Corona alarm in Europe – soon in Germany too?

The number of infections has been increasing in France and Spain for weeks. Although the Corona rules are sometimes even stricter there than in Germany, the situation is much more tense. Why is that?

Photo series with 36 pictures

It could have been so nice: After the exit restrictions came to an end, the travel time began. Off to Mallorca or the Côte d’Azur. But then the federal government spoke one Travel warning after another for regions in Spain and France – in Spain it now applies to the whole country. The new corona infections skyrocketed in both countries. In Germany, too, the number of new cases is increasing, but things seem to be going much better than in France and Spain. How can that be?

Small details help determine the course of the pandemic

Christian Drosten looks carefully at developments in other EU countries. In Germany you have to be clear that “if we superimpose the curves, we will lag a little behind Spain and France and England,” said Drosten, head of virology at the Charité, the German press agency in Berlin. He emphasized “that we shouldn’t pretend that everything is developing very differently for us. We don’t do a lot of things very differently now either.”

“There are a few details that may be different here than in Southern Europe. Our households are often smaller, we have more one-person households,” says Drosten. There are fewer multi-generation families in which the virus is spread very easily beyond the age limits. “Those are certainly differences. But otherwise Germany is not much different from these European neighbors. That is why we have to be very careful and watch very carefully how things are going now.”

Fiesta instead of siesta: social customs contribute to the spread

The Spaniards have been puzzling and discussing for weeks: Why have the country and especially its capital Madrid become epicentres of the pandemic in Europe again after the successful fight against Corona? Including post-reported cases, there have been 10,000 or more new infections every day across the country for weeks.

Thereby, precautionary measures apply that are more drastic than anywhere else in Europe. For example, the strict mask requirement also outdoors, which is observed by practically everyone. You hardly ever see “refusers”. So why? The authorities have some answers that explain part of the malaise. Much more is being tested, which is why there are more positive results, they say. In addition, there is greater mobility than at the end of the exit restrictions.

More tests, more freedom – but that also applies to other countries. But it is different: the fiesta. The sociable and party-mad Spaniards have become “more careless”, especially at private meetings and when visiting bars, restaurants and nightspots, said many experts and also Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez unanimously. “Our social customs and habits play a decisive role in the spread of the virus,” wrote the newspaper “La Vanguardia”.

Barcelona: Strict rules also apply in the Spanish coastal metropolis. But the sociable Spaniards are becoming more careless when it comes to private meetings. (Source: ZUMA Wire / imago images)

Too much fiesta, too little siesta, says the respected Spanish genetic researcher Salvador Macip from the University of Leicester in England. Especially in summer, the Spaniards are more programmed than other people to come together and “socialize a lot”. But the authorities in Spain also made mistakes. The system for tracking infection chains has long suffered from a lack of staff. New restrictions on freedom of movement were often decided too late in hotspots.

The situation in France is serious: intensive care beds are scarce in the south

In France, one looks a little confused at Germany, where things seem to be going so much better again. In the neighboring country to the west, the number of daily new corona infections has already cracked the 10,000 mark, as in Spain. For comparison: In Germany the number reached its highest level since April in mid-September, but at 2,000 it was still well below the values ​​in other EU countries.

In cities like Marseille, Bordeaux or Paris the situation is particularly serious. However, France is also testing significantly more than in the spring. The number of corona deaths is not increasing massively, the occupancy of the hospitals is viewed with concern – but overall, at least nationwide, it is still at a very low level. In the south, however, intensive care beds are becoming scarce.

Marseille: France is now testing significantly more than in the spring.  The daily new infections are over 10,000.  (Source: imago images / ZUMA Wire)Marseille: France is now testing significantly more than in the spring. The daily new infections are over 10,000. (Source: ZUMA Wire / imago images)

The doctor and former health director William Dab criticized in the “Journal de Dimanche” that Prime Minister Jean Castex had recently announced no really strong measures, but only adjustments. Castex wants to reconcile life with the virus and business and school life. France’s strategy is still not clearly defined – if the centralized state was still clearly in focus in the spring and the same strict exit restrictions were imposed on everyone, the government is now making the regions responsible.

