EU recovery summit could end with no deal despite extension, says Merkel

WION Web Team
Brussels, Belgium Published: Jul 19, 2020, 12:51 PM(IST)

Angela Merkel Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Arriving for the third and probably final day of an extraordinary European summit, Merkel said the 27 leaders had "many positions" on the size of the fund, on rules for accessing it and on tying it to respect for the rule of law.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was still possible that EU leaders could fail to reach an agreement on Sunday on a huge post-virus recovery plan for the shattered European economy.

Arriving for the third and probably final day of an extraordinary European summit, Merkel said the 27 leaders had "many positions" on the size of the fund, on rules for accessing it and on tying it to respect for the rule of law.

"I still can't say whether a solution will be found," she said. "There is a lot of good will... but it may also be that no result will be achieved today."

Earlier on Saturday, European Union leaders remained deadlocked over the COVID-19 recovery plan due to resistance from the Netherlands and its allies: Austria, Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

Also read | EU leaders extend summit as they grapple over coronavirus, recovery plan

EU leaders were due to meet for a third day -- on Sunday -- to try and agree on a giant post-coronavirus economic recovery plan as four million residents of Barcelona in virus-ravaged Spain were effectively placed under lockdown.

European Council president Charles Michel was expected to propose another plan to the 27 leaders at noon (1000 GMT) Sunday after his blueprints for a 750-billion-euro ($850 billion) package were refused by the richer northern member states.

Michel's latest proposal would keep the total recovery budget at 750 million euros, but shift the balance slightly from grants to loans.

The coronavirus has now killed nearly 600,000 people and infected over 14 million as it continues to surge across the globe despite months of unprecedented lockdowns.

(with inputs from agencies)

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