Carl Bildt: Coronavirus in Italy; EU-UK & the Hard Brexit Risk
Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, provides his perspective:
How is Italy coping with the coronavirus?
Well, it's difficult, but significant measures have been taken. I think the authorities are handling it as well as you could expect. There's a lot of information. There has been quarantining of quite a number of people. So, I think under control is to exaggerate, but fairly well handled by the authorities. But no question, it is a challenge. It is in the economic powerhouse of Italy. It is spreading across Europe.
What's the prospect for the EU-UK trade negotiations that is starting in a couple days?
Well, that looks fairly complicated. I think there has been a hardening of positions on the UK side and a very firm position on the EU side. So, I think there is a lot of pessimism concerning the possibility of actually concluding a reasonable agreement within the very tight timeframe set by the UK government. So, risks of a hard Brexit crashing out has actually increased. That's not good news.