The authorities in Bordeaux, Marseille and Nice recently announced stricter measures at the request of the government – specifically, for example, restrictions on alcohol consumption in public places. Nice and Lyon are up next. In general, the rules are sometimes stricter in France than in Germany – in many cities, as in Spain, a mask requirement applies outdoors. In addition, the mask is mandatory at work. But things are also much more relaxed.

France’s Corona app “ridiculous flop”

France tests returnees less extensively than Germany – a quarantine and test obligation only applies to a few selected countries. There is also a lack of follow-up. The Corona tracking app “StopCovid” is – it has to be said so clearly – a flop. It has been downloaded more than two million times and has been viewed less than 200 times, which is even officially described as “ridiculous”. In restaurants and bars there are no forms to identify contact cases.

Similar to Spain, young people in particular become infected with the virus. Here, too, it is assumed that there is too much partying. The French media also note that the minimum distance in France is one meter – not 1.50 meters as in Germany. And the greeting actually includes the bise – that is, kisses – to it. Even if the French make an effort: it is difficult to leave out the famous kiss.


Pedro Sánchez refuses to declare a state of emergency in Spain due to Covid-19 – World

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez refused this Tuesday to re-enact a state of emergency in Spain to contain the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving that responsibility in the hands of the autonomies.With cases increasing from day to day and several regions grappling with a second wave of contagions, Sánchez admitted that the situation is “worrying”, but considered that each autonomous region should assume the responsibility to decree the return to the state of emergency, a measure that allows to restrict the movement of people and other fundamental rights, which led the opposition to accuse him of “discarding responsibilities”. Speaking after the first meeting of the Council of Ministers after the holidays, the Spanish PM also made available 2,000 military personnel to assist in the screening of possible contacts of infected people across the country. details
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Flávio Bolsonaro, the eldest son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, tested positive for the new coronavirus, becoming the fourth infected in the family after his father, stepmother, Michelle, and stepbrother, Jair Renan.

The senator has no symptoms and is being treated with hydroxychloroquine, the controversial medication promoted by his father as a cure for the disease.


Location confirmed – this is where the ex-king is staying

The secret of the whereabouts of Spain’s ex-King Juan Carlos was revealed: The 82-year-old, who is suspected of corruption, traveled to the United Arab Emirates on August 3rd.

That yourself Juan Carlos in Abu Dhabi is now confirmed by the Spanish royal family. So far, both the “Casa Real” and the Spanish government have been silent on this issue.

A few days ago the newspaper “ABC”, well informed about the monarchy, assured in the midst of wild speculation that Juan Carlos had found refuge with befriended sheikhs in Abu Dhabi in the Emirates. He maintains excellent relationships with the Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Said Al Nahjan, and initially moved into the “Emirates Palace”, one of the most expensive hotels in the world, according to the newspaper.

Royal family publishes letter

In a letter to his son and successor published by the royal family on August 3rd Felipe VI. had informed Juan Carlos that he had been alleged to be bribes during the construction of a high-speed rail line in Saudi Arabia move abroad. He wanted to “facilitate” Felipe’s work. His whereabouts had remained unknown since then.

Notwithstanding the mysterious departure, the Spanish government assured the Prime Minister Pedro Sanchezthat the “emeritus king” had not fled the judiciary. Sánchez ‘second deputy, Pablo Iglesias from the coalition junior partner Unidas Podemos, spoke of an “unworthy escape”. A lawyer for Juan Carlos assured that his client would be available to the Spanish judiciary even after his departure.

The scandal concerns alleged bribery payments during the construction of a high-speed rail line in Saudi Arabia by a Spanish consortium. Juan Carlos is said to have collected 100 million US dollars from the Saudis in 2008 for the mediation. At that time he still enjoyed immunity as a monarch. In connection with the payment, however, he is now suspected of tax evasion and money laundering after his abdication in June 2014. In June the Madrid Supreme Court opened an investigation.


