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"Make money on value, not on health", says its manifesto

Economists, academics and unions believe that the European Union has trouble surviving COVID-19

Two hundred European economists and academics mobilized by the European Trade Unions Confederation, created in 1973 and which brings together 81 organizations from 36 European countries and 12 European union federations with 60 million members, have published a manifest that says there is an urgent need to suspend stock markets and other monetary and fiscal measures to save the European Union (EU).Many believe that the EU has never been more in danger than now facing the COVID-19 effects.

Appeal from the European Trade Union Confederation, with the support of economists and personalities, on extraordinary macroeconomic measures to tackle the COVID-19 emergency:

We appeal to European Institutions and governments with a sense of urgency, our population is suffocating from the Corona COVID-19 virus, physically and economically. Nobody should have to choose between protecting themselves and their loved ones, or keeping their job and income, potentially putting themselves and others at risk.

We need to act and to act bold. We fear that the tools and funds put now on the table by governments and European Union institutions will not be enough. The full use of the flexibility of the Stability and Growth Pact will be like drops in the ocean, if not accompanied by additional measures. The emergency clause of the Fiscal Compact must be activated.

We urge all financial institutions not to profit from this unprecedented health emergency and prevent an economic shock. Therefore, we recommend the rapid implementation of the following measures:

  • Suspending stock exchanges immediately: after the unprecedented falls in stock markets all around the world, companies and workers will inevitably suffer and struggle to access credit.
  • Decreasing the European Central Bank marginal lending facility rate to zero percent or less (presently at 0,25%), decreasing the interest rate on the main refinancing operations rate below -0,75%, and decreasing even further into negative territory the deposit facility (presently at -0,5%) to allow and incentivise banks to maintain economic activity.
  • Make the European Central Bank really ready to do “whatever it takes”, meaning being ready to an unlimited reload of the ‘bazookas’ of the Outright Monetary Transactions and Quantitative Easing. As a complement, the European Central Bank capital key could be temporarily put aside for financial stability purposes, some Member States will be more in need than others.
  • Prevent financial institutions from making loans at positive interest rates to both European Member States and small and medium sized businesses. Small and medium size enterprises are going to either stockpile, or stop their activities, and see their activities locked down if no additional support is provided. We ask all financial institutions, not only national promotional banks and the European Investment Bank, but also private banks, to be prevented from making interest on loans, to enable businesses to navigate until the end of the crisis. If this cannot be achieved by incentivises, governments must act by decree or/and ensure a guarantee at national level, to be backed at the EU level.
  • The European Stability Mechanism must play a role in this regard, and we urge governments to make sure it can raise money at zero or negative interest rate and lend money to Member States, with the measures described above. Member States could moreover use the precautionary credit lines available under the European Stability Mechanism treaty, but without any conditionality.
  • Additionally, the option of helicopter money from the European Central Bank should be seriously considered, to bypass a broken banking transmission mechanism, if needed, as a way to cope with the decrease in economic activity, support workers’ income and prevent deflation.
  • Special measures should be taken for regulating price movements on vital products and housing, any abuses in this emergency should be severely condemned.

We must make sure that the emergency measures that should be put in place now, will be followed by more structural and sound measures to promote investment and sustainable economic development. We must take advantage of the current Review of the Economic Governance in the European Union recently launched by the European Commission: a complete revision of the European fiscal framework is absolutely needed, on sound economic principles.

Public services and public service workers are doing an incredible job in protecting and caring for the population during this unprecedented crisis, and now is the time to ensure that they can be financed sustainably in the future by clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion. Congratulations are welcomed, financing is needed.

Clearly, more than ever, fiscal transfers between Member States by one means or another, and a European central fiscal capacity issuing a safe asset, are required at this time, but it seems that such goals are not yet achievable.

Ultimately, this is about democratic control of our financial system and taking the necessary measures to save people’s livelihoods and economic activity. Acting fast and acting together is the only effective answer to a crisis that affects us all.

We must act together if we do not want all this to degenerate into petty and divisive nationalism. We must act together because we face the same threat, and the virus that does not stop at borders. Let’s act in solidarity, for the freedom of the people, and our common goods. Together we are stronger.

