Merkel insists Germany must help other EU states revive their economies after coronavirus

The German Chancellor said it was essential for the country to help their EU neighbours after the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms Merkel made the comments to lawmakers during a meeting on Tuesday.

Since the deadly coronavirus arrived in Europe, Germany has been the most successful in curbing the spread of the virus, due to the large scale testing.

Due to the success of reducing the number of deaths, the country has begun to partial reopen the economy.

However, according to several participants at the meeting with the Chancellor, Ms Merkel said it was in “nobody’s interest for only Germany to be strong” following the pandemic.

During the meeting, the Chancellor agreed with Ralph Brinkhaus, the leader of the CDU/CSU conservative parliamentary bloc, that the country will have to transfer more money to Brussels.

The Bundestag would decide on the financial aid.

Earlier in the meeting, Mr Brinkhaus said although Germany wanted to help other EU countries, they want to know what the billions would be spent on.

CDU budget expert Eckhardt Rehberg warned it would take until at least 2023 for the tax take to recover to what it was before the pandemic happened.

Ms Merkel also warned German borders are unlikely to reopen soon but said the issue will be discussed by her cabinet this week.

She also went on to say France is unlikely to reopen its borders before mid-June despite the government wanting to move forward with the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone.

Health authorities in Germany have reported more than 900 new cases of the deadly coronavirus less than a week after lockdown restrictions were relaxed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Robert Koch Institute for public health and disease control has reported 933 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday – an increase from just 357 on Monday.

According to the Institute the infection rate – the so-called “R” rate – has been above one for the past three days.

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The rate means on average one person will potentially transmit the virus to one other individual.

The Institute for public health estimated the “R” rate was at 1.07 on Monday and 1.13 on Sunday.

The number indicates that 100 infected people would on average infect 107 others.

The EU faces an economic “catastrophe” if it fails to strike a Brexit trade agreement with Britain, Germany’s most powerful business lobby has warned.

The BDI, or federation of German industry, claimed progress towards a future relationship deal has been “completely inadequate”.

Its managing director Joachim Lang now fears there is a real chance the post-Brexit transition period will expire on December 31, 2020, without an agreement in place.

After the third negotiating round started yesterday, he warned: “It’s a realistic prospect that the lead negotiators will again be left empty handed at the end of this week.

“The coronavirus crisis has already cost very many jobs across Europe.

“If the Brexit transition phase expires without an agreement at the end of the year, it would turn an already difficult situation into a catastrophe.”

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