The head of the influential German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) on Thursday called for greater financial protection and solidarity for European nations that are more economically vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marcel Fatzscher said rapid action was key to helping countries such as Spain and Italy by making funds available through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) or through so-called “corona bonds”, a proposed common debt instrument designed to allow financially-strapped nations tackle the pandemic more cheaply.EFE-EPA