President of Spain confuses Fallout 4 with Hiroshima bombing

Fallout 4 is one of the video game most popular franchise Bethesda Softworks. Like its previous versions, the game poses a dystopian future, so the context in which it takes place is the result of a terrible nuclear war between the superpowers.

That is why it is not surprising that in history there are bombs of all kinds. The point is, the game has so much detail and the recreations are so realistic that they could easily fool anyone, even a head of state.


A clear example is the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez. The president shared through his Twitter a publication where he recalled the first nuclear attack in history. We refer to the atomic bombing against the city of Hiroshima, Japan.

This unfortunate event happened 75 years ago within the framework of the Second World War, and this week its anniversary was fulfilled. That is why the governor decided to commemorate it, but had a mistake.

Users immediately noticed the bug and brought it up. The photograph was not about the Hiroshima disaster, as the actual photos taken on that fateful occasion were very different.

The photograph belongs to the filming of the game, specifically its prologue.

However, it is not the first time that this type of situation has occurred, because even the media have made mistakes like this. The realism of many games can fool many. The next time it only remains to investigate well and prevent this type of case from happening.



Snchez announces for May 2 outings for individual sports and family walks

The Prime Minister, Pedro Snchez, has anticipated the possibility of further relaxing the confinement measures starting next week, specifically, from May 2. The new relief will give citizens the opportunity to go out for sports individually and family walks. It will be the Ministry of Health that decides definitively the activation of this measure and the conditions that should be met.

This measure depends on the fact that throughout the week it is verified that the departure of the children, which can be carried out from the same morning, does not entail any spike in infections. In this sense, Snchez has asked extreme “caution” and “responsibility” to parents so that they strictly comply with the regulations that the Ministry of Health has imposed.

The president explained that the de-escalation is expected to begin once the current extension of the state of alarm ends, that is, from May 10.

This stage of de-escalation will be “gradual” and “asymmetrical”, or what is the same, depending on the territories. And also be “coordinated”, that is, “with the same rules” although the speed is different.

Snchez has also announced that next Tuesday he will bring the de-escalation plan to the Council of Ministers and present it himself to all citizens, despite the fact that he said “we still have hard times” because “victory is not yet close” . The technical requirements of the plan, which will be extended throughout the month of May, will be finalized on Monday after listening tomorrow to the regional presidents.

“The maximum will be one: we enter this pandemic together and we will leave together. The de-escalation has to be in a team, asymmetrically, yes, but coordinated,” he warned. “We all have to go hand in hand, leaning on the shoulder, elbow to elbow.”

Snchez has insisted that “some of us are the insurance of others” so there is no need to make this new stage “a race in which if someone falls, they drag the rest.” And as he has been repeating in recent days, he has called for unity.

In an attempt to anticipate the “centralization” reproaches leveled at him from various autonomous regions, mainly Catalua and Pas Vasco, the president has denied the most and has insisted that the government’s mission is to “pilot”, “coordinate” and direct the “scorecard” to reinforce the capacities of the health system, primary care, the number of ICU beds, epidemiological surveillance, the execution of PCR, the identification of infections and collective protection measures.

Most of the Autonomous Communities have already prepared their own plans for lack of confidence, but the president has warned them that coordination and gradualness will be in the hands of the Government, which will decide based on technical and health parameters and not according to a calendar of pre-established dates. The philosophy is “not to jeopardize what was previously achieved”.

In relation to the debate that is taking place within the EU to arbitrate a multimillion-dollar aid package to face the economic consequences of the pandemic, Snchez has flatly rejected that they could lead to conditions.

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The PSOE freezes the parliamentary appearances of Rosa Mara Mateo

The provisional sole administrator of RTVE requested to appear electronically on the occasion of the coronavirus pandemic

Sea rose

Rosa Mara Mateo, in a previous appearance in Congress.

The Table of theMixed Parliamentary Control CommitteeRTVE has decided to postpone due to the health crisis the parliamentary appearances of the sole administrator of RTVE, Rosa Mara Mateo, a decision that has been adopted thanks to the majority of the PSOE and with the votes against the PP.

