EU proposes 750bn euros recovery fund, strong resistance from Big FourChristian Fernsby ▼ | May 27, 2020
The European Union proposed a 750 billion euros ($825 billion) recovery fund to help countries weather a painful recession triggered by the coronavirus and sought to bridge divisions over the conditions that should be attached for access to the money.
New plan Brussels
Barely off the press, the EU’s recovery proposal received mixed reviews, with Dutch officials notably cool on it.
To fund its move, the EU’s executive arm proposed borrowing money on financial markets.
Two-thirds of the fund would take the form of grants, while the rest would be made up of more conditions-based loans for which countries could apply. Italy and Spain would each be eligible for around 80 billion euros in grants. France and Poland would each have access to 38 billion euros, while Germany could get 28 billion euros.
The grants will not just be handed over. Applying countries would have to outline their aims for the money and what reforms they intend to undertake to ensure their economies are more resilient in the future. The applications would have to be endorsed by the EU partners.
But Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are reluctant to give money away without strings attached, and their opposition to grants could hold up the project.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte indicated that positions among the 27 nations were far apart on a massive issue that requires unanimity. He said that finding a compromise in time for an EU leaders summit next month was far too ambitious. ■