Graphic shows top beneficiaries of the proposed EU funding package.


Merkel throws her support behind European recovery plan

July 1, 2020 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed a radical stimulus package that will see the European Union issue €750 billion in shared debt to give grants and loans to nations hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday stressed their determination to work together to try and get European economies back on track as Germany takes over the the six-month rotating EU presidency on July 1.

In May, Merkel and Macron together proposed creating a one-off 500 billion-euro ($561 billion) recovery fund that would be filled through shared EU borrowing. That is a big step for Germany, breaking with its long-standing opposition to any kind of joint borrowing.

The EU’s executive Commission expanded on the proposal, putting forward plans for a 750 billion-euro fund made up mostly of grants. It faces resistance from some countries – including Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden – that oppose grants and are reluctant to give out funds with no strings attached.

It will be up to Germany to help find a quick agreement, ideally when EU leaders meet July 17-18 for their first in-person summit in months, on both the recovery fund and the EU’s budget for seven years starting January 1.

PUBLISHED: 01/07/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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