Host Nation Update, Apr 8, 2022
The CDU/Green coalition parties failed with their request for mandatory vaccination in Germany
They have failed. All of them together. Not only in the matter of mandatory vaccination, but also the newly trimmed to escalating belligerence Union opposition. The fact that there will not even be mandatory vaccination for older people in Germany for the time being may irritate many people who have been vaccinated in an exemplary manner, and it may please quite a few vaccination refusers. Only the developments in the coming fall will show what this means. Will this decision have serious consequences or remain harmless and inconsequential? In the end, the vote was no longer about vaccination alone, but about another turning point in Berlin. One thing is certain: everyone now knows that when it comes down to it, the German government does not have a simple majority of its own. The Chancellor’s strong October statement – surprisingly energetic for his rhetorical skills – declaring mandatory vaccination to be a top priority in his incipient term of office, remains smoke and mirrors. And because that’s the case, April 7, 2022, is a heavy voting defeat for Olaf Scholz, all the more painful because the chancellor has done everything he can to slip into the background as a driver and leader. Scholz and Lauterbach are empty-handed. How things will continue is questionable. It cannot be ruled out that the fight against COVID may become more difficult in the fall without mandatory vaccination. It is unlikely that there will be a noticeable increase in the willingness to vaccinate among the far too many refusers. The wrangling over half-hearted quarantine regulations that can hardly be traced, the expiry of a large proportion of vaccines and diffuse relaxations at any rate give little hope of a successful new start, because the Federal Bundestag has set itself up as refusing mandatory vaccination. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 8)
COVID incidences in Baden-Württemberg – numbers continue to decline to 1130.1
The registered number of new COVID infections continues to decline in Baden-Württemberg. The seven-day incidence, that is, the number of registered infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the period of one week, was 1130.1 on Thursday (as of 16:00), according to the state health office, which is a minus of 72 compared to the previous day. A week ago, the seven-day incidence was 1586.8, but the actual incidence is likely much higher than the reported figure because of a high number of unreported cases.
The number of people confirmed to have died from or related to the virus increased by 42 from the previous day to 15,337, with the Omicron variant continuing to be the dominant Sars-CoV-2 variant. So far, 3,195,268 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported from the 44 urban or rural counties since the pandemic began. Since last Sunday, almost all COVID protective measures have been lifted in Baden-Württemberg, as in most other German states. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 8)
After the end of restrictions – Number of Corona test sites in Stuttgart decreases significantly
Because the corona restrictions have largely ended, the need for rapid tests is also decreasing. However, there are still 374 testing stations registered with the Stuttgart health department. The number is expected to drop sharply soon. At the peak, there were “well over 400,” says city spokesman Sven Matis. It is difficult to say whether the number now mentioned is still realistic or whether operators who are no longer active have not yet deregistered. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 8)
NON-COVID related news:
Autobahn 8 near Pforzheim will be closed over the weekend due to construction work
As of Friday night (10:00 p.m.), drivers will be temporarily unable to use Highway 8 near Pforzheim. Due to the six-lane expansion, the stretch between the Pforzheim-Süd and Pforzheim-Nord junctions is expected to be completely closed until 5:00 a.m. on Monday, according to Autobahn GmbH. Among other things, bridge structures are to be demolished. Interregional traffic will be diverted between the Leonberg interchange and the Walldorf interchange via the A81 and A6. Detour will also be posted in the region around Pforzheim (U26a and U28 in the direction of Karlsruhe from the Pforzheim-Süd junction and U7a and U9 in the direction of Stuttgart to the junction). The expansion of the so-called Enztalquerung (Enz Valley crossing) over a length of around 4.8 kilometers began in October and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2026. The costs are stated at around 340 million euros. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 8)
Demonstration in Stuttgart – Motorcade “Against discrimination of Russian-speaking people” on Saturday
On Saturday, a motorcade will roll through the city as a rally, whose initiators call themselves “Russian speakers.” They meet at 2 p.m. on the Waldau and start from there for the round trip. Their theme is officially called “Against discrimination of Russian-speaking people”. About 190 cars with participants are expected. This was confirmed by the city upon request. On Thursday, a cooperation meeting with representatives of the Office of Public Order took place. Clear and strict conditions were formulated: There must be no connection to the war in Ukraine, said a spokesman for the city.
The parade leads from the Waldau down into the city, then to the Wagenburg tunnel and onto the Bundesstraße 10/14 and back to the starting point.
Similar events have already taken place in Berlin, Cologne and Bonn. Frankfurt and Heilbronn checked on Thursday whether they allow the corsos. In Frankfurt, there was talk of more than 500 cars. In other cities, too, a protest against discrimination against people of Russian origin had been proclaimed as a motto. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 8)
Stuttgart City – Preliminary green light for 20 km/h speed limit
The initiators of a petition against the speed limit of 20 kilometers per hour within Stuttgart’s city ring decided by the city council have suffered a first defeat. The chairman of the state parliament’s petition committee, Green Party member Thomas Marwein, has given the green light for speed 20 for the time being. Marwein told our newspaper on Thursday that he had initiated a letter to the Ministry of Transport to that effect.
After Marwein’s decision, the city can now put up the speed 20 signs at its own risk with immediate effect. The final decision is up to the Petitions Committee (on May 5 at the earliest) and the state parliament. This committee receives between 1000 and 1500 petitions per year. The petition had led to a fierce exchange of blows in the Stuttgart City Council. The left-wing alliance castigated the initiators as “autonarren” and spoke of the “radical arm of the conservatives”. The CDU/CSU, which had supported the resolution on a livable city center, referred to the right to petition enshrined in the Basic Law. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 8)uusag