Economic Response – europe & Uk

COVID-19 Economic Response: Europe and the UK

A telling factor of Europe’s economic response to COVDI-19 was when the head of the EU apologised to Italy and Spain, the countries with the highest death tolls in Europe, for being too slow to respond with economic aid. Yet some sources claim the EU did respond swiftly in making some funds available. The UK was also criticised as perhaps being too slow to react. But the criticisms are all coming after the event with 20:20 hindsight!

But to everyone’s credit, the information coming out of China and the WHO has proved to be highly unreliable and less than thorough or comprehensive. So information on how coronavirus would spread and how it would act and how fast, were all unknowns that countries have had to grapple with on a daily basis as the happened.

The EU redirected 865 EU for support to its member countries but much of the focus is on existing debt levels. Several of the countries worst hit by coronavirus, including Italy, have massive debts with the European Union. The coronavirus financial crisis comes right on the back of and in the midst of the euro crisis which started in 2010. With the prospect of widespread bankruptcies in their unique banking and treasury arrangement, the Eurogroup finally followed many other countries by directing funds to expenditure.

The UK of course, left the EU in January and was therefore left to implement its own economic response. The measure which attracted the most attention, especially globally, was the 85% wage subsidy scheme. This provided support to many Brits who found themselves quickly not-working when the country went into a widespread lockdown phase quite early.

The UK’s response also included an extensive list of funding and support across many sector with huge assistance to the NHS. With the UK experiencing a very high number of cases and deaths, the lockdowns will likely continue for some time, creating a serious economic situation for the recovery phase.

Adding to the UK’s woes, was the hospitalisation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as his COVID-19 symptoms worsened. Leaving a sometimes nervous Dominic Raab to lead the cabinet decision-making process. But the UK are proven resilient and the outpouring of love for the NHS workers is a sign that if anyone can come out of this pandemic well, it is the UK.