Italy’s prime minister has told the BBC that the European Union risks failing as a project in the coronavirus crisis.
Giuseppe Conte says the EU must act in an adequate and co-ordinated way to help countries worst hit by the virus.
Mr Conte says the European Union needs to rise to the challenge of what he calls “the biggest test since the Second World War”.
This was his first interview with the UK broadcast media since the pandemic exploded in Italy seven weeks ago.
He was speaking as Italy and some other EU countries try to push more frugal members of the bloc to issue so-called “corona bonds” – sharing debt that all EU nations would help to pay off. The Netherlands in particular has opposed the idea, leading to a clash between finance ministers of the eurozone.