Spain FM on coronavirus: ‘We have entered a stabilisation stage’

Published on April 18, 2020 by

It has been over a month since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

More than 120,000 people have died, and a cumulative total of nearly 2 million have been infected worldwide. The health emergency has also affected diplomacy and the global economy.

One of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic is Spain. It has had more than 18,000 deaths, despite a weeks-long government-imposed lockdown. Its already weak economy has declined further.

And, despite concerns by the World Health Organization, workers’ unions and opposition leaders, the Spanish government has announced a partial lifting of the lockdown restrictions.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has asked the European Union for help to tackle the economic fallout. Spain, along with Italy, France and other EU nations, wants to share the cost of the crisis through Eurobonds that all EU nations will have to pay off.

But some countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, oppose that plan, saying it will be a burden on their taxpayers. In an article published by newspapers across Europe, Prime Minister Sanchez warned that failing to respond with unwavering solidarity could push the EU to fall apart.

So, how will Spain overcome the challenges ahead? And will it succeed in its effort to unify the EU’s response?

Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya, talks to Al Jazeera.


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