Taking EU helm, Germany's Merkel calls on Europe to show resolve

03 Juillet, 2020, 10:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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"The EU will not accept Brexit agreement at any price".

Britain formally done its delayed departure from the European integration challenge on January 31.

With no a new settlement, they would see ties diminished to minimum requirements set by the Environment Trade Business with substantial tariffs and serious disruptions to small business.

Echoing Merkel's urgency as Germany took the helm of the bloc, the EU's chief executive Ursula von der Leyen joined the chancellor via video link to warn that the next six months were crucial after the region reacted slowly to the coronavirus and now faced a severe economic downturn.

Her main goal is to push through a massive economic recovery plan to help the 27-member club cope with its steepest recession since World War II, triggered by a pandemic that has so far killed more than 500,000 people worldwide.

"Progress in talks is, to put it cautiously, very limited", Merkel told parliament during a Q&A session.

If approved, it would be the first time the bloc has pooled its debt in this way.

'An extraordinary situation requires a special solution, ' said Merkel.

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The leaders of the 27 European Union member states will meet in Brussels on July 17, their first physical summit since the coronavirus lockdown began, to discuss the plan.

The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden insist that loans with tough conditions attached, rather than grants, should be the preferred method of rescue and are not in a rush to make a deal.

"The EU needs to strengthen the internal market and value chains".

With the two sides still far apart, a round of "intensified negotiations" is scheduled for this week.

Merkel has stressed the need for the bloc to prepare for the post-pandemic future, including through a more unified approach to health issues and by investing in climate-friendly projects.

The deadline falls within Germany's six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, which it assumed on Wednesday.

Environmental demonstrators gathered outside the chancellery Wednesday with bags of fake euro banknotes to demand that any coronavirus stimulus be spent on "a green and just future".


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