do not know shame – Time

“Days are very challenging for the government. We plan to relaunch our Country.” Giuseppe Conte and the ministers will return tomorrow to the Villa Pamphili park to resume the meetings of the States-General. On the agenda there is a report to Vittorio Colao, who will present the work done by the task force of experts commissioned by the Government. Then it will be the turn of trade unions and local authorities.

The premier makes the point on what ended up here. “Yesterday, leaders of the european institutions has been recognized the central role that Italy has had in this emergency: in the first line, indicating to others the way to follow”, he writes on Facebook. For the president of the Council this is not “empty words” but a “sincere appreciation and also a deep sense of gratitude” for the courage, the sense of responsibility and the sacrifices made by the Italian citizens. “We should be proud of all this.”

The invitation extended to the opposition, however, continues to fall in a vacuum. The count had asked Salvini and Melons lend a hand with the Countries of Visegrad in the national interest”. “Not know shame – dry replica of the leader of the League – the so-called the Visegrad Countries have democratically elected governments, while he deals with the governments of blood like China and Iran. I don’t understand this call that comes from a villa, and it turns out that a million people are waiting for the redundancy which perhaps will never receive”. Villa Pamphili is held “an absurd sham, useful only to the ego of the Count while there are millions of italians that do not know how to get to the end of the month,” echoes the leader FdI and FI goes on the attack: “The Government is in state of confusion, – says Anna Maria Bernini. Count repeats like a broken record of wanting to involve the opposition in the programs for the revitalization of the Country. The appointment should be next week: we take note, even if the premier says from the beginning of the emergency, and has never concretely made.”

On Wednesday, the ‘battle’ will move in the Parliament. Conte, in fact, is expected in the Chamber and in the Senate for the communications in view of the meeting of the european Council of 18 and 19 June. The appointment of european will not be once again the decisive one, but is closer to the majority of the time to cope with the node Mes. To Count the last word will go to Parliament, but palpable is the tension between the groups that support the Government, I decided to find an agreement first and not be forced to face the dark, the test of the numbers. The premises are not the best. If Matteo Renzi is this just a “party game” within the M5S, because “it is obvious that we are going to use”, the men who are close to Luigi Di Maio belie a possible opening of the minister of Foreign affairs: it is Necessary to “focus on the recovery fund, with the timing some, so you can use the resources as soon as possible”, is the line. The Mes remains “anachronistic and inappropriate to the responses to give to the Country in this difficult time of crisis”. The Pd, meanwhile, invites us “not to waste the turn in the Eu”. – “The Italy that needs to be born again after the disease should be an Italy high-speed transportation and digital network – insists Nicola Zingaretti -. Must be an Italy digital services to individuals and businesses, an Italy that is more green in the way of producing and living”.


“Money in exchange for reforms”, Europe, the sort of change – Free Daily

Fabio Rizzo

Is Europe ready to shell out the money. But he asks that Italy is put in the roadway, making reforms and reducing public debt. More than a walkway, on the first day of the States general was a bath of realism for Giuseppe Conte. The expectations in Brussels are high. And the premier, when the workers ” and the fitting out of the Villa Pamphilj, you will still have to do with the majority of the first. Scalcagnata and quarrelsome. In these conditions, the Count should be able to complete the reforms of the bureaucracy, of taxation, of justice, of the simplification of the Public administration? Perhaps we only believe him. And then there is the theme of the funds. In Rome take for granted the Recovery fund (now called Next Generation, and the Eu), but it is not so. It is only a proposal and expects a negotiation complex. In addition, the money, the real one, will arrive not before 2021. And the lawyer will have to go to Europe hat in hand to pietire a “bridge”, as he calls it, “that allows us to have a part in the autumn”. Otherwise, what a “maneuvers-like substance”. The message coming from the Troika is unique: take the serious. “The european Union is and will be on the side of Italy in the recovery after the crisis of the Covid-19”, ensures the president of the Eu Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, because “Europe needs Italy to be strong.” With the program the Next Generation there will be “a unique opportunity” for the Country, but Rome must make the necessary reforms to unlock the economy of your property.

