Europe

Georgia’s main opposition leader Nika Melia arrested after police stormed in the party HQ
Europe

Georgia’s main opposition leader Nika Melia arrested after police stormed in the party HQ

In a Monday morning violent raid at Georgia’s opposition party, United National Movement (UNM) headquarters, police arrested the main leader of the opposition, Nika Melia. 

After storming in the party HQ, the police used tear gas to disperse Melia’s supporters as many of them had barricaded inside the premises with their leader. Melia was then dragged out by police in Georgia’s capital city, Tbilisi. Melia’s arrest dates back to his involvement in the mass anti-government protests in 2019. But the prime reason is the deep political crisis in-country currently.

Since October’s parliamentary elections Georgia is amid mass protests that were sparked after ruling party Georgian Dream party was accused by the opposition of rigging elections and threatening the voters. 

The Prime Minister of South Caucus country, Giorgi Gakharia had presented his resignation last week after the court ruled for the arrest of Melia calling the move a “political escalation”. On Monday, his replacement Irakli Garibashvili was confirmed and went ahead with the arrest of Nika Melia. 

Nika Melia has been accused of provoking 2019 protests and last week was ordered to be arrested after he refused to pay the increased bail fee. The United National Movement leader has denied the charges, saying that they are “part of ongoing repressions against the opposition.” If convicted he would face nine years jail term. 

During the police raid, at least 20 people were detained, as told by the local reports. US embassy and UK embassy condemned the raid on opposition ordered by the court and the ruling government. 

Opposition parties have called in for mass demonstrations on Tuesday over Melia’s arrest. The said protests would be carried outside government headquarters. 

Related Posts

  1. thumb 910x0 EU Russia11 150x150 - Georgia’s main opposition leader Nika Melia arrested after police stormed in the party HQ

The storming in of Georgian raid police on opposition’s headquarters and arrest of their leader has sparked risk of country’s descent into authoritarianism amid political crisis in former Soviet country. 

COVID-19, the Boris Johnson plan to bring the UK back to normal
Europe

COVID-19, the Boris Johnson plan to bring the UK back to normal

From the reopening of the stadiums to the concerts until the end of the social distancing scheduled for next June. Boris Johnson offered his “road-map” to get out “irreversibly” and “forever”, albeit “with caution”, from the latest lockdown now in force since January 3 across the United Kingdom and return to normal.

The British Prime Minister will present his plan before the Parliament today. This is an important moment, not just for the UK, because for the first time there is a clear plan for a Western country to exit, more or less definitively, from the nightmare of the coronavirus pandemic, once the vaccination campaign has reached a high rate as the British one. 17.5 million vaccine doses are already in the UK and the entire adult population is expected to be vaccinated by July.

This is the four five-week phases until 21 June. When, if all goes well and if there are no resistant and dangerous mutations of the virus, even social distancing and masks will perhaps become just a memory in the United Kingdom.

PHASE ONE – FROM 8 TO 29 MARCH 2021

On 8 March all schools will reopen, but all workers will still have the obligation to “stay at home” as much as possible. British people will be able to see a person outside the family in the open air even to have a picnic, have a coffee or a drink together sitting in the park, unlike today for which only a walk together or physical exercise is allowed. Patients in nursing homes will be able to receive a visit from one person. From 29 March, it will be possible to meet five other people from other families or more, but in this case only belonging to a maximum of two families such as tennis or golf. And, importantly, the indication to “stay at home” will end, replaced by “stay local”, do not leave your area of ​​residence. Travels abroad are still banned.

PHASE TWO – FROM APRIL 12th 

All non-essential shops will reopen, including hairdressers, bookstores, museums, libraries, zoos, parks, gyms, and swimming pools. Pubs and restaurants reopen but only for outdoor and table service, and here too only the “rule of 6” will be valid, or more, but only if they belong to two families. There will be no curfew to close the premises and bars of any kind. Hotels will be able to resume hosting residents but only if they belong to the same family unit. Funerals are allowed with a maximum of 30 participants, weddings will go from 6 to 15 participants.

PHASE THREE – FROM MAY 17th

The rule of 6 or two families that can be seen outside together also falls, there will be no limits, apart from not exceeding groups of thirty people. The rule of six will however apply to meetings at home or in another closed space. Cinemas, hotels, and B & Bs will reopen for everyone as well as sporting and cultural events to the public with these rules, a theatre or concert hall cannot accommodate more than 2,000 people (or 50% of maximum capacity), while stadiums will not more than 10 thousand people (or at most a quarter of their total capacity). Different families will be able to take vacations together. The maximum number of wedding participants rises to thirty. International travel may be allowed.

