Brussels. EU state representatives want to discuss a uniform approach in their reaction to the coronavirus wave in China on Wednesday. The announcement was made by the current Swedish Presidency of the Council on Monday in Brussels. The main issue is how to deal with people entering the country from China. The French government urged other EU countries on Sunday to test travelers coming from China for infection with the virus.
Transport Minister Clement Beaune justifies his demands by saying that passengers from China can travel to France without being tested by other countries. “That’s why we have to coordinate so we can be more effective.” At French airports, travelers from China are already being tested for the virus. Italy and Spain have also reacted with corresponding regulations.
Supply chain impact warning
So far, Austria sees no reason to do so. On Monday, during a visit by Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to Vienna, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) called for concerted EU action on this issue. “Most EU countries don’t have regulations. I don’t think that’s necessary at the moment,” he said.
German Ulrike Malmendier warned of the economic consequences of the new wave in China and called for an emergency plan. “If Chinese ports and factories close because almost all workers are sick, there will be dramatic economic consequences,” said the economist from the US University of Berkeley to the German “Handelsblatt”. In their view, supply chains would collapse again and thus prices for raw materials and intermediate products would rise enormously.
In early December, the Beijing government announced an abrupt departure from its strict Covid-zero policy under pressure from protests and a declining economy. Since then, a corona wave has been rolling through the country of about 1.4 billion inhabitants. (apa)