March 9, 2020 / 8:29 AM / 20 days ago

Italy urges package of anti-coronavirus measures to be agreed at EU level

FILE PHOTO: A street vendor sells face masks outside the central railway station, after a coronavirus outbreak, in Milan, Italy February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government urged the European Union on Monday to adopt a package of measures to counter the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economies of the block.

Italy has been hit harder by the crisis than anywhere else in Europe, with 7,375 cases and 366 deaths, and Rome imposed a virtual lockdown across a swathe of its wealthy north on Sunday.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday that the government would further increase spending in a “massive shock therapy” to offset the economic impact of the epidemic.

In a separate statement, the economy ministry said that “the government will spare no effort to ensure that a package of measures is agreed at the EU level in coordination with the whole international community”.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Writing by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Alex Richardson

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