EU leaders groping for a solution to recovery fund impasse

EU leaders groping for a solution to recovery fund impasse

New proposals on the recovery fund are expected today, the second day of the EU summit, to address the concerns of Austria and the Netherlands, who insist that the disposal of funds should be unanimously agreed, instead of by qualified majority, as most of the other countries want.

On Friday, the 27 EU members failed to agree on fundamental issues, such as the size of the fund, on how much of the aid should be given as loans or grants and on the conditions for disbursing the aid.

The summit restarted at 11 a.m. Brussels time. Ahead of it, European Council President met with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Prime Ministers of Italy and Spain Giuseppe Conte and Pedro Sanchez and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and, to a lesser extend, his Austrian colleague, Sebastian Kurz, appeared ready Friday to veto a decision if their tough terms for use of the recovery fund _ unanimity, conditionality of loans, no grants if possible _ were not adopted.

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