Letter from Rome – Italy at the Crossroads

By Daud KhanROME, Jun 14 2021 (IPS) Italy, as other countries, has been struggling to balance the health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19. Controlling the spread of the virus implied restrictions on economic activity, on school and college attendance, and on personal movement. It also had to deal with the economic and social implications of a fall of almost 10% in GDP. This has been hard for a country which, even before the pandemic, was one of the slowest growing economies in Europe, with unemployment, especially among young people in the South of the country, at alarming levels. Daud KhanSo far the Government main response to the economic crisis has been to try to spend its way out. Support and subsidies to enterprises, as well as to individuals, have been ramped up. Much of this has been funded by borrowing and public debt, already high at 130%, has shot up to 160% of GDP. The Government also placed a moratorium on dismissal and firing of workers until the end of June, and there is talk of extending this even further. The moratorium has kept official unemployment down but it is clear that the numbers of those out of work looks set to increase sharply. Getting the economy going is thus imperative. Fortunately, over the last couple of months there has been good news with regard to the spread of the virus. The rate of new infections been dropping, the pressure on hospital and Intensive Care Units have eased, and COVID-related death rates have been falling. At the sa...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Aid Development & Aid Economy & Trade Education Europe Headlines Health Humanitarian Emergencies Inequity Labour TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news

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Source: Frontiers in Pharmacology - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Source Type: research
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