Updated: Jul 25, 2020
"Fuck Corona" pictured outside a large
apartment complex in Aarhus on March 22nd.
Being an American living in one of the world’s most socialist countries during a global pandemic has been absolutely fascinating. Denmark has just announced a very aggressive plan to offset the economic downturn due to the coronavirus. To be clear they are not handing out loans, they are actually giving out cash— no strings attached. Basically the overall idea is to save the strong economy here, and after it is all over business theoretically should be able to resume business as usual.
On the Ground Situation
Currently Denmark has closed down universities, schools, public institutions, restaurants, museums, cinemas. No assembly of more than 10 people is allowed. The borders have been closed too. This is the situation in many countries right now, and we are prepared for stricter regulations coming down the pipe in the next press conference.
What Denmark is Actually Doing
Denmark is truly taking extreme measures to combat the financial crisis that it being felt around the world. Flemming Larsen, a professor at the Center for Labor Market Research at Denmark’s Aalborg University explained to the Atlantic,
“We are freezing the economy. Because otherwise the government is afraid of the long-term damage that this will do to the entire system. The hope is that this will be over in three or four months, and then we can start up society again.”
In order to freeze said economy the government told private companies hit by the effects of the pandemic that it would pay 75 percent of their employees’ salaries to avoid mass layoffs. The plan could require the government to spend as much as 13 percent of the national economy in just three months. That is roughly the equivalent of a $2.5 trillion stimulus in the United States spread out over just 13 weeks.
A frozen economy means that money is still coming in and going out, as if nothing happened. Basically a week in January might not look that different from a week in March in ones bank account. And that is the goal. It is a quick fix, to bandaid up the economy through and through, in hopes that come mid April or May that we will open up our front doors and assume business as usual.
These are actions you have never seen before. It is quite extraordinary, but we are also in an extraordinary situation - Nicolai Wammen, Minister of Finance