The head of the Eurogroup Donohoe is confident that Omicron will not restore order

French Minister of Economy and Finance Le Maire and head of Eurogroup Donohoe in Paris
Paschal Donohoe, Eurogroup President and Ireland’s Finance Minister, attends a joint press conference with French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (not visible) after a meeting at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, on November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes

December 1, 2021

By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The head of the eurozone group of finance ministers Paschal Donohoe is confident the region’s recovery can be sustained next year even if the coronavirus variant Omicron calls for health measures new public, he told Reuters at the next conference.

Donohoe, Ireland’s finance minister, said his confidence reflected how economies were increasingly demonstrating their ability to limit the damage caused by restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus.

He also said the European Union’s massive COVID-19 recovery fund would make “a very large injection” into the bloc next year to further hedge against evolving risks.

“It is very early days in terms of the health impact of this new variant on all of us. I’m confident about our ability to sustain a strong recovery over the next year,” Donohoe said in an interview Wednesday.

“I hope we can avoid those widespread health measures again. I am equally confident that we will be able to allow consumption and investment to go hand in hand with them if they do. “

But to eliminate the threat the pandemic poses to the global economy, more needs to be done to help vaccinate poorer nations, Donohoe said.

“There is a radical imperative in the way we deal with the impact of the pandemic on an interdependent world that none of us are safe until we are all safe,” he said. safe.

“Scientists in South Africa have made a huge public interest in detecting what is happening in their country (with Omicron) and it underscores to me how important we are in fulfill its obligations to other regions of the world.

“That’s why the European Union is the biggest exporter of vaccines.”

The continued ability of the Irish economy to weather one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns prompted the country’s fiscal watchdog to predict on Wednesday that a budget deficit for 2021 will be lower than the government forecast just six weeks ago.

However, Donohoe warned that he will need to see if the new variant – the first case was confirmed in Ireland on Wednesday – has an impact on economic activity and what level of economic support will be needed in December and early next year.

He said governments across the EU would be quick and responsive if more financial support was needed.

“We’ve proven over the last 18 months that our ability to put in place measures has worked, has saved work… We’ll do it again,” said Donohoe.

(Additional reporting by Conor Humphries Editing by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter and Catherine Evans) The head of the Eurogroup Donohoe is confident that Omicron will not restore order

Bobby Allyn

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