Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The EU Casts The Italians As The Keystone Cops

Thanks for all the fish, obviously

As it happened the original Keystone Cops were Irish. Not that the actors actually were you understand, but in the America of the time bumbling cops were Irish. Some sort of cultural miasma from the Punch of the time no doubt. Guidos weren’t though about as such because they were too recent a set of immigrants and hadn’t started that climb into the petit bourgeois by a generation becoming policemen as yet.

So it’s a little ahistorical for the European Union to be casting the carabinieri in this manner here.

It was an extraordinary story – the European Commission had turned detective to find AstraZeneca’s secret stockpile of vaccines reserved for Britain.

During a surprise raid over the weekend, an elite unit of Italian military police acting on EU orders discovered 29 million jab doses hoarded at a factory near Rome.

The discovery appeared to confirm the EU’s long-held suspicion that AstraZeneca was giving the UK special treatment, secretly exporting doses to its home country while failing to deliver on contracts agreed with Brussels.

Yet, as EU officials admitted on Wednesday, the allegation, briefed to the Continental press, simply wasn’t true.

In fact, most of the doses discovered in the Italian factory were destined for the EU itself, with the remainder headed for poorer countries across the world.

It is hugely, hugely, amusing though.

We also gain a repeat proof of the actual argument for Brexit:

Italian authorities ordered the raid after Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, raised suspicions during a visit to an AstraZeneca factory in Leiden, the Netherlands, earlier this month.

The commission issued the alert after Mr Breton suggested the numbers provided by AstraZeneca executives did not add up, suggesting a discrepancy between the reported overall supply and the number of doses reported by individual AstraZeneca factories.

That argument for Brexit being to be free of rule by cretins like Mr. Breton. We do, after all, have enough idiot Britons to do the job if needed.

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Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
24 days ago

Reminiscent of Crichton’s book The Secret of Santa Vittoria where the Gestapo try to find the hidden wine. Clunts being a cross between clowns and…

23 days ago

They’re certainly determined to prove they’re right. But that’s usual when people are wrong.

23 days ago

What I can’t fathom is why anyone thinks they’d be hiding doses or fiddling anything at all if they’re not making any profit. Arguably, they would be seeking to make as little as possible so they could go and make a profit doing something else.

Or is there something I’m missing?

23 days ago

Yes, they were giving the UK special treatment. The special treatment of honouring a contract.

Felipe Grey
Felipe Grey
23 days ago

Meanwhile elsewhere in Italy, Pretty Polly is likely in trouble: I certainly hope so @worstall

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