EU solidarity is essential

Sir, – David McWilliams concluded his most recent column by urging financial authorities to figure out what is possible rather than default to old mantras that are based on what is not possible ("We need to totally reimagine economics", Weekend, Opinion & Analysis, March 28th).

Hopefully this thinking will penetrate the deliberations of EU members.

As I write this letter, the reports indicate that Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria are resisting a collective response to the difficulties faced by all European countries, particularly Italy and Spain.

The gist of their reluctance appears to be the risk of moral hazard if some countries take advantage of an easing of rules and regulations in order to act irresponsibly.

Surely it is morally self-evident, in the present circumstances, that they must decide what the right thing to do is and agree appropriate procedures for administration rather than worry about the potential risk that the necessary assistance and support might be misused and, thus, avoid or delay that support.

Many of us are aghast at the apparent indifference of some of the authorities in the US to the plight of their fellow citizens, making that country seem totally alien. We must do better.

If the EU does not do the right thing, collectively, one certain outcome of the Covid-19 experience will be the demise of the European dream.

We will be lucky if we manage to retain even the bones of the original framework that served us well for so many years. – Yours, etc.



Co Wicklow.