German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany aims to shut restaurants, ban big events in battle against pandemic

*German companies already turning more pessimistic, potentially marking the beginning of a major setback after half a year of gradual improvements

*Angela Merkel to make proposal to state leaders Wednesday, October 28

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

German Chancellor Angela Merkel aims to close restaurants and ban big events, partially shutting down Europe’s largest economy to curb the rapid spread of the ravaging Coronavirus.

The Chancellor intends to propose the tougher national restrictions to the country’s 16 state premiers at a meeting Wednesday, October 28, 2020, according to German media reports.

Unlike the previous lockdown in spring, schools and daycare centers would stay open unless they are in regions with exceptionally high infection rates.

The German leader has promised to do all she can to prevent another nationwide lockdown like the one that hammered the economy in the second quarter.

However, with infections once again surging, Merkel has painted an increasingly darker picture of the outbreak and called for greater urgency in the fight against the virus.

According to report, like elsewhere in Europe, the number of new infections in Germany has shot up rapidly in recent days and reached a record of 17,448 last Saturday.

There were 12,340 new cases in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In a closed-door leadership meeting of Merkel’s Christian Democratic party Monday, her Chief of Staff Helge Braun warned that cases are currently doubling every seven days and could reach 30,000 by next week, German newspaper Bild Zeitung reported.

In another sign of heightened alarm, Merkel moved forward the meeting with state leaders to discuss the next steps by two days to Wednesday.

The proposal marks another effort by the German leader to forge a consensus after she failed to get state premiers to accept tighter curbs in recent weeks.

In Germany, the states are responsible for most of the measures to fight the pandemic, giving Merkel limited power to combat the virus and forcing her to seek to align regional leaders.

There is a growing concern across Europe that the recent surge in cases will prompt the need for tighter restrictions, thus hindering the nascent economic recovery.

German companies are already turning more pessimistic, potentially marking the beginning of a major setback after half a year of gradual improvements, the Ifo Institute’s business climate index published suggested Monday.

Germany’s gross domestic product will likely shrink by 5.5%, less than a prediction of 5.8% made at the start of September, the government is expected to disclose Wednesday.

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