The EU Commission chief apologized to Italy for the bloc’s sloppy coronavirus response, pledging €100 billion to help the hard-hit nation. But the help might never arrive, as mutualizing debt is opposed by EU fat cats.
“Today Europe is mobilizing alongside Italy. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case,” Ursula von der Leyen said in a letter published by Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper on Thursday.
It must be recognized that in the early days of the crisis, in the face of the need for a common European response, too many have thought only of their own home problems.
After apologizing for the inaction, however, the EU Commission chief proceeded to praising the ‘help’ provided to Italy by the bloc’s members. “In the past month, the European Commission has left no stone unturned to help Italy,” she insisted.The apology left Italian politicians unimpressed, as they urged the EU not only to talk, but to prove it is actually a union. Apparently, Rome did not notice the ‘help’ von der Leyen bragged about.“I believe that everyone will eventually realize even in those countries that a shared, orderly, strong and rapid European response is the only solution,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the Spanish television La Sexta . “A slow response would be a useless response.”A similar response came from Matteo Salvini, head of the opposition League, Italy’s most popular political party. He took to Twitter to mock the apology from the EU bigwig.
Italy and Spain were offered to use European Stability Mechanism that grants conditional financial assistance to countries in dire financial straits, to which Salvini responded that he doesn’t want the Germans and the Dutch to “come to demand money from our children,” later, calling the ESM a “mortgage on the future of Italians.”
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