French MEP hits out at Macron for vaccine chaos and praises Boris Johnson’s rollout

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The French politician and former cabinet minister has condemned the Brussels’ vaccine strategy, which sees the bloc in charge of a coordinated EU-wide programme. The EU has been heavily criticised for its slow distribution of the jab and for not ordering enough doses. Now, Mr Mariani has weighed in on the matter and suggested Brussels’ should have opted for a national vaccination programme, like the British.

Mr Mariani has heavily praised the UK for quickly rolling out the vaccine to the country’s most vulnerable, with over 5.5million people having already received their first dose of the jab.

In a series of Tweets, he congratulated Britain for its successful vaccination campaign, frequently highlighting that the UK managed this on their own.

One Tweet, made in response to the news Argentina’s President had received Russia’s SputnikV vaccine, he said: “Stop the propaganda: ‘Thanks to group orders from the EU we have vaccines’.

“5.8 million people already vaccinated in Great Britain who have placed their orders ALONE.

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“We have systematically ruled out non-Western vaccines by ideological choice.”

A second Tweet read: “Great Britain. If the management of Covid-19 has been chaotic (+90,000 deaths), the vaccination campaign is a success (already nearly 6 million vaccinated / 478,248 in a single day!)

“The UK ordered its vaccines ALONE. It kept national production.”

The MEP then went on to criticise French President Emmanuel Macron’s political approach to the coronavirus crisis.

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He blasted the French leader for the country’s slow rollout of the vaccine, which Mr Mariani blames on failing to utilise the army for distributing the jab.

The French MEP said: “Vaccine. We are behind compared to other countries and for good reason!

“Instead of entrusting this to our army, which has an exceptional organisational and logistical capacity, Macron preferred an American company which costs us €2million per month.”

Mr Macron came under fire earlier this month for hiring four consultancy firms to advise on different aspects of the country’s vaccination campaign.

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Despite paying for their expertise, France was very slow to rollout the vaccine, falling behind much of Europe.

Mr Mariani also called on the country to “speed up” vaccinating the French population, as he fears a third national lockdown would be a “real tragedy”.

He wrote: “A third lockdown would be a real tragedy for many French people, for our economy and above all the proof of a new failure.

“Only vaccination represents a hope, it must speed up.”

Earlier this month France’s government chose not to declare a third lockdown, opting instead for an earlier evening curfew, starting at 6pm.

But as coronavirus infections continue to rise, the government in considering another lockdown once more.

Ministers will meet on Wednesday to decide whether it needs to take extra measures, with President Macron due to hold a TV address shortly afterwards.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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