Germany has been used as a tool to bash the UK Government, with critics in the UK pointing to the significantly lower death rate in Germany as proof of Downing Street’s failure. However, Germany’s own foreign minister has rebuked these claims, suggesting that the two countries actually share exactly the same strategy. Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Andreas Michaelis said that it was “unfair” to attack the British government’s response in comparison to the German response.
However, Mr Michaelis, who will serve as the next German ambassacdor to the UK, insisted this comparison was “unfair”.
He explained: “Our strategies are not very different, as far as I can see, between Germany and the UK. Sometimes it’s just a matter of luck.”
Marr asked: “To people who say, our Government hasn’t done well when you look at Germany – you would say that’s unfair on the British Government?”
Mr Michaelis responded: “I would wish that people were more level-headed and we look at what delivered in defeating this crisis.”
Mr Michaelis said this excess capacity in intensive care units and the mass testing available to the population has been one of the main reasons the country has kept its COVID-19 death rate so low.
Despite the country’s success in combating the virus, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the coronavirus pandemic is “still at the beginning” and parts of Germany may be rushing their exit from lockdown.
She told the German Bundestag: “It is precisely because the figures give rise to hope that I feel obliged to say that this interim result is fragile.
“We are still far from out of the woods. We are not in the final phase of the pandemic, but still at the beginning.”