An opposition Socialist MEP said on Wednesday that the Hungarian government was misleading voters when it “pointed the finger at” the European Union for a shortage of available vaccines against coronavirus.
István Ujhelyi told a press conference on Facebook that as a member of the European Parliament’s committee for public health he had consulted with international MEPs and advisors and drew the conclusion that the Hungarian government was “lying” when it was pointing the finger at Brussels. The Hungarian government has held direct consultations with vaccine manufacturers about exactly when, where and how much vaccine would be supplied, Ujhelyi added.
The European Commission signed framework agreements with vaccine manufacturers and continually consulted with member states, Ujhelyi said. The member states including Hungary insisted on a comprehensive EU licencing procedure which excludes the possibility of temporary, emergency licencing, he added.
Each of the member states consulted with the companies directly about the details of vaccine supplies but the Hungarian government refuses to make the relevant contracts public, he said. Ujhelyi criticised Hungarian government communication and said it was the reason why Hungarians’ vaccine acceptance was only at 49 percent as against the EU average of 70 percent.
Ujhelyi also said that at the European Council meeting starting on Thursday, the Hungarian government would have to clarify whether other member states will accept in the upcoming common European vaccine certificate system the use of Russian and Chinese vaccines that Hungary plans to roll out.
Featured photo via European Parliament’s website