Riots in the Netherlands Escalate Following Introduction of Curfew
Europe's battle against coronavirus entered a dangerous new phase this week as politicians pushed to tighten lockdown measures across the continent even after a weekend of rioting brought scenes of chaos to the Netherlands and Denmark amid warnings of 'civil war'.
France is due to decide whether to bring in a third national lockdown this week as Prime Minister Jean Castex warned the situation there is 'worrying', with Italy's top medic also calling for a month-long national shutdown.
That is despite John Jorritsma, mayor of Eindhoven which was hit by its worst riots in almost four decades at the weekend, warning 'we're on our way to civil war' after new nationwide curfew measures sparked public outcry.
Meanwhile hopes that vaccines might provide a quick way out of the crisis all-but faded after France's Pasteur Institute was forced to scrap a jab it had been developing with US drug-maker Merck because it doesn't work.
The news came as AstraZeneca - whose jab has yet to be approved by EU regulators - announced it was cutting vaccine supplies to the continent by up to 60 per cent because of problems with supply chains, thought to be due to under-production at a factory in Belgium.
Head of the EU executive Ursula von der Leyen had a call with the firm on Monday to 'remind them of their commitments', but EU President Charles Michel admitted that vaccinating 70 per cent of Europe's population - the figure theoretically needed to ensure herd immunity - by the end of summer as planned will now be 'difficult'.
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