EU to Keep Pandemic Economic Safety Net in Place Next Year

BRUSSELS — European Union countries will continue to benefit from an economic safety net through next year to help their economies recover from the damage inflicted by coronavirus restrictions, the EU's executive branch said Wednesday.

As COVID-19 spread throughout Europe and sent the EU spiraling toward its deepest recession, the European Commission activated a "general escape clause" in March 2020 that allowed member nations to deviate from normal budgetary rules.

But with vaccination programs now taking hold and the number of new coronavirus cases dropping, the commission predicts the EU economy will expand by 4.2% in 2021 and by 4.4% in 2022.

Given the positive trend, Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said that "we are prolonging the general escape clause in 2022, with a view to deactivating it in 2023."

Dombrovskis said the decision comes "with our recovery around the corner but with the road ahead still paved with unknowns. We will therefore continue to use all tools to get our economies back on track."

He said that of all the 27 EU countries, only Denmark and Luxembourg will stand below the deficit limit of 3% of gross domestic product set out in the bloc's fiscal rule book. But no debt action will be taken against countries such as Cyprus, Greece and Italy, which have "excessive imbalances," Dombrovskis said.

The EU extended the deadline for Romania to correct its debt ratio to 2024.

Dombrovskis urged EU members to take advantages of the loans available under the bloc's 750 billion-euro ($914 billion) coronavirus recovery plan to help stimulate their economies further.

The EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility is made up of grants and loans, and benchmarks must be met for the money to be paid out. Loan conditions are more onerous. 


ATHENS - Greek public debt totaled 357,295 billion euros at the end of the third quarter of 2021, from 337,666 billion in the corresponding period in 2020, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Friday.

Top Stories


BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.


NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.


STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.


1 NYPD Officer Killed, 1 Severely Injured in Harlem Shooting (Vid)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer was killed and another critically wounded Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son, officials said, making four officers shot in the city in as many days.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.