Is made, reopen the asylums. Dagospia rages on the Count that the sentence of the prime minister to the States-general passed (almost) unnoticed

Unique message – The same message comes also from David Sassoli, president of the european Parliament: “Remember that the funds that come into the coffers of the national will be public and will not be admissible in the loss or wastage of this money”. Then Sassoli invites the Count to get a move on: “we Must make haste. Need for structural reforms and measures of direct support to people”. “The Recovery Fund will reach its full potential,” agrees Christine Lagarde, president of the Ecb, “only if it is firmly rooted in structural reforms designed and implemented at the national level”. “The considerable resources” that will come from Brussels, recalls Paolo Gentiloni, the european commissioner for the Economy, “will test the individual countries”. You access them “voluntarily” on the basis of the plans drawn up by national governments”, but these do not have to be “books of dreams”. A curry comb to government also comes from the Governor of the Bank of Italy: “european funds will never be free: a debt of the european Union is a debt of all member countries, and Italy will always contribute in important measure to the financing of community initiatives. The main problem of our economy, remember, Ignazio Visco, is “for more than 20 years, the low growth, in turn a reflection of the very weak trend of productivity”. For that need interventions in at least three macro-areas: Public Administration, bureaucracy, and innovation. And then, he adds, it takes a tax reform: “A radical rethinking of the structure of the taxation”.

Notes – Joseph Conte takes notes. His ego hypertrophic is fed by the compliments received by the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, who defines a model (!), and the premier makes the turn a tissue to highlight these words of praise. For the rest, the Count remains in the field in which you feel more comfortable. One of the generic ads. “We don’t want to waste even a euro for the revival of the country”, he promises, “we will not be content to restore a normal, we want to improve the country”. Then makes a new invitation to the opposition (“Participate in the States-General”) and appeals to Salvini and Melons because convince the Visegrad countries to approve the Recovery Fund. Finally comes a new awareness of distances from the plane Colao: “The voluntary disclosure problem on the possible criminal offences that we are behind,” says Conte. The truth is that the Cinquestelle do not want it and he doesn’t want to make them angry. The former director of Vodafone, will speak on Monday. With the trade unions, the Regions and the mayors.


Travel advice for the United States

Entry and residence formalities

Since January 27, 2017, a presidential decree on the “protection of the nation against the entry of foreign terrorists into the United States”, which aims to restrict the conditions of entry into the United States, is applied.

It is strongly recommended that you regularly check the website of the U.S. Embassy and contact the airline to verify the measures it is taking at its level.

• Reminder of the provisions of the decree of January 27, 2017

Nationals of seven countries (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq) are prohibited from entering the United States, except under specific conditions.

Holders of French passports who are also nationals of one of the seven countries concerned are exempt from restrictive measures if they are in possession of a valid visa on their French passport.

Residents of the United States with a green card who are nationals of one of these seven countries are also affected by the new provisions. They are nevertheless still allowed to enter the United States but are subject, upon arrival, to an examination of their situation.

If in doubt about your situation, it is strongly advised to contact the American consular authorities in France before your departure.

Visa-free stay

Visa Waiver Program: Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Since April 1, 2016, only people with an electronic or biometric passport can benefit from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) which allows French nationals to access American territory without a visa, but with an electronic travel authorization (ESTA), either in transit, or for a tourist or business stay of 90 days maximum (meaning the possibility of signing contracts, placing orders, participating in seminars or meeting customers).

Persons holding other passports must request a visa from the competent American diplomatic and consular authorities (see explanatory table on the site – information on visas (site in English).

NB : The emergency passport does not allow entry to the United States without a visa.

For more information on the types of passport, it is recommended to consult the following link:

1. Electronic travel authorization: ESTA

The French national who travels to the United States by air or sea and who benefits from the VWP must obligatorily request, via the Internet, an electronic travel authorization before departure (Electronic System for Travel Authorization – ESTA).

The ESTA can be obtained by answering the questions asked on the website (multilingual), the only site authorized by the American authorities and allowing online payment by credit card.

The form must be completed in English, but the instructions are available in French.

The authorization request can be made at any time before the trip. However, the United States Department of Homeland Security recommends that you complete this formality at least 72 hours before departure.

ESTA allows travel under the VWP but does not constitute a right of entry into the United States, which remains granted or refused on arrival by the immigration officer.

The authorization is valid for 2 years from the date of issue, but must be renewed in the event of a change in situation (name, first name, sex, nationality, passport, different answers to questions asked, etc.), or if the date the validity of the passport is less than this period of 2 years. For any new trip during the period of validity of the authorization, it will be necessary to update via the Internet certain information (flight number and destination address) in your ESTA file and of course to travel with the passport declared on the ESTA form. .

2. Exclusion of VWP from certain categories of travelers

Travelers who have visited Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen or Sudan since March 1, 2011 and people with Iranian, Iraqi, Sudanese or Syrian nationality cannot benefit from the visa waiver regime .

These people must apply for a valid B1 / B2 visa, as the case may be, for several years from the US diplomatic and consular authorities.

Given the delivery times, it is recommended to anticipate these steps which can take several weeks.

According to the United States administration, people who need an emergency visa for business travel or medical or humanitarian reasons will be able to benefit from an accelerated processing of their visa application.

