Coronabonds: yes or no?
EU finance ministers will on Tuesday once again discuss the introduction of joint bonds in a bid to mitigate the economic consequences of the corona crisis. Italy and Spain are strong advocates of such eurobonds, while Germany and the Netherlands have so far rejected them. Commentators warn that the EU could run aground over this issue.
The biggest threat to the EU is Germany
Germany is exploiting the EU for its own purposes, complains journalist, politician and former MEP Traian Ungureanu on Adevărul's blog portal:
“If the EU had wanted to prove its purpose and strength, the epidemic would have been a great opportunity for it to do so. But no! ... The EU has come across as both impotent and arrogant. Germany and its prosperous satellites have doggedly refused to help Italy and Spain. ... In reality the EU is just an institution that runs at full speed to ensure Germany's economic success but then disappears into the garage when the wounds of other states need to be treated. By refusing to give the EU a comprehensive significance Germany and its satellites are proving to be the fiercest enemies of a real European Union.”
EU's survival is at stake
The German government is wrong to reject coronabonds, tagesschau.de criticises:
“The Germans should at least respond to the compromise proposed by the French, which allows for joint European debt limited to five or ten years. ... If things go badly this time the EU's very survival could hang in the balance. If the economies of Italy or Spain plunge into the abyss they'll drag all of Europe down with them. Including Germany, which benefits from this Europe more than anyone else. Now the German government can show that the EU really is a community that protects its members. In the interests of Italy, Spain - and itself.”
Stinginess is a virtue
The Netherlands and Germany have good reasons to refuse the Southern European countries' demands for Eurobonds, De Telegraaf argues:
“The well-known Dutch stinginess is also evident in the hostile attitude towards the countries of Southern Europe, which are being asked to turn on the money tap out of solidarity. It is not desirable that countries such as Italy and Spain with huge debts should be helped by Community commitments. In that way, the taxpayers of thrifty countries such as the Netherlands will also foot the bill. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra have admitted that their attitude towards the South was not sufficiently empathetic. That is pure cosmetics. Because they remain tough nonetheless. And they are absolutely right.”