Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Friday criticised the way COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed to EU countries, claiming that some countries were receiving larger quantities than were agreed to, and that Croatia was one of the countries that was being short-changed.
“Countries like Bulgaria, Latvia and Croatia have been grossly short-changed… If that trend continues, the Netherlands will have received double the quantity of vaccines per head than Croatia by the end of June,” Kurz said at an extraordinary press conference in Vienna.
He concluded that if the current trend continued, inoculation in those countries would not be completed before autumn, while some EU countries would have their citizens inoculated already by the end of May.
Kurz further explained that there were indications that a sort of bazaar had been formed within the EU steering board where certain member states had concluded separate contracts with pharmaceutical companies, on top of the quantities determined by agreements between the EU and the pharmaceutical industry.
“The main question is how the situation will continue to develop. If this trend continues, there will be great inequality within the EU. Deliveries are not in accordance with the spirit of the EU and they do not correspond to what the EU leaders agreed to on 21 January,” said Kurz.
He explained that he had already discussed this problem with his counterparts from Belgium, Greece, Poland, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic and that he would continue talks on this issue throughout the day.
The European Commission has in the meantime confirmed that there have been some deviations from the quantities agreed to be delivered to EU member states.