Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel during a speech in the Bundestag
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the restrictions on citizens’ rights during the lockdown period in Europe “high price”, stressing that such measures should be introduced only for important reasons and for a short time and should not serve as a pretext for the “elimination of democratic rights.”
“In order to stop the spread of infection, we had to temporarily restrict the most basic fundamental rights. It was a high price because whole generations in Europe have actively fought for these basic rights. Humanitarian and civil rights are the most important values that we have in Europe, and they should be limited for very important reasons and for a very short time. A pandemic should not be a pretext for the elimination of democratic rights”, – Merkel said, introducing the European Parliament to the German Presidency program.
She noted that all countries in Europe have a different history regarding the struggle for fundamental rights.
“For me, who lived 35 years of her life in a system of unfreedom, these limitations in a pandemic were a decision that was extremely difficult for me”, – she added, referring to the years of her life in the GDR.
According to her, Germany took over the chairmanship in the “historical phase”, which fills her with “pride, but also great enthusiasm, because I believe Europe.”
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“I believe in Europe not only as a legacy of the past, but also as hope and vision for the future”, – the chancellor said.