Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Ferdinando Giugliano

Euro Area’s Virus Response Is Still Insufficient

European actions to provide support to deal with the coronavirus outbreak are a start, but they pale in comparison with the size of the shock facing the local and global economy.

Paris’s streets empty, leaving eerily quiet scenes at the city’s hottest tourist spots and shopping streets.

Paris’s streets empty, leaving eerily quiet scenes at the city’s hottest tourist spots and shopping streets.

Photographer: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images Europe

Christine Lagarde warned European leaders last week that the Covid-19 epidemic risked pushing the economy into a new 2008-style crisis. So far, the response from politicians to the president of the European Central Bank has been late and insufficient.

The elements for a comprehensive response are clear: Governments should unleash a large-scale fiscal stimulus, while the ECB launches a credible and sizeable bond-buying program to ensure there is no adverse market reaction. The euro zone may eventually get there, but it is taking far too long in the process.