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EU: Angela Merkel warns Europe against reimposing lockdowns ‘at any cost’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on European leaders to work together to avoid reimposing lockdowns in Europe as a resurgence of the coronavirus threatens already battered economies.

“Politically, we want to avoid closing borders again at any cost, but that assumes that we act in co-ordination,” Merkel said on Thursday during a visit to Emmanuel Macron at his presidential residence along the Mediterranean coast.

The meeting in person came as European authorities weigh reimposing lockdowns in Europe to staunch a fresh wave of infections. The bloc is torn between the need to confront a public-health crisis without delivering another blow to economies that cannot handle a second shutdown.

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The dilemma became apparent as tourist-reliant countries tried to reopen for the summer season only to be forced to shut down late-night partying as social gatherings and travellers were blamed for a spike in cases.

Merkel and Macron, who together helm the biggest economies in the euro, intervened in tandem to say the goal is to avoid repeating heavy-handed measures adopted during the initial peak of the pandemic in March and April.

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The French leader laid the groundwork on Tuesday in an interview with Paris Match, in which he made it clear that “we cannot shut down the country, because the collateral damage of confinement is considerable”.

“We have to have the same strategy and rules — that is a prevention strategy,” Macron said. “We want to avoid the errors that were made at the start of the crisis.”

Source: Angela Merkel