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Macron says EU leaders will take ‘all measures necessary’ to tackle coronavirus

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French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on Tuesday evening after a conference call with EU leaders on the coronavirus outbreak, saying that European nations will do everything that is needed to slow the diseases spread. He also argued that “we musnt give in to panic”, criticising Austria and Slovenia for closing their borders with Italy.

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Macron said EU leaders have agreed to take "all measures necessary" to avoid economic instability caused by the coronavirus crisis, adding that "at the European level we will be more flexible in terms of state aid" and that countries' health ministers will speak to the European Commission on a daily basis. Nevertheless the French president also reiterated that "we musn't give in to panic".

Earlier on Tuesday Macron declared that "we are only at the beginning of this epidemic", after a surprise visit to the SAMU ambulance service at Necker hospital in Paris.

France is the second-worst-affected country in Europe after Italy – which has effectively gone into lockdown to stop the spread of the virus – and Culture Minister Franck Riester and five MPs are among those who have tested positive. Overall, the virus has killed 30 people and infected 1,606 in France.

European Council President Charles Michel said much the same after a video conference attended by EU leaders including Macron: "We stand ready to make use of all instruments necessary."

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen adopted a similar approach on Tuesday evening, announcing that a special EU investment fund will be set up for the coronavirus with €25 billion of funding, with €7.5 billion to be released immediately.

Reiterating that “we mustnt give in to panic”, Macron took aim at Austria and Slovenia for closing the border with Italy, Europes most affected country, saying they were making “bad decisions in doing so”.

Slovenia on Tuesday said it would close its 232-kilometre (144-miles)-long border with Italy, while Austria ordered a halt to flights and trains to the country that is the worst hit by the virus outside of Read More – Source