Reuters: EU readies measures to help economy as coronavirus hits

17:58, 02 March 2020
World
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REUTERS

Paolo Gentiloni said there should be a "coordinated fiscal response" from European countries. It "has to be very timely. You can't take it too early, you can't take it too late," he told a news conference in Brussels, Reuters reported.

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"The EU is ready to use all the available policy options if and when needed to safeguard our growth against these downside risks," he said.

At the same briefing, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU's disease prevention agency had raised its assessment of coronavirus risks in the bloc to high, as the outbreak spread to most EU states.

"The ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) has announced today that the risk level has risen from moderate to high for people in the European Union. In other words, the virus continues to spread," she told reporters.

Health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said 2,100 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in 18 of the 27 EU states, and 38 EU citizens had died because of the disease.

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