German ministry warns of ‘economic collapse’ as end of coronavirus lockdown in sight

A draft document by the Interior Ministry (BMI) has outlined proposals to lift the daily lockdown by April 19. Restrictions on daily life including the closure of shops have been in place since March 22, however recent trends have indicated Germany may be over the peak of the virus after the number of COVID-19 infections fell for a fourth consecutive day. A Government paper based on analysis by the Robert Koch Institute – a Berlin-based public health research agency – has outlined a range of damning economic forecasts.

The coronavirus plan, based on the South Korean model of significantly increasing testing, has warned there is a risk of economic, social and health collapse if the number of infections does not decrease.

The strategy aims to ramp up the number of coronavirus tests to 200,000 per day in order to slow the spread of the virus.

The paper states: “Only with a foreseeable end to the initial restrictions can a return to previous economic and social life be guaranteed.”

According to forecasts by the BMI it could take up to two months for businesses to be up and running again and a further three months to compensate for the loss of revenues.

BMI analysts say the best case scenario is that GDP will fall by just four percent and nine percent across industries – costing the Government £70billion (€80bn).

Experts warn if a second wave of coronavirus infections was to strike then GDP will fall by 11 percent and 19 percent across industries.

Meanwhile should lockdown measures last until the end of the year then GDP would plummet by 32 percent and industries finances would be cut by half.

The paper states such a scenario would amount to an “economic collapse” and the “social and political consequences of which are hard to imagine”.

The paper adds there is a risk of a “meltdown” for the entire system.

It says: “This threatens to change the community to a completely different basic state up to anarchy.”

Chancellor Merkel this afternoon warned the coronavirus was the biggest challenge the European Union has ever faced.

Ms Merkel, who has returned to frontline politics following a period of self-isolation, said: “In my view, Europe, the European Union is facing the biggest test since its foundation.

“We have a big health challenge that is impacting all member states however differently.”


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Health Authorities in Germany have today announced a fourth straight day with a drop in new confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 3,677 in the past 24 hours to 95,391.

The number of new cases was lower than the 5,936 new infections reported on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 92 to 1,434.

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)

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