With or without corona bonds: Europe's acid test The corona virus is putting the EU to the test. Even if all Member States want the same thing, what would be the right means to an end? And how much solidarity must a strong country like Germany now show? How much help can it afford? How different the answers to these questions are is currently not as evident in any topic as in the new debate about possible Eurobonds. Italy, Spain and France, for example, are calling for joint debt instruments, Germany and Austria are opposed to it, and even in the financial crisis after 2008, the German government refused to borrow jointly. According to Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, this course remains the same even during the virus crisis. But their dilemma is not only European, but also German politics. "This is not just an economic question, but also a moral one," says EU budget commissioner Johannes Hahn, and wishes for "Europe first". He sees great advantages even for the opponents of the financial instrument.
Ex-SPD leader Martin Schulz is currently observing a "weak" Europe, "a Europe that the EU's opponents would like, a Europe of the nation states". He predicts: Above all, economically strong regions abroad would benefit from bonds – and with them we too – not only with Eurobonds, but especially without them, it could become expensive for Germany, says our columnist Thomas Fricke. He describes how small peas counting, rising interest rates and the ECB are connected.While the potential benefits of Eurobonds are still theoretical, the consequences of the virus for the economy are already hard reality. Branch by branch are in danger and a temporary economy should help. Can that succeed – and what happens next? The current SPIEGEL title.