Focused primarily on the economic recovery of the post-coronavirus, the meeting between the ministers of the economy and finance of the European Union showed that there is still a long way to go.
In addition to the dissensions highlighted again by countries like Holland and Austria, the severe disapproval from theHungary.
The minister Mihaly Varga indeed he spoke of a “Unfair plan”, as specially created “To help Southern Member States”.
Today’s statements to mention include that of the Italian minister Roberto Gualtieri, who reiterated the opinion totally favorable of the Belpaese speaking of “Balanced compromise that must not be downsized”.
Recovery Fund: disagreement prevails between EU countries
The biggest disagreements that emerged from today’s Ecofin meeting are those of Austria and Hungary.
For the Vienna executive, the contents of the Recovery Fund are “Unacceptable at present”, just as unacceptable – and unsustainable – would be the figures deriving from the plan.
Gernot Blümel, Austrian Finance Minister, has emphasized the lack of modalities and subjects who will have to take charge of the debt repayment.
While the Hungarian Mihaly Varga he has certainly chosen the most critical words, highlighting how the provision appears “unfair” vis-à-vis Hungary:
“In essence, it was tailored to help southern Member States; but the EU should act fairly and proportionately to contain the economic damage caused by the pandemic, not impose additional burdens on smaller and less developed companies “.
More predictable but no less difficult Dutch line, who keeps asking only loans and no subsidies, and to solicit conditional receipt of funds “To the effective implementation of structural reforms”.
Position practically identical to that exposed by Denmark and Sweden.
While for the Finnish minister Matti Vanhanen the Recovery Fund underestimates “The important account to pay” related to coronavirus.
The yes axis: Italy-Germany-France
Contrary to all the aforementioned disagreements there is also the Italian line. Gualtieri has defined the Commission’s proposal – for which Italy could go further 170 billion – “A balanced compromise, which must not be reduced”.
Italy supports an ambitious and future-oriented recovery plan. The Commission proposal is a balanced compromise and should not be downsized. Now working on investments and reforms. #ECOFIN pic.twitter.com/F355gbpbB5
– Roberto Gualtieri (@gualtierieurope) June 9, 2020
There France – who first worked out the plan – is contrary to any kind of conditionality linked to the receipt of funds, such as those requested by Holland, Denmark and Sweden.
On the other side, the German minister Olaf Scholz returned to the figures put on the plate by the European Union for the Recovery Fund, pushing for an overall package of 500 billion euros and not 750 billion as initially announced.
Everything lets you think long-lasting discussions, certainly throughout the summer, before outlining a general picture of the post-coronavirus European economic recovery plan.