Europe at WAR: Coronavirus sparks EU nations to close borders – dump ‘European solidarity’

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
By Paul Martin

THE coronavirus outbreak has sparked major disputes across Europe with nations on the continent keen to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

Tue, Mar 10, 2020

Diplomatic spats have broken out between Germany and Switzerland and Austria and Italy as leaders attempt to do all that they can to stop the fatal disease spreading in their country. But tensions have reached boiling point as nations appear to drop their “European solidarity” and look out for their own in a desperate bid to tackle the coronavirus.

So much so, Austria has made the unprecedented decision to close its borders to coronavirus-hit Italy, which is currently on lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Italians will only be able to enter Austria if they have a medical certificate proving they are free of the coronavirus.

All flights and trains from Italy will also be stopped from entering Austria.

Mr Kurz also revealed Austrians returning from Italy would have to self-isolate for two weeks.

He said: “Regarding Austrians in Italy, we are currently organising a repatriation of these Austrians.”

Switzerland is also said to be planning to close its borders with Italy.

Meanwhile, Germany and Switzerland are locked in a dispute over Bern’s access to face mask in the fight against coronavirus.

It comes after Angela Merkel’s Government blocked a truck carrying 240,000 face masks entering Switzerland from Germany at the German-Swiss border.

Rainer Breul, spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office, said Germany wanted to “show solidarity here in Europe”, but the German government was keen to meet the needs in Berlin as a “priority”.

European neighbour Austria also waded into the row with its Economy Minister Margarete Schramboeck saying: “It can’t be that Germany is holding back products for Austria just because they happen to be stored in a German location.

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