"A day of European solidarity and strength"
According to Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, the European Union will be giving "three strong responses" to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. He was speaking on Thursday evening, after the EU finance ministers reached agreement on a protection programme worth 500 billion euros. There are three parts to the programme:
- Assistance for small and medium companies via the European Investment Bank
- Support for workers through an instrument similar to the short-time work allowance in Germany
- Credit lines for states under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
"Today is a great day for European solidarity and strength," declared Olaf Scholz. The whole of humanity, and thus also Europe are facing the challenges posed by the coronavirus epidemic. It is important to find common responses. "This is about the health of the people, about job security and about ensuring that many companies survive this crisis."