Italy bringing economy to a halt

In Italy, the European country worst hit by the corona crisis, the government has once again stepped up measures to contain the virus. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on the weekend that all businesses except those that guarantee essential goods and services must now close. The press wonders if this is the right approaach.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Don't create a famine

You can't just turn an economy off and on like a lamp, warns La Stampa:

“Closing down businesses is easy, reopening them is not. This is all the more true in a country with small and micro-businesses like ours. ... Negotiations with the social partners should aim to provide the best possible protection for workers. ... The conversion of companies so that they can be useful in the manufacture of masks or emergency equipment, but above all so that they don't not stop working, must be facilitated in every respect. ... We have never seen the economy come to a standstill like this, not even in times of war. Fighting the epidemic cannot mean creating a famine.”

Handelsblatt (DE) /

Government needs a precise strategy

Handelsblatt's Italy correspondent Regina Krieger questions whether this step was really necessary:

“Wasn't the dramatic night-time announcement more of a concession to public opinion than the pursuit of transparent crisis management? In Italy the discussion about this has begun. It will take decades for the country to recover economically from this crisis. If everything is shut down now, it will only get worse. One example among many is international supply chains. Entrepreneurs are rightly calling for us to think about the time after the crisis. Where is the liquidity supposed to come from, who will guarantees loans, and what about companies listed on the stock exchange? It's time for the Conte government to explain its actions and reveal a precise strategy - if it exists.”

T24 (TR) /

Factories are hotbeds for the virus

Turkey should follow Italy's example, news website T24 demands:

“In many places the workers are in close proximity to each another. ... In order to protect the health of factory workers, it is necessary either to stop production or to ensure social isolation at production facilities. If only the factories in Turkey would at least do the latter, but they won't. It's not all that difficult. Last week the Tofaş factory in Izmir introduced the one and a half metre distance rule. Of course this means that production speed must be reduced. ... Could that be the reason why the other factories and shipyards are not bothering with social distancing? It's unacceptable that the lives of millions of workers should be put at risk in the pursuit of profit.”