The Table and the Spokesmen of the aforementioned Commission have met this Friday with the aim of setting the date for Mateo’s appearance, but the PSOE has stood out with the proposal to postpone them, the deputies explained to EfeMacarena Montesinos(PP) andGuillermo Daz(Cs).

The parliamentarians have indicated that the only provisional administrator requested to appear telematically in the occasion of the coronavirus pandemic, since it belongs to a risk group, something that has had the approval of the lawyers of the Upper House.

However, Montesinos, the president of the RTVE Control Commission, pointed out,Antonio Cosculluela, has presented a proposal for the postponement of the appearance at the Bureau meeting until the confinement situation is resolved.

Although the PP has “frontally opposed”, the proposal has come forward thanks to the fact that the PSOE has a majority in the Table (three members versus two from the PP).

Daz considers it “a joke” when today’s meeting was held to set the appearance of Mateo in April to report to the Cortes, an activity to which he is obliged every month, but which was suspended by the coronavirus and that it was going to proceed to recover after the reactivation of the activity in the Senate.

Next Tuesday, the Senate Table will study this Commission decision to give it the go-ahead or reject it.

“If there is the possibility of making the appearance electronically, why do we have to renounce a right that assists us parliamentarians? (…) The PSOE has voted in favor of gagging the Parliament and intends to postpone the Commission sine die , it is a real outrage “, Montesinos has denounced.

From the PP it is denounced that RTVE is experiencing “a democratic anomaly” with manipulation and dependence on the government, being, Montesinos said, “remote-controlled by Pedro Snchez.”

“It is intolerable that no one is responsible for this sectarianism,” concluded the popular deputy.

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The Government tenses the dialogue: blames the PP for the cuts in Health and calls those who criticize the minimum income “unpatriotic”

Control session to the Government

The Prime Minister, Pedro S

The Prime Minister, Pedro Snchez, and his Vice President, Pablo Casado, this Wednesday, in Congress.

On many occasions, what is preached has nothing to do with what is practiced. The Government and the opposition ask for and bet on unity in the coronavirus crisis, but they practice discussion, tension. This has been revealed in the control session to the Executive in Congress, very angry. Both Pedro Snchez and Pablo Iglesias have asked for support from the other parties, while criticizing them. The Prime Minister has blamed the PP for cuts inHealth, while the second vice president has branded as “unpatriotic” those who do not defend the minimum vital income.

Criticism has prevailed over the encounter. The political truce ended, fueled by management and confusion about management and the numbers about the coronavirus pandemic. Government representatives have dodged controversies about the lack of reliable data, the registration of deaths or the search for critical opinions on social networks. “Mr. Casado is looking for any excuse to try not to agree with the government,” Snchez told the PP leader.

The President of the Government, while asking for his support to implement what he calls the “reconstruction pact” has attacked the popular groups, accusing their governments of “deterioration of public health or lack of investment”. “Is this how you want to agree, holding us responsible for your mistakes?” Casado replied, highlighting the PP’s support for the extension of the state of alarm, while government partners like the ERC have simply abstained.

“We are always in favor of dialogue. I have been trying to agree for two years and we are in favor of the parliamentary committee that I proposed to him,” was the message from Casado.

It was not the only tension experienced in the midst of the supposed call to understanding. Pablo Iglesias has maintained two tense rifirrafes. The first on account of the management of nursing homes, the second for the minimum vital income.

The Vox deputyIns Mara Caizares Pachecohas criticized that the Executive permanently install this aid, since according to its formation it should be a “transitory” benefit. In the view of this training, extending it over time “may jeopardize pensions” and, he added, could encourage falling into “dependency and a government-dependent subsidy.”

Iglesias, who has also been criticized by Aitor Esteban (PNV) for the ways to implement this aid, without negotiating it with the parties, has defended that this vital minimum income “will allow the fridge to be filled by many and stimulate economic recovery because it will be money that goes to consumption. ” The second vice president has not hesitated to describe as “unpatriotic” those who “do not defend a proposal like this.” It should be remembered that, for example, also the CEOE, with whom Iglesias has starred in more than one encounter over this matter, shows her preference for a temporary character of aid.

