US economist: Europe must ‘completely suppress’ virus

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — There can be no real economic recovery in Europe unless governments “completely suppress” the coronavirus, a prominent U.S. economist said on Friday.

Jeffrey Sachs said Europe needs to articulate a continent-wide strategy — instead of individual countries adopting their own solutions — to suppress COVID-19 and get travel safely started again.

“Cyprus needs tourism, Greece needs tourism, Italy needs tourism, how is this going to happen if the epidemic is continuing?” he said from the U.S. during an online conference on sustainable development, hosted in Cyprus.

He said post-COVID-19 recovery strategy must take into account that many economies are undergoing “permanent structural change” and many activities “won’t return the way they were before.”

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Sachs said the rapid pace at which the digital economy has advanced in recent months requires a deep look into how to make it work effectively and fairly, and to promote better jobs.

The economist also championed heavy investment in wind, solar and other low carbon technologies tapping a planned 750 billion euro ($842 billion) European Union fund to achieve “real recovery.”

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