A permanent exception for full-time agents of civil or military state administrations on official missions is implemented. These agents continue to benefit from the visa waiver for travel to the United States. The administration has also defined five other situations in which travelers to the four target countries may eventually continue to benefit from the visa waiver.

These situations concern travel:

• on official mission on behalf of an international, regional or subnational organization;

• on official mission on behalf of a humanitarian organization;

• as a journalist;

• for Iran, for legitimate business reasons, if the displacement took place after July 14, 2015;

• for Iraq, for legitimate business reasons.

For these situations, the maintenance of the visa waiver will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Given the delays in obtaining this exemption, it is recommended that steps be taken to obtain the necessary guarantees from the US consular services at least two months in advance.

According to the American authorities, travelers who have declared the nationality of one of these seven countries and already benefiting from an ESTA will be informed by email of its revocation, and invited to apply for a visa.

Other people affected by the reform who are considering short-term travel to the United States are strongly recommended to apply for a visa as soon as possible. For people currently benefiting from an ESTA, it is possible to check its status at this address: (multilingual).

Travelers affected by these restrictions, who plan to travel to the United States for a longer term, are invited to consult the website of the United States Embassy before booking their flight ticket (https: // fr. Maintenance/ to stay informed of changes in progress.

3. VWP restrictions

The slightest overshooting of the time limit under the VWP during a previous trip to the United States results in immediate expulsion of the territory and, in general, the ban on re-entering American soil for a period which may be several years.

It does not allow the exercise of a professional activity (paid or not). Indeed, all French people wishing to work must have a visa from France authorizing them to hold a defined job.

The American immigration services are very vigilant with regard to the application of regulations which prohibit the exercise of a professional activity, whether gainful or not. It is therefore strongly recommended that French nationals entering the United States for tourist or linguistic purposes avoid to bring or carry anything that could create a misunderstanding or a suspicion on the reasons for their stay, and which could suggest that they come for another purpose than that stated.

The VWP does not in any case allow you to register as a student, under penalty of administrative retention before the visa expires. The questionnaires to be completed before entering the United States must be completed with precision.

Any violation of the legislation in force exposes the perpetrator to expulsion and a ban on access to American territory for several years.

It does not allow a change of status on the spot (example: obtaining a visa to pursue studies or exercise a professional activity).

Stay with visa

A traveler who is not strictly within the framework of the VWP or who has not been able to obtain the ESTA must apply for a visa.

In the United States, the family that can accompany a visa holder is understood only as the married spouse and the unmarried children. De facto spouses, including civil partnerships, are not recognized by the American immigration services and must either travel within the framework of the VWP under the conditions mentioned above, or apply for a visa which will be dealt with individually. An exception exists only for same-sex partners of holders of A or G visas.

The French must therefore obtain a visa from the American consular authorities to go to the United States:

• for a transit or a stay of less than 90 days if you do not have the type of passport required under the VWP;

• for a stay longer than 90 days;

• for stays the object of which is neither tourism nor business, but corresponds to the exercise of a professional activity, an internship or studies.

NB : a medical examination is compulsory for foreigners applying for a long-stay visa in the United States. Anyone with a contagious disease that poses a threat to public health can be refused a visa.


According to US law, the validity of a foreign national’s passport must cover a period of six months beyond the date scheduled for departure from the United States.

Pursuant to this law, the United States has signed agreements with countries, including France, under which their nationals are exempt from the 6-month obligation and must only present a valid passport covering the duration of their stay in the United States. United States. (

However, to avoid any complications, it is advisable, as a precaution, to have a passport with a validity of at least 6 months on the date scheduled for his departure from the United States, even for holders of long-term visas valid duration: large fines have already been noted (over 500 USD).

Do not joke with officers from CBP (Customs and Border Protection) or the police. Words, attitudes or jokes that may seem innocuous in some countries can lead to immediate arrest and legal action in the United States.

Refusal of admission or visa

In case of refusal of admission or visa, the Department of Homeland Security invites travelers who feel that they have been treated unfairly to lodge a complaint online on the DHS website (TRIP procedure: Travelers Redress Inquiry Program, in English).

Customs regulations

Amounts over USD 10,000 must be declared to customs.

American customs are very vigilant on food products: entry with non-sterilized products (such as cheese or cold meats) or green plants is strictly prohibited.

( / in English).

As the constraints linked to the possession of a pet are rigorous, it is preferable to consult the Embassy of the United States of America before any plan to travel or stay accompanied by a pet.


