Angela Merkel crisis: German leader suffers humiliating drop in polls amid vaccine fury


Germany’s slow vaccination campaign has seen Angela Merkel suffer a dramatic drop in her own approval ratings. A new poll from Infratest Dimap this week showed that most Germans want coronavirus restrictions to be eased, while the government’s approval ratings have dropped as well. This comes as Ms Merkel extends Germany’s coronavirus shutdown by three weeks until March 28.

DW political corespondent Nina Haase explained: “Approval ratings particularly for Chancellor Merkel and her Government have been falling.

“Just 50 percent say they are satisfied with the federal government, while 49 percent are unsatisfied.

“During the first wave, Merkel’s approval ratings were high, because she was seen as someone who could master crises.

“But the fact they have dropped is due to the sluggish start to the vaccination campaign, the tug-of-war with the 16 state leaders, and the performance of her cabinet.

“Her health minister and economic minister have also suffered enormous slumps in their ratings as well.”

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The ARD-Deutschlandrend, a monthly nationwide survey, showed that 10 percent of Germans want restrictions lifted completely, 53 percent want the restrictions lifted partially, and only one third (34 percent) think the restrictions should not be lifted at all.

Ms Haase continued: “There is a desire from so many in this country for solutions other than simply extending the lockdown, such as stepping up testing and vaccinations – both of which have been very slow.”

“The parties themselves are split. Take Angela Merkel’s Conservatives, where 43 percent want restrictions to stay in place, versus 52 percent who say there needs to be a careful reopening.

“Merkel is in a dilemma with her own party.”

The EU has suffered a humiliatingly slow start to its vaccination programme, with many leaders forced to U-turn on their decision to snub the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Germany has so far jabbed only five per cent of its 84 million population and in France the figure is just four per cent.

This is compared to the UK, where Matt Hancock announced that 40 percent to the adult population had been offered their first jab.

Despite results showing it is 94 per cent effective at reducing hospital admissions for coronavirus, EU leaders like Emmanuel Macron dismissed it as “quasi-effective”.

Germany is now expected to approve the vaccine’s use for over-65s, as Ms Merkel told reporters on Wednesday: “The German vaccine commission, whose recommendations we are happy to follow, will authorise AstraZeneca for older age groups.”



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