Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez: The Agreement in Brussels of the Coronavirus Recovery Plan marks “one of the most brilliant pages ever written in EU history.” It is “a historic agreement for the economic recovery of our country [i.e., Spain], not only in offering a response to the COVID-19 crisis, but also to the transformations needed.” The Agreement is 95% satisfactory for Spain and 100% for the whole of the EU.
The EU economy will experience a deep recession this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Summer 2020 Economic Forecast projects that the euro area economy will contract by 8.7% in 2020 and grow by 6.1% in 2021. The EU economy is forecast to contract by 8.3% in 2020 and grow by 5.8% in 2021. Early data for May and June suggest that the worst may have passed. The recovery is expected to gain traction in the second half of the year, albeit remaining incomplete and uneven across Member States.
Those who have died in the pandemic “deserve to be remembered; they deserve our lasting remembrance.” An even bigger tribute to the fallen would, however, be “for us to live together in harmony.”
On 2 May, the Government of Spain has given us back a small fraction of our pre-COVID19 freedom. We were let out of our homes for a few hours. It was the beginning of the desescalada. The beginning of something that we don’t know for sure what. But it’s something that feels precious because somehow it smacks of rebirth. In the middle of all the uncertainty, there was one thing unequivocal: a deep sense of gratitude. We wouldn’t be here now, out on our first true taste of sunshine and the soft breeze of spring, without the healthcare workers who have put their own lives on the line so we could live. Their heroism is breathtaking. We’ve lived by the rules so that we all could live even though some of us hadn’t been able to make it. And we grieve for them.
Piazza San Marco: solemn, majestic, always full of tourists, now incredibly empty. Whatis there left for us these days? Perhaps the knowledge that the absurd
frenzy of our life, racing towards emptiness, is not inevitable.
The more successful the containment policies are, and the flatter the infection curve is, the deeper the economic recession becomes. The positive note: there may even be long-term benefits from the lifestyle changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic which are bound to generate innovation and productivity increases; they will be there long after the crisis has passed.
As the world’s largest economy reels from the pandemic, businesses have been shut down, schools and colleges have been emptied and society’s social life has been suspended. And Trump announced an extension of the anti-virus guidelines until April 30th. But after all is said and done, what will “normal” look like in the months ahead?
“The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus “a global public health emergency”. The good news is that trials of a Zika vaccine will likely start in September this year (2016) though a vaccine ready for the general public won’t be available until the beginning of 2018. “