(10 April 2020) – EU finance ministers yesterday agreed a €540 billion package to support member states, companies and workers in the coronavirus crisis, after The Netherlands and Italy overcame their differences.
Leaders will discuss in the coming days the recovery plan and the possibility of issuing so-called ‘coronabonds’. The deal was reached on Thursday evening after an intense round of bilateral contacts that postponed the start of the teleconference by more than four hours.
The draft text was finally supported by Italy and Spain, the two countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, and The Netherlands, which was the last EU country still opposing light conditions to cheap loans provided by the European Stability Mechanism, the eurozone’s bailout fund.
The package sets up a massive safety net of €540 billion for member states via the ESM, for companies through the European Investment Bank, and for workers via the European Commission’s new instrument SURE. (EurActiv)