Europe is preparing for an unprecedented economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with the situation changing day-by-day no-one is able to predict the effects on the EU's job market. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has said the pandemic could cost up to 25 million jobs across the world. They propose income support for businesses as well international cooperation. We are seeing many governments, including many European governments, pumping a lot of fiscal and monetary effort into keeping their economies moving, into maintaining jobs, into maintaining income, said Guy Ryder, ILO director-general. And this is all very good, but we know that the example of the 2008 crisis is very instructive. We know when governments act together rather one by one in their national settings the impact of what is done is all that much greater. And of course independent workers and the self employed really do need assistance because they can not look to an employer to offer protection. The hardest hit sectors include tourism, leisure, hospitality and airlines are already laying people off. Manufacturers and construction industries are waiting to make decisions. Meanwhile some EU countries are offering help for freelancers, who are often not entitled to unemployment benefits. In the European Parliament, the group of Socialists and Democrats is calling on the EU to introduce corona bonds, common financial fund to fight the economic and social effects of the crisis. We have suggested to the [European] Commission and to the [European] Council together with the European Central Bank to issue a 'corona bond', said Hungarian opposition MEP Klára Dobrev. Because we have learned from the 2008-9 crisis that austerity measures are not the ones that we can use in a crisis like this. Especially not now. So what we need now is more liquidity, more money and more possibility in order to keep the economy and keep the people alive. The idea of the corona bonds will be also debated by EU and Eurozone finance ministers, some of them already rejecting the idea, saying loosening budgetary rules should be enough to tackle the crisis.


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