As the deadly coronavirus continues to tighten its grip around the globe and its impact on the economy of various countries, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on March 1, announced the approval of $200 billion aid package to tackle the monetary effects of the pandemic. Calling it the “biggest mobilization of economic resources in Spain’s history”, Sánchez urged the people to fight the pandemic and “win against the virus” as it has claimed over 500 lives in the nation.
🇪🇸#Covid19: 2nd Raft of Economic Measures— Spain MFA (@SpainMFA) March 17, 2020
➡️ 200 billion euros, 20 % of #Spain's GDP.
✅To establish a social & economic shield that absorbs the shock of the economic halt & lays the foundations for recovery.
✅To protect families, workers, companies, self-employed. pic.twitter.com/BozXmhlojw
While the COVID-19 has now spread to over 160 countries, Spanish PM acknowledged that in the face of the pandemic Spain has to protect its jobs, companies, and families with a social as well as an economic shield so that “no one is left behind”. According to international reports, out of the total aid approved by the Spanish government, $660 million will be allotted to basic social services with a significant focus towards health assistance for the elderly people along with other vulnerable groups of the society to the fatal virus.
In addendum to that, Spanish PM also said that the government is facilitating the protection of the water, electricity, and communication providers “to guarantee essential public services”. He also promised the right to housing to those are in difficulties in times of crisis and assured that “nobody in a tough economic situation will lose their house”. Moreover, in the industrial front, Sánchez has pledged that private-sector workers might receive subsidies if they notice that the workload is reduced while also urging the business owners to nott fire their employees.
The announcement by the Spanish government came as the French government has also announced a near-total lockdown. While the World Health Organisation chief has urged all countries to ramp-up their testing programs as the most effective way to combat the drastic spread of the fatal virus, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that its citizens must stay at home from midday on March 17 (local time) to at least 15 days while also suspending all gas, electricity and heating bills, and rent throughout the crisis.
According to reports, Macron not only declared a “public health war” but also called the enemy, which is the fatal COVID-19, as “invisible and elusive”. France has now deemed all journeys outside the home unless justified for essential professional or health reasons as unlawful. The French President has also said that anyone who is found violating the new emergency regulations would be punished.