Guy Verhofstadt defends EUs handling of the Coronavirus


Even though member states have been let down badly by the EUs handling on the coronavirus, Guy Verhofstadt has come out defended the union stating the bloc needs more power to combat the virus. 

Mr Verhofstadt who is European Parliament’s chief Brexit co-ordinator hit back against EU criticism insisting the EU needs the power to help member states. Guy said: “People want the EU to act decisively, but few want the EU to have the capabilities to make this possible. “Individual Governments think they can do it better until it is too late. “We are now trying to fight a pandemic with our hands tied!” 

Italy and Spain have been devastated with COVID 19 with a joint death toll of over 30,000 people. Both countries have asked the EU for assistance to combat this virus but have been refused at every avenue. The only aid given to Italy was from external countries ( Cuba, China, Russia) that were outside the EU bloc. 

Many EU supporters in Italy have come out saying “what is the EU for if it can’t help in crisis” and “what is the EU for anymore”? 

Eurocrat Verhofstadt comments come as southern EU states highlight the EU‘s lack of solidarity in these challenging times. Spanish PM comes out yesterday saying: “There can be no cohesion without solidarity. And without cohesion, disaffection (with Europe) will take root, and the credibility of the European project will be seriously jeopardised. “Europe was built on the ashes of destruction and conflict … and if we do not win this war (against the virus) together, then we will all lose.” “As a Union, we can either rise to the challenge or fail. We are facing a critical moment in which even europhile countries such as Spain need proof of true commitment and strong solidarity.” 

Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez visiting hospitals that are helping with the coronavirus pandemic.

The socialist leader then insisted the coronavirus crisis “may be the opportunity to build a stronger Europe”. He added: “The future of Europe is at stake.” 

Italian Prime Minister has called for a ”coronabonds” scheme to be set up to help financially devastated countries. Conte said: “If we’re a marriage, now’s the opportunity to prove it,” Conte composed in Germany’s weekly Die Zeit. 

Italian Prime Minister Conte holding back tears

There are reports that three mechanisms will be created to support countries, there will be a £360billion European Stability Mechanism, the European Investment Fund and a European Commission scheme which amount to £88billion. However, France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire insisted the measures would not be enough. 

He said on Tuesday: “There is a lot of room for solidarity within the existing instruments and institutions.” As Europe scrambles to deal with the crisis, one Commission official said: “If anything these restrictive measures have only begun to show proper results. “It is of the essence now that member states persist a few weeks more and then gradually start to relax them. “Exit steps need to be smart and coordinated as much as possible throughout Europe.”

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