Tag Archives: Government Finance

Germany expects AstraZeneca to deliver 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by February | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: AstraZeneca logo reflected in syringe droplets in an illustration taken on November 9, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Photo File

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany expects British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to deliver 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in February despite the company’s latest production issues, Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

AstraZeneca notified EU officials on Friday that it would cut shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to the block by 60% to 31 million doses in the first quarter of this year due to production issues, a senior official told Reuters.

The decline dealt another blow to Europe’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts after Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech slowed down their vaccine supply to the bloc this week, saying the move was needed because of efforts to increase production.

“The good news is that if the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by the end of January, we expect at least 3 million doses of vaccine for Germany by February,” Spahn told Bild am Sonntag in an interview.

Spahn admitted this was less than expected. The delays suggest vaccine production is a much more complex task than some media headlines suggest, he added.

Spahn renewed his promise that the government would be able to offer vaccination offers to all citizens who wish to get vaccinated by the summer. “If the approval that is expected for further vaccines comes, it will remain that way,” said Spahn.

The government also remains committed to its goal of vaccinating all willing citizens over 80 by the end of March, Spahn said.

The minister rejected criticism that Germany was short on other countries in its vaccination efforts.

“We can make meaningful comparisons in two or three months,” said Spahn, adding that Germany had decided to start with vaccinations in nursing homes, which he described as a more complex and time-consuming task.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Edited by Alex Richardson

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Germany expects AstraZeneca to deliver 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by February | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: AstraZeneca logo reflected in syringe droplets in an illustration taken on November 9, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Photo File

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany expects British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to deliver 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in February despite the company’s latest production issues, Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

AstraZeneca notified EU officials on Friday that it would cut shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to the block by 60% to 31 million doses in the first quarter of this year due to production issues, a senior official told Reuters.

The decline dealt another blow to Europe’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts after Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech slowed down their vaccine supply to the bloc this week, saying the move was needed because of efforts to increase production.

“The good news is that if the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by the end of January, we expect at least 3 million doses of vaccine for Germany by February,” Spahn told Bild am Sonntag in an interview.

Spahn admitted this was less than expected. The delays suggest vaccine production is a much more complex task than some media headlines suggest, he added.

Spahn renewed his promise that the government would be able to offer vaccination offers to all citizens who wish to get vaccinated by the summer. “If the approval that is expected for further vaccines comes, it will remain that way,” said Spahn.

The government also remains committed to its goal of vaccinating all willing citizens over 80 by the end of March, Spahn said.

The minister rejected criticism that Germany was short on other countries in its vaccination efforts.

“We can make meaningful comparisons in two or three months,” said Spahn, adding that Germany had decided to start with vaccinations in nursing homes, which he described as a more complex and time-consuming task.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Edited by Alex Richardson

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Germany agrees tax breaks worth 11 billion euros – Handelsblatt | Instant News


BERLIN, January 20 (Reuters) – Germany’s federal and state governments have approved tax breaks worth around 11 billion euros, the Handelsblatt business daily reported on Wednesday, citing a Ministry of Finance document.

The federal and state governments agreed on Tuesday, when they extended the closure of most shops and schools through February 14, that they needed to stimulate the economy further.

The tax breaks will benefit everyone working from home, Handelsblatt said, adding that between 2022 and 2026, the Ministry of Finance expects 11.7 billion euros in aid as a result of the measures. (Written by Paul Carrel Editing by Riham Alkousaa)

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Germany needs to extend and tighten the COVID-19 lockdown – Scholz | Instant News


BERLIN, January 18 (Reuters) – Germany must extend and tighten its lockdown measures to bring the infection rate down in the pandemic more quickly, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Monday.

“I am considering expanding and appropriate measures to increase the effectiveness of (existing) measures as needed,” said Scholz, adding that stricter rules for working from home should be considered to reduce mobility and social contact.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state prime ministers are expected to discuss further restrictions on Tuesday to slow the spread of a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Thomas Seythal)

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Bolsonaro’s allies will win control of the Brazilian Congress | Instant News


BRASILIA (Reuters) – Despite a deep recession and the world’s second-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, a candidate backed by Brazil’s right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro is expected to win control of Congress next month, politicians and analysts said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil January 12, 2021. REUTERS / Adriano Machado / File Photo

Bolsonaro has publicly supported center-right Congressman Arthur Lira to become chairman of the lower house against centrist Baleia Rossi, who has the backing of Chairman Rodrigo Maia and lawmakers who have kept his distance from the president.

The lira, who calls herself fiscally conservative in a written exchange with Reuters, has more than 257 votes needed for a majority, according to risk consultancy Arko. That means an uphill battle for Rossi and the left-wing parties he has approached, who are supporting more aid for low-income Brazilians hurt by the pandemic.

With more than 8.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 209,000 deaths – second only to the United States – Brazil’s second wave of outbreak is likely to increase pressure on the government to spend more, widening a huge budget deficit.

Hospitals in the jungle city of Manaus were again overwhelmed, sparking protests in Brazil’s biggest cities over Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic, who has repeatedly denied the gravity of the virus.

On the economic front, Ford Motor Co announced last week that it was shutting down production in Brazil and cutting around 5,000 jobs, in a symbolic blow to a country likely to experience its worst recession on record in 2020.

But polls show Bolsonaro has maintained public support in the crisis, with 37% of those surveyed calling him a “good” or “great” president in the August and December surveys by Datafolha poll. That strong support, together with a growing willingness to discuss the traditional horse trade in Congress, has helped him secure the political base of center-right legislators.

His favorite candidate in the Senate, Democratic Rodrigo Pacheco, has a clear advantage to become president of the Senate, with 46 senators to 33 for rival Simone Tebet, according to Arko.

Pacheco even had the backing of the left-wing Labor Party (PT), which made him challenge Bolsonaro’s more controversial views such as loosening gun ownership rules and rejecting climate change.

“Pacheco is not an extreme free market exponent and would not agree with the complete privatization of state enterprises,” said Senator Jean Paul Prates PT in a telephone interview.

The lira has said its priority if the lower house chairman is elected on February 1 is an emergency bill that will give federal and local governments more room to handle spending but avoid violating Brazil’s legally mandated spending limits.

He told Reuters, however, that Congress had to find alternatives to extend last year’s emergency transfer to low-income Brazil that cost 322 billion reais ($ 61 billion) and broke a record in government finances.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Ricardo Brito; Edited by Brad Haynes

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