Weekly update: The EU acts on coronavirus

500 billion has been pledged to a recovery fund by France and Germany to support EU regions hardest hit by the effects of COVID-19. The fund will be borrowed by the European Commission and incorporated into the EU budget. More here (The Guardian).


Elsewhere


After a further string of COVID-19 cases at meat plants across Germany, the use of subcontractors has been banned and fines introduced for labour regulation breaches. Employees are also being mass tested.


Der Spiegel reported that the far-right AfD party has been seeking to take advantage of anti-lockdown protests in order to further the party’s agenda.


Some restaurants in Germany are now allowed to reopen with strict social distancing measures, although DW reported businesses in Berlin were struggling with a lack of customers.


A Baptist church in Frankfurt has become the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak after 40 cases were tied to a service on 10 May, despite social distancing measures.


The German Constitutional Court ruled that non-Germans are also protected by German constitutional rights and thus cannot be spied on by the BND intelligence agency. The BND will no longer be able to arbitrarily monitor the emails or other data of foreigners abroad.

Renewable energy has received a boost after the government removed a cap on state funding for solar energy and revoked legislation restricting the building of onshore wind turbines.

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