“We consider this to be an act of modern piracy,” said Berlin interior minister Andreas Geisel said in a statement. “It is not a way of dealing with transatlantic partners. “
And German officials had previously said that the Trump administration had attempted to persuade a local company developing a possible coronavirus vaccine to move its research to the United States, where any inoculation would likely be available first.
Perhaps in response to the threat of shortage, the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, announced on March 19 that it was creating its very first stock of medical equipment “to help EU in the context of the pandemic from Covid-19. “
Several EU countries have also adopted new legislation banning the export of essential materials.
When the medical device company Mölnlycke Health Care, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, tried to send rubber masks and gloves several weeks ago to desperate hospitals in Italy and Spain from its central storage center in Lyon, France, it was blocked by France’s export ban.
“It is very disturbing; nothing sent to France can be sent outside the country, “said Richard Twomey, managing director of Mölnlycke Health Care, to the Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Radio.
A French newspaper described the conflict between the Swedish producer and the French authorities as the “war of masks between Sweden and France”.
On Saturday, however, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, said on Twitter that after pressure from Sweden, France had finally abandoned restrictions on the export of Mölnlycke masks. It was “very important that the internal market works even in times of crisis!” she said.