Weekly update: Merkel turns down G7 invitation

Chancellor Angela Merkel turned down Donald Trump’s invitation to the June G7 summit due to the coronavirus pandemic. She will instead join through teleconference, stating she would not travel to Washington DC given the circumstances.


Germany was said by the Chancellor to have ‘passed’ the test of coronavirus so far. However, she cautioned against ignorance to the ongoing danger of the virus.


Lockdown restrictions have become more varied as more federal states announce their own rules. Merkel conceded that, due to low case numbers, it is sensible to allow regions to implement their own measures.


Further relaxations are set to take place as Germany prepares to lift its travel warning for 26 EU countries from 15 June.


Business


The German government pledged €9 billion to save Lufthansa, which includes a 20% stake in the airline. Finance minister Olaf Scholz justified the move, emphasising the measure was temporary.


Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer proposed a €28 billion boost for digital and rail infrastructure, including aid to Deutsche Bahn due to lost revenue.


Right-wing extremism


Interior Minister Horst Seehofer blamed right-wing extremists for a 13% increase in anti-Semitic crimes from 2018.

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