Pfizergate, or Strange Diplomacy. What did von der Leyen write to the head of the company?

Pfizergate, or Strange Diplomacy. What did von der Leyen write to the head of the company?
Pfizergate, or Strange Diplomacy. What did von der Leyen write to the head of the company?

The examiner of the European public prosecutor’s case in recent months has been linked to the Belgian prosecutors who investigated von der Leyen because of interference in public functions, not only SMS, corruption and embezzlement, according to the first documents that Politico had the opportunity to look at.

ad EPPO, which has strong vetting powers, revealed to her that it would investigate the purchase, but never decided whether it would deal with the European Commission first. So far, no one has been charged in connection with the fall.

Questions surrounding how the contract with Pfizer was negotiated have dogged the European Commission since less than a year ago, The New York Times (NYT) reported that it had initially negotiated with the five pharmaceutical companies during the preparation of the May contract 2021. The EU ordered a vacation from Pfizer for hundreds of millions, and according to the NYT, the pair called and argued for about a month at first, before this personal diplomacy played a big role in the agreements.

The Belgian police in Liège at the beginning of 2023 overcame the incident after a criminal complaint filed by local lobbyist Frédric Baldan. Later, the Hungarian and Polish governments joined it, but Poland withdrew its participation last year after a pro-European government led by Donald Tusk was formed in the country after the elections, the Polish government spokeswoman said.

Afra Pfizergate

Baldan’s criminal report was related to the first exchange of texts between von der Leyen and Bourla in the period before the conclusion of the vacation contract; afra got the name Pfizergate. The vaccines were worth about 20 billion euros (505.5 billion K). According to people in Brussels, the fact that the main European prosecutor has begun to deal with the complaint means complications for the European Commission in its efforts to obtain a kind of mandate in the EU executive after the EP elections.

Last December, the Politico server, referring to its own analysis, wrote that at least 215 million vaccines against the covid-19 disease were thrown out in the EU, which cost the tax authorities roughly four billion euros (about 98 billion kroner). Many of these vaccines were purchased at the height of the pandemic in 2021, before the EU signed its largest single contract to buy 1.1 billion doses from Pfizer/BioNTech.

In this context, the server pointed out that it is easy to forget how uncertain the situation was in 2021, when the agreement on vacations was a talking point. According to him, its size and timing proved to be problematic. Countries were held up for purchase even at a time when the pandemic was subsiding, while efforts to donate surplus injections to these countries were hampered by falling demand and logistical problems.

The EPPO leads the pan-European investigation of financial crimes and, in theory, can also seize phones and give relevant materials from the offices of the European Commission or in other countries, such as von der Leyen’s native Germany, noted Politico.

The Commission then refused to confirm the existence of the texts and to reveal their content. It was necessary. We will wait for the consequences, commented two EC members on the Pfizergate case. The Maarsk government did not respond to requests for comment, and Pfizer and the EPPO declined to comment on the case, Politico added.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Pfizergate Strange Diplomacy von der Leyen write company


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