German democracy and state institutions have proven resilient through the coronavirus panademic. This was determined by a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation of 29 industrialized nations.
The study, which used 94 indicators, placed Germany, Sweden, and New Zealand at the top of countries in which the rule of law was upheld.
These three criteria were the main ones: resilience of democracy and organization of crisis management. They also considered the strength of the economy as well as the welfare state.
More than 70 analysts conducted the study. It covered the period from November 2019 to January 2021.
These countries included member states of the European Union and members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Concerning the resilience of their democracies Turkey was worst.
It found that the governments used the pandemic to limit citizens’ rights in the long-term.
The study showed that states where individual rights, freedom of press and independence of the judiciary were already at risk before the pandemic, experienced “further steps backwards that are cause to concern.”
It pointed out that parliaments in many countries were not involved in decision-making due to governments acting under pressure. Rivalries between departments of government were also a negative factor.
Germany has passed legislation to make vaccines mandatory for all medical and care staff starting March.
The legislation was supported by both the legislative chambers as well as across all political spectrums.
Staff in hospitals and care homes will need to have the virus vaccine or show proof of recovery if they wish to return to work. A negative COVID test is not sufficient.
The government also plans to amend the law to make mandatory vaccinations available to all citizens next year.
According to Friday’s announcement by the government, vaccines will be mandatory in the Czech Republic for all over 60-year-olds starting March 1.
This obligation will also be applicable to firefighters, police officers, health workers, and military personnel.
The new regulation was approved just one week before a new government takes over amid opposition from the nominee for health minister.
Petr Fiala (center-right leader), who won an October general election, will be the prime minister.
Slovakia has lifted its two-week-long nationwide lockdown. All shops and services, such as haircuts and fitness studios, are now open to all who have been vaccinated.
Restaurants will be closed while guest houses and hotels can accommodate business travellers but not tourists.
Switzerland proposed tightening public life restrictions, with the government stating that a limited lockdown may still be necessary.