BERLIN — European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, from Cyprus, has found herself facing criticism from Germany over the bloc’s slow rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine campaign, with German media reporters asking her neighbors questions.
There been a near stakeout of journalists near her home, said Kathimerini Cyprus, after a critical report in the German newspaper Bild about vaccine delays and what was said to be her lackadaisical approach to the pandemic
She lives in the Cypriot capital Nicosia and the report said other reporters were trying to track down local reaction, a common and accepted practice by journalists trying to get more information on a story or issue.
Athens-based Bild reporter Liana Spyropoulou, who co-authored a critical story about Kyriakides was seen in a photo with colleagues standing in the Cypriot commissioner’s neighborhood in the Ayios Andreas borough, the paper said.
There was no explanation why that was being anything other than properly pursuing an angle on a story and as Cypriot media said journalists sought to interview neighbors about where she was while thought to be in Brussels.
There’s been finger-pointing in the EU capital about who’s to blame for the lagging vaccine campaign, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, as well as Kyriakides.
Bild wrote of doubts about her capability to deal with the pandemic, showing a photo from her Instagram account in September 2020 where she wrote she was enjoying a moment after a busy week, no answer why that was inappropriate.
Spyropoulou tweeted a story Feb. 4 on her personal account, saying Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn had warned outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel about Kyriakides’ approach.
“This is how she was buying vaccines from her balcony with her feet up,” Spoyropoulou wrote, referring to the photo.
Kyriakides was upset with delays from AstraZeneca’s inability to quickly deliver bigger batches of the vaccine to the EU, writing to company officials that the firm’s response had “not been satisfactory.”