photo : bbc
EU leaders have struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package following a fourth night of talks. It involves €750billion (US$859billion) in grants and loans, to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc. The talks saw a split between nations hardest hit by the virus and so-called "frugal" members concerned about costs. The deal centres on a €390bn programme of grants to member states hardest hit by the pandemic. Italy and Spain are expected to be the main recipients. On the press conference held on Tuesday (July22) in European Union headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, The European Council President, Charles Michel said that the agreement is a pivotal moment for European Union in handling the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
"I believed this agreement will be seen as a pivotal moment in Europe journey. But it will also launch us to the future, in fact it's the first time In European history that our budget will be clearly linked to our climate objective. The first time that the respectful overflow is a decide criteria for budget spending and the first time that we are jointly reenforcing our economy against a crisis" Michel said.
A further €360bn in low-interest loans will be available to members of the bloc. On the same event, European Union President, Ursula Von Der Leyen said that Europe will manage 1,8 trillion Euro budget to recover economy.
"The new budget will power the European green deal. It will accelerate the digitalization of Europe economy, thanks to next generation EU national reform will be boosted, we invest in Europe future. And finally unlike in previous crisis this time member state have not opted for the inter govermentally agreement but they have entrusted the European commission of Europe recovery, we will together manage a total of 1,8 Trillion Euro. The barge of the money will be channeled through the programs in which the European parliament is involved" Ursula said
The package will allow members to maintain spending in the aftermath of lockdowns that badly affected public finances. It includes controlls that the funds will not be misused. Recipients will have to submit spending plans to the European Commission, and a majority of states will be able to block projects. The leaders reached agreement early on Tuesday after more than 90 hours of talks. The European Commission will borrow the €750bn on international markets and distribute the aid. The deal was reached alongside agreement on the bloc's next seven-year budget, worth about €1.8 trillion. The UK, which has recorded more coronavirus deaths than any other European country, left the EU in January and is not involved in the deal//NK/bbc