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Sun Mar 1, 2020, 11:39 AM

Friendly kissing poses European dilemma as virus spreads

By COLLEEN BARRY
2 hours ago

MILAN (AP) — When French President Emmanuel Macron leaned in to give Premier Giuseppe Conte the Italian double-cheek kiss not once, but on two separate occasions, during a Franco-Italian summit in Naples this week, it was much more than a greeting.

It was a signal to citizens not to fear their neighbors as a new virus from China spreads, with Italy established as Europe’s hotspot.

Friendly kissing in the time of coronavirus has become a fresh dilemma, especially in effusive southern Europe, with perhaps the power to reshape customs. But even more-reserved northerners are grappling with whether to forgo the hallowed handshake.

The government’s special commissioner for coronavirus, Angelo Borrelli, has suggested that Italians’ demonstrative nature could be contributing to the virus’ spread, with more than 1,100 people testing positive and 29 deaths, almost all in the country’s north.

https://apnews.com/b76b7e97cc6b3da0d2fa40a2e2b49503

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