GENEVA (Reuters) – Europe should live up to the ambition displayed by the United States with its huge new economic stimulus, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.
US President Joe Biden’s new administration is already making payments to households under a new $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief program and plans to spend $ 2.3 trillion on infrastructure investments to revive the world’s largest economy.
“Whatever one thinks, the American stimulus plan shows ambition, and the return of American ambition is a good thing,” said Le Maire in a speech at the Geneva Graduate Institute.
“The best response to American ambition is not to fight it. It is to match it. Europe must question itself as America is doing, ”he added.
While European countries’ support for their economies last year was comparable to that seen in the United States, the new American stimulus overshadows the Union’s 750 billion euro ($ 881 billion) economic stimulus package. European.
Although the bloc of 27 countries agreed to the historic stimulus fund last summer, EU governments continue to submit detailed plans on how they plan to spend the fund’s money, which many have yet to ratify. .
Meanwhile, the European Commission and governments must also agree on structural reforms that are supposed to accompany the recovery, while domestic politics in some countries and a legal challenge to the German Constitutional Court have fueled concerns over possible delays.
As some European countries tighten their restrictions on coronaviruses in the face of a slow rollout of vaccines, calls are emerging not only for Europe to speed up its stimulus plans, but to increase its size.
The Mayor said that Europe should focus on returning as quickly as possible to pre-crisis levels of economic activity and not on restoring public finances.
“We shouldn’t get bogged down in complicated calculations about whether we should return to fiscal discipline in January or September 2022,” he said.
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