The Dutch-led opposition to a ‘coronabond’ to raise funds for nations hardest-hit by the pandemic is self-defeating
Last Thursday, the leaders of the European Union convened a video conference to deliberate the escalating Covid-19 crisis. On the agenda was a simple proposal co-signed by nine different eurozone governments: the “coronabond”, a new type of public debt instrument backed by all the members of the currency union as they come together to combat the virus.
After a long decade of crisis fighting in the eurozone – pitting north against south, creditor against borrower – the proposal marked a rare display of unity, and the meeting was a perfect opportunity to ratify it. Issued collectively, the “coronabond” would drive down the borrowing costs of some of Europe’s most heavily affected countries, staving off another sovereign debt crisis and freeing up much-needed resources to invest in public health and economic recovery. “We are all facing a symmetric external shock,” the proposal read, “and we are collectively accountable for an effective and united European response.”