For more information: (in English)


Germany should contribute more to the EU budget

BChancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) assumes that the German contribution to the next EU budget will be higher than expected due to the corona crisis. A European economic stimulus program is needed, she said in her video podcast on Saturday. This would “be a program in connection with the European budget, in which Germany will also have to commit much more than was the case in our previous plans”.

The Chancellor emphasized that the aid packages agreed at the EU summit on Thursday “should really be put into effect by June 1st”. This is about EUR 500 billion in support to combat the acute consequences of the Corona crisis for Member States, companies and workers. “But that’s not enough,” said Merkel. “We need an economic stimulus package after the crisis and even after the crisis has ended, and the economic damage will be great.”

According to the summit decisions, the EU Commission should present a proposal for a “reconstruction fund” in May. This could amount to more than one trillion euros. It is to be linked to the next multi-annual EU budget for the period from 2021 to 2027.

Huge challenge

The corona pandemic is “a huge challenge,” said Merkel. “Europe is of course even more important in such a situation than in normal times.” Germany, for example, supplied protective equipment and respirators to other Member States and admitted corona patients.

“But everywhere, above all, the economic consequences are of course very dramatic,” Merkel continued. “That is why it will be important in the next few weeks and months to show that we belong together, that we will deal with the damage, the economic consequences of this crisis and that we want to do everything possible so that Europe grows together in this situation.”

Merkel also looked at the German EU Council Presidency, which begins on July 1, in the video podcast. This would “run differently than we had planned. And it will be clearly shaped by the question of combating the pandemic and its consequences. “

During the six-month presidency, Germany wanted to do not only something for the “economic improvement of Europe”, but also “for the social cohesion”, emphasized Merkel. Climate and environmental issues also need to be addressed.


No progress in Brexit talks – “Time is running out”


The government in London has set a deadline until the end of the year to negotiate a contract for relations with the EU.

(Photo: dpa)

Brussels Talks about future relations between Britain and the European Union are stuck. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier accused the British side after the second week of talks on Friday not to move despite the tight schedule. Time is running out, he warned. You have until June to extend the transition phase.

A British statement mentioned “extensive and constructive” talks. However, only limited progress has been made in overcoming disagreements. The EU raised demands from Great Britain that had not been asserted against other trading partners.


EU government leaders agree on billions in aid

This should make it clear that aid will be available to the countries hit particularly hard by the pandemic, even if the heads of government have not yet agreed on the details.

It was the fourth video conference of the bosses since the pandemic broke out in Europe. And one gets the impression that after a phase of irritation and aggression, the 27 EU countries are now slowly realizing that they have to approach each other. “It was a very good atmosphere, supported by the awareness that we have to decide unanimously,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel after the conference. It was a “very, very friendly conversation”.

The feared clash between Northern and Southern Europe, between the Netherlands and Italy did not occur at this meeting. The new peacefulness may have to do with the seriousness of the situation.

At worst, the European economy will collapse by 15 percent this year, warned ECB chief Christine Lagarde, who also participated in the video switch. The EU can only avoid the worst if it pulls together. This finding has evidently become established in government headquarters.

The Chancellor made a significant contribution to this by pledging to help the Southern Europeans – and not just with alms. “Everyone agreed that it is now not about 50 billion,” said Merkel. And she assured that Germany was ready to make higher contributions to the EU budget. Merkel continues to categorically reject only one thing: euro bonds. “It is not possible to communitize debts.”

However, this does not mean that European bonds are generally excluded. On the one hand, such bonds already exist: the ESM euro bailout fund is issuing them, and the EU Commission has already received approval to do so in the future. For the European short-time work allowance “Sure”, it can raise up to 100 billion euros on the capital market.

EU summit

Video link of the European heads of state and government.

(Photo: AP)

It will not stop there. The Commission also intends to finance the planned reconstruction plan with European bonds. A Commission working paper speaks of a volume of EUR 323 billion.

The EU Commission is expected to present its draft reconstruction plan in May. It will be embedded in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The Commission had already presented a draft for this MFF in 2018.

Now she wants to present a significantly increased “MFR Plus”. The Member States should pay higher contributions to this “MFF Plus” than previously planned. Added to this is the money raised on the capital market – at least 300 billion euros. In total, the MFF could swell to 1.5 trillion or even two trillion euros, is speculated in Brussels. For comparison: the MFF still running for the years 2014 to 2020 comprised a volume of almost one trillion euros.

The new figures are huge and the EU Commission has to give them good reasons. The authority must determine the needs precisely, said EU Council President Charles Michel. The “order of magnitude” must “be underpinned why this is so,” said Merkel.

Who is liable in the end?

The direction is clear: there will be a reconstruction program within the EU budget. But there will probably still be hard arguments about the essential building blocks. For example, the question of how the money is used is controversial.