LAST PHASE – FROM JUNE 21st

Here even the measures of social distancing should fall in almost all circumstances and therefore also in the pub or restaurant. Discos should reopen, concerts even indoors without limits and large public events, although the advice will always be to work from home and to wear masks at least indoors. In any case, the London government will analyze the contagion data of the first four weeks for each phase and at the fifth, it will decide whether to respect the schedule or delay the next phase. If there is a new dangerous strain of virus or other similar emergencies, local lockdowns will be taken. However, there remains a doubt: will vaccination passports be provided? The Johnson government hides behind “it is an ethical question that we will carefully evaluate”, but the feeling is that the “freedom” that could be reacquired next June passes precisely through the certification of having had a vaccine, in addition to rapid sweeping tests for all participants of all public events.

Related Posts

  1. e509ddb8028ebb1cc8c2a90f07b001da11 150x150 - COVID-19, the Boris Johnson plan to bring the UK back to normal
  2. QUAD11 150x150 - COVID-19, the Boris Johnson plan to bring the UK back to normal
The arrest of the Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel arouses anger and protests in Spain
Europe

The arrest of the Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel arouses anger and protests in Spain

In Spain, the arrest of the Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel, who had barricaded himself at the University of Lleida, inflames the streets and agitates politics, causing the first disagreements even within the government of Pedro Sánchez, between the socialists and Podemos.

The arrest of Hasel on Tuesday morning in a police operation broadcast live on TV, has unleashed the anger of thousands of young people against the monarchy and the police across the country. The rapper was sentenced to 9 months in prison for glorifying terrorism and insulting the crown. He was supposed to go to jail last Friday but he didn’t show up. Local media reported another night of clashes, which had Barcelona as its epicenter. Hundreds of protesters gathered in the Example district trying to reach the regional Interior department and hit the double police cordon deployed to defend the building with stones and firecrackers.

While they continued to move towards the center, the demonstrators passed the headquarters of the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya: shouts and insults at the “manipulative” press, then some boys raged against the large windows of the entrance by throwing stones. But the most serious accidents occurred in the city center, where it still barricades, as in recent days, dumpsters, cars, and motorcycles set on fire.

An agent of the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police, was injured in the head by a stone thrown against the car window. Also assaults on bank agencies and windows of numerous destroyed shops. Despite the curfew for the coronavirus pandemic at 10 pm, clashes were recorded from the four Catalan capitals in Valencia, from Andalusia to Madrid. It is in the heart of the capital, at the Puerta del Sol, that some of the most violent scenes have been seen, with the police who repeatedly charged the demonstrators who tried to head towards the Parliament, a few hundred meters away.

Related Posts

  1. 55621331 10111 150x150 - The arrest of the Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel arouses anger and protests in Spain
  2. Venezuela11 150x150 - The arrest of the Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel arouses anger and protests in Spain

Clashes also in Catalonia, with 33 people arrested and 12 injured. But yesterday it also became known that a girl who was injured in the clashes on Tuesday night lost an eye. She had been hit in the face by a “foam” bullet: a type of “non-lethal” ammunition used by Mossos d ‘Esquadra, since the use of rubber bullets was banned due to its high danger.

The Mossos spokesman said that in the last two days the agents have fired 420 bullets of this type; a high use, he admitted, to deal with “violent attitudes”. And Saturday night, in Barcelona, ​​was among the most violent that we remember from those days in October 2019 when the center of the Catalan capital was transformed into a battlefield after the heavy sentences passed by the Supreme Court against nine independence leaders. 

In the square, asking for Pablo Hasel’s freedom and shouting slogans against the police, there were hundreds of young people who set up barricades and set fire to bins to block the way for the Mossos d’Esquadra vans. The firefighters had to intervene several times to extinguish the flames that threatened to spread to the buildings near the area of ​​the clashes, between Plaça de Catalunya, Paseo de Gracia, and the university area.

The vans of the Brimo, the Mossos’ riot departments, were hit with stones, bottles, and firecrackers, and several officers were attacked with kicks and blow with sticks as they got out, sheltered behind plastic shields, to try to stop the fury of the demonstrators.

Anger fuelled by a movement that, with a strong base rooted in the groups of the separatists left grew from the frustration of the long months of lockdown and the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic. Young people turn rapper Hasel into a symbol, the spokesperson pointed out their opposition to the monarchy and the limits imposed on freedom of expression by old laws that the Sánchez government has previously promised to change.

