(08 April 2020) – Eurozone finance ministers have failed to find an agreement on the economic package to tackle the economic impact of the coronavirus.
The Netherlands continued to insist on strict conditions for soft loans to hard-hit countries like Spain and Italy under the eurozone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Ministers also differed on whether to issue joint debt known as ‘coronabonds’ as part of a wider recovery plan to overcome the severe recession that the coronavirus will cause.
The package included a liquidity injection totaling around €500 billion aimed at national governments (via the European Stability Mechanism), companies (through the European Investment Bank), and workers (via the new SURE instrument).
The Eurogroup was also going to discuss the recovery plan that should follow this liquidity package, to kick start the economy once the pandemic recedes and countries lift the confinement measures. But ministers failed to make a breakthrough. The discussion broke on several occasions to draft proposals seeking to bridge what one official described as “big differences”. (EurActiv)