Merkel criticizes German leaders over Covid approach
Home Secretary Horst Seehofer slapped a demand from Health Minister Jens Spahn to take the hit which was temporarily halted in several EU countries last month due to concerns about the effects secondary. Germany, along with other member states, has since resumed using the Oxford-made vaccine, but skepticism about the shot remains.
The 71-year-old is a member of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), the sister party of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
He told German newspaper Bild: “The answer to Jens Spahn’s request is: No! ”
He added: “I will not be patronized. ”
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer refused to take AZ’s blow, defying pressure
German Health Minister Jens Spahn urged his older colleagues to get the AZ vaccine
The 66-year-old chancellor is one of a small group of senior politicians across the age range.
Olaf Scholz, Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Finance, and Peter Altmaier, Minister of Economy, also fall into this category.
This week, Germany joined a list of countries restricting the use of the AstraZeneca jab to people over the age of 60 because of a risk of rare blood clots.
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Chancellor urged to take AZ photo
The move followed Canada’s decision to stop administering the jab to those over 55.
Mr Spahn’s call may not have pleased Mr Seehofer well, but Stephan Weil, the 62-year-old Minister President of Lower Saxony, said he was ready to take the picture from AstraZeneca.
And on Thursday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, 65, received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
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German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, 65, receives AZ hit on Thursday
Angela Merkel was first praised for her handling of the Covid crisis when she started last year
As Europe grapples with a third wave of Covid and vaccine stocks are scarce, unity between Berlin and many state prime ministers is strained.
On Wednesday, two state leaders in areas hard hit by the third wave called for a nationwide lockdown, warning that the situation is “more serious than many realize.”
But the heads of other states want to restart their economies again, under pressure from businesses and voters.
North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Armin Laschet, president of the CDU, is among those eager to open up as he prepares for the September elections.
Ms Merkel is due to step down as chancellor later this year
Due to her imminent resignation, Merkel no longer has to face the verdict of the voters and therefore wants to double her action in favor of stricter measures.
She even publicly criticized Mr. Laschet for his state’s loose control of the restrictions.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.