German tabloid slams European Commission chief

The biggest-selling German tabloid, Bild, has lashed out at Ursula von der Leyen following an online speech made at the World Economic Forum in which she played down Europe’s vaccination crisis.

Following the ongoing dispute between AstraZeneca and the European Commission, von der Leyen called on the pharma giant to deliver, insisting it must “meet [its] obligations”.

However the German tabloid placed the blame firmly at the Commission’s door for being far too late with its vaccination orders.

“She is responsible for EU junk orders. Also for the fact that the EU only reached an agreement with AstraZeneca in August, not in June – as [German health minister] Jens Spahn wanted but was not allowed. Valuable preparation time passed.”

The newspaper continued to blast the European Union executive for providing manufacturers with large sums of cash “without apparently securing sufficient rights”.

It contrasted the actions taken by the European Commission with that of former U.S President Donald Trump, who signed an executive order in December which forced manufacturers in the U.S to prioritise distribution to U.S citizens before exporting vaccinations to other nations – something the EU failed to do.

“The EU took an enormous amount of time”, concludes Bild Fact Check on von der Leyen’s speech – “and wanted to save money too! There were up to four months between the end of the negotiation and the order! Others were more courageous – and now vaccinate themselves free.”

German media has been in full panic mode over what Bild calls the “snail vaccination” across the nation and wider European Union. Less than two million Germans have now received their first dose of a vaccine, compared to over seven million Brits.

Source: Our World in Data