EU urged to gather round 750b euro recovery fund

Business | 8 Jul 2020 10:21 pm

The leaders of Italy and Spain, the two countries first affected by the coronavirus in Europe and among the worst-hit globally, are urging fellow members of the European Union to agree next week on “ambitious terms” for a recovery fund to shore up the pandemic’s economic fallout.

Southern European countries are pressing for a no-strings-attached approach in the EU’s recovery fund that will be discussed at a meeting of the bloc’s 27 members on July 17-18.

The 750 billion-euro fund drawn up by the EU’s executive Commission is made up mostly of grants, something opposed by countries dubbed as the “Frugal Four” -- Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden -- which are reluctant to give money away without strings attached.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says the EU can’t take a cautious path in its response to the pandemic because that would endanger the union’s common market and economy.-AP


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