Madrid Desk, May 7 (efe-epa).- The European Central Bank is “more determined than ever” to support the euro-area economy after the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of businesses and plunged the European Union into a recession, Vice President Luis de Guindos said.
“We continue to stand ready to make further adjustments to our monetary policy measures should we see that the scale of the stimulus is falling short of what is needed,” De Guindos told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Thursday.
“Looking ahead, we are faced with a cloud of uncertainty about the course of the pandemic and the economic damage it will leave behind.”
The European Commission has projected a dismal outlook for the year urging for more economic aid for the bloc.
The latest ECB report warned a 7.7 percent contraction of the economy loomed and said that without a common rescue plan the EU’s stability would be at stake.
The ECB has launched a 750 billion-euro bond-purchase plan and new bank-lending programs to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, and de Guindos said it would roll out more stimulus if required.
“There now needs to be a political agreement to build the appropriate instruments for this common response.”
In Spain, the number of deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours decreased to 213, bringing the death toll to above 26,000. The number of infections confirmed by rapid tests rose slightly, to 754, bringing the total to 221,447, the Ministry of Health reported on Thursday.
Some 128,511 have recovered from Covid-19, 2,509 of those in the last 24 hours.
Notorious Francoist police inspector Antonio González Pacheco, better known in Spain as Billy El Niño — Billy the Kid — died from Covid-19 in a Madrid hospital early Thursday, police said. He was 73.
He died without ever having gone on trial for more than 15 accusations of torture. An extradition request from an Argentine judge failed when Spain’s high court ruled that the statute of limitations had expired.
The former police officer had also been protected by Spain’s so-called pact of forgetting enacted after the dictatorship.