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European Parliament in Strasbourg could become COVID-19 testing centre

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European Parliament in Strasbourg could become COVID-19 testing centre
Copyright  Jean-Francois Badias/AP Photos
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The European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg has been made available to become a COVID-19 testing and consultations facility.

David Sassoli, EP president, announced the buildings were being offered after talks with the French authorities.

"We wanted to be with our host city and its citizens in these difficult times," Sassoli wrote on Twitter.

Roland Ries, the mayor of Strasbourg, said that he was "deeply touched" by the announcement, calling the decision a "humanist gesture".

"The decision also a symbol of the mutual assistance that European countries must show in the fight against the epidemic," he added.

No date has been announced as to when the parliament buildings will reopen as a testing centre.

This comes as France nears 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 8,900 deaths.

The European Union has come under fire from some top European leaders, including Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar, for their response to the crisis.

“This is a symmetric recession – it's affecting everyone, if ever there was a time for Europe to have a coordinated common response based on solidarity it is now,” he told Euronews.

Ireland is among the group of nations, such as Italy and Spain, who are calling for 'corona bonds' to be introduced, which would share debt across the bloc.