Published On: Sat, Mar 28th, 2020

Coronavirus EU: MEP scolds EU for ‘acting too late’ in attack that stuns von der Leyen | World | News

Dutch MEP Derk Jan Eppink said that the coronavirus crisis wreaking havoc across the European Union showed the bloc’s weaknesses. In a furious rant against the EU’s response, Mr Eppink told Ursula von der Leyen, who is in the European Parliament at the time, that she had failed. This comes amid a growing rift between EU member-states over how to respond to the growing pandemic. 

He urged the European Commission to use the €1 trillion pledged for the EU’s Green New Deal in the fight against the pandemic.

This echoes the Czech Republic’s prime minister, Andrej Babiš, who earlier said the European Union should abandon its Green Deal and focus on fighting the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Eppink also criticised the plot to push through corona-bonds, creating a common European debt as a way to soften the economic impact of the virus.

He said: “The new euro bonds or “coronabonds” would not be an effective way to revitalise the European economy. People urgently need cash. National central banks should instead provide credits at zero interest rates to our citizens and companies.”

The furious attack follows fears that coronavirus crisis could turn into a huge economic disaster for the European bloc. 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told other EU leaders that the “European project” is at stake, while Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte questioned whether the EU was “truly adapted to a war”.

The French broadcaster claimed that even German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted the arguments threatened the stability of Europe.

The summit ended with a declaration giving eurozone finance ministers two weeks to come up with a solution

Goldman Sachs economists estimate the virus pandemic may shrink the eur zone economy by 9 percent this year alone.

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