Bidenomics Takes Root in Europe’s Economically Fragile South

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidenomics-takes-root-in-europes-economically-fragile-south-11620039617

Excerpt:

Since the 1990s, Italian leaders have tried to overhaul the sclerotic economy while also running tight budgets. Mr. Draghi is the first in decades who can deploy massive fiscal firepower to help.

Italy’s economy has rarely grown by more than 1% annually over the past quarter-century. The economy has never fully recovered from the global financial crisis and subsequent eurozone crisis, and slumped by another 9% in 2020 amid the pandemic and strict lockdowns.

Germany, France and other EU countries backed the recovery fund mainly for fear that Italy and Southern Europe could get stuck in another deep economic slump that once again tests the cohesion and survival of the eurozone.

….

Most of Greece’s debt is in bailout loans from the rest of the eurozone, with no repayments due for many years, making another Greek debt crisis unlikely for a long time.

Author(s): Giovanni Legorano

Publication Date: 3 May 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Life expectancy decreased in 2020 across the EU

Link: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurostat-news/-/edn-20210407-1

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Life expectancy at birth has been increasing over the past decade in the EU: official statistics reveal that life expectancy has risen, on average, by more than two years per decade since the 1960s. However, the latest available data suggest that life expectancy stagnated or even declined in recent years in several EU Member States.

Moreover, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, life expectancy at birth fell in the vast majority of the EU Member States with available 2020 data. The largest decreases were recorded in Spain (-1.6 years compared with 2019) and Bulgaria (-1.5), followed by Lithuania, Poland and Romania (all -1.4).

Publication Date: 7 April 2021

Publication Site: EuroStat

EU life expectancy drops across bloc amid virus pandemic

Link: https://apnews.com/article/world-news-pandemics-europe-coronavirus-pandemic-covid-19-pandemic-8457898bffd5733e28eb9f566d54232c

Excerpt:

Life expectancy across much of the European Union has dropped last year, as the 27-nation bloc struggled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU statistical agency Eurostat said Wednesday that “following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, life expectancy at birth fell in the vast majority of the EU member states.” It said the biggest drop was in Spain, with a loss of 1.6 years compared with 2019.

Bulgaria followed with a loss of 1.5 years, followed by Lithuania, Poland and Romania, which all saw a drop of -1.4 years. Denmark and Finland were the only nations to see a rise in life expectancy, with 0.1 years.

Publication Date: 7 April 2021

Publication Site: Associated Press

The EU Vaccine Debacle

Link: https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/03/the-eu-vaccine-debacle/

Excerpt:

Supported by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, the EU Commission (its administrative arm) took over the negotiations with vaccine manufacturers on behalf of all EU member-states last June. This was designed both as a declaration of EU “solidarity” and because of the belief that bargaining on behalf of the whole bloc could secure the vaccine at a cheaper price, a calculation that appeared to take little account of the economic costs of any delays, and delay was what — for a variety of reasons — Brussels delivered.

The U.K. came to its deal with AstraZeneca (the manufacturer of the Oxford vaccine) three months earlier than the EU, and its contract came with sharper teethThe EU also took four months longer than the U.K. and U.S. to sign up with Pfizer.

Making matters worse, the EU’s FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a body by definition particularly receptive to the precautionary principle that plays such a dominant role in EU policy-making (except when it comes to setting up a new currency), took its time to approve the first vaccines. Its first approval came some weeks after the U.K. and ten days or so after the U.S.

Author(s): Editorial Board

Publication Date: 25 March 2021

Publication Site: National Review

Doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine Pile Up in Europe Amid Government Restrictions

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/doses-of-astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-pile-up-in-europe-amid-government-restrictions-11614715968

Excerpt:

Europe’s reluctance to distribute millions of doses of AstraZeneca PLC’s Covid-19 vaccine is coming under pressure after the French government authorized use of the shot for some older people.

The French government announced it would allow people with comorbidities between the ages of 65 and 74 to receive the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. New data from the U.K. on Monday showed just one dose of the vaccine was effective in preventing disease and deaths among adults aged 70 and older who had received it.

France’s move was a sharp departure from a month ago when President Emmanuel Macron told reporters that the vaccine was quasi ineffective for people older than 65, without providing evidence to back up his claim. The comments helped sow doubts across the European Union that still persist.

Author(s): Stacy Meichtry, Bojan Pancevski

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal