German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called for an “effective” agreement on the European reconstruction plan to deal with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic after a meeting at the German government’s guest house in Messeberg, on the outskirts of Berlin.
“What is important for many countries that are perhaps still skeptical is the desire to come out of this crisis stronger together. This means that only working with a European recovery fund will not be enough we need everyone at home to prepare for the future.”
In comments after this meeting, Merkel tried to bridge the differences with the so-called “frugal four nations” – Sweden, Denmark, Austria and The Netherlands, who are opposed to European Commission plans for a €750bn post-coronavirus recovery fund, by insisting that EU countries must also show a willingness to reform their economies and make them more “future-proof”.
She expressed confidence that EU leaders would reach agreement on the fund and on the bloc’s new budget at a summit due to be held in July, although she admitted there was still a “long way to go”.
Merkel refused to speculate on how the final agreement will look like, describing it as “a strong instrument that . . . has to really help those countries that are otherwise at risk of being much worse affected by the crisis”.
via Financial Times