ATHENS - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and eight other EU leaders signed a letter to European Council President Charles Michel calling for emergency measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus and for the issuance of a European bond to raise funds to fight the virus and its repercussions on European economies, it was made known on Wednesday.
Besides Greece, the letter is signed by the president of France and the prime ministers of Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.
Urging the European Commission, through the letter, to coordinate action on the pandemic, they nine EU leaders particularly called for the collection and exchange of medical and virus-related information and for a joint strategy that will address the spread of the disease.
The leaders said that the extraordinary social and economic measures they are implementing in their countries have slowed down the economy, including the production of basic goods. They committed to keeping internal EU borders open to the movement of goods.
They also however stressed the need for a joint bond, a "coronabond", as they called it, to be issued by a central institutional body the EU. This will guarantee the amassing of capital to the benefit of all partners and allow for the funding of policies meant to soften the effects of the pandemic on the economies.
The coronavirus pandemic, they said, is "a symmetric external shock" for which no country bears the responsibility, yet all are affected by it adversely.