“The coronavirus epidemic is a natural catastrophe”, considers the German chancellor to go to the European funds for catastrophes
Everything except Eurobonds or the so-called ‘corona bonds’. Germany is ready to exhaust every last financial instrument of the European Union to help your partners most threatened, such as Spain, Italy or France, as well as the European Commission’s program to support them financially, before accepting the issuance of joint debt.
Chancellor Angela Merkel cleared all doubts by proposing the activation of the article of the European Treaties in the case of natural disasters that allows the granting by the European Commission of individual credits to affected countries. “The coronavirus epidemic is a natural catastrophe,” Merkel said at her first press conference after two weeks of preventive quarantine.
A day before the planned videoconference of the Eurogroup countries and like the governments of the Netherlands or Austria, the head of the German Executive insisted that instruments such as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) or the endorsements of the European Investment Bank for SMEs, as well as the European Commission’s program to support companies who apply ERTE to avoid layoffs.
The chancellor followed the same script as her foreign and finance ministers, Heiko Maas and Olaf Scholz, who published an article in various international media on Monday, in which they even calculated the aid that Rome and Madrid could obtain from the ESM: “for Italy, they would mean 39,000 million euros of fresh money and for Spain 28,000 million euros ».
Despite everything, Angela Merkel appealed to defend the European Union, which “faces the greatest test since its founding.” The pandemic is a «symmetric shock (…) In the long run, Germany can only do well if Europe does well, “said Merkel, for whom the only answer to this crisis is” more Europe. “