On one hand it is almost impossible to believe that the EU would deliberately and callously block the distribution of Coronavirus vaccines – or indeed any other medicines.
However, it would take a very short memory to forget the EU’s aggressive, indifferent and uncompromising treatment of countries like Greece, Portugal, Spain and the Republic of Ireland during the financial crisis just over a decade ago.
The EU imposed crippling financial demands on those countries, insisting on the privatisation of public utilities, and displaying total contempt for national sovereignty, democratic rights and the welfare of working people.
Even its most ardent local supporters were taken aback by its latest aggressions over vaccine supplies but their talk of ‘a blunder’ and of ‘ a poor decision’ can’t mask the vicious anti-democratic nature of the European Union and its project.
The ever-growing threat of vaccine nationalism poses a real threat to people in poorer countries.
Millions of people in those countries may have to wait until at least 2022 for the vaccine. The increase in competition between rich capitalist countries is monopolising the global supply and driving up prices for the vaccine.
This development, including the EU’s controls on vaccine exports, where the rich capitalist countries are endeavouring to procure more vaccines that they could possibly need and denying these to the rest of the world is an obscenity although entirely in line with a system which is based on exploitation.
This is a global pandemic. Vaccines should be shared among the world’s most vulnerable people first, regardless of where they live. Clearly, we are not all in this together.