Dutch PM satisfied with €540 billion EU economic recovery fund
The European Union government leaders reached an agreement on a coronavirus aid package consisting of some 540 billion euros during what Prime Minister Mark Rutte called a "pleasant meeting" on Thursday. The aid money must be available by June 1st, they agreed. Rutte is pleased with the outcome. "Guys, this is a lot of money," he said after the meeting, AD reports.
The package includes 200 billion euros for European small- and medium sized enterprises, 100 billion euros for helping people who lost their job, and the rest will go into the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - an emergency fund that dates from the financial crisis 10 years ago. Countries in need can loan from the ESM.
"The impact of corona is Enormous across the EU, also economically. The Eurogroup package prevents acute financial problems," Rutte said on Twitter.
The leaders also agreed to create a special longer-term recovery fund. Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said that this fund should "contain enough money, and be aimed at sectors and parts of Europe that have been most affected". The EU government leaders asked the European Commission to "make a precise analysis of the needs and quickly come up with a proposal that does justice to the challenge we face," Michel said.
"On the basis of proposals from the European Commission, we will work constructively on a joint strategy for the recovery phase, linked to the multi-year budget," Rutte said on Twitter. He would not mention amounts for this long-term fund to AD.
According to the newspaper, part of the European Commission's job will be to figure out where the money for the long-term recovery fund should come from - so it is not yet clear whether it will be taken from the EU multi-year budget for 2021 to 2027.