AstraZeneca: Expert criticises Merkel and Macron over suspension
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Earlier this week, a French minister hinted that President Macron took the decision to suspend the Oxford jab simply because Berlin had done the same. The insider told Politico it was “because we would have three days of stress after the German decision”.
And French industry minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said refusing to pause the jabs would have fuelled “mistrust”.
She added: “There must not be public mistrust. If you see decisions taken in other countries, the risk is that a mistrust of the vaccine develops.”
The shocking admission sparked the furious reaction of Julien Odoul, National Rally candidate in the regional elections of June 2021 in Burgundy Franche-Comté.
The French politician praised Brexit Britain’s ability to make its own decision now it is finally free from EU’s shackles.
He went on to lambast the French President over his ineptitude to stand for himself against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Speaking to French TV Public Senat, he said: “The British are sovereign.
“European money is like dragons and unicorns, it doesn’t exist.
“It is the money of the European people and particularly of the French who lose a lot with ineffective federalist policies.
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“States like Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom, which have a sovereign health policy… that’s what really works.”
He added: “The EU means opacity at all levels.
“There is opacity in the vaccine contracts.
“MEPs asked for the contracts and they got copies with hidden information.
“For the people who say that it’s good to have the EU because our government is incapable, the problem is that our government is now completely relieved of any responsibility.
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“Today we have a President of the Republic who does not govern.
“This is done by the European Commission. This is done by Ms Merkel.
“If Ms Merkel texts Mr Macron, we will obey. We obey on everything. On border controls, on the divorce with the United Kingdom and on the suspension of AstraZeneca.
“It would be nice if the French government remembered that it has been elected by the French people.”
On Tuesday, President Macron spoke on the phone with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed the Oxford vaccine is indeed safe to use.
More than a dozen EU member states had suspended the use of the Anglo-Swedish jab on Monday after reports of blood clots as one of the side effects.
On Tuesday, both France and Italy admitted the decision had been “political” and was taken on the back of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement to suspend the vaccine.
Now the two leaders seem to have bypassed their German counterpart and decided the use of the vaccine can be resumed as soon as today.
The EMA is looking at the incidence of blood clots and some reports of abnormally low levels of blood platelets among some people who have had the jab.
On Tuesday night, French prime minister Jean Castex suggested attitudes towards the AstraZeneca jab in the country were shifting after telling broadcasters he would accept a dose of the vaccine “as soon as the suspension is lifted”.
After the EMA’s press conference, Mr Draghi said Ms Cooke’s comments were “encouraging”.
Should the EMA give the official green light to the jab on Thursday, the two leaders “are ready to quickly restart the administration of the vaccine”, Mr Draghi said.
But the suspension, albeit brief, has put extra pressure on an already botched vaccination rollout.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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