EU summit: Is the future of the bloc really at stake?


IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, April 23: We look at what's at stake ahead of the EU coronavirus video summit. Also, The New York Times explains why the pandemic has exacerbated world hunger, nearly doubling the number of people who don't have enough to eat. Finally, an elderly couple on either side of the German-Danish border become local celebrities for their determination to see each other despite the lockdown!


EU leaders will be holding a summit this Thursday via video conference to figure out how to finance their response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Irish Times has a great explainer about the crisis, which as some leaders like France’s Emmanuel Macron have warned, may put the very future of the European project at stake. For Politico, at the heart of the crisis is Germany. So far it has "offered distressed countries little more than encouragement". Coupled with the EU’s slow response to helping Italy deal with the pandemic, Italy "might be forgiven for thinking" that leaving the eurozone is its only option, Politico says.

The New York Times is looking at how the pandemic has exacerbated world hunger. The UN’s World Food Programme predicts that a further 130 million people will go hungry due to the knock-on effects of lockdown, a drop in tourism, collapsing oil prices and the inability to work. Many fear that hunger will lead to widespread social discord.

We stay with the Times for this last story. It’s about an elderly couple living on either side of the German-Danish border. They've been separated since the beginning of lockdown, but that's not stopped the lovebirds from meeting up. Inga, the 85-year-old Dane, drives her car to the border, while Karsten, the 89-year-old German, rides his electric bike. Then, maintaining social distancing, the retirees regularly enjoy a date together. Their determination to see each other has made them local celebrities in the region, the Times says.

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