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The initial fiscal policy responses of euro area countries to the COVID-19 crisis

Stephan Haroutunian, Steffen Osterloh and Kamila Sławińska. ECB Economic Bulletin Issue 1, 2021

Monday 15 February 2021, by Carlos San Juan

Euro area countries have relied extensively on fiscal policy to counter the harmful impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their economies. They have implemented a broad range of measures, some with an immediate budgetary impact and others, such as liquidity measures, which, in principle, are not expected to cause an immediate deterioration in the fiscal outlook.

Since all euro area countries were hit by the economic shock largely through the same channels, their fiscal responses in the early stages of the crisis were similar in terms of the instruments used. Fiscal emergency packages were mostly aimed at limiting the economic fallout from containment measures through direct measures to protect firms and workers in the affected industries.

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