EU and the Corona – Crisis

Ex-German Finance Minister Confirms Support for EU Economic Recovery Plan to Tackle COVID-19 Crisis

by Oleg Burunov
May 25, 2020
Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron proposed that a hefty recovery fund should be set up to shore up EU economies struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has confirmed his support for a Franco-German economic recovery plan worth €500 billion ($545 billion) to help the bloc’s member states tackle the coronavirus crisis.
“We now have a new situation. If Europe wants to have any chance at all, it must now show solidarity and demonstrate that it’s capable of acting. Germans have a huge interest in seeing Europe get back on its feet”, Schaeuble was quoted by the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag as saying on Monday.The ex-German Finance Minister, who reportedly remains an influential figure within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, pointed out that he “argued very much in favour” of the plan during internal discussions, adding that one should not be concerned over the blueprint possibly posing a moral-hazard risk.

This isn’t Europe’s ‘Hamilton’ moment

By Sony Kapoor
OSLO — The Franco-German plan for a €500 billion “recovery fund” has been welcomed with superlatives such as “Hamiltonian,” “stunning,” “a game changer” and the somewhat slightly less hagiographic “surprisingly ambitious.” In actual fact, it is just a damp squib.
The appropriate criteria by which to judge such a proposal are 1) Is it big enough? 2) Is it timely? 3) Does it set a powerful new precedent? 4) How does it fare in the context of the times? and the 5) What is its long-term impact? Sadly, the recovery fund falls far short of even “adequate” on all five.
Let’s start with the fund’s size. The coronavirus has trigged a global economic crisis in which the economies of some EU countries could shrink by between 10 percent and 20 percent. The recovery fund’s €500 billion amounts to a mere 3.5 percent of EU GDP to be distributed over three to four years. That’s not a game-changer.

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Mathew D. Rose – Germany: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Here we go again. A new European Union great Liberal Democracy Extravaganza starring Angela Merkel. Once more liberal democrats and mainstream media enthuse, this time about the “Hamiltonian Moment”, not that any of them know anything about Alexander Hamilton, beyond maybe having seen the Broadway musical, but probably not even that. Nevertheless it is the cant of the day.
It is not worth speculating what will eventually become of this newest bazooka from Berlin, which is keeping the talking heads and political pundits busy. What is however well worth looking at is the probable political resonance in Germany. And we have been here before.
Once again, as so often before, we read that even Ms Merkel’s closest advisors were surprised by her unexpected decision: by the lonely leader who rises above all other mortals and scenarios. All of this is garnished with hyperbolic comments such as “courageous”,” truly in the spirit of the European Union”, real solidarity, game changer, etc.