Vestager concerned about EU north-south split on virus response

European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager told a small group of media outlets including ANSA on Friday she was "deeply concerned" about a north-south split in the EU on responding to the coronavirus's economic impact.

"This is a pandemic, it's a very different situation from anything else," she said. "We need an amnesty on the positions seen during the financial crisis. We need a debate without taboos, to understand what to do. We'll only emerge quickly from it if we help each other, otherwise it will take longer with very serious social consequences."

The EU is split between southern countries like Italy and Spain which have called for 'coronabonds' and northern deficit hawks like Germany, Netherlands and Finland which have ruled them out, ANSA recalls.

Vestager pointed out that it would take time for businesses to do without a state aid saying that aid of 2.24 trillion euros in national measures was "temporary because we aim to return to a single market without fragmentation, where businesses compete on the basis of merit. But it'll take time".

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