Europe Spent Just a Third of €3 Trillion Covid War Chests

EU states spent only about a third of the more-than 3 trillion euros ($3.4 trillion) in aid they budgeted for to save their economies from the pandemic

Commuters at Rivoli Street during sunrise in Paris.
By Aoife White
February 01, 2022 | 10:51 AM

Bloomberg — European Union states spent only about a third of the more-than 3 trillion euros ($3.4 trillion) in aid they budgeted for to save their economies from the pandemic, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

The situation has not been as bad as the budget would reflect,” she told Reuters BreakingViews in an online interview on Tuesday. “Basically no more than a third of this budget has been used.”

Italy spent the most on programs to support businesses, she said, followed by France. Concerns that Germany, the region’s largest economy, would outspend others proved unwarranted, she said.

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“Aid given in one member state may actually also indirectly help others because it makes sure that the value chains and supply chains stay dynamic and in full function,” she said.

The coronavirus support measures are separate from an 800 billion-euro recovery fund agreed last year to stoke the region’s economy after lockdowns forced many businesses to shutter temporarily.

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