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Many EU Countries Unblocked To Stimulate Economic Recovery

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Many countries gradually unblocked

As the new crown pneumonia epidemic showed signs of easing, many EU countries gradually eased restrictions in May: France entered the second phase of lifting isolation measures, and many states such as Berlin, Germany began to implement minor releases, and Austria also eased epidemic restrictions. Spain basically resumed normal economic and social life in early May. In Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom and other places, museums, art galleries and other cultural facilities have also reopened...

  The unblocking of multiple EU countries coincides with the arrival of the traditional tourist season. The analysis believes that EU countries hope that by removing restrictive measures, providing subsidies, and reducing taxes, tourists can return, stimulate consumption, and promote economic recovery.

   According to the European News Channel, as of May 20, EU countries have received 175 million doses of the vaccine, and almost 30% of the population has received at least one dose. The Associated Press reported that the European Union is stepping up the development of a "digital vaccination certificate." This will allow vaccinated EU residents to move freely between member states. The European Commission also hopes to vaccinate about 70% of EU adults before the end of summer.

   Wang Yiwei, director of the Center for European Studies at Renmin University of China, said in an interview that many EU countries have been unblocked and encouraged by the acceleration of vaccination, he hopes to relax restrictions and promote economic rebound. At the same time, EU countries are also affected by the pressure of quantitative easing policies from the United States and other countries, and unblocking is also a last resort to some extent.

   Economic expectations are raised

   The European Commission’s spring forecast report shows that the European Union’s economy will grow by 4.2% this year, while the Eurozone will grow by 4.3%, which is an improvement from the 3.7% and 3.8% growth predicted in February.

   According to Reuters, on May 27th, following 25 EU countries, the parliaments of Austria and Poland approved a law to increase state guarantees for the EU budget. The move paved the way for the European Union to begin providing 750 billion euros in loans for its economic recovery in a few weeks. The approval of EU law will enable the European Commission to start borrowing cash from the market in mid-June, and pay it to all EU countries in the form of grants and low-interest loans in the next few years.

  In order to obtain EU funds, the government of each country must submit a fund use plan. The plan must comply with the EU's agreed rules, that is, it is mainly used for investment and reform, so that economies are ready for the digital age, and does not emit carbon dioxide. An European Commission member is optimistic that “the shadow of the new crown pneumonia epidemic is beginning to dissipate from the European economy.” He also pointed out that economic growth will be driven by private consumption, investment and the strong growth of the global economy for EU exports.

  Wang Yiwei pointed out that facing the huge pressure brought by global inflation, Europe needs to adopt similar financial measures and increase exports and trade to attract investment to stimulate economic growth.

   Uncertainty still exists

   Some foreign media predict that by the end of 2022, all EU countries will return to their pre-crisis levels, but the speed of recovery in different countries is not consistent. A member of the European Commission pointed out with concern that as long as the epidemic still covers Europe, the risk will remain high. Questions remain about the long-term effectiveness of vaccines, and consumers’ willingness to spend may also be overestimated.

  Pritty Shukla, chairman of the General Practitioners Forum of the British International Medical Association, pointed out that in some areas, variants of the new crown virus are spreading. These variants are more contagious and open measures may increase the risk of virus transmission.

"The prospects for the economic recovery of the EU still remain variable." Wang Yiwei pointed out, "The EU's ability to coordinate resources, formulate industrial strategies, and invest in related competition areas needs to be further improved. In addition, there is a large development gap between EU countries and many policies. It is also subject to a variety of legal treaties, a multi-layered governance structure, and the governance capabilities of the European Union and other countries."

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