Speaking on the eve of the EU summit, Pope Francis urged on April 22 for Europe to stand united amid the coronavirus pandemic, indicative of the divisive economic stimulus package. He said that he was praying for the European fraternal unity ahead of the bloc’s response meeting to the health crisis. The 28 member blocs have had strenuous relations over the chief powerbroker of the continent as countries stood divided over EU commission president with experience and credibility, media reports confirmed.
Speaking to his daily morning Mass, which is dedicated to subjects related to coronavirus pandemic, Pope said, "at this moment in which unity is very necessary between ourselves and between nations, we pray today for Europe, so that Europe might succeed in creating this fraternal unity dreamt of by the founding fathers of the European Union.” Further, he warned that the bloc could risk collapse if it did not recover from the differences. Pope had expressed concerns about the European Union the second time in 10 days on his mass address, according to reports.
The EU has reportedly witnessed a bitter split between the fiscally conservative north that rejected the southern state's concerns for the controversial pooled debt instruments known as "coronabonds". Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was quoted saying that the European Union will need elaborate efforts to overcome the historic shock of the coronavirus crisis. Ahead of the EU summit scheduled for April 24, he said while speaking on a video conference, “We are experiencing the biggest shock since World War II, and Europe has to come up with an answer."
Not just that, the EU finance ministers thus far have been unable to reach agreement on a bailout plan to help hard-hit member states across Europe, confirmed media reports. "After 16 hours of discussions, we came close to a deal but we are not there yet. I suspended the Eurogroup and (we will) continue Thursday," Eurogroup chief Mario Centeno said in a press conference. The North versus South split on burden-sharing has divided the allies.
(With AP Inputs)