Spain’s PM welcomes Franco-Germany €500 billion European Recovery Fund proposal

Two brothers arrested for arms trafficking in Costa del Sol's Malaga. Image: Guardia Civil

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has welcomed the €500 billion European Recovery Fund, proposed by French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel a few hours ago.

ACCORDING to both Macron and Merkel, the €500 billion European Recovery Fund would see money raised on the markets to support sectors and regions of Europe that have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a move that has been welcomed by both Sanchez and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, particularly after they were both deeply disappointed that the ‘coronabonds’ proposal (also designed to help European countries struggling in the Covid-crisis) was rejected by countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Denmark.

Commenting on the proposal in a Twitter Post, Sanchez stated: “We welcome the proposal by France and Germany to establish a €500 billion European Recovery Fund based on grants,” adding that “now it’s time for EU to put forward a proper financial package.”

Italy’s Prime Minister also responded positively on Twitter, stating that it was “an important first step in the right direction.” His Twitter post stated: “The Franco-German proposal (500 billion of grants) is an important first step in the right direction along the lines intended by Italy. In order to overcome the crisis and help businesses and families we need an ambitious #RecoveryFund. We are confident in @EU_Commission proposal.”

Although the Franco-German proposal is still in its early stages, with the finer details – such as how the debt will be repaid – yet to be worked out, the initial reaction from some member EU states reveals that this proposal is also likely to face similar opposition to the coronabonds. Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and Austria, have already reiterated that their position “remains unchanged,” although “they are ready to help most affected countries with loans.”

It will be interesting to see if Macron and Merkel can succeed in getting the opposition to change their minds and unite all 27 countries behind the recovery plan over the coming days.

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Pepi Sappal

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