But the controversy also ignites within the Madrid executive, after Pablo Echenique, parliamentary group leader of Unidas Podemos, spread this message on Twitter: “All my support for the young anti-fascists who are demanding justice and freedom of expression in squares, in Barcelona and at the Puerta del Sol.”

The government vice president, the socialist Carmen Calvo, replied harshly: “It is one thing to defend freedom of expression, another is to encourage situations with injuries and arrests”. Echenique does not back down, on the contrary, he publishes on Twitter the photo of the girl who in Barcelona lost an eye to the bullet fired by the police.

AstraZeneca vaccine is at the center of skepticism as Europe’s immunization drive looks in jeopardy
Europe

AstraZeneca vaccine is at the center of skepticism as Europe’s immunization drive looks in jeopardy

German politicians are supporting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid soaring doubts around the vaccine hampering Europe’s Covid-19 immunization program. Last month there was a tug-of-war between European Commission and AstraZeneca, the British – Swedish vaccine manufacturer. 

German media has defined the Oxford vaccine as a “shelf warmer” after only 17% of total doses delivered to Germany have been administered till now, highlighting the extremely staggered vaccination drive in the country. By Thursday, according to the German disease control agency, out of 736,800 doses delivered to the country only 129,021 doses have been administered. 

Coming in support of the British vaccine, Jens Spahn, the German health minister issued a public statement of confidence for vaccine calling it a “privilege” to be able to receive highly “safe and effective” vaccine. Mayor Michael Muller of Berlin went a step further and threatened people of being sent at end of the queue if they refused the Oxford vaccine or asked for an alternative. He said, “I won’t allow tens of thousands of doses to lie around on our shelves while millions of people across the country are waiting to be immunized. Those who don’t want the vaccine have missed their chance.”

Related Posts

  1. freepressjournal 2020 12 f3859f68 dc7c 44bf bb16 7bdc470a7824 pfizer biontech11 150x150 - AstraZeneca vaccine is at the center of skepticism as Europe’s immunization drive looks in jeopardy
  2. VACCINE 2 150x150 - AstraZeneca vaccine is at the center of skepticism as Europe’s immunization drive looks in jeopardy

Following trial data criticism for people over 65 years old, German health authorities are administering vaccine to only young individuals and healthcare workers below 65 years of age. Side effects reported at time of trials are further posing problems with vaccination for healthcare workers. Sweden regions including Sormland had to pause vaccination after some healthcare workers reported side effects and called in sick after receiving inoculation. 

Trials have shown 60% efficacy in clinical trials. In contrast, Moderna and BioNTech vaccines have shown 95% efficiency. Oxford vaccine has the prime advantage of not requiring deep-freeze storage. Furthermore, the chief medical expert of AstraZeneca says that the vaccine has proved to be 100% efficient in preventing death and extreme illness in people. 

US realigns its strategy with Europe to bring democratic reforms in Venezuela
Europe

US realigns its strategy with Europe to bring democratic reforms in Venezuela

With the recent US presidential election bringing in Democrat government in the White House, led by Joe Biden, Venezuelan opposition became more hopeful of pushing peaceful democratic reforms in the country. The South American country under the reign of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has drifted away from democratic political system towards soft dictatorship. Rebuilding ties with Venezuela, minus the military intervention and sanctions as proposed by former US President Donald Trump, would be one of the biggest foreign policy challenge for Biden administration. 

With Maduro’s re-appointment as the country’s president in December 2020, which many claimed as undemocratic, the fate of Venezuelan opposition leaders became more shaky. Leopoldo Lopez, the Venezuelan opposition who flew to Spain in 2020, stayed committed to fight for bringing back reforms in his country. He believed that Europe would make a perfect ally in US’s mission of bringing democracy back in Venezuela, especially Spain given its historical ties with the South American country. Madrid’s the left-wing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, which has even provided refuge to many of Venezuelan opposition leaders, has expressed keenness of working with new US administration to restore order in the Latin American nation.

Related Posts

  1. photo 2021 02 17 15 02 0311 150x150 - US realigns its strategy with Europe to bring democratic reforms in Venezuela
  2. 2000x1334 cmsv2 fbe4140b a1b9 5191 b99e b4d7354a8d5e 538624011 150x150 - US realigns its strategy with Europe to bring democratic reforms in Venezuela
  3. biden putin xi11 150x150 - US realigns its strategy with Europe to bring democratic reforms in Venezuela
  4. QUAD11 150x150 - US realigns its strategy with Europe to bring democratic reforms in Venezuela

During his recent interview, Lopez said,  “In the past year, relations between the U.S. and Europe became more distanced with respect to many issues and one of the issues was Venezuela.”

