The Eurogroup insists on maintaining stimuli in 2021 despite vaccines

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The agency focuses its efforts on implementing measures to respond to the pandemic

The ministers of Economy and Finance of the eurozone (Eurogroup) have reiterated this Wednesday their commitment to maintaining economic stimulus throughout 2021 despite the “good news” about the imminent start of vaccination campaigns against the coronavirus, while they have advanced that they will not change this position until there is no guarantee that the pandemic has been overcome.

This has been certified in a statement that the heads of the Eurozone Economy have agreed during the meeting by videoconference that they have held this Wednesday and that will be the last of a year in which they have focused almost exclusively their efforts on implementing measures to respond to the impact of the pandemic.

“There is a high level of consensus among all ministers on the need to implement fiscal policies in the remainder of the year and also in 2021 that support the economy,” said the president of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, in a conference. press at the end of the videoconference.

The Irishman has detailed that the ministers share “concern” for the health of their citizens and also their economies, as well as for the “journey that still needs to be completed until vaccines are widely available.” “Only when we get to that point can we change our budget policies. But we are not at that point and we will not get there until we have more confidence about our health, our progress in tackling this disease, and about the availability of vaccines,” added Donohoe.

In a similar vein, the Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, pointed out that the “good news” about vaccines has ” boosted expectations about the recovery ” and pointed out that there could be “a quicker return of GDP to its previous levels. to the pandemic. “

However, he insisted that ” the vaccine will not be the end of the pandemic, but vaccinations ” and has warned that the economic outlook remains surrounded by “uncertainty” in the face of winter. “We could see the first green shoots of recovery in the first quarter of next years, but it still depends on some risks,” the Italian predicted.

Gentiloni has specified that also those countries that have a high level of public debt, such as Spain, must “maintain their stimulus policies” to face the crisis. This, he said, does not mean that “the debt problem does not exist”, but that the fiscal impulse to the economy must not be broken yet. Although it does not establish a date, the declaration agreed by the Eurogroup stipulates that the Member States should “progressively withdraw” the stimuli “when epidemiological and economic conditions allow it.”

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