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European Parliament Approves $40 Billion Emergency Package


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wears protective gloves during a special session of the European Parliament to approve special measures to soften the sudden economic impact of COVID-19, in Brussels, Belgium, March 26, 2020.

The European Parliament on Thursday evening passed a $40 billion emergency package to help countries and their citizens most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only President David Sassoli returned to the building from protective quarantine for the extraordinary plenary session, while members cast their vote by email.

The so-called Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative is intended to help people and businesses cope with the crisis.

The package includes an extension of the EU Solidarity Fund for public health emergencies in Europe.

Members of European Parliament also approved temporary suspension, until October, of an EU rule requiring air carriers to use 80 percent or more of their flight slots during a year to keep them.

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