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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Mister President! Dear Colleagues! This pandemic is an event of the century.

(In the ranks of the AfD posters are held up – Shout: Mr. President! – More shouts)

President Dr. German politican:

Federal Minister, may I interrupt you for a moment.

Ladies and gentlemen, in Parliament we argue different opinions – they may be good or bad – but we do not express them with banners and the like.

(Shouting from the CDU / CSU: Shame on yourselves!)

That is why my urgent request is – this is now a request; But I can also decide right away -: Please remove these posters immediately!

(Applause from the CDU / CSU, the SPD, the FDP, the LEFT and the BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN)

If you don’t remove it, I’ll have to call you to order. So please: put them away!

(Abg. Detlev Spangenberg [AfD] holds up an edition of the Basic Law – shout from the CDU / CSU: Embarrassing, embarrassing! – More shouts)

If we all stick to the Basic Law, that’s good.

(Michael Grosse-Brömer [CDU / CSU], turned to the AfD: take a look in between times!)

Now remove the posters!

Federal Minister Jens Spahn has the floor.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

Jens Spahn, Federal Minister for Health:

Mister President! Dear Colleagues! This pandemic is an event of the century, a natural event, yes, at the same time a natural disaster. It is an imposition and a test. It came upon us fatefully in our modern, complex time.

(Shout from the AfD: fateful!)

In this pandemic of the century, one thing is clear: no matter what we do or whether we do nothing: there is damage. Regardless of what we decide or whether we don’t decide at all: damage occurs. The question is: where does what damage occurs? It is about economic damage for many individual citizens and for the economy; it is about social harm, human hardship and exceptional situations; it is about damage to health, suffering and death. We now have to weigh, set priorities and weigh up.

President Dr. German politican:

Mr. Federal Minister, will you allow an interim question from MEP Sichert?

Jens Spahn, Federal Minister for Health:


(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)

President Dr. German politican:

You’re welcome.

Jens Spahn, Federal Minister for Health:

We now have to weigh, set priorities, weigh and have been doing this since the beginning of the pandemic. Science can advise us, provide facts and assessments; but no virologist, no infectiologist, no microbiologist, no Professor Drosten and also no Professor Bhakdi can relieve us of the task of making these decisions.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)

We in the German Bundestag and in the government legitimized by it must weigh what damage we want to endure and where and how we can endure. The protection of health is not absolute. Yes, it has to be weighed against other basic rights; but physical integrity is also included in this Basic Law, which you have just upheld. Do you care – I haven’t heard anything about it, Mr Gauland – in the intensive care units, in the hospitals, in the families, from those who have long-term damage?

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD as well as from members of the Left and Alliance 90 / THE GREENS – Dr. Alexander Gauland [AfD]: That’s not an argument, Mr. Spahn!)

That is the question that arises.

The protection of health is not absolute; but we have decided that health protection will become relatively more important in this pandemic. We decided, decided by a large majority, in society and here in Parliament, that we do not want to accept excessive demands on our health system. We cannot absolutely avoid suffering from illness, intensive care medicine, ventilation and death, but we want to reduce this suffering as much as possible. Rising numbers of infections – even the most exciting theoretical debate cannot ignore this practical finding – sooner or later in our aging society, with the properties of this virus, lead to increasing suffering in our intensive care units and to a loss of control with exponential growth.

And in order to avoid that, the number of infections has to go down and, above all, they have to stay under control in their development. Yes, we have taken our footing with the current measures, we have stopped exponential growth; but we’re not over the mountain yet. And as the Federal Minister of Health, I tell you that I continue to find this emphasis, this strong focus on the best possible health protection in this pandemic, right.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD)

But since nothing can be absolute, not even the protection of health, it is about the right balance, the right balance. We all struggle for this balance every day, everyone in their everyday life, we as a society and we in the political representation and leadership of this country. It’s about cushioning economic hardships and making economic stimulus packages bearable through help, support. It’s about being able to control this virus more and better every day: through the AHA rules, through reducing contacts, through new and more test options and better and better protection concepts, through new and better drugs, and yes, as a decisive step towards actual control over this virus especially through vaccination. And because something else is being said, also on social media: I give you my word: There will be no compulsory vaccination in this pandemic. Finally stop saying otherwise!

(Applause from the CDU / CSU, the SPD, the FDP and the BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN)

At the same time it gives courage, there is confidence – there is light at the end of the tunnel –

(Andreas Bleck [AfD]: Light at the end of the tunnel?)

that in these dark November days we can seriously expect that there will be a vaccine faster than ever before in human history. Vaccination is one of the greatest achievements of mankind.

(Carsten Schneider [Erfurt] [SPD]: Absolutely!)

Vaccination avoids countless suffering and illness every day. Vaccination is progress in the best sense,

(Applause from the CDU / CSU, the SPD and the FDP as well as from members of the LEFT)

And it makes me a little proud that the first vaccine that shows effectiveness comes from Germany and was developed here, dear colleagues.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU, the SPD, the FDP, the LEFT and the BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN)

So far, ladies and gentlemen, we have come through this crisis well – in comparison with the situation in other countries, including this second wave. And I sometimes ask myself: which other country would you prefer to be in? None of our neighboring countries got this pandemic under control with milder means.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD as well as from members of the FDP and the BÜNDNISSES 90 / DIE GRÜNE)

Where would you rather be than in the Federal Republic of Germany? I would be interested in that sometimes.

The fact that we have come through this pandemic comparatively well up to this point, also in this second wave, is mainly because the vast majority of citizens take care of themselves and their fellow human beings and protect them, and it is because the vast majority of Germans supports our politics.

And yes, not a few doubt

(Shout from Abg. Andreas Bleck [AfD])

quarrel, have worries or concerns. And yet the vast majority of them also support the fundamental approach of our policy and the decisions.

And yes, being loud, opposing, even denying the obvious – all of this is possible and must be possible in a free, open country. But whoever is loud is far from being right, and certainly not just because of their volume in the majority.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD as well as from MPs of the BÜNDNISSES 90 / DIE GRÜNEN and MP Michael Theurer [FDP])

Debate is necessary, controversy is necessary, but not relentlessly and severely, but in such a way that we stick together. Cohesion is what this country needs most in this pandemic. In any case, your speech did not contribute to cohesion in this country, Mr Gauland.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD as well as from MPs of the BÜNDNISSES 90 / DIE GRÜNEN)

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we want to continue to get through this crisis well. To do this, we have to continually adapt to the situation. The virus is dynamic; we have to be too.

(Laughter from MPs of the AfD)

Hence the third Civil Protection Act in nine months, which gives us, in a dynamic situation, the legal basis to deal with this virus even better. In this pandemic, we as the federal government and the state governments need the powers and instruments to act and decide – for the protection and benefit of our citizens. These powers and these instruments can only be given to us by the Bundestag elected by the German people, and that is what we ask of you today.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD – shout from the AfD: authorization!)


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

MIL Translation OSI