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The pandemic exposes EU weakness: Merkel

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:35s - Published
The pandemic exposes EU weakness: Merkel

The pandemic exposes EU weakness: Merkel

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the weakness of the European Union and Germany will use its presidency of the bloc to promote solidarity and economic prosperity among its 27 member states, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

Olivia Chan reports.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the coronavirus has exposed weakness in the European Union.

And she says that as her country assumes the EU presidency for the next six months, it will use the position to promote solidarity and economic prosperity for its members.

This was the chancellor in parliament Thursday (June 18): "The pandemic and the economic retraction connected to it are the biggest challenge in Europe's history.

How Europe will master this crisis compared to other regions of the world will decide on the prosperity of Europe's citizens and on Europe's role in the world." Germany takes over the EU presidency on July 1.

Germany has faced criticism from Italy and Spain, which bore the brunt of the early pandemic in Europe, for refusing to soften its stance on member states' debts.

Italy and Spain said it would have helped cushion the economic impact.

In her Thursday remarks Merkel added the most immediate challenge facing the bloc was to agree on a multi-year budget and a recovery fund.

EU leaders will debate for the first time on Friday a 750 billion euro recovery plan - that's over $840 billion - and a 1.1 trillion euro proposal for the next EU budget for 2021-2027.

The plan will need the approval of all 27 member states.




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