The European Union’s future is in limbo as long as it cannot come up with a set of comprehensive financial roadmaps to effectively combat the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout, Spanish officials warned Wednesday, as EU talks on greater economic support to the economically-ailing countries bore no fruit.
According to Spain's Budget Minister and government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero, Europeans will no longer have trust in the EU if the member states do not act together in the currently unfurling crisis, which she likened to World War II.
“We need the help of other countries, and that’s why the European Community was originally formed, at that time after a physical war, now we are fighting a war against an epidemic”, she said in an interview on the Antena 3 TV channel.
The country’s Agriculture Minister Luis Planas likewise brought up the future of the bloc, arguing that economic aid is “a crucial issue on which the European Union’s future is at stake”, he told Sur Radio station, as cited by Reuters.
However, both expressed hope that further negotiations, scheduled for as soon as this Thursday, will yield a positive outcome, even though EU finance ministers have for now failed to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
According to officials and Reuters sources, the apple of discord remains a standoff between Italy and the Netherlands over what conditions should be applied to Eurozone credit for European governments fighting the pandemic. As around half a trillion euros' worth of aid is currently at stake, a dozen Italian politicians, including governors and mayors, knocked the Netherlands for giving a no-go to the so-dubbed “coronabonds” that would have to be repaid later. While nine countries supported the plan, the Netherlands was lashed out at for opposing the strategy.
The raging coronavirus health crisis has brought about serious economic fallout, which is to be dealt with in the months to come. The pandemic has seen as many as 1,350,000 infected globally to date and about 79,200 dead, according to updated WHO statistics.