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Image caption Italy has been struggling with huge debt since before the coronavirus crisis. EU finance ministers have agreed a €500bn (£440bn) rescue package for European countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The chairman of the Eurogroup, Mário Centeno, announced the deal, reached after marathon discussions in Brussels. But the ministers failed to accept a demand from France and Italy to share out the cost of the crisis by issuing so-called coronabonds. The package is smaller than the European Central Bank had urged. The ECB has said the bloc may need up to €1.5tn (£1.3tn) to tackle the crisis. However, the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, hailed the agreement as the most important economic plan in EU history. Full story

9 April