This week the tenders are out for the gazebos which will be placed in town centres to run the vaccination programme. Now, Im not one to rain on parades, but we are in February. The inital idea was for 1500 structures, we’re now down 150. The length of time to build one has gone up from 30 to 45 days. The price remains the same, apparently. On this basis, the government say that by 1 May we should have gazebos pumping Italians full of Pfizer goodness. This is the Italian way – lovely vaccines delivered in architect designed beautiful surroundings with parquet flooring and art on the walls.
Each gazebo will be 100% biodegradable and make the planet happy. Birds will sing at the entrance, and whales will dance in the filtered sunlight. Of course what will happen is this:
The tenders will go out and there will be a set time for bids and adjudication. Then there will be court cases as various companies will have been left out and/or there will be mafia involvement. Which takes us to October, at which point a different company will be nominated and given the contract to build 1000 posh vaccinations centres at a cost of 400.000 euros each. That’s 400 million euros. And the costs will have risen to at least double the estimate. Then there will be a recriminations and an investigation into why the brother in law of a member of parliament supplied the flooring at triple the normal cost. The first will be opened with great fanfare before a summer storm reduces it to flimsy sails, and the sun dissolves the coverings blocking the city drains and causing localised flooding. Only then they will be dismantled and put into very expensive storage, only to be disappear completely and resurface in Thailand as luxury holiday pods. Am I being pessimistic?
Perhaps – the other option will be that 10 or so will be completed before the government realises that they cost too much/they’re unnecessary/the vaccination programme finished last year, and cancel the contract which will be dragged before the courts and the tax payer will end up shelling out the full amount for early cancellation because nobody read the small print. I think half a billion euros should cover it.