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Pedro Snchez “glimpses” the “new normal” in mid-May and Pablo Casado support the extension of the state of alarm

The Prime Minister, Pedro Snchez, has asked Congress for authorization to extend the state of alarm for the third time. A new extension that, he said, “with all prudence and caution” should give way to a new phase, that of de-escalation, once the places of greatest contamination and people from contagion areas are under full control, There are strict preventive measures in work and educational centers and the entire population is committed to the rules of hygiene and social distancing.

The leader of the opposition, Pablo Casado, has been extremely hard in his reply, accusing the president of squandering the effort to do “only propaganda” but, still, he has secured the vote of his 88 deputies in favor of the extension of the confinement until May 10. An extension that will go ahead but with fewer votes in favor, because this time JxCAT will join the ‘no’ of Vox and the CUP. while ERC and Bildu will remain abstaining.

Snchez explained that the general confinement will not be lifted until we are fully prepared but with the second week of May as the horizon for the start of the de-escalation.

A de-escalation to be “slow and gradual” because the crisis will not end completely until science does not find a vaccine. “But we are already preparing,” said the president, to enter a new normality, without taking false steps. “

“The new extension will allow us to enter this new phase. Now I can make this announcement with a cautiously optimistic scenario,” said the president. “It is looming,” he said, a return to normality that should begin in mid-May when the new postponement of the state of alarm that Congress approve today ends.

The relaxation of rules begins with permission for minors to take walks accompanied by an adult. “This small relief does not alter the most important thing is the rule of general confinement,” he warned.

At this stage of transition to the “new normal”, virtually all regulatory powers will fall on theMinistry of Healththat you can modify, relax, expand or restrict the rules in force.

Snchez has taken the opportunity to ask the parliamentary forces for a commitment to design “new political modes” to ensure, after this crisis, “a promising future.” “There will be no better or more pressing opportunity to make that desire for dialogue that Spanish society has a reality and,” he assured, “we will demonstrate it with those agreements that we offer.”

And before the most reticent, he has affirmed: “The culmination of an agreement will not be patrimonialized by anyone. It will be a success for all.” And he has done so before stressing his “seemingly favorable” to the reconstruction pacts “at each step of the Spanish geography, whoever governs”.

He, for his part, has proposed talking about the strengthening of the health system, the reconstruction of the economy, affecting the most affected sectors (tourism, hospitality, culture …), the adoption of social protection measures and, by Lastly, how to adapt this new way of doing politics to the agreements reached in Europe.

European cohesion

Snchez has referred to the debate within the EU and has insisted on the need to establish a new European budgetary framework because “what was defined before the crisis is no longer valid”.

In his opinion, “new policies” are required to maintain cohesion plans. The Spanish government is now demanding from Europe “a Marshall Plan” to help overcome the Covid-19 crisis. “What was fair and convenient before, now is essential,” he assured.

The President has welcomed the financial measures adopted so far but continues to demand more “novel and ambitious mechanisms” in which, he said, theEurogroup. In total, a mobilization of more than 530,000 million euros is estimated to endow the Marshall Plan that Spain is demanding and that will be debated tomorrow in theEuropean council.

Precisely at that meeting, the Government intends to raise the need for the Eurogroup aid package to be ready on June 1 and, in addition, to create a recovery fund of 1.5 trillion euros in perpetual debt to launch a reconstruction program investing in key areas and in the most affected sectors.

Snchez has opted to work on proposals that “rebuild a common future”. That is why he insisted on the need to extend the state of alarm now. “Every confrontation that we pose is a drag and every agreement that we reach be the fertile ground on which to grow again. I am confident. I hope that the union is possible,” he concluded.

Pablo Casado: “Spain hurts”

The PP leader, Pablo Casado, opened his speech by proclaiming: “Spain hurts me.” And he has reproached the president for not being able even to “count the dead.” “This is not going well,” he repeated. Casado has insisted that the Government must apologize for its mistakes, its delays and its concealments. And all this, he assured, “to maintain an ideological agenda.”

