Bavaria's Prime Minister is said to have written in an SMS in March 2020: "You have to take it, Scheuer (47, CSU, in the photo) has to guarantee that!"

The Bavarian State Chancellery defended Prime Minister Markus Söder’s commitment to the mask purchase in March 2020.

Munich – The Bavarian State Chancellery has the use of Prime Minister Markus Soder (55) and Head of State Chancellery Florian Herrmann (50) for buying a mask from a Lower Bavarian company at the beginning of the corona pandemic defended.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister is said to have written in an SMS in March 2020: “You have to take it, Scheuer (47, CSU, in the photo) has to guarantee it!” © Christoph Soeder/dpa

The former Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (47, all CSU), who mediated the company in question to the state government at the time, also defended the purchase.

“You have to take it, Scheuer has to guarantee that!” According to an internal email from the Ministry of Health at the end of March 2020, Söder is said to have written in an SMS at the time.

The note about which the “Southgerman newspaperThe German Press Agency in Munich has the first report in the Thursday edition. There is also a note that shows that the ministry did not want to recommend the procurement of these masks “technically” at the time.

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Herrmann said: “At the end of March 2020 there was an absolute mask emergency in Bavaria and throughout Germany, there was imminent danger.” They wanted to check every potentially reputable source for protective equipment at reasonable prices as quickly as possible.

“The advice from the State Chancellery is no different: stay tuned to the topic and at the same time keep all options in terms of quality and contractual security open,” said Herrmann.

As a safeguard, the fulfillment of specific standards was included in the purchase contract, combined with warranty rights for the Free State.

Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (55, CSU) received tailwind from the State Chancellor for his mask decisions in March 2020.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (55, CSU) received tailwind from the State Chancellor for his mask decisions in March 2020. © Peter Kneffel/dpa

“There was no preferential treatment. The aim had to be to purchase suitable protective material in large quantities – without taking unforeseeable financial or health risks. That is exactly what happened. The contract was completely fulfilled as a result. Commissions were not paid,” said the head of state.

Scheuer also emphasized: “We’re not talking about commissions or shares. We’re talking about the fact that e-mails were forwarded by MPs who didn’t earn a cent from them.” There was time pressure.

“I was relieved and happy when, in this emergency, the delivery arrived in Munich to supply Bavaria, which was particularly affected by Corona, especially the clinics and facilities, with the masks that were in short supply at the time,” Scheuer told dpa.

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The opposition, on the other hand, is demanding clarification. Florian Siekmann (27, Greens) criticized that the “personal pushing” of individual offers prevented the establishment of an effective procurement system for masks at the time.

And SPD faction leader Florian von Brunn (53) demanded that Söder now have to explain publicly why he ignored the concerns of the experts and instructed them to buy the masks.

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