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Nine EU leaders call for new eurobonds amid pandemic

France's, Italy's and Spain's leaders, among others, argue for common debt instrument to cover coronavirus spending

Agnes Szucs   | 25.03.2020
Nine EU leaders call for new eurobonds amid pandemic

BRUSSELS

Nine EU countries called for a common debt instrument against the economic impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The leaders of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Ireland addressed Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, in a joint letter.

EU heads of state and government will hold a video conference on Thursday to discuss further measures to tackle the health and economic crisis.

"We are all facing a symmetric external shock, for which no country bears responsibility, but whose negative consequences are endured by all," the nine leaders explained the reason why they asked for a common debt instrument issued by a European institution.

The leaders of France, Italy and Spain -- three of the bloc's four biggest EU economies -- are among the signatories.

The nine leaders also urged the creation of a coronavirus-related fund in the 2020 and 2021 EU budget.

Eurozone finance ministers already held talks on Tuesday about a possible bailout for economies severely hit by the economic downturn caused by the virus. EU leaders will follow up on the discussions in Thursday's meeting.

The European Stability Mechanism created during the Eurozone crisis might also be an option for providing jointly assured credit for countries in need.

The nine leaders' recent proposal on issuing Eurobonds is an additional step towards creating a fiscal union which Germany has traditionally opposed.

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