Issued on: 01/07/2020 – 07:57Modified: 01/07/2020 – 07:58
Germany takes over the European Union's six-month presidency Wednesday, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel staking her legacy on a massive economic recovery plan to help the bloc cope with the coronavirus fallout.
Merkel's last major role on the international stage comes as the 27-member club faces its deepest recession since World War II, triggered by a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 people globally.
The crisis has galvanised Europe's most powerful leader who, with just over a year left in her final term, has ditched her usual wait-and-see approach to call for "extraordinary measures" to weather the storm.
"Europe's future is our future," Merkel said Monday as she stood beside French President Emmanuel Macron to push for a 750-billion-euro ($843 billion) coronavirus recovery fund.
Analysis: German EU presidency brings 'sigh of relief' to coronavirus-..