The failure of EU leaders to come up with a joint economic response to the coronavirus crisis unleashed widespread criticism in Italy on Friday, with newspapers slamming Europe's foot dragging.
Germany and the Netherlands will lead opposition to issuing joint bonds to help revive the European Union economy from a deep slump caused by the coronavirus when the bloc's national leaders discuss emergency assistance on Thursday (26 March).
Countries of the euro area are close to an agreement to use the European Stability Mechanism to provide credit lines of up to 2% of their GDP to tackle the consequences of the coronavirus COVID-19.
EU member states took the unprecedented decision to suspend the Stability and Growth Pact obligations on Monday (23 March), in order to allow billions of euros in extra spending to mitigate the "severe economic downturn" caused by the coronavirus.
The European Commission proposed for the first time on Friday (20 March) the activation of the general escape clause that would ‘pause’ the adjustments member states have to do to meet their fiscal targets and allow them to spend "as much as they need".
The European Commission is ready to consider backing common debt issuance in the eurozone to help the bloc weather the massive economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, its president said on Friday (20 March).
Germany and The Netherlands, two of the most staunch opponents to the idea of issuing common debt in the eurozone, would be “open” to discuss eurobonds to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus COVID-19.