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Coronavirus: Germany’s economics minister calls for harsher penalties for disregarding rules

The Local Germany
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Coronavirus: Germany’s economics minister calls for harsher penalties for disregarding rules
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier thinking about how many people are breaking coronavirus rules.. Photo: DPA

Germany’s economics minister wants harsher penalties for anyone who violates coronavirus measures, as news emerged that the country's GDP was suffering from record shrinkage.

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Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier said he was concerned about ‘rising irresponsibility’ among the population.

"Anyone who deliberately endangers others must expect that this will have serious consequences for them," Altmaier told the German Press Agency.

"We must not jeopardise the recovery that is just beginning by accepting a further increase in infections."

In Germany, the 16 federal states are responsible for putting in place coronavirus measures and penalties for failure to comply.

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Altmaier sought to assert that he was not scaremongering and that the vast majority of the population remains extremely responsible.

"What we are currently experiencing is an increase in the risk which is largely due to the careless and sometimes irresponsible misconduct of a very small number of people," said Altmaier.

"We have to prevent this more effectively than before and act effectively in cases where there are infections and outbreaks. This includes fines and penalties if it is a matter of intent or gross negligence."

Record shrinkage of German GDP

Germany’s economic output shrank by 10.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to newly released economic data.

“This was the sharpest decline since the quarterly GDP calculations for Germany began in 1970” Germany’s Federal Statistical Office said.

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