Roberta Metsola praises EU response to Covid-19, says action 'cannot be half-hearted'

PN MEP Roberta Metsola said “the cost of inaction or hesitation will be too high a price to pay”

 

PN MEP Roberta Metsola voting remotely in a special session of the European Parliament
PN MEP Roberta Metsola voting remotely in a special session of the European Parliament

Roberta Metsola has lauded the swift action by Europe in response to the coronavirus crisis, urging the EU to dig into its pockets to help small and micro businesses.

The Nationalist Party MEP said the only way to respond to the crisis was for Europe to be united in solidarity.

"That means doing everything we can to minimise the contagion, keep Europe’s supply lines functioning, ensure our healthcare systems have all the support they need and safeguard jobs at this critical time," Metsola said.

Speaking before an extraordinary European Parliament plenary session, she said the EU's response "cannot be half-hearted".

"We cannot be afraid to spend and we cannot hesitate to do whatever it takes to shore up our economies and people’s jobs," she said, urging member states to react quickly.

"The cost of inaction or hesitation will be too high a price to pay. Today, I join MEPs, remotely, to vote on one of the largest packages Europe has seen. We will launch a €37 billion fund to support healthcare systems, businesses and jobs. We will extend the EU solidarity mechanism to cover public health emergencies and we will ensure the necessary flexibility to safeguard airlines, including smaller fleets like Air Malta. This virus knows no borders or geography, so we want to make sure that there is no difference in response between larger and smaller member states. We are all in this together. This must be a blue-print for Europe in action, ” Metsola said.

Malta will be receiving an initial €50 million from the package.

The MEP went on to say that Europe needed to make sure that even micro businesses in smaller economies like Malta and Gozo were able to feel the benefits of this EU package.

“The speed with which Europe has responded and the unity of our response shows that Europe can respond in crisis and I am pleased that our Union has shown leadership in addressing the crisis... Our economies will bounce back from the shock of this crisis and we have to make sure that when this is over, people can go back to their way of life," she said.

More in Europe