EU leaders go into extra time as tempers fray at coronavirus summit

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Proposals on the size and terms of a recovery fund have led to splits between member states

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron warned that they are willing to walk away from a summit of EU leaders as they arrived at the third day of a long and acrimonious debate on the terms of a €750bn (£682bn) pandemic recovery fund.

With the EU split between northern and southern member states as well as eastern and western, France’s president and the German chancellor both indicated their patience was waning despite the need to respond to the economic recession facing the bloc.

Epidemics of infectious diseases behave in different ways but the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed more than 50 million people is regarded as a key example of a pandemic that occurred in multiple waves, with the latter more severe than the first. It has been replicated – albeit more mildly – in subsequent flu pandemics.

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