The leaders of nine European countries, including the Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and the Italian Giuseppe Conte, called for the creation of corona bonds, in a letter addressed Wednesday to the president of the European Council Charles Michel.
While countries are expected to be hit by a severe recession due to the coronavirus epidemic, the idea is to pool the debts resulting from this crisis.
“We have to work on a common debt instrument issued by a European institution to raise funds on the market […] for the benefit of all member states […] to deal with the damage caused by the coronavirus, “write the leaders.
“Solutions from 5 or 10 years ago”, according to Berlin
Besides France and Italy, the other seven countries to launch this call are Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Belgium, Luxembourg and Slovenia.
If this idea of corona bonds is accepted, it would be a first in the European Union. The member states whose debt is deemed to be the safest, led by Germany, have always refused to pool the risk for the benefit of countries deemed less virtuous, such as Italy.
The use of corona bonds was mentioned last week by Italy. But Germany, through the voice of its Minister of Economy, Peter Altmaier, had however swept away this possibility. “I can only recommend not to organize a false debate for ideological reasons, in which everyone digs up their preferred solution from five or 10 years ago,” he replied.
The President of the European Commission, the German Ursula von der Leyen, had been more open, saying that “everything that can help will be deployed” at European level.
PODCAST. How the coronavirus is tipping the global economy into the unknown