Merkel Warns Coronavirus Crisis 'still Just The Beginning'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her country must remain "clever and cautious" in handling the coronavirus crisis, as "it's not the end phase but still just the beginning".

"We will be with it for a long time," she warned parliament, ahead of an EU video summit on the crisis.

She stressed the need for European cohesion in fighting the virus.

And she said Germany should be ready to "make very different, meaning much higher contributions to the EU budget".

The extra funding should be provided "in a spirit of solidarity" and for a limited time, she said.

Italy, at the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe, has been especially vocal in urging its EU partners to jointly guarantee debt, as part of a huge rescue package.

But Germany, the Netherlands and Austria oppose any mutualisation of debt, in the form of so-called "coronabonds". Under current EU rules countries cannot be made liable for each other's debts.

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