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EU leaders reach landmark EUR1.82 trillion Covid-19 recovery package English.Lokmat.com

EU leaders reach landmark EUR1.82 trillion Covid-19 recovery package

EU leaders agreed early on Tuesday to an unprecedented 1.8 trillion euros (2 trillion dollars) aid and budget deal aimed at helping hard-hit bloc members recover from the economic fallout of novel coronavirus pandemic.
EU leaders reach landmark EUR1.82 trillion Covid-19 recovery package

EU leaders agreed early on Tuesday to an unprecedented 1.8 trillion euros (2 trillion dollars) aid and budget deal aimed at helping hard-hit bloc members recover from the economic fallout of novel coronavirus pandemic.

The package includes a 750 billion euros fund to be sent as loans and grants as well as a seven-year 1 trillion euros EU budget, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted a brief message minutes after leaders adopted the plan: "Deal!"

"We did it. Europe is strong, Europe is united. This is a good deal, this is a strong deal and most importantly this is the right deal for Europe right now," said Michel. "I believe this agreement will be seen as a pivotal moment for Europe's journey."

The breakthrough comes after more than four days of wrangling, with talks often stretching into the early hours.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for steering negotiations towards a European solution.

"Europe as a whole has now a big change to come out stronger from the crisis. Today we have taken a historic step that we can all be proud of," said von der Leyen. "Tonight is a big step toward recovery."

Euronews reported that the recovery plan includes 390 billion euros worth of grants and 360 billion euros worth of loans due to a compromise with the so-called frugal four, now five, countries -- Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

Now the deal will have to pass the scrutiny of the European parliament, which will shortly convene a special plenary session.

The package includes the biggest-ever joint borrowing by the 27 members of the bloc, and an initiative to send tens of billions of euros to countries hardest hit by the virus -- most notably heavily indebted Spain and Italy which had both called for major financial assistance from the EU.

( With inputs from ANI )

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