António Costa made these statements at a joint press conference with the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, after a meeting of about an hour and a half between them, in São Bento.

"It is unfair the description that I have seen that Germany was blocking a European Union position on patents. The European Union took a joint position, where Germany and several countries took a common position on this matter," replied the Prime Minister of Portugal, a country that until June presides over the Council of the European Union.

In this context, and after being confronted with positions of the head of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and of Pope Francisco, both for the release of patents, António Costa pointed out that Portugal, as European presidency, understands that "there is a clear majority of countries that have the same position".

"It is essential to ensure universal access to vaccines for all people around the world, and for that to happen, it is necessary to increase production capacity - and that is the real big blockage that exists. Second, there must be a mechanism effective for the sharing of vaccines, such as the Covax mechanism, which must be endowed with a sufficient number of vaccines to ensure its proper distribution", declared the Prime Minister.

"In addition, several countries, such as Spain and Portugal, on the basis of a bilateral relationship, have made a commitment to cede part of their vaccines. In the case of Portugal, we will be very soon in a position, when in the coming weeks the vaccination of over the age of 60, to start delivering five percent of new vaccines to Portuguese-speaking African countries," he added.