EU, Conte after dinner with Rutte: “There is no full convergence, there is confrontation”. The battle over the Recovery Fund shifts to reform


The battle on the Recovery fund moves on the fear of reforms and conditions. “There is no full convergence“, The Prime Minister immediately makes clear, Giuseppe Conte, at the end of his mission in The Hague, where he met the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte. “There is convergence on the need for one European response, there are still some differences we can work on. There is comparison in an excellent climate, “explained the premier. During dinner the lead leader of countries “frugali“, Who are fighting to reduce the reach of the bottom from 750 billion per to help the countries affected by the emergency Covid, calls for resources to be strictly conditioned a economic reforms. But Conte warns: “If we infect the background of conditioning”, if we “harness” it in passages “bureaucratic“, There is a risk of” slowing down the recovery “, making”ineffective“The appropriation”. This is why, after the hearty dinner with the Dutch counterpart and a photo holding an Italian flag together, the premier still shows himself very cautious.

The game is played in the coming weeks, ahead of a European Council of the July 17th and 18th which will be crucial, although probably not decisive. After the president of the EU Council Charles Michel confirmed the proposal of 500 billion in grants and 250 billion in loans, the Italian government is optimistic that resources are not strongly resized. Ma sui constraints to access it, the differences are still wide. Tying funds to economic reforms, because in the past “we have already heard promises”: this is Rutte’s request. The Dutchman battles with Austria, Sweden e Denmark to downsize the Recovery proposal, reducing non-refundable resources: a request that has also joined other Northern and Visegrad countries. But the aim is above all to tie the funds to specific commitments. And let them be governments to control, as proposed by the President of the EU Council Michel who asked that the 27 heads of state and government express themselves a qualified majority on an evaluation by the European Commission of appropriations. Not only a detailed plan, with precise commitments, but also the severe judgment of the European partners, which they would have a sort of veto power. This is what the Italian government will try to avoid, in order not to have to bind 170 billion that could come from the EU to conditionality which risk being as demanding as those of the much reviled My.

Rutte reiterates his position: he is convinced that Italy should “do it alone“. The government is doing it, Conte replies, emphasizing the work on the Simplifications decree and on the Recovery plan that Italy will present in September. “Even the frugal countries are our friends“, Assures the premier who has received at least Ratte’s commitment from Rutte do not delay and allow a decision to be made by August. “We in Europe do not ask for funds to be helped like Italy. To share us, for share with Europe“, Declares the Prime Minister, repeating that the risk of an” EU a different speeds”Would be a harm for everyone.

Al European Council the battle is announced very tough. On the table there is also the proposal of multiannual financial framework of the EU that still does not satisfy Italy and which contains the mechanism of “rebates“, The discounts so dear to Holland (which benefits from it). Rome would not yet have threatened will you as a lever to arrive at a solution on the Recovery fund. But the goal of Prime Minister Conte is interweave more and more the two tables to have more power negotiating. Meanwhile, the good news for the premier comes from other frugal countries, which they seem to have softened their position with respect to Rutte (who has already started the internal election campaign). Especially in Vienna, the other leader of the opposition to the current Fund for recovery, the chancellor Sebastian Kurz must also begin to deal with his allies in government, i Verdi, much more pro-European. For this, after that next week will see Angela Merkel in Berlin and then Emmanuel Macron at dinner in Brussels, Prime Minister Conte will be affected again Rutte.

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