Bundesliga: German Crowds To Be Reduced After Covid 19 Restrictions Reintroduced

Sam Fleming in Brussels

The coronavirus crisis risks exacerbating economic and social divisions within the EU and threatening the stability of the euro area, the European Commission has warned, as it predicted a deep collapse in economic output this year.

The commission’s spring forecast predicted that under “benign assumptions” EU output will fall 7.4 per cent this year, deeper than during the financial crisis, with a rebound of only 6.1 per cent in 2021. Compared with its autumn forecast, the EU is heading for a €850bn shortfall of investment in 2020 and 2021, the outlook showed.

The commission renewed its call for a pan-European “recovery plan” to complement national action aimed at compensating for diverging fiscal firepower between member states. “The risk otherwise is that the crisis will lead to severe distortions within the Single Market and to entrenched economic, financial and social divergences between euro area Member States that could ultimately threaten the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union,” it said.

The forecasts showed that Greece, Italy and Spain are on course for the steepest falls in gross domestic product this year, all tumbling by more than 9 per cent. By contrast, GDP in Poland will fall by 4.3 per cent, before rebounding by 4.1 per cent.

Overall, next year’s rebound could leave the European economy about 3 per cent below the level implied by the EU’s autumn forecast. But the outcomes could be even worse: for example, another surge in infections could reduce GDP by an additional 3 percentage points.

“The danger of a deeper and more protracted recession is very real,” the commission said. “The point forecasts presented in this document should therefore be understood as just one among several possible scenarios.”

Avoiding worsening economic divergences among member states will hinge in part on a coordinated response, said Paolo Gentiloni, economy commissioner. The commission is currently seeking to overhaul plans for its upcoming seven-year budget to front-load spending aimed at restoring growth, while raising debt in markets to fund an EU recovery instrument.

Source : https://www.ft.com/content/df97fa73-a2f0-3400-bb6c-a3794f1c1607

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