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Eurozone firms survived the COVID-19 storm better than expected

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BRUSSELS, Jan. 13 () – Eurozone companies have survived the COVID-19 pandemic better than expected for two years, with eurozone finance ministers unable to pay less than they feared, a eurozone official said Monday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the best result was a € 2.3 trillion ($ 2.64 trillion) national loan to prevent companies from collapsing under repeated government-imposed pandemic blockades. demonstrates the effectiveness of liquidity support measures. economy.

“There were concerns about a wave of insolvency,” said an official involved in the preparation of a monthly meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

As part of measures to prevent bankruptcies, governments have introduced subsidized part-time work schemes to prevent mass layoffs and guaranteed loans from banks by companies.

“Right now … corporate insolvency remains at a surprisingly low level compared to the severity of the crisis and the historical average,” the official said.

But he warned that politicians in 19 countries sharing the euro should continue to support vital companies, as many ended the pandemic with high debt and it was unclear how quickly they needed help with new waves of infection every few months. .

“The situation varies between countries and sectors,” the official said. ($ 1 = € 0.8723) (Jan Strupczewski report; edited by Richard Chang)

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