List of signatories will be regularly updated


Dr Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Economist, Former Danish Prime Minister, Denmark

Pr Dr Gustav Horn, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy Institute at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Germany

Pr Paul De Grauwe, Economist, London School of Economics, Belgium/UK

Lord Meghnad Desai, Economist, House of Lords, UK

Dr László AndorFormer EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Senior Fellow, Hertie School Berlin, Hungary

Stephany Griffith-Jones, Economist, IPD Director, Columbia University, UK/USA

Pr Joerg Bibow, Economist, Skidmore College, USA

Dr Gabrielle Siry, Specialist in Financial regulation and spokeperson of the Parti socialiste, France

Dr Aurore Lalucq, Economist, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Parti socialiste, France

Guillaume Duval, Columnist, Alternatives économiques, France

Albert Recio, Economist, Editor of Mientras Tanto magazine, Spain

Dr Carlos Martìn Urriza, Head of Economic Department, CCOO, Spain

Pr Ozlem Onaran, Economist, Director of Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre, University of Greenwich, UK

Dr Dirk Ehnts, Economist, Technical University of Chemnitz, Germany

Dr Philipp Heimberger, Economist, Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche, Austria

Emer Pr Carlo Benetti, Economist, University of Paris Nanterre, France

Dr Jorge Fabra Utray, Economist, President of Economistas Frente a la Crisis, Spain

Pr Cecilia Castaño, Economist, UCM, First Vice-President of EFC, Spain

Antonio González González, Economist, former General Secretary for employment, Vice-President of Economistas Frente a la Crisis, Spain

Philippe Portier, National Secretary for Economic Policy, sustainable development and social dialogue, CFDT, France

Pr András Inotai, former Director General, Institute of World Economy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

Paul Fox, Research and Advocacy Officer, Finance Watch, Europe

Pr Luis Rubio Andrada, Applied Economics, Universidad Autónoma De Madrid, Spain

Paolo Reboani, Presidente comitato economico sociale, Fondazione Craxi

Thomas Greuse, Economist, ACV-CSC, Belgium

Dr Michael Taft, Research Officer, SIPTU Trade Union, Ireland

Dr Patrizio Lainà, Chief Economist, STTK, Finland

Dr Ana Isabel Viñas Apaolaza. Economist, UAM, UGT, Spain

Renaat Hanssen, Economist, AVC-CSC, Belgium

Dr Paul Sweeny, Chair TASC Economists Network, Ireland

Dr Sotiria Theodoropoulou, Senior researcher, ETUI, Europe

Dr Matthieu Méaulle, Economist, ETUC, Associate member, PHARE/CNRS, University Paris Nanterre, Europe/France

Pr Isabelle This Saint-Jean, Economist, University Sorbonne Paris Nord, France

Dr Philip von Brockdorff, Department of Economics, University of Malta

Dr Tom McDonnell, Co-director, NERI, Ireland

Bruno Estrada, Economist, Advisor at the Labour Ministry, Spain

Marko Subotic, Economic Policy Advisor, Union of Free Trade Unions, Montenegro

Pr Gustavo Matías Clavero, Structure and Development Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, UAM, Spain

Nathalie Lambert. Professor in Economist, France

Emer Pr Carlos Berzosa, Applied Economic, UCM, USA

Enrique Viaña, Professor of Applied Economic, UCLM, Spain

Alberto Montero Soler, Teacher of Applied Economic, Universidad de Málaga, Spain

Pr Mónica Melle Hernández, Financial Economics and member of Economistas Frente a la Crisis, Spain

Pr Juan Antonio Maroto Acín, Financial economics and accounting Universidad Complutense De Madrid, Spain

Pr Maria Emilia García Pérez, Financial Economics and Accouting, Universidad De Castilla La Mancha, Spain

Pr Gemma Carmen Fuentes Calle, Financial Economics, Universidad De Extremadura, Spain

Pr Carles Manera Erbina, Economic History, University of Illes Balears, Spain

Pr Miguel Ángel García Rubio, Applied Economics, Universidad de Granada, Spain

Dr José Molina, President of the Transparency Council of the Murcia Region. Honorary President of the Open Chair. Member of EFC, Spain

Dr Julio Rodriguez Lopez, Economist, Member of the Higher Statistics Council, former president of the Banco Hipotecario de España. EFC Board Member, Spain

Pr Juan Torres López, Professor in Economics, University of Sevilla, Spain

Gaspar Llanes Díaz-Salazar, General Coordinator of the Strategic Plan for Seville 2030. Economist, Former Secretary General Economy Junta de Andalucía 2010-2019, Spain

Linda Romele, Expert of education and employment issues, Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia

Mārtiņš Svirskis, Economic adviser, Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia

Nicolò Giangrande, Economist, University of Salento, Italy

Guido Ortona, Professor of economics (retired), Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy

Markus Marterbauer, Chief economist, Chamber of Labour, Vienna, Austria

Marco Wagener, Senior economic advisor, Chambre des salaries, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, Luxembourg

Daniela Palma, Economist in Italian National Research Agency (ENEA), Italy

Felix Martes de Brito, Economic Advisor, Chambre des Salariés, Luxembourg

Emer Pr Raymon Tortajada, Economist, Université de Grenoble Alpes, France

Yuemei Ji, Associate Professor of Economics, University College London, UK

Zoltán Pogátsa  Economist, sociologist and university lecturer/SZEF, Hungary

Ruggero Paladini, University of Rome La Sapienza/CGIL  Italy

Philippe Frémeaux President of l’Institut Veblen pour les réformes économiques 

Dr Bela Galgoczi, senior researcher, European Trade Union Institute


Pr Antonio Baylos, Labour Law and Social Security, UCM, Spain

Pr Ruth Rubio, Constitutional Law, University of Seville and Board of Directors Economists facing the Crisis, Spain

