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Angela Merkel questions German perfectionism while urging states to issue tougher measures

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the German parliament Bundestag ahead of an European Union summit at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the German parliament Bundestag ahead of an European Union summit at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised some regional coronavirus restrictions, expressing frustration with state governors that have resisted issuing tougher measures.

Merkel also acknowledged in a lengthy interview with public broadcaster ARD on Sunday that mistakes were made by her government, including plans for a five-day Easter lockdown that she then backtracked on.

"We must now put in place the appropriate measures with a lot of seriousness. Some states do it, others have not done it yet," Merkel said however as some states planned on lifting restrictions.

Some governors are against applying emergency lockdown measures previously agreed upon when infections are higher than 100 per 100,000 people.

Among the measures she considers appropriate would be a curfew, not yet applied nationally in the country..

But Merkel also called for more flexibility regarding virus measures, stating that Germans had a tendency towards "perfectionism".

"Perhaps we're very perfectionist at times and want to do everything right, because obviously whoever makes a mistake always faces quite a lot of public criticism,” Merkel said.

"But there needs to be flexibility, too," she added. "That, I believe, is an attribute that we as Germans perhaps need to learn a little bit more, alongside our tendency toward perfectionism."

Merkel told ARD she stood by her goal to offer every adult a vaccine by the end of the summer. So far, just 10% of the population has received a first dose of the vaccine so far.

But, Merkel said that compared to neighbours, the country was doing well.

“We have a difficult situation," she said. “But look at our neighbours. With the exception of Denmark they are all grappling with the same problems, in part from a much more difficult position.”

“We also need to voice a bit of courage and strength," she said.

Merkel, who is not running in September's election, has faced falling support according to recent polls and despite restrictions, infections have been rising.

Germany's disease control agency on Monday reported 9,872 newly confirmed cases in the past day, and 43 deaths.

Since the start of the outbreak, the country of 83 million has recorded almost 2.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 75,913 deaths.