Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel says her Country should prepare for the worst times at the hands of the Corona Virus pandemic in the coming weeks.
Chancellor Merkel says Germany should remain clever and cautious in handling the pandemic, adding that its not the end phase but just beginning, calling for appropriate budgeting.
"We'll have to live with this virus for a long time," Ms Merkel told parliament ahead of an EU summit, via video link. European Union leaders are expected to sign off on a new €540bn (£470bn; $575bn) emergency fund to protect European workers, businesses and countries worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
The €540bn would be released through EU institutions that already exist, including the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the main bailout fund set up in response to the 2008 financial crisis.
European Council President Charles Michel told leaders they should aim to start releasing the funds by 1 June. However, the modality of giving out the money is already contested, after Italy and some other states want the money in aid grants, not loans. The scale of the crisis is such, they argue, that at least €1.5 trillion will be needed.
Italy remains at the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe, has been especially vocal in urging its EU partners to jointly guarantee debt. Italians feel abandoned by the EU
The old rifts from the eurozone crisis of 2009 - have re-emerged with this outbreak. The view from Rome is that a shared crisis needs a shared solution.
Facing fierce opposition mainly from Germany and the Netherlands, Italy may no longer be wedded to its idea of "coronabonds" - debt mutualisation - but is still pushing for a financial package that does not penalise any single economy.
Many Italians feel abandoned by an EU that has hoarded protective equipment and closed borders.