The France 24 news channel reported that the two camps sparred over the terms and conditions attached to eurozone credit for governments. At issue is the Italian demand that loans be free of any requirement for fiscal reform, and the Netherlands' refusal to countenance that.


Much of the acrimony surrounding the EU's north-south divide dates from the European debt crisis, which began nearly a decade ago, when strict austerity measures were imposed on many of the continent's southern countries


Closed borders, travel restrictions and the shutdown of restaurants and bars have been implemented across most of Europe in an attempt to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The impact of these measures is more severely felt in the southern countries, where tourism accounts for a higher share of nations' gross domestic product.

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