- Nearly 530,000 cases confirmed worldwide with almost 24,000 deaths
- European Union leaders failed to agree on a fiscal deal to offset the economic turmoil caused by the outbreak
Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)
00:16 French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Twitter that he and US President Donald Trump are preparing “a new strong initiative” in the coming days to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
00:02 Car production in the United Kingdom is expected to drop more than 15% due to the coronavirus crisis, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said. Full-year output was already expected to decline slightly to 1.27 million vehicles this year, but it could now fall to 1.06 million assuming the UK secures a zero-tariff deal with the EU, SMMT said.
“The impact could be far more severe if the crisis, and therefore shutdowns, were to last for months instead of weeks,” it said.
The auto industry is Britain’s biggest exporter of goods and employs more than 800,000 people. Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan builds over half of the country’s cars at factories in central and northern England.
00:00 EU leaders couldn’t agree on fiscal measures to prop up Europe’s economies after a six-hour video conference. Germany and the Netherlands blocked a call from Italy, Spain and France to issue joint debt to help finance recovery, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel instead proposing the utilization of the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund.
EU leaders ultimately decided to give themselves two more weeks to work out the dispute between ailing European members in the south and the fiscally conservative north.
dv/stb (Reuters, dpa, AFP)
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