The European Commission on Saturday approved a proposal by France to guarantee up to 300 billion euros ($323 billion) in state aid to ease the economic burden of the coronavirus.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president in charge of competition policy at the EU Commission said that the EU body approved three measures by France “to help its economy manage the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak”.
“These are expected to mobilise 300 billion euros of liquidity support for companies affected by this unprecedented situation… We are working around the clock with member states to enable them to take swift, effective and targeted action,” she added.
Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the European Union will impose an entry ban on travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days to battle the spread of the coronavirus.
Last week, US President Donald Trump has announced a suspension of all travel from most European countries for at least 30 days in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The ban excludes US citizens in Europe and travelers from the United Kingdom, and it also excludes cargo.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday the rights to coronavirus vaccine research were not for sale. The comments, made in an interview with media group Funke, come as scientists raced to develop a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus that has killed some 6,000 people, seen millions placed under lockdown and devastated global markets.
“German researchers play a leading role in drug and vaccine development and we cannot allow others to seek exclusive results,” Heiko Maas told Funke.
The novel Coronavirus outbreak has caused alarm as it has crossed global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic.
(With inputs from agency)