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Austria opposes 500 billion euros fund plan

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 20, 2020
A group of European Union states opposed to big spending by the bloc will present a counter-proposal to Franco-German plans for a 500 billion euro ($547 billion) coronavirus recovery fund, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday.
Sebastian Kurz
Chancellor   Sebastian Kurz
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday proposed the fund to offer grants not loans to the hardest hit EU regions and sectors.

Topics: Austria

But Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, a group here of EU member states known as the "frugals", oppose far-reaching ideas such as the mutualisation of member states' debt.

“We are sceptical,” Kurz, a conservative, was quoted as saying in the Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten newspaper.

“Our position is clear: we want to show solidarity with states that were hit particularly hard by the crisis but we believe that loans are the right way, not grants.”

Kurz spoke to his Dutch, Danish and Swedish counterparts on Monday and said they share that position.

“In the coming days we will present a proposal with our own ideas. We believe it is possible to stimulate the European economy and yet avoid a mutualisation of debt,” he said.