In a televised speech on March 18 German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the current crisis spread by the CCP Virus (Chinese Communist Party Virus) the main challenge facing the Germanic country “since the Second World War.”
The pandemic is currently having a particular impact in Germany, where so far more than 11,000 infections and around 20 deaths have been recorded.
“I truly believe that we will succeed in the task before us, so long as all the citizens of this country understand that it is also their task,” Merkel said, according to Deutsche Welle.
“So let me say this: The situation is serious. Please take it seriously. Since German unification, indeed since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action,” Merkel added.”
As a contingency measure, the German government decided to close the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Denmark and announced a nationwide closure of day care and schools until the end of the Easter holidays.
In addition, stores selling nonessential products or services were closed, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and some other essential businesses. While Merkel called the measures “dramatic,” she said they were “indispensable in protecting lives.”
European Union President Ursula Von der Leyen announced new rules, which exclude EU residents, family members, and medical staff and health-related specialists.
A law expert speaking for the British newspaper Express Uk said, “The EU is not able to cope with the systemic events of coronavirus, it is ill-equipped and is being handled at the level of member states.”
According to the newspaper, EU leaders have been criticized for not dealing with the situation efficiently enough due to the way the epidemic has spread on the old continent.
Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Center, said she expected more from European leadership after European leaders held a video conference to discuss issues related to the crisis.
“The European Council endorsed a limited Eurogroup statement and invited it to monitor developments and adopt a coordinated policy response to the rapidly evolving situation,” the European Policy Center official tweeted.
“THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. More collective action needed and the European Council as ‘decider of last resort’ must take the lead,” she added.
Daniel Kawczynski, a Conservative MEP from Shrewsbury and Atcham in England, said, “It shows clearly that those seeking to create a new supranational state have not solidified the project enough for major crisis and run the risk now of individual nations not seeing any substantive benefits from membership.