“No EU country will save itself from the coronavirus crisis if it is alone”
BY DARÍO MENOR
The coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis leading by the hand represent a unprecedented challenge for the European Union in which it plays its own reason for being. Vincenzo Amendola, Minister for European Affairs of the Italian Government, remains optimistic despite the hopeless signals from Brussels in recent days and calls on the leaders of the Twenty-seven to respond to this “crucial passage in history” not just staying in “accounting, rules or bureaucratic problems”.
The economic recession caused by Covid-19 is going to be noticed throughout the Old Continent, so “all countries must be interested in finding a common solution.” No one is going to save himself. The EU can only stand if they face the challenges together, “Amendola stressed in a telematic meeting held this Monday with foreign correspondents in Italy, including the envoy of this newspaper. ‘The crisis will be harsh across the EU. It is an extraordinary situation that has never happened in the past and requires extraordinary solutions. A European unity plan is needed ».
The coronavirus poses a challenge “for the strength and resilience” of the Twenty-Seven different from the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, because this recession is fueled by “the real economy” and creates difficulties for supply and demand worldwide. “No country, even the strongest, can respond alone. Coordination is required. In the EU, beyond the monetary policy of the European Central Bank, all of us together must think of coordinated instruments, of a plan for rebirth for our economies, such as that proposed by Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economic Affairs.
Amendola does not want to argue with the Netherlands or Germany, the EU countries opposed to allowing greater flexibility in the accounts of the nations most affected by the coronavirus. “We do not ask that the Italian public debt, which is our responsibility, be shared, but that we all respond together to the recession caused by the pandemic. If, as we fear, the crisis has very strong figures, no country will be able to bear it alone. It is better to be united and forget about the language that was used ten years ago with the financial crisis», Points out the Italian Minister for European Affairs, choosing not to comment on the words of the Portuguese head of government, António Costa, who defined the position of the Dutch Executive as” repugnant “.
To the question of whether he fears an increase in Euroscepticism in Italy and Spain, the nations most affected by the coronavirus on the continent, Amendola responds by turning it around by assuring that there are now “those who ask for more Europe” in these circumstances, even among those who before “They were planning to call referendums” to leave the EU. “This is our destination community and we cannot live without it. One need only think about the risks that the European countries would have if they faced this crisis each with their own national currency. I do not believe in the future of a State that recovers its sovereignty against another », notes the minister, who regrets that the EU had not endowed itself with a common health policy that would have improved coordination in the face of this pandemic.
In Italy the coronavirus is approaching 100,000 infected, although the infection curve seems to be starting to flatten out. Silvio Brusaffero, president of the Higher Institute of Health, assures us, acknowledging that we will have to wait until Easter to see positive data. In an interview published this Monday in the newspaper ‘La Repubblica’, Brusafferro insists that restrictions on mobility must be maintained because they are the best way to deal with the pandemic.
Italy registered more than 97,000 infected people, of which 13,000 have been cured and 10,700 have died. In recent days there has been a slight drop in the number of new deceased and admitted to intensive care units in hospitals.
Saudi Arabian king orders coronavirus treatment to be free
BY MIKEL AYESTARAN
King Salman issued a decree that coronavirus treatment will be free in all hospitals in Saudi Arabia for citizens and residents of the kingdom, even “those who are in an irregular situation”, reported the Ministry of Health. The country has so far registered 8 deaths from coronavirus and the number of infected is 1,453. The royal decree extends to public and private hospitals and the Saudi authorities assured that it is “a sign that for Saudi Arabia the most important thing is the human being”.