Should the recipient countries receive grants or only repayable loans? The Northern Europeans are for the first, the Southern Europeans for the second. And Germany sits between all the chairs. The Federal Government can clearly imagine that at least part of the reconstruction fund will be passed on as transfers to the countries that have been particularly hard hit by the crisis.

It is also questionable which economic sectors will receive money from the reconstruction plan. The Commission should also make proposals for this. Finally, it is unclear who is liable for the debts incurred for the reconstruction.

The EU Commission wants to use the European budget as a guarantee – and therefore increase the so-called own resources ceiling – currently 1.2 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product – at least temporarily to 1.7 percent of GDP. This means that Member States’ liability for the European budget increases accordingly. Especially in the group of the so-called “economical four” – the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Sweden – this should not necessarily meet with love.

The summit decisions at a glance:

  • An aid package for short-time workers, companies and indebted countries that has already been negotiated by the finance ministers has now been approved by the heads of state and government.
  • Merkel and her colleagues welcomed the exit strategy from the corona restrictions, which was presented last week and is intended to ensure joint action by the 27 states. The paper specifies three essential prerequisites for easing: a noticeable slowdown in the spread of the virus, enough hospital and intensive care beds and the possibility of effectively monitoring the spread of the virus.
  • EU Council leader Charles Michel’s “roadmap for recovery” was also adopted. The Belgian calls for reforms for a stronger and more powerful EU after the corona crisis.
  • Work on a development fund to cope with the Corona economic crisis has not yet been completed. The EU summit commissioned the EU Commission to develop a detailed plan.

More: These are the ideas for financing the EU reconstruction fund


Economy warns of exaggeration in the fight against Corona

Dusseldorf The Chairman of the Council of Experts, Lars Feld, urges the Federal Government to take measures to fight the corona crisis. “Above all, what is currently being discussed is problematic. You get the impression that every industry wants specific support, ”Feld told the Handelsblatt.

The hospitality industry wants the reduced VAT rate that has now been decided. The auto industry is again asking for a scrappage premium, and retailing vouchers, says Feld. “You could go on almost any way – who doesn’t have one yet, who wants to do it again.”

“If you go this route, you will hardly be able to catch it afterwards in terms of fiscal policy,” warns the head of the Freiburg Walter Eucken Institute. This applies “also to social policy measures such as the increase in short-time work benefits or the extension of the duration of unemployment benefits”. “I’m more worried about whether we will be able to return to normal economic policy,” says Feld.

The economist also disapproves of the federal government’s policy on industrial policy: “If Corona is now used to quietly implement questionable industrial policy goals, I find that unacceptable.”

Specifically, it refers to the recent tightening of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act. “The goal of building a fortress Europe is definitely the wrong way to go,” said Feld. Germany in particular, as the largest economy, must speak out for openness. “We cannot leave the Dutch alone to stand up for a market economy policy,” he warns.

He expressly warns against the introduction of a property tax. “To talk about a property tax in this situation is insane. The best way to pay off the debt is with an intelligent growth strategy, ”said Feld.

Read the full interview here:

Mr. Feld, you are considered the nation’s regulatory conscience. The state experiences something of self-empowerment in corona times. What scares you more: the virus or the political measures against it?
“Fear” is the wrong expression in both respects. I know the medical problems abstractly, but I don’t feel any threat. Of course, this can change quickly if I experience illnesses in my personal environment. This is often the case. As far as the state measures in the fight against the crisis are concerned, I am not afraid either, I am more concerned that we will be able to return to normal economic policy.

The state intervenes massively in contract law, it relaxes bankruptcy law, it communitises risks. In your opinion, is that all still proportionate?
Overall, I think the aid package is proportionate. You can argue about individual measures, especially with tenancy law. However, one has to say that the state there has been massively interfering with freedom of contract for a long time: through the rent brake or the rent cover in Berlin, which is probably unconstitutional. I criticized that before Corona – and I’m also criticizing it now.

So you don’t see a new quality of state intervention?
But, above all, what is currently being discussed is problematic. One has the impression that each branch wants specific support. The hospitality industry wants the reduced VAT rate that has now been decided. The auto industry is again asking for a scrappage premium, and retailers are demanding consumer vouchers. This could be continued almost indefinitely: Who has not yet, who wants again?

If you go this route, you will hardly be able to catch it afterwards in terms of fiscal policy. Ultimately, this also applies to social policy measures such as raising short-time working benefits or extending the duration of unemployment benefits.

