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Jumpstarting Europe’s Economy

Not long ago, the notion of the ECB handing out money to governments or directly to citizens – so-called "helicopter money" drops – would have seemed outlandish. Today, the idea has gone mainstream, which represents a welcome shift in Europe's economic-policy debate.

PARIS – Not so long ago, the notion of the European Central Bank handing out money to governments or directly to citizens – so-called “helicopter money” drops – would have seemed outlandish. But today a surprising number of mainstream economists and centrist politicians are endorsing the idea of monetary financing of stimulus measures in different forms.

This represents a much-needed change in the conversation – one that, at long last, finally puts the focus squarely on stimulating the demand side of the European economy. After years of stagnant growth and debilitating unemployment, all options, no matter how unconventional, should be on the table.

The United Kingdom’s referendum decision to leave the European Union only strengthens the case for more stimulus and unconventional measures in Europe. If a large majority of EU citizens is to support continued political integration, strong economic growth is critical.

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