Spain introduces new measures to provide economic assistance to vulnerable groups

Spain introduces new measures to provide economic assistance to vulnerable groups

The Spanish government approved on Tuesday (31 March) a fresh package of economic relief measures to mitigate the negative effects of the full suspension of non-essential activities enforced as part of the country’s efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak. “What is approved today is a safety net that protects our society,” Nadia Calviño, Economy Minister, told a press conference. The council of ministers approved a set of measures to provide a “social shield” from the threat of the spread of the virus, said Pablo Iglesias, second deputy prime minister and…

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Summary – Corona our comrade

Summary – Corona our comrade

A few months ago, the universal basic income was a left-wing pipedream. Now governments across Europe and beyond are preparing to pay people between 60% and 80% of their salary for the next few months. Factories are being converted to mass-produce surgical masks and other protective equipment. State aid rules have been re-written to allow massive state support for strategically important firms. But this triumph for state socialism is not the result of a single election. It is courtesy of Comrade Corona. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have already…

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Leaders face incentives against pandemic, pass hot potatoes to Eurogroup

Leaders face incentives against pandemic, pass hot potatoes to Eurogroup

EU leaders on Thursday (26 March) continued to disagree over the economic response to the coronavirus as Northern countries rejected the idea of issuing joint debt, known as “coronabonds”, proposed by nine member states to finance the recovery. During a virtual summit held by video conference, the 27 heads of states and government were forced to water down the wording of the text on the European economic response to the coronavirus, after Italy threatened to reject the draft conclusions because of the strings attached to the EU’s financial assistance. In…

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The emergency situation with COVID-19 makes the EU budget more relevant than ever

The emergency situation with COVID-19 makes the EU budget more relevant than ever

The seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak makes hefty cuts to cohesion policy in the EU’s next long-term budget all the more unjustified, writes Enrico Rossi, the governor of Italy’s Tuscany Region. Enrico Rossi is President of Tuscany Region and vice-president of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a test of unprecedented magnitude for the EU which will define its future. Whether for better or worse depends upon the capacity to provide a concerted and timely response to the multiple challenges posed by this…

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‘NEETs’: youth group at high risk of poverty and exclusion

‘NEETs’: youth group at high risk of poverty and exclusion

Education and skills gaps are not only a challenge for businesses seeking to recruit, they also make poverty and social exclusion more likely among young people who are excluded from labour and education at the same time.  According to Eurostat, 16.5% of Europeans between 20 and 34 years are NEETs, an acronym referring to people who are Neither in Employment, Education or Training. The lower the education level, the higher the risk for young people to become NEETs and fall into poverty and social exclusion as a result.  Moreover, the…

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Spain presents an “unprecedented” € 200 billion coronavirus protection package

Spain presents an “unprecedented” € 200 billion coronavirus protection package

Spain announced a €200 billion package on Tuesday (17 March) to help companies and protect workers and other vulnerable groups affected by the spiralling coronavirus crisis. Police carried out checks at borders with France and Portugal, turning back foreigners attempting to enter Spain as part of strict measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in Europe’s second-worst-hit country. More than 20 inmates clambered onto the roof of a migrant detention centre in Madrid in protest against the poor conditions inside, which they said were facilitating the spread of coronavirus….

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US industry hits UK digital services tax

US industry hits UK digital services tax

Representatives from the US tech industry on Wednesday (11 March) hit out at the UK’s plans to introduce a digital services tax from the beginning of April, following a period of uncertainty as to whether the UK would continue with the measures amid attempts to contract a US trade deal. Trade associations have criticised the UK’s measures, which would see the government apply a levy on digital services with a global revenue of more than £500 million, £25 million of which would need to be generated from domestic users. “At…

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Virgin Media leaves contacts of 1 million customers in an insecure database

Virgin Media leaves contacts of 1 million customers in an insecure database

Almost a million Virgin Media customers had their personal details stored on a marketing database that had been left unsecured since last April, the company has admitted. Records show that the database has been accessed by at least one person from outside the company, Virgin Media said, although it does not yet have any evidence that the information has been used illegally. No financial details were stored in the database, nor passwords. But it did contain contact details (such as name, home and email address and phone numbers) for users, as well as technical…

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Coronavirus mortality in Italy is growing, the government is preparing economic support

Coronavirus mortality in Italy is growing, the government is preparing economic support

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has risen to 34, five more than a day earlier, officials said on Sunday (1 March), as the government prepared to boost spending to help the fragile economy. The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency said the cumulative number of confirmed cases of the virus had jumped to 1,694 from 1,128 on Saturday, virtually all of them coming to light since Feb. 20 in the worst such contagion in Europe. Of that number, 83 people had fully recovered, while 140…

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Coronavirus leads to worst week for markets after financial crisis

Coronavirus leads to worst week for markets after financial crisis

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has triggered the biggest plunge in global stock markets since the financial crisis, amid rising fears over the impact on the world economy of the deadly disease and the efforts to contain it. An increasing number of countries and companies are imposing tough measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 disease, with mounting costs for company profits and growth. The outbreak has led to the fastest reversal for the stock market since 1933 during the Great Depression. Wall Street has slumped from record-breaking…

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