France calls on the European Union "solidarity" to tackle the crisis

French Finance Minister Bruno Lemerre on Thursday called on member states in the eurozone to "show solidarity" and "move forward" to confront an economic crisis that appears to be "long and costly."

"The time has come to show our solidarity to confront the crisis," the minister said at a press conference, calling on the countries of the North and the South to find common ground for confronting the crisis caused by the spread of the "new Corona virus."

"There is nothing more damaging to Europe than tomorrow's response to the crisis, which some agree and others reject," he said, referring to recent divisions between the Netherlands and Germany on the one hand, and Italy, Spain and Portugal on the other.

"If we want to be effective, we frankly need strong coordination," he added, expressing his hope that a "consensus" will be reached at the next meeting of euro zone finance ministers next Tuesday.

He also mentioned the three proposals that were on the table in the Eurogroup.

In the first place it includes "the use of the European stability mechanism without excessive conditions and without discrimination of one or the other."

He explained that the other two proposals are "the use of new loan facilities by the European Investment Bank and the creation of a common unemployment insurance system."

Lemerre also mentioned his proposal to launch a European rescue fund that he made on Wednesday during a statement to the Financial Times.

"It is a long-term, limited-term response to specifically respond to the economic crisis we are experiencing," he said.

This fund "will be funded either through voluntary contributions from countries or from specific taxes" such as the European Solidarity Tax, according to the minister.

Last week, nine European countries, including France and Italy, called for a joint European Union borrowing mechanism called "Corona Bonds". But this proposal put pressure on Germany, which rejects it, but said it would give priority to "European solidarity."

 

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