EU boss apologizes to Italy

Ursula von der Leyen has been President of the European Commission since December 1, 2019. – Virginia Mayo / AP / SIPA

In a column published in the Italian press on Thursday, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen apologized to Italy for the delayed reaction of
the EU in the face of the pandemic of
coronavirus.

And the title of the letter addressed to Italy is unequivocal: “I apologize, we are with you”. “Today, Europe is mobilizing alongside Italy. But this has not always been the case “,
said the manager in the daily La Repubblica.

An “ugly” or even “dead” Europe, says Italy

Last week, the 27 failed to reach an agreement to offer a strong response to the economic consequences of the pandemic. A divide had notably appeared between countries of the South, like Italy and Spain supported by France, which demanded a mutualisation of the debt via “coronabonds”, and those of the North which, behind Germany and the Pays- Low, reject this option. Held by videoconference, the meeting ended with a minimal statement planning to meet within two weeks to reach an agreement.

In Italy, the founding country and pillar of the Union, this failure had been greeted with keen resentment and open anger at an “ugly” or even “dead” Europe. “It must be recognized that at the start of the crisis, faced with the need for a common European response, far too many thought only of their national problems”, continues Ursula von der Leyen who ends his letter with the initiatives taken by the EU to help the most affected countries, notably Italy.

“If we are a Union, the time has come to prove it”

The Union will “allocate up to 100 billion euros to the hardest hit countries, starting with Italy, to compensate for the drop in income of those with shorter working hours”, he said. she notably said. According to her, Europe has also agreed on “loans guaranteed by all member states, which shows European solidarity”. “Every euro still available in the EU’s annual budget will be spent on resolving this crisis,” she said.

“Over the past month, the European Commission has done everything it can to help Italy.” “If we are a Union, the time has come to prove it,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said this week in an interview with the German weekly newspaper. Die Zeit.
Italy is the most bereaved country in the world after the pandemic (more than 13,000 dead), according to official figures.

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