Merkel and von der Leyen blasted for vaccine fiasco by EU journalist – ‘Abject failure’

Angela Merkel 'stuck to EU rules' on vaccine rollout says expert

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Filipp Piatov is head of opinion at the German tabloid Bild, which last week ran a front page story titled “We envy you!” in reference to the UK’s successful vaccine rollout. In an op-ed for The Times, he blasted Ms Merkel and Ms Von der Leyen, accusing them of “abject failure” while laying the blame for Europe’s vaccine fiasco squarely at their door. While the UK can boast that 27 percent of its population has received a Covid jab, only five percent of the EU’s nearly 450 million citizens has received at least one dose.

This has led to growing frustration and anger across Europe at the EU’s vaccine procurement policy.

From the start of the crisis, EU heads of state agreed to outsource to Brussels responsibility for purchase of coronavirus vaccines.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were the chief supporters of the plan.

Mr Piatov wrote: “With every British jab, the European vaccine failure looks more and more like the tale of two leaders who put ideology over good politics and who were so eager to demonstrate the superiority of Brussels bureaucracy to the nation state that they forgot to do their job.

“It was not mysterious circumstances, misfortune or coincidence that led to the vaccine fiasco.

“It was bad political decisions.”

Both Ms Merkel and Ms Von der Leyen have argued that any alternative to EU-procurement would have resulted in “vaccine nationalism” and would have had damaging consequences for European unity.

The German opinion writer argued that the two leaders had arguably achieved the exact opposite of their intentions.

“By portraying any alternative to the failed vaccination plan as a threat to the European idea, they have weakened that idea more effectively than any Eurosceptic could,” he wrote.


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Mr Piatov concluded: “They could have saved tens of thousands of lives, millions of jobs and shown Europeans that in times of crisis, it is better to be together than alone.

“They missed their chance, with incalculable consequences for the future of the EU.”

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