Coronavirus — Merkel Calls for Quick Agreement by EU

  • “The pandemic shows us how vulnerable Europe is,” Merkel told the European Union on Thursday.
  • European Council President Charles Michel wants EU leaders to meet, in person, in Brussels in July.
  • The plan foresees the Commission’s going to the markets to finance a €750 billion aid package.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned at the end of a video-conference between the leaders of the European Union, of the need for a quick agreement on a plan to face the economic repercussions of the coronavirus, due to the scale of the crisis. She called the coronavirus the biggest challenge to face the EU in its history.

Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German politician serving as Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She served as the leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 2000 to 2018.

“The pandemic shows us how vulnerable Europe is,” Merkel told the European Union on Thursday, as reported by the Financial Times. “Therefore I want to stress to you that cohesion and solidarity in Europe were never as important as they are today,” she added.

The heads of state and government of the European Union met yesterday via video conference, to discuss “the proposals for the Multi annual Financial Framework and the Recovery Fund tabled by the Commission,” having decided to return to debate the topic. According to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the response to the COVID-19 crisis should be discussed again at a summit that brings together European leaders in person in Brussels, in mid- July.

In the statements made by Merkel, the Chancellor assured that there are no differences regarding the legal construction of the plan, which foresees the Commission’s going to the markets to finance a €750 billion aid package. However, she admitted that there is no consensus on the necessary amount and support structure.

Michel welcomed the sense of urgency assumed by all, arguing that, after three weeks of bilateral consultations with the 27 member states on the presentation of the proposals of the community executive, “a new phase, that of negotiation, has entered.”

Charles Michel is a Belgian politician serving as President of the European Council since 2019. He previously served as Prime Minister of Belgium between 2014 and 2019.

He told a news conference, “I’m totally committed to start immediately real negotiations with the member states and we intend to have a physical summit in around the middle of July in Brussels in mid- July.”

Michel said that, before that summit, he would elaborate and put on the table some concrete proposals, with a view to bringing together positions, with a view to an agreement on the plan for the recovery of the European economy before the summer holidays. “It is essential to make a decision as early as possible,” he said.

The pandemic of COVID-19 has caused more than 450,000 deaths and infected more than 8.4 million people in 196 countries and territories worldwide. The tally is courtesy of a report prepared by the French news agency, AFP. The pandemic first broke out in China, but in February, Europe became its epicenter. By now, the American continent has since overtaken it, and it currently has got the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.

Measures to combat the pandemic have paralyzed entire sectors of the world economy and have led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make unprecedented predictions in its almost 75 years. The world economy may fall 3% in 2020, dragged by a contraction of 5.9 % in the United States, 7.5% in the eurozone and 5.2% in Japan.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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