EU ‘acting blindly’ says Ivan Vilibor Sincic
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Croatian MEP Ivan Sincic told his colleagues in the Parliament he believed the Commission had made too many mistakes during the coronavirus pandemic at the expense of European citizens’ freedoms. Mr Sincic condemned the EU’s approach to deny autopsies on those dying from COVID-19 and urged Mrs von der Leyen to “accept” her shortcomings.
The Croatian politician warned the coronavirus crisis has proven comparable to the 2008 financial crush, lamenting the Brussels bloc has equally failed to contain it.
He said: “Europe has taken a wrong turn in 2008 and that’s been said very clearly.
“Unfortunately this is a crisis that hasn’t been dealt with properly either compared to the one in 2008.
“We know that a third of all employees are suffering and we assume that many businesses will actually go bankrupt towards the end of the year.
“We have been acting blindly, even according to the WHO.
“We have policies now that say we should wear masks, politics have decided that we have to carry out these tests, politics have decided that if there are deaths then no autopsies will be carried out.
“All these deaths are being considered to be deaths because of Covid.
“And now, the Commission is coming to us with some sort of economic measure, telling us what we’re going to do.
“When are they going to accept that they made mistakes?”
Danish MEP Peter Kodof also blasted the Commission’s proposal, pledging he will stand against the economic strategy until Denmark finally leaves the bloc.
He said: “It’s not a question of showing solidarity that Danes should not have to pay for more presents going to Southern Europe and eastern Europe.
“It’s not a question of lack of solidarity if you stand against the damage that is being done by the EU.
“Denmark should not be paying whatever the cost and I’m going to stand against this until Denmark leaves the EU.”
The Commission has come under attack in the past few weeks over its handling of the vaccine rollout.
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Mrs von der Leyen was forced to defend herself after she threatened to trigger Article 16 of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement putting a ban on vaccine exports to Northern Ireland.
The move, criticised by EU leaders and in particular by Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin, was then retracted, albeit leaving the Commission President in a difficult position.
The Commission also engaged in a bitter contractual row with vaccine supplier AstraZeneca after it emerged the jab producers were forced to cut down the number of doses promised to EU countries.
Mrs von der Leyen was forced to apologise for attempting to use a delicate clause of the Brexit deal to benefit the EU’s procurement of vaccine supplies.
On Monday, the EU’s Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly found the Commission had failed to ensure its European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) could act in a transparent way.
Ms O’Reilly blasted the Commission President as she claimed Mrs von der Leyen “played a trick” on Europeans.
She told Politico: “You should not set up an agency that calls itself the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and then not allow it to do that.
“That’s a trick that is being played on the public.”
The Ombudsman found the Commission failed to provide full transparency and accountability on the collection of Covid data from member states throughout the pandemic.
When the row broke out with AstraZeneca over demands to make its vaccine contract public, “suddenly the Commission was calling for transparency,” Ms O’Reilly said.
She added: “They saw the value in transparency because it was in their interest.
“So they need to perhaps spend as much time and attention looking at the public interest when releasing this.
“It can’t be the institutions who control the tap … the public interest has to override everything.”
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