Slap in the face for the EU’s vaccination strategy that was staged to attract the public
The meeting of the Chancellor and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be about a new three-way alliance in the fight against the corona virus. And, unspoken, a slap in the face for the EU’s vaccination strategy, especially for the European Medicines Agency EMA, which is said to be reluctant to approve.
The reaction of the EU was revealing: one was definitely “interested in learning from Austria, Denmark and Israel,” said a clearly bewildered Commission spokesman. Sebastian Kurz’s communications officers thus recorded a desperately needed point victory in difficult times: Your Chancellor is under pressure due to domestic political affairs and a lack of success in the fight against the corona virus.
A short biographer employed by the “Bild” newspaper condensed the sound into an even more catchy formula ahead of time: “Austria’s Chancellor breaks with the EU’s vaccine failures,” was the headline of the mass newspaper on Tuesday night. As a result, the world press, from the Washington Post to international news agencies, got involved in reporting.
By strengthening the centrifugal forces within the EU, Kurz repeatedly weakens its institutions
The question of what exactly the unusual three-party alliance can cause at its turbo summit tomorrow, apart from public attention, faded into the background. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, currently accused of fraud and corruption, who wants to continue to govern after the elections on March 23, may see the meeting as recognition of Israel’s impressive vaccination rate; the resolute Danish social democrat Mette Frederiksen hopes that she will gain new knowledge in a country that is “absolutely at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.” But Sebastian Kurz? Is he planning a diversion because public prosecutors are currently tracking down his party friends and those around him at home almost every day with new corruption suspicions?
Sebastian Kurz, however, would not be who he is if he only had this one goal in mind, nothing further. By strengthening the centrifugal forces within the EU, Kurz repeatedly weakens its institutions, with arguments that are well worth discussing. So this time too: Isn’t the EU vaccination quota, which is miserable compared to Israel, the USA or Great Britain, reason enough for more initiative? Hasn’t Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán just been immunized with the Chinese vaccine in front of everyone? Didn’t Slovakia just order two million cans of the Russian substance Sputnik-V?
Briefly “in exploratory talks” with Putin
According to the Chancellery, Austria is currently not only in close contact with Israel, but also “in exploratory talks” with Moscow after a telephone conversation between Kurz and Putin on Friday. Both the import of the Sputnik V vaccine will be considered after approval by the EMA and the production of a vaccine on home soil, at Novartis in Tyrol and at Pfizer in Lower Austria. On the way to the biotech hub in the Alps, however, highly complex systems are required, not just a “filling machine for the fruit growing company”, a TV expert scoffs at the lofty plans of the rulers in Vienna.
The short-term trip to the Israeli head of government, who stands by the Chancellor’s side like a fatherly friend, resembles a liberation, says a political observer: “Kurz and his people have become nervous, they are now totally in a bunker mood.”
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Corona Sebastian Kurz plans vaccination alliance Israel Denmark Austria