EU ministers fail to agree on economic rescue plan
Thursday, 04 09 2020, Category: Economy, Country: Europe
European Union finance ministers failed in all-night talks to agree on more economic support for their coronavirus-stricken economies, spurring Spain to warn the bloc’s future was on the line if it did not forge a joint response to the crisis.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said a deal was close after a 16-hour videoconference that stretched through the night from Tuesday afternoon, and that he hoped a deal on the package worth half a trillion euros could be clinched when the ministers meet again from 1500 GMT today.
A persistent stand-off between a camp of financially ailing southern European Union states led by Italy on one side and the Netherlands acting as the bulwark of the fiscally conservative north on the other was blocking progress.
“This is a crucial issue on which the European Union’s future is at stake,” Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas said of the fraught talks yesterday.
While the ministers sparred over more economic aid, the European Central Bank warned them that the bloc may need fiscal measures worth up to €1.5tn ($1.6tn) this year to tackle the economic free-fall caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, officials told Reuters.
The EU has already relaxed limits on state aid and public spending to help its 27 member states combat the slump and restart growth.
Source: Gulf Times