No quick breakthrough: EU negotiations on Corona bailout stall

No rapid breakthrough emerged during the night in the EU negotiations on a multi-billion dollar corona crisis package for states, companies and employees.

The press conference, originally scheduled for the evening, was postponed to 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Negotiations said that work on a compromise would continue, but this would take time.

The background was the ongoing dispute over the common European borrowing via so-called corona bonds or recovery bonds. France, Italy, Spain and others said the meeting insisted on considering such common European debt at least for post-pandemic recovery programs. Germany, the Netherlands and others would have further refused, it was said.

Before the Eurogroup and the other EU finance ministers’ meeting, Federal Finance Minister Scholz had promoted three “solidarity instruments” that seemed to be largely consensual: precautionary credit lines from the ESM euro rescue fund; a guarantee fund for corporate loans from the European Investment Bank and the “Sure” short-time worker program proposed by the EU Commission. According to Mario Centeno, head of the Eurogroups, they would together create a “safety net” worth half a trillion euros.

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