The European Central Bank(ECB) has launched a public consultation forum so that Europeans can express their views about a digital euro.
“We are still in the review and consideration stage and are seeking views from the public to tell us whether they will be happy to use a digital euro, just in the same way they use the euro coin or euro banknote, knowing that it is central bank money that is available and that they can rely upon,” said Christine Lagarde, ECB President on her Twitter account.
Lagarde disclosed that ECB is exploring the possibility of launching a digital euro. This is as Europeans increasingly turn digital in their spending, saving, and investment habits.
She is the President of the European Central Bank, at a time the eurozone is grappling with adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK is the latest to announce a lockdown that will last four weeks, to the beginning of December as coronavirus infection rates escalate in what is described as the second wave in Europe.
“These new restrictions will be time limited beginning November 5th, 2020 and end on Wednesday December 2nd, 2020 when we will ease them on a local and regional basis,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson while announcing the new lockdown over England.
He warned that while Christmas season will be different this year, taking more stringent action now is the only way to ensure families meet and stay together.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already said the nation would implement a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres and some other such facilities beginning November 2nd, 2020.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the new restrictions would begin Friday and last until December 1st, 2020.
Data from Johns Hopkins shows that France has reported an average of more than 38,700 new virus infections per day in the past week alone.
Macron has said this new lockdown will be lifted once the country can bring down new infection numbers to at least 5,000 per day.
Health experts attribute the second wave across much of the Northern Hemisphere to colder temperatures that is forcing people indoors and allowing it to spread more quickly.
Others point to “pandemic fatigue,” for the surge, meaning that people are tired of strictly adhering to public health measures.
Lagarde mentions that the ECB has responded very promptly, appropriately, and somewhat heavily to the first wave that hit Europe, adding that the Bank will do it again in the second wave.