The leaderpopularIt has reviewed all the government’s traspis when buying sanitary protection and test material. “Where is the million tests that you said were going to be done? Where are No’s coffers? And what happened yesterday with the mistrust of the children? Where is the legal security? Your government puts the propaganda before the oxen of the management “, has reproached him.

Pablo Casado, during his intervention
Pablo Casado, during his speech.

Married has regretted that Snchez “melted” 16 million euros in electoral decrees before the elections of April and November, precisely to make propaganda and, in addition, has urged him to explain why the “Big Brother Attempt” he has put The Government is working through the CIS, the information control and RTVE. “What kind ofomertDo you want to cover up your mistakes? “he snapped.

“He cannot ask us to be part of the orchestra while Spain is ruined,” insisted the popular leader, for whom Snchez “cannot impose a government program disguised by a reconstruction plan.”

He recalled that his party is the political alternative and has ended by sending a message of confidence to the Spaniards and ensuring his vote in favor of the third extension of the confinement. “We support the state of alarm so that you govern with determination after 45 days of ineffectiveness” and has urged Snchez to “not disappoint” the Spaniards any more. ParaphrasingAntonio Maura, has affirmed: “For me not to stay”.

Spain, “a Chavista jail”

Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox, has emphasized the death toll, which, in his opinion, is much more than those recognized by the Government. “We will do them justice,” he said.

The Vox leader has insisted that the government “has failed on all orders” concerned with “protecting himself” and has accused the president of having undertaken “a totalitarian drift.”

“There are some,” he said, pointing clearly to the ministers of United Podemos, “very willing to turn this country into an immense Chavista jail.” “You have to go,” he insisted.

“Stop talking to us about reconstruction and avoid destruction, even if that ruins your partner Iglesias’ plans to implant communism and ration cards,” he snapped.

Abascal has expressly addressed the Interior Minister to remind him that his party has a “right to speak” in the stands of Congress, on the street and on social media. The Vox leader has assured that he will bring “the evidence of the attack on liberties to the courts.”

And he has accused Snchez of being “the spokesman for uncertainty” before announcing that his 52 deputies will vote against the extension of the state of alarm and of granting the government “a power that is not worthy of.”

Centralization and command and command

The independence forces that supported the inauguration of Snchez will return today to abstain regarding the third extension of the state of alarm. ERC spokesman, Gabriel Rufian, has assured that this time his abstention is “closer to no than ever” because the extension affects the “same errors” as the previous ones. The same position is maintained by EH Bildu.

“It doesn’t make sense not to be able to go to a wake but I do to work; it doesn’t make sense to be able to go buy tobacco but children can’t go out for a walk,” Rufian said. None of this, in his opinion, is reasonable unless it is done under pressure from the Ibex.

The independent republican leader has also accused the government of falling into the temptation of “centralization” and “command and command” and has regretted that the government’s communication is in the hands of “the military.”

Rufian has also taken the opportunity to urge the president to reconvene the Negotiation Table with the Generalita before the month of June, a Table in which ERC claims the amnesty for politicians condemned by 1-O and a self-determination referendum in Catalonia. .

JxCAT, a force that this time is voting against the extension, has accused the government of taking “reactionary measures” restricting powers. Its spokesperson Laura Borrs has lashed out, like many other spokespersons, against the government’s unforeseenness, its lack of plan for misconduct and the “gag” it is trying to impose on the critics.

Ms Pas, Comproms and BNG, all of them included in the Plural Group of Congress, have announced their critical vote but in favor of extending the state of alarm.

Ciudadanos is also betting on the third extension despite the “mistakes made” by the Government. “We extend our hand so that he does not commit them again,” said orange deputy Edmundo Bal, who is also very complaining about the government’s policy that restricts, he said, freedom of expression, and suffers from continual lurching and rectification.

