Covid causes wave of bankruptcies in Europe – unions sound the alarm


 The  Brussels brewery “La Jungle” felt the impact of the economic crisis right after it opened. Just two days after the start of activity last March, the Belgian authorities ordered the first lockdown. Bars and restaurants were closed from now on, which completely destroyed the brewery’s revenue base. Since then, La Jungle has stayed afloat with online sales to private customers, but the uncertainty about the reopening is depressing the mood.

If this went on for another five months, they’d have a problem. But think positively, says co-owner Christophe Bravin.

One of the lessons he learned from the crisis is that help does not always go to those who need it most: © The  coronavirus crisis shows time and again that the big players in an industry are hardly affected, because government support helps big companies the most. Small companies, on the other hand, usually got nothing. But it is precisely these that you have to give a helping hand.

2020 was a deadly year for medium-sized companies. Last autumn, there was an increase in company bankruptcies of more than a quarter compared to the summer (Eurostat). With 16 million registered unemployed and 40 million on short-time work, Europe is heading for a social catastrophe. ©

 The  unions are sounding the alarm.


 The se people urgently need help, says Luca Visentini, head of the European trade union umbrella organization (ETUC). As long as a reopening is not possible, they would have to be compensated. Otherwise protests and social strife threatened.


 The  EU will soon release the 750 billion euros from the reconstruction fund. But many countries are reluctant to use the money for social measures because they fear an increase in public debt. ©

 The  unions advise governments to let the means of reconstruction bear fruit.


 The  member states feared new debts, but these debts are virtually free because the interest rates are almost zero. So there is no reason to use this as an alibi in order not to have to continue paying for emergency measures, said Visentini. State funds must continue to flow to protect people, companies and the labor market. Otherwise recovery is impossible – action must be taken now.

As soon as the Council and Parliament give the reconstruction fund the green light, the individual states take responsibility for the allocation of the funds. Only they can then ensure that small and medium-sized companies can continue to exist.

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Covid wave bankruptcies Europe unions sound alarm


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