EU infighting erupts: Germany turns on France over vaccines as MP blasts ‘meddling’ Macron
AstraZeneca: Macron criticised over message by German MP
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Tensions are building between EU member states, with Germany now turning on France over the vaccine blunders in the bloc. Leading German MP Alexander Lambsdorff raged at French President Emmanuel Macron for casting doubt on the AstraZeneca vaccine. He warned that Mr Macron was meddling in the vaccine rollout across the bloc, as new Covid cases soar across the EU.
LBC’s Matt Frei asked the German MP: “Don’t you think it’s odd that the EMA has twice now ruled that AstraZeneca vaccine is fine?
“And then you have national governments saying ‘Hang on a minute, it’s not fine for the over-65s’.
“Famously you have President Macron saying it was quasi-ineffective – that does send a mixed European message, doesn’t it?”
Mr Lambsdorff responded: “I think it sends a very mixed scientific message!”
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He continued: “Who is Emmanuel Macron in terms of his scientific knowledge compared to the people at the European Medicines Agency?
“He is a layman. He is a political communicator whose job it is to instill trust in the public in a vaccine that is considered safe by the real scientists.
“We have had the same issues in Germany. We have had very unfortunate communication about the vaccine.
“But by and large, the trust in the population is still there – more than 60 percent have said they will take the vaccine right away.”
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Mr Frei followed up: “You have AstraZeneca doses. Shouldn’t you be putting those AstraZeneca vaccines into people’s arms as quickly as possible?
“The EU seems to be confounding the problem with these political, scientific doubts.”
The German politician said: “I think our health minister bungled the issue in terms of communication around the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Over the next two weeks, I hope it will smooth out.”
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This comes as tensions rocket around vaccines inside the EU, with Brussels considering plans to block exports of AstraZeneca vaccine to Britain.
Both Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have backed the EU plan which could hit 20 percent of the UK’s vaccine supply.
Nearly one-third of France entered a month-long shutdown at midnight on Friday, after the country recorded almost 35,000 cases in 24 hours.
Angela Merkel also warned Germans that the country would need to apply an “emergency brake” and reimpose restrictions, as new Covid cases continued to rise exponentially.
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