A recovery fund to help EU countries weather the coronavirus’ economic impact should be worth €1.5 trillion and be available by mid-September, Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said Sunday.
“We cannot wait two years, like it happened between the end of the World War II and the Marshall Plan,” he told Italian TV, according to Bloomberg.
At a summit last Thursday, EU leaders did not agree on a figure for the recovery effort. They also remained divided over whether the recovery fund should deliver assistance in the form of grants — as favored by the hardest-hit countries like Italy and Spain — or with loans.
The fund should include both, Gentiloni said today.
French President Emmanuel Macron said after the summit Thursday that further debt on countries such as Italy and Spain would be counterproductive.
“It doesn’t rise up to what is needed because these loans will be added to the debts that these countries have already,” Macron said. “I think in the moment we are going through, these transfers must be transfers, real budgetary transfers.”