Experts, including the World Health Organisation, have since rubbished the claims, saying that clots are no more likely among people vaccinated than in the general population. But this lack of evidence has done nothing to dissuade EU countries from adopting a rational approach.
Instead they have continued their woeful attempts to vaccinate their populations and reopen their economies, according to Ms Moutet.
Writing in the Telegraph, the prominent French journalist said: “You could tell Angela Merkel was in trouble from the fact she started copying Emmanuel Macron.
“Two weeks ago she chose to follow his fact-free scaremongering about the AstraZeneca jab, part of a slow-motion car crash on vaccines that has damaged not just public health but her own political fortunes.”
She added: “Instead of taking control, cutting red tape and doing whatever it takes to catch up with others, yesterday both France and Germany chose to follow a host of other countries in suspending AstraZeneca jabs over blood clots that studies have suggested are no more likely among people who have had the vaccine than they are among the population at large.
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“Nor did either Macron or Merkel seem to care that their previous hesitations and, to put it bluntly, slander, have fanned the flames of antivaxxer sentiment on the continent, with millions of AstraZeneca doses unused in French and German cold storage facilities.
“They have both invoked the precautionary principle, written into the French Constitution since 2005, to refuse making decisions involving the smallest risk.
“This makes for bad politics, and worse politicians: pusillanimous, craven, scared. And it makes its mark on voters, who come to expect solutions without risk.
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“Worse, French legislators in Brussels also managed to introduce le principe de précaution into EU legislation, spreading the misery across the Continent.”
Her column emerged as Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats party took a pummelling in their former strongholds at last weekend’s regional elections.
The party has historically enjoyed firm support in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate and had led opinion polls.
But they received a drubbing at the ballot box, widely blamed on public anger at the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes as Mrs Merkel prepares to step down in September, after 16 years in office.
As Mrs Merkel’s premiership ends on her own terms, Mr Macron faces the possibility of losing next year’s presidential election to far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
Current polls have him narrowly leading by 52 percent to 48 percent in the election’s second round.
But observers say this is well within the margin of error – and could see the far-right National Rally party leading the French republic.