Global economic recovery from pandemic to take at least two years: Athens forum

Friday, 2021-05-14 10:01:09
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A waitress wearing a face mask is seen in a coffee shop in downtown Nicosia, Cyprus on May 10, 2021. The Health Ministry of Cyprus issued a decree Monday, easing most coronavirus-related restrictions and introducing a SafePass for shops, restaurants and crowded events as well as on buses. (Image for illustration/ Source: Xinhua)
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The global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will take at least two years, officials and experts told an economic forum held in Athens and online.

"Recovery will take time. Economy cannot start simply by pressing a button. It will take two years," British-Cypriot Nobel laureate economist Christopher Pissarides said on Thursday while addressing the Delphi Economic Forum VI.

"We will return to a kind of normalcy in 2024 at the latest," Gunther Oettinger, former European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, said.

Compared to the financial crisis which broke out in 2008, this time recovery will be faster, but it will be nothing like turning on a switch, said Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

"The COVID-19 crisis will be a 'V crisis.' Great recovery will follow deep recession," Finance minister of Luxembourg Pierre Gramegna told the forum, warning that governments should not repeat mistakes of the management of the 2008 crisis.

In the previous crisis, there was a rush to restore budgets, but now emphasis must be placed on investments, the minister suggested.

"This crisis is a formidable accelerator of the European and world economy. It is reinforcing the things we consider important," Jean-Claude Trichet, European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission and former President of the European Central Bank, said in his address.

It's a wake-up call that helps uncover weaknesses of economies and accelerates underlying trends, like digitization, he explained.

The crisis also highlighted the significance of international cooperation to address it, Trichet stressed.

Over 1,000 guest speakers from some 40 countries are taking part in the forum which started on Monday and runs until Saturday. On the agenda are themes such as global economy, climate change, technology and health.

Xinhua