Comment: The vaccination chaos is the oath of disclosure of the traffic light
The chancellor wants vaccinations to be compulsory, as does the health minister – as do all 16 prime ministers and a majority in the Bundestag. However, no one can say how the vote on Thursday will turn out. The vaccination requirement could be decided with a very narrow majority. It might as well fail in Parliament. Whatever the outcome of this matter, it is already the coalition’s oath of disclosure.
The country is governed by a chancellor who cannot be sure of a majority on crucial issues. The Germans had almost forgotten this feeling after 16 years with Angela Merkel. Most recently, she ruled with a similarly large majority as Scholz, but never really had to fear it. Although she struggled during the euro crisis, she never asked a question of trust.
Previously, it was Gerhard Schröder, who had meanwhile been discredited, who made use of it in 2005 because the Hartz reforms were highly controversial even within his own ranks.
The shaky vaccination requirement will not lead to a government crisis because other things are more urgent with the falling number of infections and the war in Europe. But she gives an idea of what is to come. The next test is the 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr. The project is about as popular with the Greens, who campaigned for disarmament in the election campaign, as the FDP’s obligation to vaccinate.
Top jobs of the day
Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.
However, if the coalition gets stuck here in a similar way, the 100 billion euros will probably shrink to a tiny amount – just as the proposal for compulsory vaccination for adults has become a possible compulsory vaccination from the age of 60 in connection with a duty to provide advice. Is this minimum consensus even enough to prevent corona measures in autumn, as the advocates of compulsory vaccination promise? If not, it would be an even bigger defeat for the traffic light. Despite the obligation to vaccinate, you would have to decide on restrictions on freedom again – and that would split the coalition once more and cause a row.
The uncertainties are the price of a tripartite alliance that, in its genesis, repeatedly drew attention to the contrasts, but whitewashed them with family photos and the euphoria of a “progressive coalition”. There isn’t much of a sign of that anymore.
More: Plans for compulsory corona vaccination from the age of 18 before failure