European Commission Warns Of 'Substantial' Impact Of COVID-19 Restrictions On Economy

BRUSSELS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 04th April, 2020) Restrictions introduced by the majority of EU countries over the coronavirus pandemic will have a significant negative effect on the economy, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday.

"Of course, it [the pandemic] also has substantial implications on our economy, because pretty much all EU member states have introduced different restrictions on people movement, on economic activity, on gatherings, and already now we see it is going to have a major negative effect on the economy. So we need to respond in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. And that is exactly what we have done from the European Commission's in the last weeks," Dombrovskis said during a video conference.

Earlier in the day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU had canceled certain taxes and duties on the import of medical equipment to ease procurement for medical institutions during the coronavirus epidemic. In addition, the European Council adopted two legislative acts aimed at the quick release of funds from the block's budget and extension of the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund, since there is need for "unprecedented" investments to overcome the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

Following the recent meeting of the council, Brussels also launched the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which will give member states access to 37 billion Euros (over $40 billion) of cohesion money so that they can strengthen their health care systems and support small- and medium-sized businesses.