Emmanuel Macron: Polls show Marine Le Pen’s popularity rising
French President Emmanual Macron said the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine appeared to be “quasi-ineffective” on people older than 65 — just hours before the EU’s drugs regulator approved it for use on all adults. He said: “The real problem on AstraZeneca is that it doesn’t work the way we were expecting it to. “We’re waiting for the EMA [European Medicines Agency] results, but today everything points to thinking it is quasi-ineffective on people older than 65, some say those 60 years or older.”
His comments came as the EU, AstraZeneca, and the UK engaged in a vicious war of words, with Brussels demanding the drugs company redirect UK-made jabs to make up for a manufacturing shortfall in Europe.
On Friday evening, the row escalated further as the EU said it would be triggering an emergency provision in the Brexit deal to control COVID-19 vaccine exports, including the possible introduction of checks at the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland to prevent shipments entering the UK.
After fierce condemnation from London, Belfast, and Dublin, the EU performed a swift U-turn.
Mr Macron’s comments have also been harshly condemned by British scientists – but the French President has not rectified his statement.
Professor Anthony Harnden of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) told Good Morning Britain that “politicians need to understand the science” before making false claims.
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
As the row over vaccines intensifies, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, German MEP Gunnar Beck has claimed Mr Macron’s influence within the EU will be even greater after Mrs Merkel retires.
Armin Laschet has recently been appointed new federal chairman of Germany’s centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU).
He is now in line to succeed Mrs Merkel as Chancellor after this year’s federal election.
Mr Beck said: “Merkel undoubtedly had a lot of experience.
“Laschet lacks that experience.
“He is a rather provincial figure. His career has only been on a regional level. He has never had a ministerial role.
JUST IN: Marine Le Pen sparks EU panic as ‘enormous revolution’ predicted
“If he becomes Chancellor, Macron will assume a far more prominent role in the EU since there will be no German equivalent to him.
“He will reign free.
“Whether that makes a great deal of difference in terms of Franco-German relations, not so sure…”
Paris appears to be extremely pleased with Mr Laschet’s appointment.
France’s Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune told Welt Am Sonntag: “This is excellent news for France and for Europe.
“Armin Laschet has the sense for a European Germany.
“He is a friend of France and a committed European.”
Mr Macron has made no secret of his preference for Mr Laschet.
Nicola Sturgeon handed ‘roadmap’ to independence by Gordon Brown [INSIGHT]
Tony Blair joined France in signing declaration for 60,000 EU troops [REVEALED]
Sturgeon told Scotland in EU would lose Thatcher’s rebate and UK perks [EXCLUSIVE]
In 2020 alone, the two met three times.
Alongside German Minister of Health Jens Spahn, Mr Laschet was invited by Mr Macron to attend the 2020 Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, in a sign of gratitude for their role in helping French citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic in France.
In an honour reserved for special guests, Mr Macron also invited the new CDU leader into the Élysée Palace’s gardens.
Mr Laschet is generally seen in line with Mrs Merkel’s views on key issues.
However, when it comes to the EU, he has often criticised the German Chancellor for not being ambitious enough.
At the Munich Security Conference last year, he said: “Today the French President [Emmanuel Macron] is making proposals, but we are taking too long to respond.”
Source: Read Full Article