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Governing Mayor Müller: ‘I Do Not Want Brussels or Bergamo in Berlin’

At the Berlin House of Representatives, Michael Müller made clear he does not want the German capital to be in a situation of the kind its partner city Brussels is in right now. According to him, a lockdown is the only way to go.

Berlin, November 2nd, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — Citing the alarming situation in Brussels, where hardly any ICU beds are vacant, Governing Mayor Michael Müller said this should not happen Berlin. “I do not want Brussels or Bergamo in Berlin, I do not want the cooling trucks with deceased persons we saw in New York “, he stated in front of the city state’s House of Representatives which assembled on Sunday for his government declaration.

Thorough Assessment

During his speech, Müller was interrupted countless times by members of the extremist right-wing party ‘AfD’. He said, a few months ago he had not thought that it would be necessary to agree to incisive measures twice this year. Like in March, when the first partial lockdown had been put in place, a thorough assessment process had preceded the decision.

Governing Mayor Müller held his speech at the Berlin House of Representatives. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Müller stated he had gone into politics to enable people to do things and to let them lead a good life. He said all political decisions and actions taken could be corrected, with the exception of those taken to save lives. That was why he supported the decisions taken by the federal government and the federal states on Wednesday.

Zoos and Sports

The Governing Mayor asked the Berlin House of Representatives for support in regard to the lockdown and the Senate’s interpretation of the rules that were agreed to at the Chancellery last Wednesday. In spring, the measures taken had led to the breaking of Corona infection chains. Now there was hope the new measures would be successful.

Starting today, the new partial lockdown applies in all of Germany. Berlin changed the rules to some extent. In the German capital, the outdoor parts of two zoos will remain open. Children up to 12 years of age will be allowed to engage in outdoor sports activities in regular groups of up to ten members.

Adapted Measures

Müller said the Senate had adapted the measures to the needs of a city with almost 4 million inhabitants. Last time, in spring, Berlin’s book and bicycle stores had been allowed to open, while they were closed in all other parts in Germany.

At the House of Representatives, Müller criticized those who wanted exceptions to the Corona rules and those who fought for those at courts. “Involved parties always say they were not the problem because they adhered to the rules”, the Governing Mayor said. “If that is the case, where do these infection numbers come from?”

Perfidious Aspect

“This is about contacts”, Müller stated. Even at locations at which the rules were followed, there were encounters and contacts. “This is about preventing those encounters from taking place.” The perfidious aspect about this crisis was the fact that people had to keep their distance while they needed each other most.

Müller asked the federal government to increase the salaries for short-term workers to 70 percent of their former wages. At the same time, he praised it for the help it is already providing.

Ideological Reasons

Regarding the help Germany’s ‘Bundeswehr’, the country’s armed forces, are providing by sending soldiers to support local health authorities, Müller slammed the district authority in Berlin’s Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough. “I do not understand how anyone can reject this kind of help for ideological reasons,” Müller said.

In the district, local politicians on the far-left refuse to allow soldiers to help their health authority. Only minutes after Müller made his remarks on this subject, the conservative CDU’s Burkard Dregger accused him of tolerating the district’s approach in this regard.

Advent Season

Governing Mayor Michael Müller, who is part of the center-left SPD, said checking and enforcing the lockdown rules was important. There were more important things than writing parking tickets right now, he stated, hinting the Office of Public Order might order its officers to perform more checks, in cooperation with the Berlin Police Department and the Federal Police.

But November was also the month of self-responsibility, Müller stressed. A gapless control of a city of almost 4 million residents was not possible. “We will not place a policeman in every living room.” The Governing Mayor criticized conspiracy theorists who call the government a “Corona dictatorship”. This was just as dumb as comparing Corona to the flu.

“We have a chance for a nice Advent season with our families”, the Governing Mayor said, referring to the Christian custom ahead of Christmas. “Taking the decisions at hand was difficult for everyone involved, but there is no other way.”