Germany approves its emergency fund

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Germany approves its emergency fund

A German ambulance transfers patients in Leizig./EFE
A German ambulance transfers patients in Leipzig. / EFE

The Bundestag mobilizes the game of 750,000 million euros to reinforce a fight “that is a challenge for all humanity.”

. In a historic decision, the German Lower House approved on Wednesday the extraordinary economic plan designed by the Government to combat coronavirus. It is a 750,000 million euro item destined not only to strengthen the health system but to appease the economic crisis that will come after the epidemic. Along with other items –for example, for the rescue of small and medium-sized companies and urgent support for Health–, the total amount of funds mobilized is around one trillion euros.

The Bundestag broadly endorsed this “unprecedented” departure in a one-off session where parliamentarians kept a vast safety distance by inserting a series of empty seats between them. Part of the money will go to guarantee the solvency of large German companies or the refinancing of debt. Still, there will also be measures aimed at ensuring a salary to the affected workers and avoiding unemployment.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz carried the weight of the session to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, despite failing the second test for the coronavirus, remains in quarantine. The fight against the pandemic is “a challenge for all humanity,” said Scholz, who explained that the approved funds strengthen the Government to “do whatever it takes” against the epidemic.

Infections continue to rise in Germany, although the health system seems to be taking on the task of care for all the sick. The number of contagions already amounts to 35,353, while the deceased number 189 people, according to data from John Hopkins University, which keeps global accounts of the pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which coordinates the fight against the disease in Germany, considers that the risk to people is “high” and its experts do not rule out that the epidemic continues for two more years.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas spoke on the matter with a call for greater international solidarity. “The result of the national efforts that are demanded of us all cannot lead to a spiral of national egoisms,” Said Maas. “A priority for the federal government is to be supportive where there is manoeuvrability.”

The city-state of Berlin has announced its intention to join other German regions in welcoming Italian patients in serious condition for coronavirus infections. «Solidarity does not stop at borders», Indicated the mayor governor, Michael Müller.

On the other hand, and in an unprecedented gesture at the international level, the Federal Minister of Labor, Hubertus Heil, demanded salary increases for professionals such as nurses and supermarket cashiers. “We see an incredible number of heroes and heroines in daily life,” said Heil, who noted that these workers “deserve not only words of encouragement, but better wages in the long run.”