Tag Archives: Western Europe

UPDATE 1-Italy is considering legal action to delay delivery of the Pfizer vaccine | Instant News


* Pfizer plans to cut further dosages to Italy

* Italy slows down the shot to ensure a second dose

* Rome must protect Italian citizens – commissioner (Adds comment from)

ROME, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Italy is considering legal action against Pfizer Inc after the US drugmaker announced further cuts in shipments of the coronavirus vaccine, said the country’s special COVID-19 commissioner Domenico Arcuri.

Pfizer has faced criticism across Europe for its surprise move to temporarily suspend vaccine deliveries to countries worried that disruption could mess up their inoculation campaigns.

The company told Italy last week that it was cutting its shipments by 29%. On Tuesday, it said it was not in a position to make up for next week’s 29% shortfall and planned “slight cuts” in deliveries, Arcuri said.

“As a result, we discussed what measures should be taken to protect Italians and their health in all civil and criminal places,” Arcuri said in a statement late Tuesday.

“It has been unanimously decided that this action will be taken starting in the coming days.”

He did not elaborate.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two injections, given about 21 days apart, to maintain the immune system well enough to fight the coronavirus.

Pfizer’s move has had a serious impact on vaccination plans drawn up by local authorities, said the governor of the northern region Emilia Romagna.

“Due to dose reductions, many regions have had to slow down or even suspend new vaccinations to ensure administration of a second dose to those who have received the first,” Stefano Bonaccini told Reuters by email.

A Pfizer spokesperson declined to comment on Wednesday on Italian legal threats and criticism of delivery delays beyond his statement on Friday about supply cuts.

The drugmaker said last week it was temporarily slowing down supplies of a coronavirus vaccine to Europe to make manufacturing changes that would boost production.

Pfizer, which is trying to deliver millions of doses at breakneck speed to curb a pandemic that has killed more than 2 million people worldwide, said the changes would “provide a significant dose increase by the end of February and March”.

According to Italian sources, Rome is now trying to assess whether Pfizer is acting under force, or circumstances beyond its control.

Otherwise, the drug group could be accused of violating the contracts it has signed with the European Union on behalf of the member countries, the source said.

One possibility is for Rome to ask the European Union to file a lawsuit with the court in the Belgian capital, Brussels, the source said.

“Local authorities will support the government in any necessary action, but I really hope this does not happen,” said Bonaccini.

Reporting by Emilio Parodi and Stephen Jewkes in Milan, Domenico Lusi in Rome; additional reporting by Josephine Mason in London; Written by Giselda Vagnoni; Edited by Nick Macfie

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Leonardo will invest $ 440 million to upgrade a plant in southern Italy -CEO | Instant News


MILAN, 20 Jan (Reuters) – Leonardo’s aerospace and defense group will invest 360 million euros ($ 436 million) over the next few years to modernize four plants based in southern Italy, Chief Executive Alessandro Profumo said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the digital event, Profumo said the investment was aimed at upgrading factories in Pomigliano and Nola, near Naples, as well as sites in Grottaglie and Foggia, in the Apulia region.

These factories produce components for the C27J military transport aircraft, ATR commercial and military turbo-prop aircraft, as well as parts for Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

This investment, part of a plan dubbed ‘Betomorrow 2030’, aims to make factories more flexible so that the same production line can produce components for a wide range of products, Profumo said.

Profumo added that the state-controlled group will also support investment to reduce the digital divide in southern Italy and increase cooperation with universities through research and innovation. ($ 1 = 0.8262 euros) (Reported by Francesca Landini; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Germany agrees tax breaks worth 11 billion euros – Handelsblatt | Instant News


BERLIN, January 20 (Reuters) – Germany’s federal and state governments have approved tax breaks worth around 11 billion euros, the Handelsblatt business daily reported on Wednesday, citing a Ministry of Finance document.

The federal and state governments agreed on Tuesday, when they extended the closure of most shops and schools through February 14, that they needed to stimulate the economy further.

The tax breaks will benefit everyone working from home, Handelsblatt said, adding that between 2022 and 2026, the Ministry of Finance expects 11.7 billion euros in aid as a result of the measures. (Written by Paul Carrel Editing by Riham Alkousaa)

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Germany needs to extend and tighten the COVID-19 lockdown – Scholz | Instant News


BERLIN, January 18 (Reuters) – Germany must extend and tighten its lockdown measures to bring the infection rate down in the pandemic more quickly, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Monday.

“I am considering expanding and appropriate measures to increase the effectiveness of (existing) measures as needed,” said Scholz, adding that stricter rules for working from home should be considered to reduce mobility and social contact.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state prime ministers are expected to discuss further restrictions on Tuesday to slow the spread of a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Thomas Seythal)

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A man is hospitalized in Germany after a camel bites his face | Instant News


Police said a 54-year-old man had been hospitalized in northern Germany after being bitten by a camel in the face

Police called the injuries “serious” and said the man, who was not named, was being treated at a local hospital.

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