Covid-19 Daily Report / 03/04/2020 / Auxipress

Covid-19 Daily Report 03/04 - Media update on the crisis

In this daily report, Auxipress gathers the key facts and figures of the Coronavirus crisis in the Belgian news.The following report is based on the analysis of the media agendas to evaluate the media visibility of the coronavirus. This methodology is based on the monitoring of almost 90 sources of printed and online press.

Number of articles over time

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Evolution of the main media issues related to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis

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Media agenda

Media agenda: overview of the themes present in the total daily media context. i.e. the themes are not specifically linked to the coronavirus.

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The Flemish countervote was not justified

More than one source comments on Belgium's abstention in the EU Council vote on reorienting unused EU funds towards the corona crisis. In De Standaard, Assistant Professor EU Law Merijn Chamon refutes that the Belgian abstention was justified. Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon singlehandedly decided to block Belgium’s vote because not enough money would go to Flanders and too much would go to Wallonia, compared to how hard the respective regions are hit by the coronvirus. This reasoning makes no sense, as the distribution of the money had already been decided long before, and the Commission simply proposed to not reclaim unused funds. The only signal Belgium provided was that it is dysfunctional. Levif.be points out that the N-VA did not hide its satisfaction about “the European Commission’s better comprehension, based on our constructive criticism,” as MEP Geert Bourgeois (EPP) put it. President von der Leyen proposed that member states would be able to redirect the unused financing as they see fit.

Research aspects of corona

Trends Tendances observes a comprehensive mobilisation among scientists and international health organisations to find a corona vaccine. The battle, however, displays some fragmentation as inward-looking attitudes resurface on both sides of the Pond. Europe is trying to be heard, as Commissioner Gabriel is going to great lengths to find money and involve supercomputers to win time. Many European laboratories are also involved in the research.

Consequences of the coronavirus crisis on the supply chains

Trends Tendances devotes some attention to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis on the supply chains. Some sectors are deeply hit and had to stop while others report increases. Borders remain open for trucks. There are traffic jams at some of them as France asks truck drivers to have a certificate as well. Germany also carries out health controls at borders which lead to jams. The European Commission wants to create logistics corridors to improve the flow of supplies to the stores. European rules allow temporary exceptions. 

Glasgow climate conference postponed

Grenz Echo announces that due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Glasgow climate conference has been postponed. It was planned to take place in Glasgow, in November, but will be moved to a further date next year. COP-26 is an important summit, as states are expected to make their climate plans more ambitious in order to meet the Paris Agreement objectives. Despite this postponement, the European Commission will stick to its timeline and present a new European climate objective for 2030, as Executive Vice-President Timmermans announced in Brussels. He also called the postponement a sensible decision.

Migration in Greece

Two sources focus on migration in Greece. De Tijd reports on the health situation in refugee camps in Greece, where migrants are not able to apply the necessary measures to not get contaminated by the coronavirus. One camp has been hermetically closed because 24 persons tested positive to the virus. Aid organisations warn about the humanitarian catastrophe that could take place if Covid-19 quickly spreads in overpopulated camps. NGOs want the migrants to be evacuated as soon as possible. The Greek situation is the tip of the iceberg. Just before the coronavirus crisis, Turkey sent thousands of migrants to Greece in order to put pressure on Europe so that it would continue to give financial support to host 3.6 million Syrian refugees. On a related note, L'Avenir writes that Greece put an end to the controversial suspension of the asylum request procedure, which was adopted in March for one month after Ankara decided to open its boundaries to migrants.

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