The front of the Light Recovery Fund is growing. But Merkel and Macron: “Understanding by summer” – La Stampa


FROM THE MAIL TO BRUSSELS. When Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven took the floor, tAll the other EU leaders immediately understood that the blockade of “frugal” countries remains compact and determined. “I speak on behalf of the Swedish government, but also on behalf of the Dutch, Austrian and Danish governments. Because we have the same position », Löfven began at the virtual table of the European Council. He recalled that for them there are too many 750 billion of the Recovery Fund, “they need loans and not grants” and that clear conditionalities must be established.

The group was also immediately joined by Sanna Marin, the Finnish premier who is having so much success among progressives from all over Europe. “We cannot accept the Commission’s plan as it is – explained the Social Democrat exponent -. Changes are needed in many respects. Negotiations will only begin when Charles Michel presents a new proposal. ” It will arrive in the next few weeks, after which – in mid-July – the Twenty-seven will meet again, this time live, to concretely deal with the figures and details of the new plan. “The PRThe Commission’s starting point is the starting point, we will not accept any step backwards “, warned David Sassoli, number one of the EU Parliament, who fears a reduction in resources.

Now Michel, President of the European Council, has the difficult task of finding a compromise. Yesterday did not want to answer a question from journalists on the total volume of resources it intends to propose (“It is not my intention to negotiate in the press”). But in doing so, he will certainly try to meet the needs of the “frugal”: unanimity is required for the agreement. So the 172 billion virtually allocated to Italy by the Ursula von der Leyen plan could decrease considerablyis.

The former Belgian premier has listed the points on which there are still great differences: the total amount of the Recovery, the balance between grants and loans (today 500 and 250 billion), the conditionalities for the funds, the redistribution criteria of the resources, the discounts in the shares to be paid to the budget enjoyed by the Northern States. There are also disagreements on other details, such as own resources, the duration of the plan (“Four years are too many,” says Angela Merkel) and the timing for repayment. Basically, the only point on which there is agreement concerns the need to have a debt-financed recovery fund. Unthinkable until a few months ago, but in any case insufficient to reveal a deal soon.

Merkel and Macron insisted on the importance of closing the agreement by the end of July. Christine Lagarde explained the reasons: “Without the go-ahead for Recovery, the moods of the markets will change – the leaders said the president of the ECB -. The sooner the agreement is made, the better. ” The idea of ​​accelerating has garnered widespread consensus, but not unanimity. “There is no reason to be in a hurry,” pointed out the Dutch Mark Rutte, recalling that at the moment there is already a package of 540 billion measures “not yet used” (see under Mes). The “frugal” seem willing to use the timing as a negotiating weapon: if Merkel, Conte and Macron want to close by the end of July – this is the reasoning – then they will have to meet their requests. Otherwise the agreement will be postponed.

“The more time we waste, the deeper the recession will be,” warned Spaniard Pedro Sanchez, while Emmanuel Macron drew his red line: don’t touch the 500 billion in grants. Another battleground will be the conditionalities, which the Nordics want to strengthen. Sebastian Kurz from Austria summarized the question with a question: “Will the funds be tied to the reforms and make us more competitive?” Or will they be squandered on projects like citizenship income and holiday vouchers? ‘ Any reference to existing governments is purely random.

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