He emphasised, “Now there is a great opportunity to have a clear and more coordinated position between the US and Europe. We propose there should be a common focus to attain free and democratic parliamentary elections. The start of the solution of the humanitarian problem starts with the change in the political situation.” 

López added, “We ask that sanctions are coordinated between U.S. and Europe against those people who have been identified by the United Nations as committing human rights abuses.” 

With regard to Biden administration’s approach towards the political crisis in Venezuela, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the new administration “will focus on addressing the humanitarian situation, providing support to Venezuelan people and reinvigorating multilateral diplomacy to press for a democratic outcome and pursue individuals involved in corruption, human rights abuses.”

Post Venezuela’s presidential election, many countries including the US, Panama, Canada, and Germany refused to acknowledge Maduro as the country’s head.  In a statement, European Union foreign ministers said that the vote “failed to comply with the minimum international standards for a credible process and to mobilize the Venezuelan people to participate.”

The European Council admitted that the country mired with severe political and economic crisis was in urgent need to humanitarian assistance, especially after the International Monetary Fund predicted a huge inflation rise of about 6,500% in the country this year.

Covid-19, Europe buys more 500million doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines
Europe

Covid-19, Europe buys more 500million doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines

Another 150 million doses for 2021 and an option for as many in 2022. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that Europe is already planning to purchase the vaccine produced by Moderna for the next two years, the day after the news that the delivery in Italy of vials developed by Cambridge will be halved in February. These 300 million additional doses are added to the 160 million already purchased from last year. This morning also Pfizer-BioNtech announced the closing of an agreement with Brussels that will lead to the availability of the Union another 200 million doses of their anti-Covid vaccine.

 The New York pharmaceutical company announced that the agreement adds to the previous purchase for 300 million doses and that the European Commission has an option to request another 100 million: “It is expected that an additional 200 million doses will be delivered in 2021, with an estimate of 75 million to be provided in the second quarter. The total number of doses to be delivered to EU member states by the end of 2021 is now 500 million, with the potential to increase to 600 million under the option,” a joint note with BioNTech reads, after months of heated controversies regarding the contracts signed with the EU and delays in supplies linked to production problems. 

“We are working tirelessly to support the further launch of vaccination campaigns in Europe and around the world by expanding production capacity,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer president and CEO. With this new agreement with the European Commission. Pfizer plans to provide sufficient doses to vaccinate at least 250 million Europeans by the end of the year.

Related Posts

  1. AP2104745723936911 150x150 - Covid-19, Europe buys more 500million doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines
  2. 12968614 16x9 xlarge11 150x150 - Covid-19, Europe buys more 500million doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines

The CEO assured that the company has not signed any contracts with private individuals: “During the pandemic, our contracts are with governments and we will supply the vaccines according to the channel of their choice and the designated vaccination sites, subject to authorization or regulatory approval. Pfizer and BioNTech are not supplying their vaccine to the private market right now.” 

The Brussels operation is in line with the need to accelerate vaccinations across the European Union due to the rapid spread of new variants of the virus, in particular, the British and South African ones. Ursula Von der Leyen said on Wednesday: “We need to speed up vaccinations, the cases of Covid variants increase and new ones emerge. The vaccines approved in the EU seem effective against variants, but the variants are more contagious and therefore favor the emergence of others.”

In this regard, the Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, indicated that the EU Commission will have to assess whether it will be necessary to update existing vaccine agreements or conclude new ones to respond to the spread of new Coronavirus variants.

France pressed the EU to adopt stricter digital law to tap big tech giants
Europe

France pressed the EU to adopt stricter digital law to tap big tech giants

France has been strongly advocating EU for the implementation of stronger digital regulations in order to make big tech giant like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon accountable and impose a check on their absolute power over content and their arbitrary behaviour. Last week, during the meeting between Cedric O, the French minister for the digital economy and Thierry Breton, the European commissioner in charge of the upcoming legislation, French official pressed that the new digital regulations should be adopted separately by each EU member nation.

During the recent interview with the Financial Times, Cedric O said, “We are getting pretty active in terms of talking to various people about the upcoming tech regulation. Getting these laws passed is a major objective of ours for when France next holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council next year.” He added: “They touch on vitally important subjects both for our economies and democracies.”

