More coordination. More cooperation. More tests, including rapid antigens. And that the borders are not closed as in the first wave. These are the main issues addressed by the Heads of State and Government of the European Union in an informal summit by videoconference of just over three hours held this Thursday afternoon.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lamented to the rest of the EU leaders that they did not intervene quickly enough to control the pandemic, according to sources consulted by Bloomberg. Merkel added, according to this medium, that lessons should be learned from the current situation and act faster.
“Today we have met in an informal European Council to advance a common EU strategy on rapid tests, a key tool to combat the pandemic, and the COVID-19 vaccine. In this second wave it is essential that we continue to work with unity and coordination, “said the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.
More than 210,000 people have died in the EU from the disease and almost 6.5 million have been infected. Likewise, the second wave is imposing new restrictions to try to stop the crisis. Germany, the EU’s largest economy, will impose a partial one-month shutdown starting Monday, while France will enter a nationwide shutdown starting Friday.
“Europe is currently in the middle of the second wave and all Member States face the same challenges”, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kursz said: “Our aim is close coordination within the EU and especially with our neighboring countries. The borders in Europe must remain open. ”
A message that the German Government has also shared: “For Germany, as a country in the center of Europe, it is important that the borders remain open, that there is a functioning economic cycle and that we fight together against the pandemic.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte explained: “Although each country organizes its own health system, we must work together where we can to deal with the pandemic. For example, with regard to knowledge sharing, drug distribution and vaccines “.
The meeting of EU leaders via video conference came hours after the president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, warned that the economy was losing momentum faster than expected and that it is preparing to apply new stimulus measures in December while restrictions are expected to halt production in the last quarter of the year.
French President Emmanuel Macron participated in the summit after a second terrorist attack and explained, according to Bloomberg, that his anti-separatism legislation, which pIt provoked a reaction of rejection in Muslim countries, in particular Turkey, and preceding the attacks had been deliberately distorted by some media.