EU tries to save aid plan as global deaths surge

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EU leaders will resume their fractious summit on Monday to save an US$860 billion coronavirus aid plan, hoping to offset some of the economic destruction unleashed worldwide by the pandemic.

The disease has killed more than 600,000 people globally out of nearly 14.5 million known infections, and with new clusters across the planet, alarm is growing about the virus spreading out of control.

Europe remains the worst-hit continent, with more than 200,000 deaths, but there is bitter dispute among European Union leaders on how to help its worst-hit – and most indebted – members such as Italy and Spain.

“Are the 27 leaders, responsible for the people of Europe, capable of building European unity and trust?” EU Council President Charles Michel asked the attending leaders, reminding them of the human cost of the crisis.

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