Italy rejects EU draft proposal on Economic response for anti-coronavirus strategy  [The Nation] 27 Mar, 2020

Italy, currently under a strict quarantine, remains the most COVID-19-affected European nation, with over 70,000 confirmed cases and 7,505 deaths. Italy rejected the draft of the EU's economic plan designed to tackle the aftermath of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The refusal came in astatementmade by Italian PM Giuseppe Conte during a video-conference with EU leaders on Thursday, according to Il Tempociting national government sources. Conte noted that COVID-19-related economic recommendations from the EU are "too timid" and noted that the reaction to the pandemic must involve "innovative financial instruments". The PM gave Brussels ten days to come up with an 'adequate solution', but did not comment on what action would be taken if the EU fails to suggest one,according to Reuters. Italy's previous offer for several EU countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and others to issue joint debt amid the pandemic was rejected,Financial Post reports. "What are we going to say to our citizens, if Europe fails to be united and powerful in the face of the shock this unpredictable?" Conte asked leaders during the video conference,according to Il Tempo. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Italy has receivedhumanitarian and medical aid from Russiabeginning last week, an actionpraised by the Italians across the nation.Russian military specialistsarrived in Bergamo, where an Italy-Russia coronavirus response centre is now deployed, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence. Italy is severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak with over 74,000 cases of infection and at least 7,505 fatalities registered, according toWorld Health Organization data.

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