Italy and Germany agree on EU reconstruction funds – said the message from the two heads of government Conte and Merkel after their meeting. Skepticism remains as to whether the other EU countries will also follow the Friday summit.
Germany and Italy have basically agreed on the planned EU reconstruction fund. Chancellor Angela Merkel said after a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte at Meseberg Castle that the two countries agreed on the basic structure of an EU reconstruction fund. Many similarities were found during the talks.
Italy was affected “in a special way” and through no fault of the pandemic. Now it is Europe’s task to “overcome the crisis in solidarity”.
Do not dwarf the fund
Merkel again called for the EU’s joint efforts to come out of the humanitarian and economic problems resulting from the corona pandemic. The planned reconstruction fund must be something massive, and it is important that it is not “dwarfed”.
To the citizens, she said that Germany, like other countries, has an interest in a well-functioning internal market in the Union. She called for the forthcoming consultations in Brussels to be conducted in great friendship and solidarity.
It is unclear whether an agreement will succeed
Conte called for a speedy agreement on a reconstruction plan. The slower you react, the slower the recovery will take place. For him it was the end of a series of visits to European capitals, where he had advised on the reconstruction fund.
With regard to the EU summit on Friday, Merkel said she was unable to say whether an agreement would already be reached there. A second summit may be necessary. The positions of the member states are still different.
Meeting with Sanchez on Tuesday
Almost two weeks ago, Merkel had already met the French President Emmanuel Macron at Meseberg Castle. Tomorrow she wants to discuss the reconstruction fund with the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in the Chancellery.
In addition to Merkel, other heads of state and government are currently holding talks to prepare the summit in Brussels on Friday and Saturday. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with Sanchez in The Hague and later with his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa. The Netherlands, along with Austria, Denmark and Sweden, are among the “Frugal Four” who refuse to reimburse non-repayable billions.