March 11, 2020 / 11:14 AM / a month ago

EU coronavirus aid package won't fail because of Germany - Merkel

BERLIN, March 11 (Reuters) - The European Union’s fiscal monitoring framework has enough flexibility built in to cope even with extraordinary situations like the coronavirus epidemic, for Italy as well as Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

Italy, the country worst-afflicted by the epidemic that has begun to rage across Europe, has announced that its government deficit will have to grow to deal with the unexpected costs and slowing growth resulting from the crisis.

“I believe the growth and stability pact has enough flexibility for extraordinary situations,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin. “And also for Italy, of course we aren’t saying you can’t invest in your healthcare system.”

She added Berlin would do its part in countering the impact of the epidemic and that a proposed European Union package with fiscal measures would not fail because of Germany. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt Editing by Michael Nienaber)

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