The current bailout package is well over a trillion euros, i.e. more than three times the federal budget – these are sums that recently seemed unthinkable. Will the state’s calculation work, so now to save jobs, will it cost what it wants? Otherwise, the state would have to pay for the millions of unemployed anyway …
Yes, the sums are big. However, many simply add up everything that is put in the shop window – loans, grants, guarantees and guarantees. You have to take into account that not everything has an impact on expenditure, loans are repaid and guarantees are not drawn. The decisive factor is whether the measures are targeted.

Where do you see the debt ratio in the medium term?
By the end of 2021, we will probably be back to around 80 percent of economic output, roughly the level we had at the end of the financial crisis.

Do you think politics and science still have an overview? When was it that the state had to keep thousands of companies alive – and probably for months?
I don’t think the state will be able to maintain this for months. It can mitigate the consequences, but it will not be able to save all companies and jobs. We will have bankruptcies. Ultimately, it’s about helping companies that have a viable business model over this cliff. It should not be forgotten that companies are in this situation because the state massively restricts our freedoms during the pandemic. If there were a claim for compensation from the state, the whole thing would be more expensive.

Who pays the bill in the end? There is already debate about balancing the burden …
There is, of course, this debate, but it is a harmful one, with a particular focus on the ideological interests of the parties. To talk about a wealth tax in this situation is insane. The best way to pay off your debt is to use a smart growth strategy.

What do you think of the fact that the private banks are now providing KfW loans with a volume of up to 800.000 euros no longer have to assume any liability, so get a 100 percent guarantee from the state?
If you bear in mind the Federal Government’s goal of mitigating corona-related defaults with liquidity aid, that makes perfect sense. Of course, it is cleaner from a regulatory perspective to take the banks at risk. But then the measure would not work. Even with a liability of only ten percent, banks are very hesitant to grant loans in this difficult situation. Of course, we cannot grant such KfW loans on a permanent basis.

We cannot leave the Dutch alone to stand up for a market economy policy.

But isn’t that a disguised bank bailout program?
I would not say that. It dissolves the risk aversion of privately liable bank executives. Ultimately, credit-based liquidity support is hardly an option for many companies currently affected, provided they would become excessively in debt.

Another instrument that is often mentioned is government participation. Will it happen?
I cannot imagine that we can do without state participation in certain industries – for example, with airlines. Until the Lufthansa back to pre-crisis levels, it may take a long time. The decisive factor is whether they are silent participations or whether the state wants to exercise control rights. I prefer the former because with a stock package it usually takes longer for the state to withdraw.

The bank bailouts during the financial crisis in the USA are always considered exemplary, although there were equity investments …
Yes, that’s right, but the state quickly withdrew there. The following applies: If the control function, then please use the exit scenario.

They probably refer to Commerzbank, where the state is still involved after more than ten years.
Yes, it would be even more serious with massive industrial holdings like we used to have.

Now there was a trend towards industrial policy even before the corona crisis. The economics minister tightened the foreign trade law – and added again during the corona crisis: are we experiencing a turnaround?
Unfortunately, there is a turnaround. If Corona is now being used to quietly push through questionable industrial policy goals, I find it unacceptable.

Now this policy is being carried out by the CDU-led Ministry of Economic Affairs. Are we threatened by French conditions?
The goal of building a fortress Europe is definitely the wrong way to go. Germany in particular, as the largest economy, must speak out for openness. We cannot leave the Dutch alone to stand up for a market economy policy.

Isn’t there a good reason to protect some industries – when it comes to security, for example in the case of the Chinese network supplier Huawei?
Of course, the state has to look when a state investor from China is investing in critical infrastructure. But now that doesn’t just apply to China. American investors are now being looked at just as critically. A systematic foreclosure strategy threatens. What is considered “safety-relevant” must therefore be clearly defined.

The law speaks of an “expected impairment” of public order or security. There seem to be no limits to arbitrariness, right?
The Ministry of Economy is now keeping everything open to prevent any takeovers. The whole thing is also enriched with a participation facility and the economic stabilization fund. It is a very unfortunate combination.

Even mouth protection and protective clothing are considered to be safety-relevant. They may be relevant to health, but they do not have to be produced in Germany. In this case, the state must create strategic reserves.

Back to the economic risks again. If the lockdown has such devastating consequences in Germany, what about countries like Spain and Italy that are already heavily indebted?
There is no way around these countries pursuing an expansionary fiscal policy and driving up debt levels. There is no alternative in the face of this great crisis.

Aid programs such as those in Germany cannot be afforded by these countries, which have been hit much harder by the corona crisis …
I wouldn’t say that in general. Spain and France have enough leeway with a debt ratio of 100 percent. I think 120 percent would be possible without them being in the focus of the financial markets.

