Conte urges EU to provide strong response to Covid-19 economic crisis

epa08532255 Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a face mask during a press conference at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, 07 July 2020. Conte commented on his government's simplification decree after his cabinet approved a package streamlining bureaucratic procedures for public works, media reported. EPA-EFE/ROBERTO MONALDO / POOL

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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday the European Union must provide a strong response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that support measures must be activated rapidly.

“We won’t accept a weak compromise,” on an EU Commission proposal to build up a recovery fund to finance the bloc’s coronavirus-battered economies, Conte told reporters in Lisbon speaking alongside Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

EU leaders still have to agree on the makeup of any recovery package, and an important meeting on the issue will take place in Brussels on July 17-18. Significant differences remain on key issues including whether it will be based on loans or outright grants to member states in need.


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