March 11, 2020 / 11:59 AM / 21 days ago

On coronavirus, we'll spend what it takes, says Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined to set a cap on the costs of dealing with the challenge of the coronavirus epidemic.

“We will do what we need to get through this,” she told the a Berlin news conference on Wednesday. “And then at the end we will look at what that means for our budget.”

She also declined to commit to providing concrete material aid to Italy’s overburdened healthcare system, saying that she would discuss what could be done with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in coming days.

“We’re not indifferent when we see something like this happening in Italy,” she said in response to a question from an Italian reporter. “But it’s not as if our own healthcare system is unburdened currently. We’re all in a stress situation but we’re bound by friendship, and we will act as friends do.”

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Madeline Chambers

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