German Finance Minister Dubious About German Vaccination Timetable

1 February 2021

By David Barwick – Frankfurt (Econostream) – Getting all Germans vaccinated against Covid-19 by late September will require considerable effort, a dubious-sounding Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Monday.

In an interview with German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, Scholz, according to a text made available by the Finance Ministry, observed pointedly that it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her minister of health from the same party who had given public assurances that all those in Germany wanting to be vaccinated would have gotten the opportunity by 21 September, five days before elections to decide who will succeed Merkel.

“If I follow the current debate about vaccine deliveries and extrapolate, we have to really make an effort’, Scholz, who belongs to a different political party, said about the 21 September goal. Asked explicitly if he had doubts, he replied, ‘To put it carefully: it would have been good if Europe had ordered more vaccines. Far beyond the need.’

The pandemic and its impact have taken a toll on tax revenues, he said, and growth this year would be less than expected until recently. ‘To be sure, thanks to the comprehensive support measures it looks like we will make it through the crisis economically okay’, he said. ‘But even with the best growth, we will lastingly take in fewer revenues every year than projected in 2019, for example.’

Scholz, who hopes to follow Merkel as Chancellor, reiterated that he would institute a minimum wage in Germany of €12 per hour if elected.