Italy, which has a debt ratio of almost 140 percent, financial market players have long had their sights on them. Only thanks to the massive intervention of the ECB has interest rates dropped to a tolerable level again …
Yes, Italy is the real problem. The government debt there is moving towards Greek dimensions in terms of economic performance – and this is about a G7 country.

As far as the corona pandemic is concerned, Italy is not in debt to this crisis. Regulatory policy or not: Do you understand Italy’s prime minister, who vehemently demands the solidarity of the strong countries?
I differentiate between understanding and acceptance. I understand that Italy needs support given the many deaths. And I understand that the Italians are now doing everything they can to protect themselves against possible distortions in the financial markets with external help. What I cannot accept is Premier Conte’s blackmail strategy, which is unique in its sharpness.

Isn’t this attitude due to sheer misery?
That may be the case, but the extortionate approach could end up being counterproductive. The government cannot credibly threaten to exit the euro because the economy would collapse completely.

But the Italians know very well that an exit from Italy would very quickly result in a collapse of the monetary union, which the rest of Europe can hardly afford …
This may be. Nevertheless, Conte’s strategy is questionable because Italy would suffer much more. In Italy, therefore, there is rightly a debate as to whether the prime minister does not overdraw. Italy is well supplied with the funds that have been made available – i.e. the scarcely conditioned loans from the ESM rescue fund with the possibility for the ECB to buy unlimited government bonds (OMT).

I reject joint and several liability. That would be a fall for me.

Italy insists on corona bonds, i.e. the joint borrowing for this crisis. Wouldn’t that be an important symbolic signal for Europe’s cohesion?
No, I’m completely the politician of order. I reject joint and several liability. That would be a fall for me.

But isn’t it the more honest way in the end? A communitization of risks has long been taking place through the ECB’s balance sheet, an institution that is not at all legitimized for such a redistribution policy …
Again, joint and several liability between states is out of the question for me. Other forms of joint liability, such as joint liability or guarantees for debt, can be discussed.

Discussions about a fund at EU level – possibly parallel to the ESM – that is financed by bonds guaranteed by member states and from which transfers are paid – all of this is conceivable. The problem with joint and several liability: Here the creditor can pick out the most solvent country – and force it to be repaid.

The crisis could hit the emerging markets even more severely than Italy. We are obviously experiencing a crisis of a whole new dimension. Not only almost all industries are affected, but also all regions of the world – at the same time. Some already compare the economic consequences with the Great Depression in the 1930s. Do you think this is alarmist?
No, I don’t think it’s alarmist. There are parallels as to the dimension of the economic downturn; but not on the job market. In addition, the reasons are completely different. The current crisis cannot be compared with the Spanish flu either. At that time after the First World War, the economies were very weak.

The fact is: A crisis as we are now experiencing it is unique. It is not only the slump in the economy as a result of the lockdown, but also the interruption of the international supply chains.

How do you explain that the markets are still reacting almost moderately?
The markets are still assuming that the gigantic rescue packages will help to overcome the liquidity problems. Whether this will really be the case depends on the further development of the pandemic. I would therefore not rule out further slumps in the financial markets.

The Ifo Institute anticipates a 20 percent drop in GDP in the worst scenario. Do you think such a scenario is conceivable?
I’m not that pessimistic. The 20 percent of the Ifo Institute is an annual projection, not an annualized quarter. This means that the relatively robust first quarter is included, so that the economy would not get on its feet in the third and fourth quarters.

At the moment, almost all countries except Sweden are pursuing the same corona strategy: lockdown, bans on contacts and so on. There has never been an experiment like this. Could this strategy turn out to be a global mistake in the end?
Afterwards we’ll be smarter. Yes, there are voices that can be taken seriously and say that we unnecessarily stall the economy. Only: If we look at the infection curves and compare them with other flu waves, we see that the rise at Corona is much steeper. If we let it go, significantly more deaths would be unavoidable. So I think trying to flatten the curve so as not to overload the health system is the right strategy.

Finally, a personal question: It was not long ago that your colleague Peter Bofinger from Würzburg was the last Keynesian. But now conservative economists are also calling for massive government intervention. Ifo boss Clemens Fuest, for example, or IW boss Michael Hüther, who most recently spoke in favor of corona bonds. Do you sometimes feel like the last politician in the country?
Do not worry. There are still a large number of economists who think in terms of regulatory policy. In addition, I am just as pragmatic as my colleagues in this unique crisis that we are currently experiencing.

Mr. Feld, thank you very much for the interview.

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China and the US do poorly

Beijing, Berlin The corona crisis is far from over, but the international struggle for sovereignty over the pandemic has already begun. The countries’ vulnerability to crises is becoming the new litmus test for different political and economic systems.

