Macron’s political nemesis Marine Le Pen has hit out at France’s Europhile President and at the entire European Union, accusing them of a “catastrophic” failure on vaccines and demanding a new approach “at the national level”.
Speaking to the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris, the French nationalist firebrand said: “They still tell us that as 27 countries we are stronger, but that is false – the solution must come at the national level, for this issue as in many others.
“And the EU needs to realise this – the EU is now seven weeks behind schedule for its vaccination drive.
“It’s catastrophic, and each week lost comes at a huge cost.”
She blasted Macron for his failure to adopt the Hungarian and Czech approach to vaccine procurement, which saw the Visegrád Group members supplement their share of EU-distributed jabs with vaccines secured elsewhere on their own initiative, while saying that “the European Union has failed totally”.
Others are now following the example of Hungary and the Czech Republic, with Austria and Denmark signing a pact with Israel on new vaccine manufacturing capacity.
Hungarian premier Viktor Orban, meanwhile, has taken his first dose of China’s Sinopharm vaccine to prove his commitment to externally sourced solutions to the coronavirus pandemic. Sinopharm’s jab still hasn’t been passed by European regulators.
“This health crisis has in reality revealed all the flaws of the dogma defended by Emmanuel Macron: I’m thinking of his dogma of ultraliberalism” said Le Pen, flagging up Macron’s faltering political appeal as a supposedly competent centrist technocrat.
Recent polling has shown that Le Pen is on track to meet Macron once again in the second round of 2022’s French presidential election – and the race is set to be significantly closer than it was in 2017 thanks to an exodus of left-wing support for Macron.
One poll has even show Le Pen just two points short of securing the presidency – and that data was sourced long before the growing surge in cases on Macron’s watch.
Yesterday Macron was blasted for saying “I have no remorse” when confronted about spiralling case numbers and hospitals reaching breaking point thanks to his mishandling of the latest wave of the pandemic.