Governments from several European Union countries are at war with EU institutions, including the European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, as they continue to disagree on a compromise over a strategy that would share the economic burden inflicted by the devastating coronavirus crisis. A report from the McKinsey Global Institute warned more than a quarter of all jobs in Europe could be impacted by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The analysis predicted unemployment could almost double this year, with staff working in customer service and sales, food services and building occupations impacted most.
Several of the EU’s biggest economies, including Germany, Spain and Italy, are teetering on the brink of financial disaster as the huge costs to fight the coronavirus pandemic become evident.
The EU’s Stability and Growth Pact has had to bee suspended and state aid rules relaxed.
This has led to the European Central Bank, now led by former International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Christine Lagarde, intervening in a desperate attempt to contain the risk of a new financial crisis.
The ECB has suggested it can absorb a large proportion of the public debt that countries will be forced to issue to keep their economies from collapsing.
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But Express.co.uk readers appear to have finally lost patience with the under-pressure EU, and are warning the institution’s days might be numbered.
The latest poll, which ran from 10am until 10.30pm on Tuesday April 21 and attracted 2,415 votes, asked: “As states turn on each other, will the EU survive the coronavirus pandemic?”
The results saw 82.1 percent (1,983 readers) vote that the EU won’t survive the current crisis.
Just 14.4 percent (347 readers) believe Brussels can survive the coronavirus pandemic, with 3.5 percent (85 readers) voting “don’t know”.
Furious Express.co.uk readers lashed out at the EU, with one reader raging: “The sooner the EU collapses the better for everyone inside of it.”
Another person said: “We need to be well away before the inevitable happens and the whole rotten structure collapses.”
A third reader commented: “The best thing the EU could do would be to just collapse. Let’s put it to a vote across all member states shall we?”
Several Express.co.uk readers linked any possibility of the EU not surviving the coronavirus pandemic back to Brexit, which saw the EU officially leave the bloc on January 31.
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One reader said: “The UK has left the EU so they can find another cash cow to help bail them out.
“Any government in the UK that folds to their demands would be finished. Let the EU sink or swim on its own.”
A second person speculated that Italy, which has continued to lash out at Brussels by accusing the EU of not providing the country with sufficient financial help to fight coronavirus, could be next to leave the bloc.
They said: “I think that Italy will be the next to leave and that will bring the whole house of cards down.”
Germany, which is home to the EU’s largest economy, is in favour of using bonds to finance other forms of financial assistance for national governments.
But Angela Merkel, speaking in the German Parliament on Monday, resisted the pooling of debt risk among all member states that Italy has demanded.
The Chancellor said: “We have already found an instrument in Article 122, paragraph 2, where bonds for countries can be passed on by means of guarantees from member states and then used, for example, to finance short-time working allowances.
“I can also envisage such instruments in the future.”
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