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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her concern about upcoming hurdles for the bloc in tackling the coronavirus aftermath. Coronavirus’ impact will be long felt in the European Union as key economic member states were struck hardest by the virus. Germany is also expected to take over the position of Presidency of the Council of the European Union in June.
Ms Merkel has insisted, under her presidency, the bloc will take a global responsibility in handling the fallout of coronavirus.
She noted this was particularly important despite tensions between the EU and the US.
While speaking to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung think tank by video link Ms Merkel also explained she was concerned the coronavirus pandemic could strain geopolitical tensions.
She said: “The United States of America is Europe’s most important partner.
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“I am, of course, aware that cooperation is currently more difficult than we would like.
“This is true in the field of climate, in the field of trade, and also currently on the question of the role of international organisations in the fight against the pandemic.
“In many places, the pandemic will intensify existing conflicts and problems.
“This will also become a stress test for the European Union.”
Euronews’ Jessica Saltz also remarked on the feelings in Europe towards Ms Merkel taking over later this year.
Ms Saltz said: “Angela Merkel has acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic is the toughest crisis that the European Union has ever faced.
“Therefore she has very ambitious plans to try and overcome it.”
Ms Saltz also explained the expected reception from the news Ms Merkel will be pushing for ambitious tactics to curve the impact of the virus.
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She continued: “Many in Europe will probably be feeling quite glad that Angela Merkel, the longest-running leader in Europe and known as a figure of stability, will be guiding the way when Germany takes over the European Council Presidency out of this crisis.
“She has ambitious plans to overturn and renew health systems in Europe.
“But she also has plans to spend billions of Euros to help beleaguered nations even if this means, in part, marginalising European debt.
“This is something we would have never heard the Germans agreeing to even a couple of years ago.
“I think Angela Merkel has learned quite a few lessons over the years.”
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