisis to improve the traceability of infections. In this way, both health protection and the social and economic costs of the lockdown can be taken into account.

“Urgently need planning security”

According to the letter, the decision made by the federal and state governments a few weeks ago to continue the general lockdown largely unchanged despite the declining numbers of new infections triggered the greatest misunderstanding among the dealers concerned. “It is the lack of perspective and the daily growing uncertainty that drives the merchants into anger and despair in the face of the looming loss of existence.”

The statement that with a stable value of 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in one week there could be further opening steps is not enough for the trade. “Our companies urgently need planning security, under what conditions and in what time frame they can reopen their shops.”

Merkel: Even with rapid tests, no immediate openings

At the same time, Chancellor Angela Merkel dampened hopes for very quick and comprehensive easing – which more and more people who rely on the introduction of self-tests are hoping for. The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder warned of the “opening rush”. The Chancellor and Prime Minister will discuss again on Wednesday. The pressure from the economy is great: The trade is demanding that the reopening of the inner cities not be made dependent on an incidence of 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days. And: Several federal states have already announced the opening of garden markets and flower shops in addition to hairdressers’ shops for the beginning of next week.

Hopes for more normality are also directed towards rapid tests, which trained personnel should carry out, and layperson self-tests. Merkel said on Thursday evening after deliberations at the EU summit that it must first be thoroughly checked “whether we can work out a buffer with these self-tests through more testing, so that the incidence can go slightly higher than 35”. In spite of the self-tests, one can neither generally do without incidences nor open them immediately.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Söder warned: “We want to open up gradually, but with common sense and caution. In view of the mutation, we are not allowed to fly blind. A general hectic of opening up doesn’t help anyone. ”With a view to step-by-step plans, the CSU boss warned in an interview with the editorial network in Germany that one had to be careful“ that in the end a date does not determine all the next steps ”. From his point of view, the control instrument should be the incidence figures.

dpa / jb


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