Thursday is now the day of truth for Scholz and the traffic light coalition. The Bundestag will vote on mandatory vaccination. It is already clear that the measure will not come about in the way Scholz had once wanted, as compulsory vaccination for everyone over the age of 18.
This is also a defeat for the chancellor and for his health minister Karl Lauterbach. On Thursday, it will now be decided how big it will be. Will there at least be compulsory vaccination from the age of 60? Or will nothing be decided at all?
The reason for the tricky situation is a decision that Scholz and the relevant traffic light politicians made at the very beginning. Since a majority of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP was questionable from the outset due to concerns among the liberals, the federal government decided against submitting a bill. Instead, it chose the path of group motions by members of various parliamentary groups. But that made finding a majority and negotiations difficult, as has become particularly apparent in recent days.
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From the start, a motion by politicians from the SPD, Greens and FDP to make vaccination compulsory from the age of 18 had the most supporters, but a majority remained out of reach. Then last week, Chancellor Scholz asked the CDU/CSU to hold talks to negotiate a possible compromise. Without votes from the CDU and CSU, compulsory vaccination still has no chance, as a considerable proportion of the CDU/CSU parliamentary groups want to vote against the plan. The meeting, however, remained inconclusive – and so the leaders of the proposal for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18 began with Plan B, namely finding a majority in the traffic light.
They further weakened their proposal at the beginning of the week, now there should be a vaccination obligation from 50 years. This was aimed at the second group around the FDP health politician Andrew Ullmann. The had suggested a consulting obligation, which could lead to a possible vaccination obligation starting from 50 years. Ullmann, however, waved the proposal off, and the SPD recalls that the agreement was actually different. Ullmann’s no forced the traffic light to further talks.
As a compromise, the two groups are now proposing that people over 60 must be able to prove that they have been vaccinated or have recovered from October 15. Depending on the pandemic situation, knowledge of virus variants and vaccination rates, the Bundestag could also suspend this obligation before then. It could also extend it to people over 18 with a resolution in September at the earliest. The bill for this group also provides for mandatory counseling and the establishment of a vaccination registry.
This proposal is the only bill that has been drafted. But the compromise agreed on short notice has two problems. Not all of the group around Ullmann now support the new proposal. This includes FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr. “I was inclined to agree to the proposal for mandatory consultation because I would have found the procedure quite sensible,” Dürr told Handelsblatt. “Since this proposal has been withdrawn, I cannot agree to any of the motions on the table. To that end, I will issue a statement on Prot
Other FDP politicians also apparently do not want to agree to the new draft. Around ten MPs who were previously in favor of Ullmann’s motion have now dropped out, FDP circles said. “I know that the result did not convince all the supporters of my group, yet the chances for mandatory counseling in conjunction with mandatory vaccination have now increased,” Ullmann said.
The second problem: The vaccination obligation proponents of the traffic light have so far not succeeded in winning over members of parliament from the CDU/CSU for their proposal. They had taken up demands of CDU and CSU such as a vaccination register. But the CDU/CSU stuck to its own proposal until the very end.
‘s plan is to set up a vaccination register so that it is clear who has been vaccinated in the first place and who needs to be targeted. In its proposal, however, the CDU/CSU parliamentary group rejects a mandatory vaccination decision at this point in time and instead advocates a “staged vaccination mechanism” that the Bundestag and Bundesrat could enact in the event of an aggravated pandemic situation. This could then theoretically also provide for compulsory vaccination, but only for certain particularly vulnerable population and occupational groups.
If the CDU/CSU remains united and does not agree to the traffic light proposal, then it will be difficult. There is also a motion from a group led by FDP vice chairman Wolfgang Kubicki that clearly rejects mandatory vaccination.
A simple majority is sufficient for the vote. This means that at least 369 of all 736 members of parliament do not have to vote in favor, but it would be enough if more of the parliamentarians present voted yes than no. According to earlier data, the original supporters of mandatory vaccination have at least 282 deputies on their side – but only if all deputies support the compromise, which is not the case with Ullmann’s group.
This would theoretically be opposed by 197 MPs from the CDU/CSU, 80 from the AfD and 50 MPs from Kubicki’s group if they were all present. The outcome could also depend to a large extent on the number of MPs present. However, some are likely to be absent from all the parliamentary groups. One reason is that numerous MPs also have Corona and are in quarantine.
the scenes, the parliamentary groups are already preparing for a failure of compulsory vaccination – and are looking for responsibility in each other. The SPD sees the blame with the CDU/CSU, which never seriously negotiated a compromise – and instead is said to have been interested in causing as much political damage as possible to the government.
Anyone who talks to Social Democrats and Greens also encounters a lot of frustration with the FDP. It must consider whether it is already a coalition partner or still in the opposition role, the SPD caucus leadership says. They work together on many issues, but the Corona policy is a single battle. The CDU/CSU, on the other hand, is stunned by the state of the coalition – and enjoys its role as a possible majority procurer for the traffic light.
Unanimous is only the joy that the vote on mandatory vaccination will soon be over.
More: The vaccination obligation chaos is the revelation oath of the traffic light
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