March 17, 2020 / 7:12 PM / 23 days ago

Italy PM says coronavirus 'tsunami' won't leave any EU state untouched - source

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during a news conference due to coronavirus spread, in Rome, Italy March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told his fellow European Union leaders on Tuesday that coronavirus was causing a “socio-economic tsunami” across Europe and that dedicated bonds may be needed to cushion the hit, an Italian government source said.

EU leaders were debating on a videocall on Tuesday whether to shut down Europe’s external borders and offer economic stimulus as the continent scrambles to contain the quick spread of the disease on its soil.

The government source said Conte warned no EU country would be left untouched by the “tsunami” and said special “coronavirus bonds” or a European guarantee fund to help countries finance urgent health and economic policies.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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