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EU Facing ‘Moment Of Truth’, Says Macron As He Calls For Greater Financial Burden-Sharing

17 April 2020 International News

French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the European Union is facing “a moment of truth” with the COVID-19 pandemic exposing the need for greater solidarity between member states.

Macron aligned himself with southern member states including Spain, Italy and Portugal, saying, that there was “no choice” but for the bloc to set up a fund that “could issue common debt with a common guarantee”.

These countries have backed so-called coronabonds which would pool member states’ debt but the plan is opposed by the so-called Frugal Five member states which include Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

The French leader warned that failing to strengthen solidarity between member states could spell the end of the bloc.

“If we can’t do this today, I tell you the populists will win — today, tomorrow, the day after, in Italy, in Spain, perhaps in France and elsewhere,” he said.

“It’s obvious because people will say ‘What is this great journey that you [the EU] are offering? These people won’t protect you in a crisis, nor in its aftermath, they have no solidarity with you,’” he added

“They’re in favour of Europe when it means exporting to you the goods they produce. They’re for Europe when it means having your labour come over and produce the car parts we no longer make at home. But they’re not for Europe when it means sharing the burden’,” he went on.

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