“Where do you come from, among the partners, they say sorry if you get lost.” Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn (CDU), has expressed his anger over criticism from the coalition partner Social Democrats that he has had to listen to for days. Their boss, Saskia Esken, testified that it was “inhumane behaviour” and called for his resignation. The MPs in their group don’t go that far, but they talk about “a below average overall performance” by the minister.
Before the general election on September 26, the tone in the black-red coalition will be tougher. It concerns a large number of allegedly lower quality masks purchased by the Federal Ministry of Health in China in 2020. According to Der Spiegel, it wanted to distribute masks that were not tested to a high standard to the homeless, Hartz IV recipients or people with disabilities. This is called SPD on the scene.
The Social Democrats are now demanding clarification from Spahn, who in turn sees no problem with this: although the masks do not have the EU certification, they have been checked and are safe to protect against infection. If something else comes up — the masks should serve as an emergency backup and can be pre-tested — Spahn has a big problem.