A farm leader has warned that Covid-19 will cause unprecedented economic hardship unless the European Union acts rapidly and in unison.
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association president Edmond Phelan said the immediate focus is on saving lives and slowing the spread of the virus.
Clear and decisive action is also needed to mitigate the potential for economic catastrophe, he said, urging Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to work in concert with other European Union leaders.
Mr Phelan called for a massive programme by the European Central Bank to increase the money supply in the Eurozone.
“This is not a time for the ECB to fiddle while Europe burns,” he said, warning that the impact of Covid-19 is already widespread with the closure of bars and restaurants, the collapse of tourism and the disruption of normal working patterns.
Mr Phelan said it is also vital the work of negotiating a trade deal between EU and Britain UK goes ahead.
“We can’t afford to put on the back burner. Brexit has caused enough disruption and the unfortunate deadline imposed by the UK means there is no room for delay,” he said.