Besides, France has also been urging the bloc to expand the Digital Services Act beyond illegal content, in order to include controlling the dissemination of harmful content and disinformation. Cedric O said: “We think the text needs to be broadened to include other types of problematic content. If there is no legal framework there is nothing to stop Twitter or Facebook from censoring speech they do not like.”

France believed that amidst the lack of digital regulations, the technology giants gain more room to control the content and block whatever they don’t want to be exhibited. Another EU member which saw a valid reason behind France’s proposal was Germany. Besides, the French official said that he also discussed the matter with his counterparts in Netherlands and Portugal and hoped to gain their support.

The European power has been pushing more rigorously for laying the framework for digital regulations after the censuring episode of Twitter, wherein the former US President Donald Trump’s account was blocked by the social media company stating its privacy rules. The move was strongly condemned by various European leaders.

Related Posts

  1. digital services act europe11 150x150 - France pressed the EU to adopt stricter digital law to tap big tech giants

Despite France’s continues pressing for stricter digital regulations, EU officials fear that introducing separate laws in every EU member state would come in conflict with the bloc’s primary single market model. EU officials believed that it would make a company no longer subject to one regulator but 27 regulators and it would put the single market framework to serious risk.

Catalonia exit poll, the moderate separatists of Esquerra Republicana win
Europe

Catalonia exit poll, the moderate separatists of Esquerra Republicana win

At the close of the polls, the first exit polls – broadcast by the public TV3 network – on the result of the Catalan regional elections attribute the victory to the separatists of Esquerra Republicana, the party of Oriol Junqueras, and the current president of the Generalitat Pere Aragonès: 36-38 seats for them (out of a total of 135 of the Catalan Parliament), but the second place for the number of votes. The most voted party would be the PSC, the socialists led by Salvador Illa, the former health minister of the Sánchez government, who would get 34-36 seats. For the socialists, it means doubling the number of regional deputies compared to three years ago, when they had 17. 

In third place the other great independence force, Junts for Catalunya, the party of former president Carles Puigdemont, who with the candidate Laura Borràs, would win between 30 and 33 seats. On the right, the most voted party would be that of the extremists of Vox, absent so far in Catalonia, who with 6-7 seats, would bypass the PP which stops at 4-5. Meltdown for the other center-right formation, Ciudadanos, winner of the previous elections with 36 seats: it loses about eighty percent of the votes and stops at 6-7 seats.

Very low voter turnout: At 6 pm, two hours before polling stations closed, 45.7 percent of the voters had voted, 22.5 points less than in the 2017 regional elections. A decline that may be partially explained by the high number of Catalans who voted by post: over 250,000, 300 percent more than in the last elections. The key to these elections was to know which of the two main independence parties, Junts for Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana, would prevail over the other. When, late in the evening, an advantage arises for the Republicans, the philosopher Josep Ramoneda breathes a partial sigh of relief. The only way to make it possible for something to change in Catalonia is to avoid Junts having the presidency.

Junts’ victory would have meant having a quite quarrelsome independent government, and we would have gone on with the after-effects of that endless drunkenness of October 2017, with the illegal referendum and the declaration of independence. Junts is a magma party, which brings together radical neoliberals who would like Catalonia to be a tax haven and very leftist people. Inside there is everything. To keep them together is the presidency, if it loses, they can quickly fall apart.

Esquerra Republicana, due to its position as a pro-independence and progressive party, held the key to these elections: it could decide whether to govern with the pro-independence activists or to open up to a left-wing government with the socialists and En Comú Podem. But they have limited their ability to choose, pledging not to negotiate with the socialists. “Thus, Esquerra decided even before the vote that there was only one solution, even though he knew that it weakens the party because it leaves him no other option “.

At least in the short term, it seems unlikely that Esquerra will be able to back down and back off his commitment. It all depended on who would come first between the two parties. Junts’ victory would have left him no choice but to join a pro-independence government, albeit in an uncomfortable condition for them.

The Socialists have achieved a spectacular result by doubling the seats, but they will not be in a position to govern. In the present circumstances, they can’t put together a majority in the Catalan Parliament. However, it is a result that pushes towards an opening to new scenarios, even if we will not see the results immediately. Socialist success means having a strong opposition first party, unlike what happened three years ago with Ciudadanos, which got lost behind its fantasy of being able to aim to become the dominant force of the Spanish right. A case of vanity and lack of sense of reality that has paid dearly.

