April 17, 2021

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German president warns of pandemic ‘crisis of trust’

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Steinmeier tells politicians: 'Get your act together!'

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will use a televised Easter message on Saturday night to warn against a “crisis of trust” between citizens and the state, which he says has been triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The disease has generated a sense of powerlessness and frustration, Steinmeier will say according to a pre-released script reported in the German press. “Another dimension is added to worries about health, school, work, the economy: a crisis of trust,” he adds.

The president, who recently received a COVID-19 vaccination himself, tells German citizens that they are “doing [their] part in this historic crisis.” However, he suggests they have been let down by politicians, leading to a weakening of the “fragile” equilibrium between citizens and state.

“There were mistakes [made] in testing, in vaccination, in digital solutions,” he acknowledges.

With the country facing “severe restrictions” in the coming weeks, Steinmeier expresses sympathy with the “impatience and frustration” of ordinary Germans. “Their expectation of those in government is clear,” he adds. “Get your act together!”

The speech is being seen as a blunt message to quarrelling politicians at federal and state level , according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.  

While democratic argument is necessary, “dispute must not become an end in itself,” Steinmeier says. “Federal or state, party or coalition, polls up or down, that must not play the main role now.”

Steinmeier also calls on the public not to be outraged “about the others, or about those up there.” He warns against viewing the current picture too darkly.

A few months ago, Germans saw themselves “with satisfaction as pandemic world champions” he says, but today “we are virtually outdoing ourselves in pessimism.”

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany are continuing to rise, with 18,129 new infections reported Saturday, bringing the total to 2,873,190, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

The reported death toll also rose by 120 to 76,895, the institute’s data showed.      

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-coronavirus-vaccionation-frank-walter-steinmeier-president-warns-crisis-of-trust/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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