Sunday, May 28

Brussels bets on the “gradual” withdrawal of economic support measures for the pandemic

Brussels already warns. The times of the open bar for public spending are coming to an end. As well as those of the expansion of economic aid to alleviate the consequences of the pandemic. The escape clause by which the Stability and Growth Pact is kept on hold will be activated throughout 2022. But in 2023 the pact will be recovered, which is already being renegotiated, and it remains to be seen how the debt and deficit ceilings remain, which now they stand at 60% and 3% of GDP.

France, Spain and Italy are betting on a relaxation of the pact, while the countries of the north, as was evidenced this Monday in Madrid with the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, do not seem very for the work.

In any case, Brussels is already asking to end the expansionary phase. “We hope that economic growth will continue this year and the next. Consequently, the conditions are in place to gradually withdraw the support measures,” said the economic vice-president of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, after meeting with the finance ministers of the 27 (Ecofin).

The French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, added on the Stability Pact: “The issue that arises is the schedule for deleveraging. The question that arises is the one that is going to be omnipresent in the debates between the EU 27 and the 19 euros. The question is at what pace, following what calendar”.

“The Commission has not called for a withdrawal of the measures,” Calviño said on Monday night, after the Eurogroup, “but for them to progressively focus more and more on those sectors and those companies that really need it. definitively, that they adapt to the evolution of the pandemic, which we have been doing”.

Regarding the debate on fiscal rules, open and pending agreement among the 27 to renew the Stability and Growth Pact, now on hold until 2023, Calviño explained: “I see a great will on the part of all the Member States to find a basis that can serve to achieve that great consensus that we all want There has been an enormous openness on the part of all the Member States to improve the procedures and the operation of these rules, to make them more transparent, simpler, more understandable and easier to There has been a repeated reference to the need to have rules that are adapted to the specific situation of the different countries and that there is a reinforcement of the appropriation of these rules by the population of the Member States in the future ” .

Thus, the economic vice-president understands that the debate “is not mature on the details. We are in a preliminary debate phase in which what I do note is the constructive and open attitude of all the Member States to address a review of the rules that all we see necessary to respond in a practical way to the changes that have occurred in response to the pandemic, among other reasons”.