- Title: Macron, Merkel propose 500 bln euro Recovery Fund as "major step forward"
- Date: 18th May 2020
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (MAY 18, 2020) (CORONA POOL) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE MERKEL SAYING HELLO WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON ON VIDEO SCREEN NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Europe must stand together which means we need to aim for a swift economic recovery and that is why we want to set up an open and shut fund to the sum of 500 billion euros. This should cover EU household expenses - not loans, but expenses of the hardest hit sectors and regions. We are convinced that this is not only justified but also necessary to make money available on a European level which we will then pay back in stages from the various European household budgets." MEDIA VARIOUS OF MERKEL SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "The difference is that we as member states, via the ratification of the national parliaments, allow the commission to borrow money on the financial market that we will spend in the short- term but pay back in the long-term. The usual budget parameters count for the member states as well as budget treaties but in terms of spending, it should of course be the countries that were worst affected that profit most from the fund. That is the philosophy behind this and because this crisis is so unique we have had to turn to unique solutions in an attempt to find answers to this unprecedented situation." JOURNALIST ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "What we have seen is that others, whether it is South Korea, the U.S., China and Japan have heavily counted on global champions and this is what I see as the answer. We should not be afraid of having global champions rather we should be working towards this. And this will be a component of this programme but not the only component. Rather this program should give countries whose economies have been most seriously hit by this pandemic the chance to make necessary investments so that after the crisis we don't end up with serious inequalities which were not there before. Rather we want to strengthen European coherence." VARIOUS OF MACRON SPEAKING VOA VIDEO LINK (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We are both convinced that the only answer is if Europe acts together. The lone national state does not have a future. What is clear is that Germany can only be successful if Europe is successful and this means peace, freedom, a strong economy and prosperity." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 1st June 2020 17:31
- Keywords: Emannuel Macron France German Chancellor Angela Merkel coronavirus rescue package
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001CEGJUBR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: France and Germany agreed on Monday to propose creating a 500 billion euro ($543 billion) Recovery Fund that would offer grants to European member states and regions hit hardest by the new coronavirus crisis.
In what French President Emmanuel Macron said was a "major step forward", the two countries said they were also proposing to allow the European Commission to borrow money on financial markets in the European Union's name, while at the same time respecting EU treaties.
France and Germany had struggled to present a united front in the new coronavirus crisis, with France leading a push by mostly southern European countries to convince fiscally conservative countries like Germany to issue joint European debt to help them weather the economic impact.
But the Franco-German deal unveiled on Monday seeks to break the impasse and act as a blueprint for a wider EU agreement.
Whether fiscal hawks like the Netherlands were willing to back the initiative from Paris and Berlin, which notably proposes offering struggling EU countries grants rather than loans, remained unclear.
(Production: Oliver Denzer, Tanya Wood)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None