"From lockdown to the new normal" was the harmless sounding title of a paper that Michael Hüther had recently submitted.

But behind it there was a conflict: the head of the employer-related Institute of German Economy (IW) not only called for a gradual return to normality.

He also campaigned for a fundamentally new way of dealing with pandemic risks: "The complete elimination of the virus will not succeed in our open society," says Hüther.

"Therefore we have to accept a certain health risk and unfortunately also a certain mortality in order to be able to return to normal in the long term."

Hüther therefore wants to weigh more closely between the health risk from the virus and economic and social impairments - and thus met with a lot of approval and also a lot of criticism.


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