BERLIN (Dow Jones) – The municipalities have given massive criticism of the state of Berlin and its handling of the Corona demonstration from the weekend. “I don’t understand why Berlin didn’t impose much stricter conditions for the demonstration,” said the managing director of the German Association of Cities and Towns, Gerd Landsberg, in a video interview with the Bild newspaper. Everything you see, such as negative examples of young people celebrating, is always about Berlin – “but Berlin is not Germany,” says Landsberg.
The Union has fundamentally questioned the repetition of such large demonstrations. “Such demonstrations are a danger to the general public,” Union interior expert Armin Schuster told the Rheinische Post. In his view, it would be proportionate to “only approve the meetings under much stricter conditions or no longer at all”. CSU domestic politician Stephan Mayer said that he had “no understanding at all” of how a large part of the demonstrators had behaved.
At the weekend, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) had called for stricter penalties for violations of the corona rules. “Anyone who deliberately endangers others must expect that this will have serious consequences for them,” Altmaier told the dpa news agency. “We must not jeopardize the recovery that is just beginning by accepting a further increase in infections.” The misconduct of a few must be prevented more effectively than before and punished in cases of infection and outbreaks. “This includes fines and penalties if it is a matter of intent or gross negligence,” said the CDU politician.
The North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Health Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned against banning demonstrations. Germany is a democratic country and also has fundamental rights, he said on Deutschlandfunk. However, behavior that is a provocation to the rest of the population is not understandable. “Corona conditions must also be adhered to during demonstrations,” says Laumann.
In contrast, Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) showed understanding for the anti-corona demonstrators. “If people have the feeling that they have to understand measures that they themselves do not consider reasonable in their own field of activity, then people say: I won’t do that anymore, I resist it,” said the deputy FDP boss in a video interview with the Image newspaper. “Politicians have failed to explain to people exactly what the aim of all the measures is.”
According to the police, around 20,000 opponents of the Corona measures met in Berlin at the so-called “Assembly of Freedom”, including vaccination opponents and Corona deniers, on Saturday. In some cases, the requirements for protection against the pandemic were deliberately disregarded.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 03, 2020 03:01 ET (07:01 GMT)