Pr Margarita Barañano, Director of the Department of Applied Sociology, UCM, Spain

Pr Slavo Radosevic, Industry and Innovation Studies, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London

Dr Adoración Guamán, Labour Law, Universidad de Valencia, Spain

Pr Maria Jose Romero, Labour Law and Social Security, Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Relations, UCLM, Spain

Emer Pr Joaquin Aparicio, Labor law and social work, UCLM, Spain

Pr Juan López Gandia, Law and Social Security, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain

Pr Amparo Merino, Labour Law and Social Security, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, university of castilla la mancha, Spain

Pr Margarita Ramos, Labour Law and Social, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain

Pr Wilfredo Sanguineti, Law and Social Security, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain

Pr Carlos Alfonso Mellado, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad de Valencia, Spain

Pr Carolina Moreno, Labour Law, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain

Pr Eva Garrido Perez, Labour Law and Social, Universidad de Cádiz, Spain

Pr Carolina Martínez Moreno, Professor of Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad de Oviedo Spain

Pr Angel PINO, Chinese Studies, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France

Emer Pr Frédéric Lambert, Linguistic, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France

Dr Juan Ángel Organero Gallego, Physical Chemistry, Universidad De Castilla La Mancha

Dr Véronique Rauline, English Studies, Université Nanterre, France

Pr Gilles Col, Linguistic, Université de Poitiers, France

Pr Manuel Ortega Cantero, Technologies and information systems, Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Spain

Pr Faustino Hermoso Ruiz, Computer Languages and Systems, Universidad de Extremadura, Spain

Pr Ramon Sans Fonfría, Chemical Ingeenering, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Pr Benjamin Rey Sanjurjo, Agroforestry Engineering, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Pr Jaime Cabeza Pereiro, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad de Vigo, Spain

Pr Juan Carlos Álvarez Cortés, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad de Málaga, Spain

Pr Jesus Cruz Villalón, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

Dr Amparo Serrano, Social Psychology, UCM, Spain

Pr Edurne Terradillos, Labour Law and Social Security, EHU/UPV, Spain

Pr Rafael Gomez Gordillo, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain

Pr Francisca Ferrando, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Pr Mari Carmen López Aniorte, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Pr Eva Garrido Pérez, Labour Law and Social Security, Universidad Cádiz, Spain

Pr Antonio Oña Sicilia, Sport sciences, Universidad de Granada, Spain

Pr Roque Moreno Fonseret, Contemporary History, Universidad De Alicante, Spain

Pr José Cabezuelo Pliego, Medieval History, Universidad De Alicante, Spain

Pr Joaquín Plumet Ortega, Organic Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Pr Josefa Isasi Marín, Organic Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Pr Andres Perales Agüera, Mining Engineering, Universidad Politécnica De Cartagena, Spain

Pr José Manuel Gavilán Ibañez, Psychology, Universidad Rovira I Virgili, Spain

Pr Manuel Munuera Giner, Agricultural Engineering, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain

Pr Enrique Arribas Garde, Applied Physics, Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Spain

Pr Montserrat Tesouro Cid, Pedagogy, Universidad de Girona, Spain

Pr Eulalia Guiu Puget, Pedagogy Universidad De Girona, Spain

Pr Marc Tarres Vives, Financial and Tax Law, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain

Pr Ernesto De La Cruz Sanchez, Sport Scienes, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Pr Pedro Javier García, Computer Architecture And Technology, Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Spain

Pr Carmelo Faleh Perez, Private Law, Universidad de Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain

Pr Josep Ramon Gonzalez Castro, Mechanical Engineering, Universidad De Girona, Spain

Pr María Del Pino Dominguez Cabrera,Commercial law, Universidad de Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain

Pr Pastora Calvo Hernandez, Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, Universidad de Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain

Pr Nicolas Navarro Batista, Public International Law, Universidad De Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain

Pr José Luis Pérez Calvo, Administrative law, Universidad de Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain

Pr Riccardo Cappellin, Management and Law University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy

Salvatore Biasco, Statistics and Demography, Università La Sapienza di Roma, Italy

Prof. Andrea Guazzarotti, Associato di Diritto costituzionale, Università di Ferrara, Italy

Christos Pierros, Senior Researcher Labour Institute INE-GSEE, Teaching Fellow University of Athens, Greece

Mario Noera, Bocconi University Milan

Prof. Ivano Dionigi, Former Rector of the University of Bologna, President of AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium

Personalities and organisations:

