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Investigations go to European prosecutors – Corriere.it

Investigations go to European prosecutors – Corriere.it

From our correspondent
BRUSSELS – Two months before the European elections, the spotlight is back on PfizergateWhich focuses on the letters exchanged between the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the CEO of Pfizer, Albert BourlaDuring negotiations to purchase vaccines amid the pandemic: an agreement for approx 20 billion eurosThis made the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine the most widely distributed in the EU after that AstraZeneca It failed to meet its delivery obligations by announcing production problems.

the European Prosecutor's Office Eppowhich Prosecutes crimes that harm the financial interests of the United StatesIn October 2022, A. announcedInvestigation into EU supplies of Covid vaccines And now, according to the site Politico, He took the place of the Belgian Public Prosecutor's Office in investigating von der Leyen on charges of “interference in public functions, destruction of text messages, corruption and conflicts of interest.” The committee, which I consulted courierHe did not comment. POLITICO He explains that Ibo “It is investigating alleged criminal offences” but “no one has yet been charged in connection with the case.”.

The Belgian judicial authorities in Liège had opened an investigation in early 2023, after a criminal complaint was filed Area lobbyist Frédéric Baldan. Later they joined together Hungary and Polandalways critical of Brussels, but after the political change in Warsaw, The Tusk government announced that it would withdraw the complaint.

He was the first to raise this issue The New York Timeswhich he talked about “Personal diplomacy” of Von der Leyen regarding the third contract with Pfizer-BioNTech, signed on May 20, 2021which called for the delivery of 1.8 billion doses between the end of 2021 and 2023. now had pointed out “Letters and telephone calls with Albert Bourla” were exchanged “for a month” and were never made public by the committee. So on January 25, 2023 The New York Times A lawsuit was filed against the President of the Commission before the Court of Justice of the European Union for not publishing the letters. Already a year ago, in January 2022, the European broker Emily O'Reilly It conducted an investigation that concluded there was mismanagement in the committee's attempts to be the first to retrieve text messages, after a public access request by a journalist from netzpolitik.org. At that time he was vice-chairman of the committee Vera JourovaThe company responsible for values ​​and transparency announced that the messages may have been deleted, due to the “short-term nature of communications.”

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The contract with Pfizer-BioNTech was renegotiated in May last year. According to the investigation he conducted POLITICOAs of last December, the EU countries were thrown around 215 million doses worth 4 billion euros. The success of the EU's vaccination campaign now threatens to backfire on von der Leyen at the very moment he is running to reconfirm the position of Commission president.