De Block accused of passive attitude towards coronavirus vaccine
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Catherine Fonck, leader of the francophone Christian-democrat party in the house, expressed concern on Bel RTL on Wednesday about what she described as Belgium’s passive attitude regarding a coronavirus vaccine.
Public Health Minister Maggie De Block recently indicated that Belgium would remain within the framework of the process proposed by the European Commission, with joint negotiations at European level with pharmaceutical companies and the possibility of advance purchase contracts from the Member States.
Meanwhile, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy have announced that they have reached an agreement with the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca to guarantee the supply of 300 million doses to the EU if a validated vaccine is developed there.
“Where I agree with Minister De Block is that it is better to have a European approach. The Europe which today supposedly has an agreement to work together,” Fonck said. “Then we see four countries, and not the least of them, going it alone to place an order.”
“We can deplore it, but we can’t remain passive about it,” Fonck said, “inviting” De Block “to get out of her passivity.”
“As I said yesterday in the Health Committee, we need to see at European level whether we are still in the same boat, with guarantees that all states are moving forward together. If not, Belgium must decide quickly.”
Fonck also criticised of the saga of the fabric masks ordered by Defence. “It happens when a government gets taken to the cleaners by a corporation. But in this case the government shouldn’t play the company’s lawyer. We’re still talking about tens of millions of euros, the situation deserves an effective attitude,” Fonck said, pointing a finger at Defence Minister Philippe Goffin.