Related Posts

  1. Italy quarantine 150x150 - Catalonia exit poll, the moderate separatists of Esquerra Republicana win

For the first time, the far-right also breaks into the Catalan parliament. It is a result that marks the beginning of something very worrying: Vox is in a position that projects it towards the role of the main party of the Spanish right. The consequences can be important.

Russia threatens to snap ties with EU
Europe

Russia threatens to snap ties with EU

On Friday, the Russian foreign ministry’s website published excerpts of an interview of the country’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who slammed the recent sanctions imposed by the European Union and threatens to end ties with the bloc if it continues. According to the translation provided by Reuters, Lavrov said: “We proceed from the fact that we are ready (for that). In the event that we again see sanctions imposed in some sectors that create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive spheres.”

“We don’t want to isolate ourselves from global life, but we have to be ready for that. If you want peace then prepare for war,” Lavrov added.

Russia made such a strong statement, in response to the EU’s reaction to the recent arrest of Alexei Navalny, a strong critic of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, by the authorities. Last week, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, visited Moscow and held discussions with his counterpart on various issues, including Navalny which Kremlin did not appreciate much. According to the analysts, the meeting between the two leaders was described as “humiliating”.

Borrell accused Moscow of holding “an aggressively-staged press conference” during his trip. Besides, during the meeting, Borrell discovered through social media platforms that Russia had expelled three EU diplomats, who participated in the nation-wide protests, held in support of Navalny. Post the meeting, Lavrov told the media that Russia was losing its trust in the bloc and said, “the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at the current stage.”

After his, not-so-successful trip to Moscow, Borrell shared in a blog, “An aggressively-staged press conference and the expulsion of three EU diplomats during my visit indicate that the Russian authorities did not want to seize this opportunity to have a more constructive dialogue with the EU.” Borrell also proposed sanctions on Russia its increasingly aggressive attitude, though the decision is up for review and yet to be approved by the European governments.

Related Posts

  1. thumb 910x0 EU Russia11 150x150 - Russia threatens to snap ties with EU

The current state of events highlighted that the ties between the two entities had hit its lowest. Analysts believed that the rising tensions between the two sides would directly impact the gas pipeline being built from Russia to Germany, Nord Stream 2. The two witnessed similar frictions in the past when EU sanctioned Russian companies and personnels, over the country’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. 

Coronavirus, Angela Merkel makes “mea culpa” in front of the German Parliament
Europe

Coronavirus, Angela Merkel makes “mea culpa” in front of the German Parliament

Angela Merkel made an unexpected “mea culpa” on the management of the coronavirus pandemic in her country. The German chancellor came before the Parliament yesterday in the aftermath of a new extension of the German lockdown – one of the toughest in Europe, with shops and restaurants closed since mid-December – and spoke clearly. Last fall, she said, “we weren’t careful enough and we weren’t quick enough” to tackle the virus. Angela Merkel, then, had clashed several times with the Prime Ministers of the lands and local administrations, reluctant to accept more restrictive measures of anti-coronavirus.

The second wave engulfed Germany in the fall of 2020, with peaks of over thirty thousand cases a day and an unprecedented surge in deaths since the start of the pandemic. And in regular brawls with governors, it has always been Merkel who has insisted on a stricter lockdown, often defeated by local politicians, worried about the growing coronavirus fatigue that winds among the Germans.

Then the explosion of cases, the chancellor specified, “was the consequence of a hesitant way of proceeding”. After two months of hard lockdown, the infections finally slow down: in the last 24 hours, 10,237 have been registered, a number far from the December records. And even the dead no longer reach a thousand a day at the end of the year, 666 have been registered in the last 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

But Angela Merkel recalled that in this phase there is a new, heavy unknown that is troubling her country. She explained that this concern pushed her to insist on an extension of the lockdown times, despite the downward trend: the variants. If it is true, in short, that “the number of victims is falling and the trend seems to have reversed”, the mutations that have made the new viruses much more contagious can still cause “unpleasant developments”: the three variants that are spreading in Europe are much more aggressive, and therefore more contagious than the original virus.

Related Posts

  1. 49569126 40111 150x150 - Coronavirus, Angela Merkel makes "mea culpa" in front of the German Parliament

We need to “remain very careful”, she said in front of the members of the Parliament. Because by loosening the restrictions too hastily, the variants “could destroy” the goals achieved thanks to the sacrifices made by Germans in recent months. In any case, the chancellor added, the lockdown “will not be maintained one more day than necessary.”

1 2 3 34

The World Reviews

The World Reviews provides latest world news and brief stories. To know more news about world follow us.