Some people wearing face masks are seen at Milan Central Railway Station in Milan, capital city of Lombardy region, Italy, March 8, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
The better a country is at responding to the COVID-19 pandemic from a healthcare perspective, the less likely it needs a strong economic response, which is a link that needs to be acknowledged, an Italian expert said.
Antonio Villafranca, research coordinator and co-head of the Europe and Global Governance Centre, Italian Institute for International Political Studies, said at the Global Think Tank Webinar on Tuesday that when the coronavirus outbreak hit Europe, he and colleagues had been requested by European governments to provide economic recipes. The European Union countries have also agreed last week "for the first time in history" to set up a 750 billion euro ($857 billion) recovery fund to help member countries recover their economies ravaged by the pandemic.
"This is really unprecedented, something that if anybody told me that four months ago, five months ago, I would say he or she would be crazy because that was absolutely impossible in the European Union. Still we did it," he said.
"But we have to acknowledge that there would not be such a dire need for economic response if we have managed to improve our healthcare response sufficiently."