Friday, May 29, 2020

Italy and Spain stand for lack of solidarity within the EU (Júlia Manresa Nogueras)

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The cracks from the previous decade’s financial crisis were not sealed, and the coronavirus has found room to widen. With the added technical difficulties of video conferencing, the leaders of the European Union were unable to agree on a joint economic response plan for coronavirus yesterday. And before finishing empty-handed, they decided to give themselves two weeks to submit new proposals. The story is repeated with a confrontation between north and south, between “ the rich and the poor ”, as the European Commission chairwoman Ursula von der Leyen said premonitionally, in a pre-summit speech criticizing the “ painful “Lack of solidarity with EU members over coronavirus.

The Twenty-seven was already split up at a gathering on the table with differing views on the extent of the economic strategy that the EU must adopt to address not only the health crisis caused by the pandemic, but also the economic recession, which is taken for granted. On the one hand, Italy and Spain, the two countries currently most affected by the pandemic, are calling for a joint ambitious solution that shares risks and non-conditions, a European debt instrument that will finance economic stimuli against the coronavirus and mutualize debt. , the coronabons.

In addition, Spain has endorsed the proposal of the Marshall Plan to promote recovery, which yesterday Von der Leyen said had to be included in the EU’s multi-year budget, which is yet to be agreed. Beside Spain and Italy are seven more countries, which on Wednesday signed a letter addressed to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, a Michel who, after Italy’s rejection, forced the agreement to seek new proposals from the finance ministers. and to the presidents of the European institutions for 15 days. Two weeks to respond to a crisis that is already compared to that experienced after World War II.

This is the only thing that the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, did, which refused to fully sign a document, which only intended to somehow use credit lines from the European Rescue Fund (MEDE), the proposed lows the Eurogroup. A proposal “insufficient” in the eyes of Spain and Italy, but more than enough in the eyes of Germany and the Netherlands, which kept the pulse in Rome and Madrid. The two countries within the budget discipline bloc are opposed to any mechanism that involves sharing risks through common borrowing, despite increasing pressure in this direction by the European Central Bank and the nine countries on the other block. . Initially Spain and Italy seemed ready to yield in some way to the use of the rescue fund (as long as it was not tied to any condition and was joint), but neither Berlin nor The Hague wanted to activate it unconditionally and finally the reference disappeared. of the text. Germany and the Netherlands believe that those in the south have failed to meet the “moral” obligation to sanitize finances during growth and therefore cannot now deal with the crisis. But they themselves subscribe to the document, as this crisis presents an “unprecedented challenge” that affects “all countries” and assures, like the G-20, that they will do “everything necessary”. The debate is about deciding what is needed, and in the meantime, the crisis worsens.

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