Brussels: While the intensity of the Coronavirus pandemic is increasing in Europe again, indications are that Europe is also faced with major crises even on the economic level. A European think tank has said in its report that more than 6 million jobs were lost in the economic slowdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic last year. In its report, the thinktank ‘Eurofound’ mentioned that France, Italy, Poland and Greece are the worst-hit countries. Earlier, the information published by the European Union points out that the European economy has declined by 6.2%.
The number of Coronavirus cases in Europe has reached 23.2 million and 0.562 million have died in the pandemic. The number of cases is rising in three-fourths of the countries, mainly in eastern and central Europe. It is said that the third wave of Coronavirus has hit Europe. Measures like lockdown and other strict restrictions are being imposed in the countries given the wave.
Against this background, indications of the European economy receiving severe jolts are being received. It is said that the declaration of the increasing unemployment figures and the economic decline could be the beginning. The announcements and statements made by the officials in the European Union also endorse the concerns. The European Commission recently announced a special economic package worth 37 billion Euro and has assured assistance to the health sector and small and medium industry through this.
While making this announcement, Margrethe Vestager, senior official in the European Union, confessed that the European population’s life and jobs are at stake due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Vestager informed that the situation is still worrisome, saying that the pandemic measures have hit the industry sector the hardest and the European companies have not still come out of the crisis. A leading automobile manufacturer in Europe recently announced losses of $9.7 billion during the Coronavirus crisis. It has also been revealed that the debt burden on companies in the Eurozone has increased by a whopping 400 billion Euro. This endorses the statements of Vestager.
Marcel Clock, the leading economist in the financial institution ING, warned that the European economy is in a dark phase. Clock warned that lockdown has been imposed in many countries in view of the third wave, resulting into a slowdown in the European economy and it only remains to be seen how much per cent the economy slows down by. Jessica Hinds, the economist with Capital Economics, indicated that vaccination speed would prove critical for the European economy. Hinds said that as the speed is currently very slow, it will take time for the economy to turn around.