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Coronavirus

Germany: No EU Nation Left Behind in Recovery

BERLIN — Germany’s foreign minister has told his Italian counterpart that Berlin is determined to leave no European country behind as the continent tries to recover from the economic damage of the coronavirus crisis.

The two sought to put tensions from the early phases of the pandemic in Europe behind them. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio — making his first trip abroad since the lockdown — thanked Germany for having agreed to take in 40 critical patients to help relieve pressure on Italy’s overloaded intensive care units.

During the first weeks of Italy’s outbreak, both national and local authorities complained at what they said was a lack of EU solidarity in Italy’s time of need. The leader of hard-hit Lombardy at one point wrote a letter to the German health minister challenging him to make good on promises to help out by freeing up for export German-made ICU machines and protective equipment.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said it’s true in retrospect of Germany and others that “some things could have been more quickly and less bureaucratically.” But he focused on the future, pledging solidarity in the economic restart.

Maas said: “We built Europe as it is together, so we are firmly determined now not to leave any country in Europe behind – particularly those that were hit particularly hard by the pandemic.”

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