To ensure that all EU countries can do what is necessary to fight the economic fallout of the pandemic, the fiscal costs of this crisis must be shared.

If all countries are being hit by the same problem then why must the fiscal burden be shared? If there were an asymmetry then sure, the better off – or more lightly hit – might well consider aiding the worse off. But if it’s the same for all then why run it through the centre?

Lucas Guttenberg
Deputy Director, Jacques Delors Centre


12 thoughts on “Err, why?”

  1. This is a request that all other countries in the EU subsidise Spain and Italy although the majority are poorer than they are. Probably it will involve a smaller subsidy to France as well.
    The Delors institute is a bit of an anti-Robin Hood – take from the poor to give to the rich.

  2. Italy’s economy has been on the brink (or should that be blink?) for several years, with borrowing straining the EU’s fiscal limits, and our credulity as well. When the Corvid dust has settled, what state will it be in? I’m not sure even Germany is wealthy enough to bail out the Italian economy, and that’s assuming there were the political will to do so.

  3. Thanks to the incompetence of the Italians, we have vast numbers of people suffering from Coronavirus all over Europe. Made worse by the demands for continually open borders. (In the UK we can blame the incompetents at PHE and their desire to inflict herd immunity on us). Why should the Germans, who appear to be on course to weather the storm rather better, pay for the incompetence of the Italians? The sooner the Euro collapses and the Euroweenies punished for their centralising idiocy, the better.

  4. BBC has an article trying to shame the Dutch for their less rigorous lockdown, including a complaint it shows a lack of empathy with the Italian suffering.
    It also mentioned the numbers in Netherlands were a similar pattern to Belgium which has a much more restrictive lockdown which to me suggests the Dutch have it right

  5. @ken

    PHE and Prof “Doom” Ferguson were and are opposed to herd-immunity. We should all remain locked up forever to protect the NHS

    Japan, Sweden, Taiwan: Keep Calm and Carry On – no lockdowns and no ill effects

  6. Pcar

    PHE are idiots. If they are opposed to herd immunity, they should have locked down the borders and tested those coming in and made everyone quarantine for two weeks. The only way this is going to play out is

    1) Herd immunity
    2) Prevent all but goods related international travel after R0<1 with lockdown and stringent testing, then wait for a reliable test to allow for control of movement. Hope that a vaccine can be produced and that anti viral treatments get better.

    Covid is now endemic, which means we're going to keep getting waves of it even if domestic cases can be kept under control. Which is why stamping it out was so important, but thanks to the Italians, we're stuffed.

    Japan looks like they are going to go down the lockdown route.

    The problem for those countries that have managed to prevent the spread – China, South Korea and Taiwan is that the endemic nature of covid means that new outbreaks requiring lockdowns remain a possibility.

  7. We can’t afford this fuckwit lockdown Ken–never mind more of them.

    Protect the vulnerable and the rest of us take our chances.

    If the words coro and pandemic had never been heard this would have been a just a bad winter flu.

  8. @Mr Ecks

    Possibly. We’ll know more when we get better data. What is clear is that allowing it to overwhelm a healthcare system is bad.

    The Italians have successfully managed to get their 80+ death rate to 28% and their 70-79 death rate to 20% and the death rate of those over 60 to 7%. These are roughly double where they should be. Since 2/3 of the deaths in Italy are Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, we can extrapolate that when the disease hits a significant proportion of the population it overwhelms the available care. These rates are far higher than expected death rates in the underlying populations.

    Given the death rates in Lombardy, we can extrapolate the likely infection rates in Lombardy (population 10 million) at somewhere between 500,000 (5%) and 1.8 million (18%). Fast spread is likely bad.

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