EU showdown looms – Macron’s radical bailout plan for 10% of Brussels’ GDP stuns Merkel

EU ARGUMENTS erupted last night over the bloc’s response to the coronavirus crisis, as Emmanuel Macron’s demand for 10% of the EU’s GDP to be used sent shockwaves to Berlin and Angela Merkel.
By Oli Smith
EU leaders clashed last night over how to rescue their battered economies following the unprecedented coronavirus crisis. Emmanuel Macron said that Europe has “no future” unless the EU27 agree to a huge €1.5tn plan that was also backed by Spain and Italy. He said that this figure amounts to around ten percent of the EU’s GDP, an estimate that has sent shockwaves to Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and other northern countries.
While the EU leaders agreed on Thursday to build a trillion euro emergency fund to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic, there was no consensus on how this would be funded.
The sceptical northern countries are wary after President Macron detailed a plan for the grants to be paid out of financial transfers instead of loans.

EU leaders clash over trillion-euro Covid-19 aid in online meeting

Virtual summit debates rescue package to protect single market from slump
By Jennifer Rankin
European Union leaders have clashed over how to rescue their economies from an economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic and forecast to be unparalleled since the 1930s Great Depression.
Meeting via video-conference summit, as the confirmed Covid-19 death toll passed 108,000 lives across the European Economic Area and UK, the 27 leaders instructed the head of the EU executive, Ursula von der Leyen, to draft a recovery plan.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte told the group that the health emergency had become an economic and social emergency, “but now we are facing a political emergency as well”.
Italy swung behind Spain’s €1.5tn plan for grants for the hardest-hit countries, funded by “perpetual” (non-maturing) bonds. French president Emmanuel Macron also threw his weight behind the idea, saying: “Europe has no future if we cannot find a response to this exceptional shock.” He said the scale of the crisis demanded financial transfers to the hardest-hit states, and not just loans.

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