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News > Belgium

EU COVID-19 Crisis Package Negotiations To Continue

  • EC President Charles Michel (L) and other EU leaders, Brussels, Belgium, July 19, 2020.

    EC President Charles Michel (L) and other EU leaders, Brussels, Belgium, July 19, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 20 July 2020
Opinion

The 27 EU member states seek an agreement to finance crisis package worth over US$2 trillion.

The renewed extension of the EU summit in Brussels to agree on a COVID-19 crisis package and call for solidarity among all EU member states was welcomed by its members.

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"It is important that negotiations continue in Brussels today. It shows that everyone wants a solution instead of putting off the problem," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

But the necessary extension also showed that "enormous efforts" were required to make Europe strong again together, he added.

The 27 EU member states had again extended their negotiations during the night to Monday local time. The summit is to continue on Monday afternoon.

The summit is seeking an agreement on a financial and crisis package worth over US$2 trillion.

Over US$800 billion would be part of a debt-financed investment program to fight the pandemic, while the new seven-year EU budget framework would provide over US$1 trillion.

"The solidarity of all states among themselves will pay off for all," said Maas. However, not all EU member states were in agreement.

Leaders of the "thrifty" countries Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland still had reservations about the subsidies and wanted to further reduce the sums.

They would prefer to give only repayable loans to countries such as Italy and Spain, which were particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus crisis.

"Europe's word carries the most weight in the world if we all act in unison. This is not only important in the coronavirus crisis, but also concerning Europe's neighborhood and is in our immediate strategic interest," said Maas.

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