Merkel mocked: Chancellor’s vaccine plan ridiculed as Germans face long delays for jab
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German ministers’ approach to inoculation was the source of ridicule on the Heute Show, which also poured scorn on the European Union’s inability to get on top of the vaccine crisis. The show questioned why Germany had failed so miserably on the vaccine front, given the country’s reputation for organisation and efficiency.
And federalism was blamed for the long wait many Germans are facing before they can avail of the jab.
German newspaper Die Zeit dubbed the EU’s mishandling of vaccination programmes has been dubbed the “best advertisement for Brexit”.
The Heute Show also criticised Brussels for wanting to tighten its purse strings on such a crucial area.
In a clip, a host of the show asked: “Why did the EU order so little and so late last year?”
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A clip of the Chancellor was then played, in which she said: “And something that is always being discussed is the question ‘how much of the vaccine did you order?’ To be honest, this isn’t interesting at all.”
The host continues: “I see, to be honest I think it is very interesting.
“Because if last summer we had ordered enough to vaccinate 60 percent of EU citizens of every one of the six most promising vaccines, this would have cost €36million.
“Experts estimate that this is the same amount one day of lockdown in Europe costs.
“This is a classic case of saving on the wrong things, I would say.
“Then the companies could have built more production capacity in time.”
The finger of blame is then pointed at Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.
The host criticised her seeking to keep the vaccine costs low, and suggested the money saved would be spent on commemorations for the dead.
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The show continues: “Anyway, at least Ursula and her people successfully haggled when buying the doses, and with the saved money we can now buy… wreaths and more candles to put them in our windows.”
The host also questioned where the “December euphoria” had disappeared to before a clip of Mrs von der Leyen was played in which she talked about all European cities being on the way to getting vaccines.
They also claimed vaccinations in at least one German state – North Rhine-Westphalia – had come to a halt.
Data released by the Robert Koch Institute last week showed North Rhine-Westfalia was among four regions which had not yet received any Moderna jabs.
The Heute Show host said: “We can’t even distribute the little bit of vaccine that we do have in Germany, because of regionalism. Of course, every federal state has its own ‘invitation management’.
“In some states the telephone hotlines collapse, in others it is the online platforms and in some, it is both of them.”
Last weekend Germany raised the threat of legal action against AstraZeneca over a shortage in deliveries of the vaccine.
The row between the EU and the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has been used by Brexiteers as an example of the bloc’s ineptitude when it comes to crises.
The Haute Show took the view that it was “correct for the EU to negotiate together as one” but said leaders “could still have done it differently and better”.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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