THE DEADLY third wave of the coronavirus pandemic is ripping the EU apart over vaccinations and lockdowns.
In Germany, with 9,549 new cases and 180 deaths recorded this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an abrupt U-turn on the issue of lockdown.
Initially, Merkel planned on a five-day national lockdown at the beginning of April, but this was cancelled at the weekend after pressure from businesses demanding no closures during the profitable Easter holiday period.
In France, the same chaotic situation exists, with a new lockdown announced in Paris and other areas as a result of the explosion in Covid-19 cases following president Macron’s premature opening of France last year in an attempt to resuscitate the collapsing French economy.
Italy has imposed a total lockdown over the three-day Easter period while Spain is under a nationwide curfew with people only allowed out during the day for essential purposes.
Compounding all the chaos, that has resulted in the EU now leading the world in the number of Covid related deaths per head of the population, is the concerted war by EU politicians against the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Despite this vaccine passed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as safe, it was initially banned by Brussels for having undergone insufficient testing.
Then roll-out for the vaccine was delayed over claims it was not effective for those over 65 years, while this week Germany once again suspended the jab, with Merkel recommending that under 60s are not to be given it after unproven allegations that it causes rare blood clots. France and Norway are not allowing under 55s to get the vaccine and Spain has banned its use in under 65s.
With the EU recording the lowest vaccine roll-out of advanced capitalist nations and the continued regime of opening up and forcing a return to work it has led to the inevitable third wave of the Covid-19.
The EU Commission in Brussels earlier this month blamed EU governments for the vaccine chaos, accusing them of stockpiling jabs despite the third wave of the virus.
Stella Kyriakides, the European health commissioner, said that vaccination was ‘more than ever key’ and urged EU member states to use every vaccine they had rather than stockpiling them. Even with the immense and regrettable challenges around production capacity and deliveries, there are reports of ‘unused reservoirs of vaccines across the European Union’.
In fact, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed once and for all the myth of EU unity. When in March last year Covid-19 first appeared in Italy, the Italian government called for medical support from the rest of the EU only to be spurned by Germany and France who refused to even supply medical protective garments to the country.
Only when the virus spread like wildfire through the rest of the EU and workers refused to put their lives on the line did the EU ruling class take notice.
Now, one year on from the first outbreak, the capitalist EU is being torn apart over accusations of vaccine nationalism with countries like France and Germany banning the Oxford vaccine to the fury of scientists and medical professionals.
It has pitted some of the economically weaker member states against the stronger with Michal Dworczyk, the Polish prime minister’s chief of staff, saying: ‘It is possible that we are dealing with a planned disinformation campaign and a brutal fight of medical companies.’
The overriding concern of the EU ruling class is to keep control as it faces a working class facing a deadly pandemic and mass unemployment as the economic crisis engulfs every member country but now this unity has gone as individual states war with one another, driven on by fear of a revolutionary uprising of their workers angered at the sacrifices capitalism is demanding of them.
The burning issue for the working class across the EU is to unite and put an end to the capitalism by seizing power and going forward to socialism and the Socialist United States of Europe.
Only a planned socialist economy, working for the benefit of everyone and not the profit of a handful of capitalists, can organise the resources required to eradicate Covid-19.