Today, European heads of government are holding a video conference to discuss a European response to the crisis caused by the coronavirus. Leaders are expected to present a fiscal policy response to the severe economic shock, most likely through ESM precautionary credit lines. Yesterday, nine EU member states including France, Italy and Spain, but also Luxemburg, Ireland and Slovenia, have called on the President of the EU Council Michel for the introduction of Eurobond as funding for a common crisis response. On Tuesday, Eurozone finance ministers have failed to agree on an activation of ESM credit lines for member states in financial distress. Key disagreements are on the conditionalities attached to accessing the credit line and the volume of credit. Last week, Green MEPs had called upon the Eurogroup to come up with a strong EU fiscal policy response.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“In light of this unprecedented economic downturn, EU leaders must come up with a bold common fiscal response today. It is the same virus hitting all member states and people, therefore, we must not fall back into old divisions and must avoid austerity measures. Now is the time for European solidarity. A common Eurobond would be the best way to fund a genuinely European response to this severe crisis. Such a sharing of risks requires at the same time a bold step forward towards a common democratic governance of the Eurozone.”
MEP Ernest Urtasun, vice-president of the Greens/EFA group said:
“The EU leaders must send a clear message they will support every citizen within the European Union and the European economy as a whole. At this stage, the most powerful message of political unity and economic response is the creation of Eurobond. These common bonds should aim at financing the national health system in the short-term, but must also answer to the support to the European economy to recover from the coming vast and severe crisis. We can make full use of the 410 billion EUR available as ESM, and even increase this amount, to give support to unemployed people and companies from all over the EU and minimize the job losses and economic downturn.”
Link to our letter to EU heads of state: https://sven-giegold.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Open-letter-to-the-European-Council-26_3.pdf
Comment: Letter also co-signed by Ville Niinistö.
Link to last week’s letter to the Eurogroup: https://sven-giegold.de/open-letter-to-the-eurogroup-coronavirus/