The PNV has also opted for the extension but has defended that work to return to normality is in the hands of the Autonomous Communities. In case the government’s strategy did not change, the Basque nationalists did not support a fourth postponement of the confinement.

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A general spokesperson in Moncloa


The chief of the General Staff of the Civil Guard, General Jos

The chief of staff of the Civil Guard, General Jos Manuel Santiago, at a press conference in La Moncloa.

There is a certain coherence in the activity asheadhunterofPedro Snchez. First, there is his ability to select his collaborators with the standards of his intellectual level. Then there is the criterion of suitability: a philosopher to take over the management of Health. In exchange, he has a doctor as Finance Minister.Mara Jess MonteroIt is also a government spokesperson, a task for which it is openly contraindicated: it lacks the minimum skills for expression.

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Merkel ready for significantly higher EU budget

Berlin / Madrid Three days before the EU summit, a compromise is emerging as to how EU states particularly affected by the corona crisis could be given more support. You can imagine a significant increase in the EU budget and bonds backed by guarantees from member states, said Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.

According to experts, this could help to find a middle ground between the demands of the Euro countries and the Netherlands, for example, which categorically exclude Eurobonds.

Merkel’s comments also indicate a clear departure from Germany’s position in the EU budget negotiations for the period up to 2027. Up until now, Germany, like some other net contributors, had urged that payments to Brussels not increase far beyond one percent of national economic output.

Now, in view of the corona crisis, Merkel said: “I can very well imagine that (the EU budget) must have completely different financial options in the first years after the pandemic.” According to Reuters, the top of the Union parliamentary group has now also accepted significantly higher German EU payments to Brussels.

Merkel also pledged to help countries like Italy, Spain and France. “Germany not only wants to show solidarity, it will also show solidarity,” emphasized the Chancellor. This goes beyond the € 500 billion aid package that the EU finance ministers had already agreed on.

“But that has to be within the framework of today’s contracts,” said Merkel about the debate on Eurobonds. She had already rejected such joint government bonds with joint liability in the CDU Presidium that morning.

Merkel looks at Article 122 in the EU Treaty

According to Merkel, the decisive lever for grants to Italy or Spain could now be Article 122, paragraph 2 in the EU Treaty. As with the agreed short-time work allowance at EU level, this allows bonds to be passed on to countries through guarantees from the Member States.

“I can also imagine such instruments,” said Merkel with reference to the EU switch on Thursday. The advantage for Italy would be, for example, that cheaper EU money would come from such EU bonds than if it itself took out national loans.

According to an EU diplomat, Merkel, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, his Spanish and Dutch colleagues Pedro Sanchez and Mark Rutte, EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on Monday evening to talk to each other prepare on Thursday. At first, no details were known.

Spain wants to end dispute over Eurobonds

Spain had previously announced that it would end the deadlocked dispute over Eurobonds. Prime Minister Sanchez is now thinking of a package worth EUR 1.5 trillion, in which the EU Commission could take out loans secured via the EU budget, the Foreign Ministry said in Madrid. This comes close to Merkel’s ideas.

The background to the debate is that southern European countries such as Italy, Spain and France consider the additional loans already agreed by the EU finance ministers via the ESM euro rescue mechanism and the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the agreed European short-time work allowance to be insufficient.

On Friday, the European Parliament (EP) had already spoken out for additional aid via the EU budget and secured bonds. “This is the compromise between Italy and the Netherlands,” Daniel Caspary, Chairman of the German EPP group in the EP, said to Reuters.

With such an instrument, Italy would neither have to accept a troika with conditions on the use of funds, as the Netherlands had requested for ESM loans. However, the aid is not unconditional as requested by Italy.

Merkel also emphasized that the corona crisis hit the countries “through no fault of their own”. “This is not the result of any shortcomings in economic policy or other things,” she said in view of the debate in the Netherlands and Italy, for example, to make reform requirements for loans.

She indicated that Germany was even ready to discuss new EU treaties, but added: “But then it takes two or three years. And we will need quick answers to the pandemic. “

More: Corona bonds – Macron and EU Parliament increase pressure on Germany.