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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Beginning of November 19, 2020 Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Mr President! Dear Colleagues! In view of the pictures that reach us, in view of the news about the German Bundestag, our parliament, I take the opportunity to talk to the employees of the Bundestag administration, the emergency services of the state and federal police and the I would like to extend my warmest thanks to the members of the Members of Parliament, who guarantee the parliamentary process here. On behalf of the Federal Government, I want to say: I would particularly like to thank the police forces who protect our democracy in this situation. The corona pandemic is the greatest political challenge of our generation. And yes – we just talked about this in the context of the discussion about the Infection Protection Act – it is above all the biggest health crisis that we have to face. The federal government is determined to protect the health of its citizens and to help us get through this health crisis, but we also want to help overcome the economic and social consequences of this crisis. At a time when many people are concerned about their health and the health of their relatives in the face of increasing numbers of infections, we want to take other worries off their shoulders wherever possible: those about their existence and the social consequences is no easy feat given that we are also dealing with the greatest economic crisis of our generation. But I want to emphasize clearly what we are doing to lead this country safely and well through the crisis on this path. I believe we have done very, very well in international comparison, given the size of the challenges – with the means that we in the Federal Government quickly and quickly seized and that the German Bundestag has given the legislative blessing: That is the economic measures. These are the bridging aids, but the finer instrument that we currently have to build bridges over a deep economic valley are the rules of short-time work. It’s about the millions of jobs that we are currently safeguarding. The German Bundestag will discuss a draft law on Friday that we have passed in the cabinet and with which we will also extend this bridge into the coming year to help companies, but also to help employees whose jobs are threatened in view of the economic consequences, This is also necessary so that when we have overcome the crisis, when the economy picks up again, the companies can take off and the skilled workers are on board to move the business forward. In view of the fact, I can tell you that we have Corona and few physical encounters, but are currently also holding the German Council Presidency, say that the vast majority of countries in Europe are trying to take this German way of short-time work to overcome the crisis. As part of the European aid with the SURE funds, we have paved the way for other countries that do not have these resources. We see ourselves confirmed by the expert report, which makes it clear that this is the right way to get through this crisis, but we must, ladies and gentlemen, also keep an eye on the social consequences of the crisis. That is why we have tried, wherever possible, to cushion social hardship, for example with simplified access to basic security, which is now being extended again into the next year. Specifically, the point is that we give people who cannot secure their livelihood independently and have no other help, simplified access, by refraining from an examination of insignificant assets, and by, for example, also assuming the real costs of accommodation . In this crisis situation, no one who is dependent on basic security has to worry about the adequacy of their living space and accommodation at the same time. This, too, is an important step; I could go on and on, but because of the shortness of time, I cannot do that. I just want to make one thing clear: During this time, it has been proven that we have a strong welfare state in international comparison. As Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, I am willing to make my contribution. I am very, very grateful to this Parliament that we are not only coping with the consequences of the crisis and leading this country safely through the crisis, but that we are also drawing fundamental conclusions. In this corona crisis, we see under a magnifying glass what was previously good and works in this country. But we also see grievances that we have to fundamentally eliminate. For example, the fact that many so-called heroines and heroes of everyday life do not earn enough. We want to enforce better wages for the nursing staff in this country, ladies and gentlemen. As another example, I will mention that there have been infections in certain work areas due to dubious and exploitative working conditions. I’m talking about the meat industry in this country. I ask this Bundestag that we pass an occupational health and safety control law that fundamentally does away with these conditions, without loopholes that could lead to abuse again. So, ladies and gentlemen, this country is sticking together in these times, even if we keep our distance have to hold. In these times we experience that we also have deficits in our community. But I want to say: on the social rule of law in this country, on our health system, on the work of the nursing staff, also on the work of the employees of the Federal Employment Agency and in the job centers, on those who help, the social and economic Coping with the consequences is something this country can be proud of in these difficult times. Thank you very much.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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