Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from JournalistenWatch. The translator’s comments are in square brackets:
A criminal business? Von der Leyen under pressure over vaccine deal
And this lady wants to defend Europe’s democracy!
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under pressure because of a multi-billion dollar contract for the delivery of 1.8 billion Corona vaccine doses from the manufacturer Pfizer/BioNTech. Members of the EU Parliament accuse von der Leyen of keeping important information about the preparation of the contract under lock and key and are calling for clarification. The chairman of the budget control committee, Monika Hohlmeier (CSU), told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Monday editions) that the control committee would reprimand the commission. [How are they are going to do that? Wag a finger at her and tell her she was a bad girl and shouldn’t do it again?]
The spokesman for the German Greens in the EU Parliament, Rasmus Andresen, told the Funke Newspaper that the contract with Pfizer was in need of explanation. “Von der Leyen has to come clean here, publish documents and comment on allegations.” The public has a right to know how the deals with the vaccine manufacturers came about. [Who’s going to read it if the mainstream media are mum about it?]
The parliamentary group leader of the Left in the EU Parliament, Martin Schirdewan, said that “the President of the Commission is doing democracy and the reputation of the EU a disservice with her disrespectful behavior.” It’s about billions of tax dollars. The trigger for the criticism from the EU Parliament is a report by the European Court of Auditors.
He complains that he asked the Commission for information about preliminary negotiations on the contract, but did not receive it. According to the findings of the Court of Auditors, von der Leyen conducted preliminary negotiations on the contract with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in March 2021 and negotiated conditions that the Commission then submitted to the responsible steering committee. The contract, which was then signed in May 2021, is the most extensive Corona vaccine contract in the EU, the examiners write in a special report on vaccine procurement.
The agreement was to deliver 900 million doses of BioNTech vaccine in 2022 and 2023, with an option to order an additional 900 million doses. The total volume is estimated at €35 billion. Chief budget controller Hohlmeier told the Funke newspapers that it was “very worrying” that the Commission had refused the Court of Auditors key information for evaluating the preliminary negotiations on the largest vaccine contract.
According to the Court of Auditors, these preliminary negotiations would have a significant impact on the proper award procedure, since the tender only contained what had previously been informally agreed, said Hohlmeier. “The Budget Control Committee will reprimand the Commission here and insist that information relevant to the audit must always be shared with the Court of Auditors without restriction,” said the CSU MP. A Commission official, when asked by the Funke newspapers, said von der Leyen had held talks with the Pfizer boss, as she has generally done with CEOs of other companies, in order to generate interest from companies, to work together with the EU for the supply of vaccines.
And further: “The President was not involved in the contract negotiations and therefore had no further information to share about these talks.”
But that’s the way it is in this dung heap. A reprimand can be issued and Ms. von der Leyen, despite this crooked business, gets away with it again. And that has nothing to do with democracy! (With material from dts)
Afterword from the translator:
As it is, the usual practice of “justice” will be applied.
“Little villains must submit to fate, that great ones may enjoy the world in state.” —Samuel Garth, 1699