Most Germans believe the EU has messed up its vaccine roll-out, a poll which surveyed people across Europe has found.
Germany’s press has been lashing out at Brussels for weeks over the botched delivery of Covid jabs. Earlier this week, one of the country’s most influential newspaper editors described the EU programme as an “abject failure”.
The poll by Kekst CNC and published in Politico found that 51% of Germans believe the roll-out has performed badly. Frustration is also widespread in France, where 35% of respondents to the survey said they shared the same view, compared to a quarter of Swedes.
British opinion was also canvassed, and astonishingly found fewer Brits slamming the EU scheme, 45%.
The most damning figures came from the very marginal number of people in each country who openly backed the EU programme, just over a quarter in Sweden (28%), 24% in France and 17% in Germany. Unsurprisingly, opinion was lowest in the UK, just 14% gave Brussels the thumbs up.
Kekst CNC surveyed opinion on the schemes both at the national and the EU level. Among the continental nations, only Germans gave their national government a higher rating than the EU, although still low, 23%.
French people’s rating of their national government’s vaccine programme was 6% lower than of the EU’s, which might be explained by Emmanuel Macron’s claim that the AstraZeneca jab was “quasi-ineffective”, a baseless statement that he has since U-turned on. Earlier this week, he was chastised by Britain’s deputy chief medical officer for making claims that were “not immunologically plausible”. Unsurprisingly, the survey also found Macron’s popularity rating dropped in February.
The UK was the outlier, a phenomenal 77% of people said the British government had done “well”. Only 11% gave the thumbs down.
However, Brits were the most pessimistic about the future, only 22% believed there would not be another lockdown compared to 38% of Germans – France and Sweden were in between. Similarly, people in the UK least expected foreign travel to resume soon, just 13% compared to 27% of Germans and 23% of Swedes.
But in view of the stronger support for the way vaccines have been distributed, 20 million in the UK compared to just 4 million in Germany, is it pessimism or just plain realism?