By Andreas Kißler
MESEBERG / BERLIN (Dow Jones) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), after talking to the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte about the planned EU development fund, demanded that Europe should find “a good way out” for the EU and all member states at the summit at the end of the week. Italy “made great sacrifices and” with admirable discipline and patience “overcame the difficult weeks.” That is why we would like us to conduct the consultations in Brussels with great friendship and solidarity, “said Merkel.
Germany, like Italy, has an interest in a functioning internal market. If value chains were destroyed, it would affect everyone. But the positions were still apart. “I cannot say today whether we can come to an agreement on Friday, Saturday, but it would definitely be good for Europe,” she said after the deliberations at the government guest house in Meseberg. Merkel welcomed the proposals of EU Council President Charles Michel to the development plan. For example, it is a good idea to link the whole thing to the so-called European semester and to conclude agreements with the individual member states.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert had previously left open whether, as hoped, an agreement on the planned EU reconstruction fund and future medium-term budget planning can already be expected at the upcoming EU special summit in Brussels on Friday and Saturday. “There are many contacts among the 27 governments these days, but it is not foreseeable whether it will be possible to reach an agreement on Friday,” said Seibert at a press conference in Berlin.
The heads of state and government of the EU will meet again for the first time since the outbreak of the corona pandemic at the two-day deliberations. Merkel has already admitted several times that the positions are still far apart. The Chancellor, together with French President Emmanuel Macron, has proposed a fund worth over 500 billion euros, which the EU Commission has outbid by another 250 billion euros.
The so-called “economical four” countries Austria, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden have so far been bothered by the fact that predominantly grants are planned. Federal finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) said last week that he was in a phase “in which quick agreements are pending” and demanded that EU leaders should “try to get ready the first time” at the summit. Germany plays an important role in the discussions as the current EU Council Presidency.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 13, 2020 12:15 ET (16:15 GMT)