Break for Babiš as allies supply Czech Republic 80k vaccines – POLITICO

Hungary is becoming a member of Austria and Slovenia in pledging to donate vaccines to the Czech Republic following outcry that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš sacrificed 70,000 doses in a Brussels dispute.

By Saturday, close by capitals had dedicated to ship 80,000 vaccines to the Czech Republic. The presents supply potential political reduction for Babiš, who has come underneath heavy hearth simply months earlier than elections for backing an Austrian gambit to alter the EU’s apportionment system at Czech residents’ expense.

Hungary will give the Czech Republic 40,000 doses within the first half of Could, Hungarian Overseas Minister Péter Szijjártó introduced on Fb Saturday, taking the chance to knock the European Fee’s vaccine procurement technique. That pledge follows guarantees of 30,000 doses from Austria and 10,000 from Slovenia on Friday.

Final week, EU international locations rebuffed an effort by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to alter the population-based distribution system for jointly-procured vaccines in a approach that may assist Austria safe extra doses. As a substitute, they largely caught to the pro-rata system, whereas setting apart a pot that may ship further pictures to international locations which can be significantly arduous hit.

The Czech Republic was amongst these hard-hit international locations entitled to additional jabs. However Babiš joined Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and Kurz in refusing to take part, giving up 70,000 additional pictures.

Babiš had defended the choice as a vital sacrifice to protest the EU’s unfair system. On Saturday, he triumphantly tweeted that the Czech Republic was now due 10,000 extra doses than it will have acquired by the EU system.

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