Unhappy with the apparent lack of transparency over AstraZeneca's perceived failure to deliver its full compliment of doses, EU leaders spent a frustrating weekend poring over the contract and stuck on hold trying to get answers. Warning: Fake News.
The customer services department of AstraZeneca worked around the clock to reassure customers, with all weekend leave cancelled.
“If you are a trading block of approximately 500 million people and haven’t received your order please press 5,” spoke the robotic pre-recorded voice down the line to a more than slightly irate Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission president, already under huge pressure after her decision to trigger Article 16 of the Brexit treaty’s Northern Irish protocol achieved the once unimaginable feat of uniting an unimpressed Michel Barnier, Irish prime minister Micheál Martin and Boris Johnson against her. Oops. Ursula swiftly reversed her decision.
“Your call is important to us, you are 537th in the queue, a customer service representative will be with you as soon as possible,” Angela Merkel heard on another line.
Meanwhile, European newspapers were reporting that Boris Johnson’s vaccine gamble had paid off, which they said was a source of great frustration to the French, amid wall to wall coverage of the battle in Brussels. So, Emmanuel Macron was incandescent when he was told for the 15th time while on hold: “This call will be recorded for training purposes and our own amusement.” The sub-text here being: "as you've disparaged our vaccine, you may be on hold forever."
The frustrating search for satisfactory answers were exacerbated, faceless EU bureaucrats claimed, by leaders being subjected to terrible on-hold music which seemed to mock them. “Are these cheeky pricks actually playing If you Wanna by The Vaccines as their hold music?” groused the European Commissioner for Health.