The Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark reiterated this Saturday their opposition to responding to the Covid-19 crisis with “any kind of debt mutualization or with a significant increase in the Community budget”, as established by the plan launched this week by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. Alternatively, countries called “four frugal”Propose a loan vehicle“temporary workers “, under “favorable conditions”, granted in return for the beneficiary countries to promote structural reforms in their economies to ensure that they will be “better prepared for the next crisis“.
According to a text to which publications such as Politico and Bloomberg had access, the four countries reiterated their opposition to any plan that implies a direct sharing of responsibilities with other countries’ debts, admitting that the creation of a “budget” is promoted. modernized community ”but something that does not fail to include “Healthy incentives” for governments to maintain the rigor of public accounts.
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The exchange of proposals comes in anticipation of the proposal that the European Commission will present this Wednesday, May 27th, and that will be the subject of discussion among the countries of the European Council in the following weeks. For any proposal in this direction to move forward, there must be unanimity between the various countries – so the document delivered this Saturday by the four countries could mean a bucket of cold water for high expectations that formed this week after the leaders of Germany and France reached an agreement for a plan that includes € 500 billion in “outright” grants, managed through the community budget.
The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Austria do not want to go beyond a loan vehicle (which several countries, such as Italy, reject, because they would aggravate the existing debt) with a duration of two years. That way, they say, it would be possible to “limit the risk to the Member States, in general”. The “frugal four” prefer a revision of the community budget, with “new priorities” but without a substantial increase in available capital (and, of course, in the contributions of each country). In addition, there could be loans in exchange for a “strong commitment to reforms and budget rules ”, in addition to the presentation by these countries of ambitious measures to prevent fraud with this financing.
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