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Don't use this crisis to bash the EU - use it to reform it

Frances Fitzgerald


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Virus impact: Irish European Commissoner for Trade Phil Hogan wearing a face mask at the European Commission in Brussels. Photo: Johanna Geron/Reuters

Virus impact: Irish European Commissoner for Trade Phil Hogan wearing a face mask at the European Commission in Brussels. Photo: Johanna Geron/Reuters

REUTERS

Virus impact: Irish European Commissoner for Trade Phil Hogan wearing a face mask at the European Commission in Brussels. Photo: Johanna Geron/Reuters

'Whatever it takes" were the three famous words used by former ECB president Mario Draghi when he told investors what the ECB was prepared to do to save the euro at the height of the eurozone debt crisis in 2012.

Markets immediately reacted positively to this simple but powerful three-word message from an otherwise cautious and carefully scripted central banker. As it turned out, those words were pivotal in paving the way towards a long, and admittedly painful, road to recovery for the eurozone.

Words clearly matter in a time of crisis. However, the coronavirus is a unique challenge for everyone. Words alone will not be able to get us out of this crisis, the death toll won't be halted by political statements and businesses won't get back up and running on the back of positive comments. Radical measures, decisive action and strong leadership are needed from the EU if we want to bring about a sustainable recovery.