EU Reeling on Dual Shock of Brexit & Coronavirus

EU countries are suffering some of the worst death rates in the world, with Belgium, Spain, and Northern Italy suffering enormous loss of life. Now as the EU’s second wave outpaces the United States of America’s, the litany of failures in Europe’s response are coming home to roost. And all compounding this virus suppression rebound, European businesses could be plunged into further misery as a result of no FTA with its largest market, the UK. No wonder leading German think-tanks recently intervened in Berlin saying a no-deal Brexit would ‘slam’ already anaemic¬†German growth in 2020…

As this graphic from Ian Bremmer’s GZERO Media shows, EU cases have outstripped US ones throughout October. Weekly deaths have once again crept higher in the EU now too…

Earlier this month in an interview broadcast on France 24, Emmanuel Macron admitted the French contact tracing app had been unsuccessful after it only alerted 993 people to self-isolate. He said that the app hadn’t been downloaded enough to work properly, adding that in the UK “there were a lot more downloads. We weren’t successful.” Now Macron is to make a televised address this evening, where it is speculated he will announce a new lockdown…

Even Germany, which is seeing a surge in cases, is likely to implement “lockdown light” next month. Angela Merkel is currently in discussions with leaders of each of the 16 German states over shutting bars, leisure centres and hotels. The FT is now reporting that Germany’s first line of defence, local health authorities, are crumbling under the pressure…¬†

With 1,071 deaths per million people so far, Belgium is officially the third worst country in the world. Led for most of the pandemic by a centrist woman, its death rate soars above they typical ‘strongman’ led countries deemed to have failed on deaths such as Brazil (766/m) or the US (693/m). Now nearly a quarter of medical staff there are reportedly off sick with Covid-19, and doctors with coronavirus have been asked to keep working

In socialist-led Spain, (712 deaths per million so far), a second national state of emergency has been imposed, along with a night-time curfew and powers for local authorities to ban travel between regions. Prime Minister Sanchez this week announced he would ask Parliament to extend the new rules to six months. People were initially told they would be in force for 15 days…

Italy is moving back to a state of semi-lockdown, with cinemas, swimming pools, theatres and gyms shutting from the start of next week. Bars, restaurants and cafes will have a new service curfew time of 6pm. Most secondary school teaching is also moving online.

With the official departure of its powerhouse economy and soft-superpower at the start of the year, Europe is looking smaller and more isolated. Now sliding back into locking down, things are not looking good for the future prospects of the bloc…

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