Recovery Package: German’s Merkel warns of lingering acrimony among EU leaders

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has warned that European Union leaders might not reach a conclusion over the EU recovery fund which has been the pivot of the EU summit since it started on Friday July 17, 2020.Talks over coronavirus stimulus deal have had the European Union leaders immersed in acrimony that continued until Sunday July 19, 2020, the third day of the EU Brussels Summit.The two EU’s powerbrokers Germany and France are spearheading a 1.8 trillion deal for economic recovery package to get the members of the bloc out of the economy crisis they are intricately tied to as a result of the pandemic.EU diplomats are stuck in the middle of talks over what should be the size of the new recovery fund and what proportion should be in grant or loans especially to richer countries.The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden have argued that the fund is huge and therefore should be given to the worst hit countries as repayable loans not as grants.Similarly, Many Central European states like Hungary and Poland have expressed fear that they would be short-changed as the three hardest hit European countries, Italy, France and Spain, would receive the lion’s share of the grant.Other issues on which the EU still can’t find a common ground is dispute over its new rules of mechanism, the scale of EU budget rebates that primarily affects richer countries and EU’s plan to freeze funding to countries that disregard democratic principles.Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s Prime Minister has urged the Union to give room for unity and find a common ground because EU should not stand divided and weak.While arriving at Brussels at the Europa building, Kyriakos said to reporters, “I sincerely hope that today we can break the deadlock.”In what has been about 70 years of cooperation and integration among EU members, the widespread health challenge and economic crisis seems to be putting the Union’s spirit of unity and viability into test.While speaking about the deadlock in decision among the EU members, Merkel said all attempts seem abortive at the moment but she would put more efforts into it to make sure the union sail through the moment.“There is a lot of goodwill, but also many positions. I will make every effort but it is possible that there is no result,” said Merkel.There have been speculations that talks over the recovery deal may go on until Monday.Expressing a desire to see the EU diplomats come to an agreement on the issue, Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister said he is willing to stay in Brussels all the week.According to some analysts and national leaders, the deal is at this stage crucial to ensure long-term survival of the bloc.This view is in line with Charles Michel’s who is European Council President Charles Michel chairing the summit. Michel said the focus of the debate is not only about money but about the future and unit of Europe.

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