April 2, 2020 / 6:29 AM / 4 months ago

More EU solidarity needed to fight coronavirus -von der Leyen

MILAN, April 2 (Reuters) - European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday called for more solidarity at the EU level to fight the coronavirus emergency, adding that differences between nations was putting everyone at risk.

She added that the European Union would allocate up to 100 billion euros ($109.62 billion) to the hardest hit countries, starting with Italy, to make up for reduction in wages and preserve jobs. The EU executive proposed the wage-subsidy scheme on Wednesday, but financial details had yet to be released.

In a letter published in Italian daily La Repubblica, von der Leyen said too many had focused on their own problems in the first days of the crisis, which “was harmful and could have been avoided”.

“Only solidarity will allow us to emerge from this crisis,” von der Leyen said in the letter. “The distance between European nations ... puts everyone at risk”.

$1 = 0.9122 euros Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Jason Neely

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