Elio Di Rupo, Ministre-Président de Wallonie, Former Prime Minister of Belgium

Sergei Stanishev, President, Party of European Socialists, Europe

Paolo Reboani, President of the Social and Economic Committee, Fondazione Craxi, Italy

Eric Andrieu, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Parti socialiste, France

Pierre Larrouturou, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Nouvelle Donne, France

Brando Benifei, MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Europe, Italy

Erasmo Palazzoto, Italian MP, Italy

Cécilia Gondard, National Secretary for gender equality,Parti scialiste, member of the Executice Committee of PES Women, France/Europe

Maurice Braud, member of the Nationa Board Parti socialiste, member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, administrator of CIFE, vice-president of the University Office of Socialist Research

Myriam El Yassa, National secretary of the Socialist Party in charge of discrimination, France

Francisco Aldecoa Luzarraga, President of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement, Spain

Carlos Trias Pintó, EESC Member on behalf of the Spanish Consumers Council, Europe

Éva Palócz, General Director, Kopint-Tarki Zrt, Hungary

Ann Pettifor, Author, Winner of Heinrich Boll Stiftung's Hannah Arendt Prize, 2018, Council Member of the Progressive Economy Forum, Director of the Policy Research in Macroeconomics, UK

Oxfam, NGO

Stan Jourdan, Positive Money, NGO

Fabrice Hamaide, Chief Financial Officer, USA

Stéphane Hamaide, Group Accounting Director, France

László Andor, Ex EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Hungary

Enrique Barón, Former President of the European Parliament, Europe

Dr. Robert Sweeney, Policy Analyst, TASC

Gabrielle Siry LLM, Specialist in Financial regulation and spokesperson of the Parti socialiste, France

Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General, European Movement International (in personal capacity)

Trade union leaders and trade unionists:

Isabel Cano Aguilar, Vice-President, European Economic and Social Committee

Nora Back, President, OGBL, Luxemburg

Carmelo Barbagallo, General Secretary, UIL, Italy

Laurent Berger, President, ETUC, General Secretary, CFDT, France

Pierpaolo Bombardieri, Deputy General Secretary, UIL, Italy

Leonard Brascu, President, CNSLR-FRATIA, Romania

Zeljko Buric, President of Trade Union of Telecommunication of Montenegro

Victor Carachi, President, GWU, Malta

Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, ETUC 

Nicola Cicala, FISAC, CGIL, Italy

Rudy De Leeuw, former President ETUC and ABVV/FGTB, Belgium

Javier Doz, EESC member, ECO Section, Deputy to the General Secretary of CCOO, Spain

Cristina Faciaben, Confederal Secretary for International and Cooperation, CCOO, Spain

Susan Flocken, European Director, ETUCE, Europe

Annamaria Furlan, General Secretary CISL, Italy

Jesus Gallego Garcia, Secretary for International policy, UGT, Spain

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary, EPSU, Europe

Károly György, International secretary at Trade Union Confederation MASZSZ, Hungary

Per Hilmersson, Deputy General Secretary, ETUC 

Sylvain Hoffmann, Director of Chambre des salariés, Luxemburg

Srdja Kekovic, Secretary General, Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro

Marc Leemans, President, ACV-CSC Union, Belgium

Vesna Milonjic Aleksic, President of Trade Union of Commerce Workers, Montenegro

Mette Nord, President, EPSU, Europe

Mladen Novosel, President, SSSH, Croatia

Sandra Obradovic, President, Trade Union of Metal Workers, Montenegro

Yvan Ricordeau , Nation Secretary for european and international policy, CFDT, France

André Roeltgen, former President, OGBL, Luxemburg

Borislav Pavlovic, President of Craft Union of Taxi Drivers of Montenegro

Bojana Percan, Executive Secretary for City of Zagreb, Commercial Trade Union, Croatia

Andrzej Radzikowski, President, OPZZ, Poland

Oliver Röpke, President of the EESC Workers' group, Europe

Fernando Rocha Sánchez,Director of Studies and Projects, Fundación 1 de Mayo, CCOO, Spain

Dr.oec. Linda Romele, Expert of education and employment issues, LBAS, Latvia

Isabelle Schömann, Confederal Secretary, ETUC 

Marie-Hélène Ska, General Secretary, ACV-CSC, Belgium

Unai Sordo General Secretary, CCOO, Spain

Josef Stredula, President, CMKOS, Czech Republic

Pepe Alvarez Suarez, General Secretary, UGT, Spain

Mārtiņš Svirskis Economic adviser, LBAS, Latvia 

Miranda Ulens, General Secretary, FGTB-ABVV, Belgium

Robert Vertenueil, President FGTB-ABVV, Belgium

Luca Visentini, General Secretary, ETUC

Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary, ETUC 

Vukasin Zogovic, President, Trade union of University of Montenegro

Of interest