The leaders of Germany and France took a step this week towards a form of integration that has for decades eluded the European Union. It may well save the bloc, and its common currency, from an untimely demise—and it’s all thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a joint press conference on Monday (May 18), Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron proposed a €500 billion ($549 billion) “recovery fund” that would distribute grants to the hardest-hit regions and sectors of the EU. That’s a lot of money—enough, in fact, to give roughly €1,000 to every man, woman, and child in the EU.

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