EU leaders struggle with ‘mission impossible’ at deadlocked recovery summit

epa08554358 France's President Emmanuel Macron arrives for the third day of the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 19 July 2020. European Union nations leaders meet face-to-face for a third day to discuss plans to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and a new long-term EU budget. EPA-EFE/FRANCISCO / POOL

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EU leaders stood at an impasse on Monday after three days of haggling over a plan to revive economies throttled by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the chairman of their near-record-length summit urged them to make one last push on “mission impossible”.

Charles Michel reminded the 27 leaders of the European Union that more than 600,000 people had now died as a result of the coronavirus around the world, and it was up to them to stand together in the face of an unprecedented crisis.

“My hope is that we reach an agreement and that the headline … tomorrow is that the EU has accomplished mission impossible,” the European Council President said at their third dinner in a row at the Brussels conference centre. “That is my heartfelt wish … after three days of non-stop work.”

The leaders are at odds over how to carve up a vast recovery fund designed to help haul Europe out of its deepest recession since World War Two, and what strings to attach for countries it would benefit.

The meeting was adjourned on Monday until 4pm today.

via Reuters

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