As one of the first think tanks, the Eurasia Group in New York has now submitted a comparison of the resilience of individual nations. After that, Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden do well, but Germany, Japan and Switzerland are also particularly crisis-proof against the pandemic.

As in the country comparison of the London Deep Knowledge Group, Germany also comes second in Eurasia. The fact that the study still certifies a good health system even in countries that are badly affected, such as Italy, Spain and France, can only be explained by the fact that the situation is much worse in developing and emerging countries. In addition, a good health care system like the one in Italy will be overwhelmed if politics is not decisive. Only the mix makes countries resilient.

“The crisis-proof countries combine a high level of political performance, social cohesion and good health care with low financial vulnerability. If there is a weakness in this group, it is the vulnerability of their economies to a global downturn, ”says Eurasia expert Alexander Kazan.

Germany not only scored points with its good health system, but also with its prudent political leadership, social security and its financial resources. Sven Smit, Co-Chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute in Amsterdam, confirms that the financial condition of the countries will become even more important in the course of the crisis: “The economic resilience will of course depend heavily on whether countries are able to absorb the debt that has now been incurred repay also. “

The two superpowers America and China, whose rivalry has been intensified by the pandemic, do not make it into the top ten nations in the Eurasia list, but are ranked 11th and 12th. The result contradicts the claims of US President Donald Trump, the United States responded better than other countries to the virus. But above all it exposes Beijing’s propaganda, the pandemic shows the superiority of the Chinese regime in times of crisis. Meanwhile, allegations against the leadership in Beijing are increasing: Trump threatens China with “consequences” if it turns out that the authorities could have stopped the pandemic.

The US state of Missouri even wants to bring Beijing to justice. There are also demands for damages in the US Congress, which, however, are not given any chances of success due to the international law principle of state immunity. Nevertheless, China is increasingly caught in the crossfire of international criticism.

China’s mistakes take revenge

The fact that China reacted far too late at the beginning of the crisis has meanwhile become a consensus among experts. At the beginning of February, the central government in Beijing admitted “shortcomings” and “shortcomings”. Already in January the mayor of Wuhan City, Zhou Xianwang, admitted to the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV: “We did not pass on information in a timely manner and did not use any effective information to improve our work.” Mayor Zhou only reacted on January 23 and completely blocked Wuhan from.


According to estimates, however, around five million people had already left the city by then. In a joint study, American, British and Chinese researchers found that the number of cases could have been reduced by 66 percent if the measures to control the pathogen had been taken only a week earlier. If the containment started three weeks earlier, the study would have reduced the number of cases by 95 percent.

“After a delayed reaction, China implemented the principle of ‘test, isolate, track’ in an extreme manner and also accepted human rights violations,” says Maike Voss, head of a project on global health policy at the Science and Politics Foundation (SWP). Like many other experts, Voss criticizes the high price at which the metropolis of Wuhan was sealed off. Voss said that health was not just about infectious diseases. It is also about follow-up costs that are caused by delayed illnesses and preventive measures. “Human rights violations also have an impact on health.”

The origin of the virus has been puzzled since the beginning of the crisis. First, it was said that the first human carrier must have been infected at a wildlife market in Wuhan. In March, Chinese government officials scattered claims that the virus had been brought into China by US military personnel. Reports from US diplomats and statements by US government officials recently suggested that an accident in a Wuhan laboratory that is researching viruses could have caused the pandemic. The laboratory denies the allegations.

Doubts about Chinese data

No conclusions can yet be drawn on the source of the coronavirus, said Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, WHO. However, the evidence available suggested animal origin, Kasai said at an online press conference.
An independent investigation into the incidents in China is almost impossible. Similar to other disasters before, such as the devastating earthquake in the southern Chinese province of Sichuan, Chinese journalists were able to report for a short period of time relatively freely in the case of Corona.

Then the censorship barrier fell again. At the beginning of April, China issued a new rule that research institutes must register their research on the coronavirus with Chinese authorities. Observers also see this as a measure to control research by the government in Beijing.

Since the beginning of the crisis, doubts have been voiced about the data from China. Experts have repeatedly referred to the reported figures as the “tip of the iceberg”. In Wuhan in particular, the number of deaths was questioned. In mid-April, the city finally corrected and reported 50 percent more deaths. She justified the errors by overwhelming the medical staff and the authorities, especially in the initial phase.

In terms of both the number of infected people and the number of deaths, China, with its 1.4 billion inhabitants, reported far less than other, significantly smaller countries. “The Chinese case numbers have to be seen as qualitative statements, that is, the trend is correct, but the individual figures will not be correct,” said Sebastian Heilmann, professor of politics and economics in China at the University of Trier, in an interview with the Handelsblatt.

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