Vaccinations: Debate about “cost cap” Blümels

The debate about sluggish vaccine deliveries to Austria continues and is also intensified within the coalition.

The Ministry of Health of the Greens made available to the parliamentary committee, which is supposed to examine the Corona procurements, an e-mail with the VP-led Ministry of Finance from July 2020: The e-mail, which the OÖNachrichten has received, is about a so-called Ministerial Council lecture for the vaccine Purchases. The wording proposed by the Greens to estimate “more than 200 million euros” has been corrected by the finance department to “up to 200 million euros”. In the Ministry of Finance this is justified by the fact that the phrase “more than” does not represent a correct budget estimate. Of course, if necessary, more funds could be made available, but the Ministry of Health did not request that. Currently, around 53 million of the 200 million euros have been called up.

For the opposition, these statements are just excuses. The SPÖ, FPÖ and Neos yesterday called for Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (VP) to resign. He lied because he had repeatedly claimed that there was no spending cap. “One of the biggest scandals in Austrian history,” said SP vice club boss Jörg Leichtfried. With the cost cap, it was not possible for the officials to order sufficient vaccine.

Austria’s vaccination quota of 13.5 percent who received at least one dose is currently above the EU average (11.3 percent). In the case of the fully immunized, the figure is 4.4 percent, just below the EU average (4.9 percent).

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