The general debate is ongoing in the Bundestag – traditionally a heated discussion between the government and the opposition. You can follow the speeches live here.

You can follow the debate live here

9.20 am: Merkel urges citizens not to stop in line with the corona measures: “The main key to successfully fighting the virus in our country is the responsible behavior of each individual and the willingness to participate.” The vast majority of Germans have shown that they are willing to follow the rules. “I’m so grateful for that, and we should all be together.”

09:13 am: In the general debate in the German Bundestag, Chancellor Angela Merkel justifies the high level of new debt in the budget with the current challenge of the coronavirus: “We live in a pandemic, so we live in an exceptional situation”, she says. “And we have to do something to make sure that we act in a special way in this particular situation, and this is what this budget expresses.” Germany is an economically strong, democratic country with social cohesion and a strong civil society. “This strength, which is what guides us in this budget, we want to maintain even in this exceptional situation,” Merkel said.

A decision to take on debt of this magnitude was “anything but easy,” admitted the Chancellor. It puts a burden on future households and limits on future spending and future generations.

9.02 am: Traditionally the largest opposition party starts – Alice Weidel of the AfD has the floor. ‘How much mischief do you intend to cause in your remaining term of office?’ She asked Chancellor Merkel. “Mrs. Merkel, get off your intellectual Wandlitz,” she criticizes the Chancellor’s policy. It is starting to attack, attacking, among other things, the corona measures, immigration policy and the government’s economic policy of recent years.

With a general debate of four hours on the course of the federal government, budget week in the Bundestag (starting at 9 a.m.) reaches its peak. Usually the government and the opposition have a sharp political exchange. In the course of the debate, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) will also take the floor and explain her policy.

It is eagerly awaited if Merkel will elaborate on how to proceed with the corona-related restrictions. The debate this year is likely to be heavily influenced by the federal government’s approach to the corona pandemic. The fight against the crisis is leading to a further drastic increase in new debt. Loans of almost 180 billion euros are planned for next year.

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