May 23, 2020 | 11:16 am
The Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark oppose the plan of France and Germany for European reconstruction and ask that it be done in the form of loans and not subsidies to the countries most affected by the crisis, according to a document to which the . had access this Saturday .
Those four countries, known as “frugal”, on Friday transmitted to their European partners and the European Commission their negotiating stance on that future reconstruction plan aimed at overcoming the crisis caused by the coronavirus.
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That document comes before the presentation, on May 27, of a draft common budget of the European Union (EU), revised due to the crisis, for the period 2021-2027.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed a € 500 billion plan on Monday, funded by public debt issues by the European Commission on behalf of the EU, and intended to deliver the money to the countries, regions and sectors most affected, through direct deliveries, and not loans.
However, the frugal countries propose a “temporary, punctual emergency fund to support economic reconstruction”, without figures, and without “any mutualization of the debt”.
This two-year Fund would grant “loans on favorable terms to a member state that needs it, limiting the financial risk” for the other countries.
The four countries also set other conditions, such as a “firm commitment to reforms” on the part of the beneficiary countries and their respect “for the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.”
According to the document to which the . had access, this fund would serve to support research and innovation, health services and the EU’s objectives in the fight against climate change and digital policy.
The four countries also reaffirm their opposition to any “significant increase in the European budget” as proposed by the plan of France and Germany.
EU member states must vote unanimously on the multi-year budget and the reconstruction fund, which is why this document announces “very difficult debates”, according to a diplomatic source.