Europe has been debating debt mutualization, transfer union and fiscal federalism for years. The pandemic is just another opportunity for sounding familiar themes. Da Intereconomics.
To an American, the debate around how the European Union should respond to the COVID-19 crisis has a familiar ring. Europe has been debating debt mutualization, transfer union and fiscal federalism for years. The pandemic is just another opportunity for sounding familiar themes.
But the crisis is also a reminder that there is nothing distinctively European about this rhetoric. Closer to home (my home, anyway, where I am spending considerable time at the moment), we see southern state politicians like Florida Senator Rick Scott impugning northern states like New York for their profligacy. Or, as President Trump put it on Twitter, “Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as [sic] example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?” Northern Europeans have no monopoly on such sentiments. Crises, wherever they occur, have a way of bringing out sectional divisions and reinforcing cultural stereotypes.