Brussels Edition: Call a Doctor

Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.

The coronavirus is back in Europe with a vengeance and this time the biggest fear isn’t a lack of ventilators or protective equipment in hospitals, but a potentially more intractable shortage: trained medical staff. With record cases emerging across the continent, governments are turning to more unconventional sources of labor by bringing in the army, roping in out-of-work bar and restaurant staff, and even tapping refugees who have medical training. With the number of seriously sick patients still much lower than in the first wave, it’s too soon to tell if Europe has the manpower needed to cope this winter. But signs of strain are starting to show. Here’s the situation from Belgium to the Czech Republic.

What’s Happening
Kicking Cans |
In the ongoing yo-yo of Brexit talks, we have a new target date for a deal. Set your alarms for mid-November, with the U.K. saying negotiations will restart today after positive contact between the two sides. The move comes less than a week after Boris Johnson broke off talks.

Turkish Tests | NATO defense ministers will discuss external threats this afternoon while grappling with an elephant in the virtual room: Turkey’s controversial embrace of a Russian defense system and its energy hunt off the coast of Greece.

Ferrari Fight | One of Ferrari’s most iconic cars, the Testarossa, will be the focus of a binding ruling by the EU’s top court today over its name. Judges will establish whether the supercar maker has used it enough to be allowed to hold on to the German trademark rights.

Female Leaders | Just last year, Lithuania was the only EU country to have an all-male cabinet. Now political parties led by women are on the brink of winning the elections, with the final round of voting to be held this Sunday. Here’s what to expect.

Listen Up | In our latest podcast, we look at the risks facing the European economy as new restrictions take hold across the continent amid growing coronavirus cases. Click here to find out what the chances are for a double-dip recession.

In Case You Missed It
Climate Delay |
EU governments won’t make a decision this week on a more aggressive emissions-reduction target for 2030, highlighting persistent divisions within the bloc over the pace of transition to a low-carbon economy. Instead, they will aim for a partial deal on the measure.

Closing Door | As flagged yesterday, the EU decided to remove Canada, Tunisia and Georgia from its list of countries whose residents should be allowed to visit the bloc amid the coronavirus pandemic. But there is good news for those traveling from Singapore, as visitors from there are permitted once again thanks to the improving situation in Asia.

Spanish Plot | Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been accused of seeking to abolish the Spanish monarchy as part of a two-day no-confidence debate. While the motion is likely to be defeated as it was proposed by the far-right Vox party, it still puts the growing bitterness in the country’s politics on full public display.

I am Charlie | The killing of a high-school history teacher in a Paris suburb last week was a shocking but painfully familiar experience for France, bringing back memories of the Charlie Hebdo attack almost six years ago. And the tragedy is hitting on all the pressure points in the country’s value system that President Emmanuel Macron has failed to eradicate.

Bond Blockbuster | The EU was understandably pretty chuffed with itself after landing the biggest bond deal on record, helping it to finance its job support program. Brace yourselves for up to one trillion euros more from where that came in the years ahead — assuming the recovery fund deal gets agreed of course.

Chart of the Day

Germany’s smaller companies are more optimistic about their country’s economy than peers elsewhere in Europe. Almost 40% of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country said the economy is strong or extremely strong. That compares with just 20% of more than 2,200 companies in Europe’s five largest economies surveyed by McKinsey & Co. during August. 

Today’s Agenda
All times CET.

  • 9:30 a.m. EU top court rules on Ferrari challenge to the withdrawal of rights to Testarossa name in Germany
  • 10 a.m. MEPs will quiz the EU Commission about possible measures to stop third-country criminals from buying EU citizenship documents or visas to gain access to EU territory
  • NATO defense ministers meet via secure video-conference 
  • 2 p.m. Gert-Jan Koopman, EU Commission’s budget chief, speaks at Bruegel event to explain how EU debt will affect the market of safe assets as well as how EU bonds will be structured and rated
  • Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal reviews abortion law
John Ainger