EU leaders remain deadlocked on Recovery Fund

Negotiations between EU leaders over the Recovery Fund will continue for a fourth day, as differences between member countries have not yet been overcome.

The EU leaders are attempting to hammer out a deal on a Recovery Fund to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus crisis on EU economies.

The blocs executive has proposed a €750 billion coronavirus fund, to help countries hit hardest by the pandemic. All nations agree they need to band together but five richer countries in the north, led by the Netherlands, want strict controls on spending, while struggling southern nations like Spain and Italy say those conditions should be kept to a minimum.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the European Council, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

In a doorstep statement as Mitsotakis arrived for the third day of talks, he emphasised that European leaders “can’t afford to appear divided or weak.”

“We have been negotiating for three days now and obviously we have not made enough progress to reach an agreement. I sincerely hope that today we can break the deadlock. From the first moment, I have been making the point that we all need to make compromises but these compromises cannot be such so as to water down the level of our ambition regarding a bold European response to the coronavirus crisis and the economic fallout it has caused,” he added

“We are facing an unprecedented economic crisis and we simply cannot afford to either appear divided or weak,” Mitsotakis concluded.