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Mitsotakis Asks for Faster EU Approval of AstraZeneca Vaccine

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis participates in a teleconference of head of state and government of the COVID-19 Management Group countries. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Dimitris Papamitsos)

ATHENS -- Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis participated on Monday in a teleconference of head of state and government of the COVID-19 Management Group countries. According to sources, the leaders exchanged views on the progress of the pandemic in their countries, as well as on the progress of vaccination, which they agreed was a major and difficult project at technical level.

"The vaccinations must proceed faster," underlined Mitsotakis, saying that the European Union should quickly proceed with the approval of the vaccines developed by Astra Zeneca and other companies. The European participants shared his concern over the current short supply of vaccines and agreed that Europe should move faster at this level.

Ahead of an online teleconference by the 27 EU leaders on the Covid-19 vaccinations on Thursday, Mitsotakis and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, along with the Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, have taken the initiative of sending a letter asking for faster approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine and others.

Mitsotakis's proposal for a European vaccination certificate was also discussed during the teleconference, while it will also be discussed by EU leaders on Thursday. Mitsotakis reiterated that his proposal does not aim to divide Europeans but for the vaccination certificate to be standard at a European level, as "one way or another, some kind of certificate will be demanded for those travelling abroad". He explained that his proposal aims to facilitate free movement and trips. He cited as an example that trips to Israel in spring would become a 'pilot' for such a proposal, as Israel will have vaccinated a large number of its population by then.

Those participating in the teleconference included Austrian chancellor, Danish prime minister, Nowegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babis, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.