Covid-19 crisis will be overcome globally through cooperation - Vilks

  • 2020-03-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Covid-19 crisis will be overcome globally through cooperation among countries instead of each country putting its own ambitions first,  Latvia's former finance minister Andris Vilks who in recent years has been working at the European Investment Bank (EIB), said in an interview to Latvian Radio.

He said that there is huge uncertainty in the world's economy, and the situation might clear up towards the beginning of the summer. "Then we will see how we are able to cooperate, how humane we are. Everything will depend on global cooperation," said Vilks.

The expert said that countries will see their budget deficits rise due to Covid-19, countries will have to think about borrowing. '[Depending on the state], the budget deficit will increase  by 3-4 percent or even 10 percent. Government debts might turn out to be a big problem. The debt is comparatively small for Latvia - around 35 percent, while the average debt in the EU is 80 percent. We will have good terms for borrowing and many will want to lend to Latvia, but the countries with huge debts will see problems," said Vilks.

Vilks called on the EU to not hesitate and develop united guidelines for reducing the Covid-19 crisis. 

"The EU may perform huge tasks quite fast if member states are united. This [Covid-19 crisis] will force them to agree, but there are concerns about the ambitions of the US. If we want to become better, a way should be found to step over the ego. The small countries are not egoistic, those are the big countries," said Latvia's former finance minister.