Europe restarts some production to revive the economy after lockdown
Large European countries are resuming their production as the coronavirus lockdown rules were eased. Thus, Europe restarts car factories to revive the industry. Renault restarted the factory in France. Ferrari restarted production in Italy’s Modena province. Suzuki will reopen its car plant in Hungary on April 29, although with only a single shift. The factories were closed as a measure to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. All companies announced the enhanced safety measures for workers.
“Previously, workers had to stand very close to each other while working at the factory. Recently, we have installed protective barriers in order to maintain a one-meter distance between the workers and ensure safe working conditions for everyone,” said Marion Macrez, staff member at Toyota France.
German automaker Volkswagen is gradually reopening its manufacturing plants after COVID-19 shut down. The company is testing employees for the novel coronavirus before they can come to work.
Italy plans to reopen factories on May 4. The country will revive the economic sectors, where the physical contact between people is minimal, as well the export-oriented sectors. The construction, wholesale, fashion business and furniture production will be allowed to restart.
Meanwhile, the European Union government leaders reached an agreement on the coronavirus aid package consisting of some 540 billion euro. The package includes 100 billion euro that will subsidize wages so companies will not have to cut jobs. The European Investment Bank will offer 200 billion euro in loans to small and medium enterprises. In addition, the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund will make 240 billion euro of cheap credit available to the worst-affected countries in the pandemic.
The European Commission and European Investment Fund launched the European Scale-Up Action for Risk Capital (ESCALAR), a new investment approach that will support venture capital funds to invest more actively in promising companies. ESCALAR will provide 300 million euro, potentially leading to total investments of up to 1.2 billion euro.
The United States is set to gradually reopen construction and manufacturing starting the middle of the next month. The country intends to fully restart the production sites starting May 15.
Reported cases of COVID-19 infections worldwide exceeded three million and more than 208,000 people died.