Angela Merkel outlines plans for European Health Union
In an interview with German public broadcaster ARD, the German Chancellor defended the EU’s joint vaccine procurement programme. She said: “I believe that basically nothing has gone wrong.” But Mrs Merkel was quick to admit that Brexit Britain’s success in the vaccination race annoyed her.
She added: “Of course, the question arises: why is the United States faster, why is Israel faster, why is the United Kingdom faster? That rankles, of course.
“The fact is the US has production capacity — Pfizer is an American company, after all — and America exports virtually nothing out of its borders.
“That means we as Europeans are dependent on our production facilities.”
She continued: “That we ordered it together on a European basis was certainly the right thing to do.”
The comments sparked outrage in Germany. German daily BILD described the debacle as a “crime thriller”.
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They wrote: “The federal government’s vaccination failure is increasingly turning into a crime thriller.
“The crucial question, as with any crime thriller, is who did it?
“And who is trying to cover up traces?”
“Incredible what Angela Merkel said about the vaccination debacle in the ARD interview in the Chancellery: ‘Well, I think that on the whole nothing went wrong’.
“Nothing went wrong?”
Politics Professor Jürgen Falter, of the University of Mainz, told BILD: “Mrs Merkel always approaches this argumentatively, explains and explains and thus downplays everything.”
He added: “She highlights the ‘inevitability of things’, the ‘unfavourable circumstances’, so that one should be happy that things are not worse.
“No one looks for her fingerprints anymore.
“Even though the now inevitable shortage of vaccines was caused by her mistakes. “
Opposition politicians also criticised Mrs Merkel’s statements.
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AfD chairman Joerg Meuthen wrote on Twitter that Merkel was obviously completely detached from reality of the country after more than 15 years in the Chancellery.
He wrote: “Good Morning!
“The Endless Chancellor says in all seriousness that ‘on the whole nothing went wrong’ when it came to obtaining the vaccine.
“Obviously, after more than 15 years in the Chancellery, she is completely decoupled from the reality of our country!”
FDP boss Lindner told RTL that expectations were high.
He said: “I don’t think that Ms Merkel is resonating with the majority of the population by saying that, on the whole, nothing has gone wrong.
“There is great indignation because there is no progress with the vaccinations, there were great expectations.
“And there is growing impatience of people who want public life to go back to normal.”
“After the summit is before the summit. We are not yet satisfied. I still think it is necessary that we set a market economy incentive, pay a speed bonus.
“When manufacturers join forces and produce faster. And we urgently need an exchange with the United States.”
“Above all, we expect answers: can’t we speed up production after all? Don’t we have to talk to the USA about exports?
“What about the approval of preparations from Russia and China and giving the option to people who may want to use them.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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