Slovenian PM Janez Janša has welcomed a German-French proposal for the EU to set up a 500 billion euro fund to restart the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he believes an even more ambitious approach would be needed to address a crisis of such proportions. He also discussed it with his Italian and Austrians counterparts.
Germany and France proposed on Monday that EUR 500 billion be raised from the bond markets to fund, through grants, the EU sectors and regions where the impact of the coronavirus has been most serious.
“It is a good step forward. 500 billion euro is indeed a macroeconomically relevant number, but a more ambitious approach would be welcome for this scale of a symmetric crisis.
Now we need a swift agreement on the multi-year financial framework and a recovery fund as a package”, Janša said in response to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s welcoming the German-French idea.
As STA Agency reported, Janša also announced on Twitter that he had discussed the proposed relief fund and the EU’s multi-year budget with the Italian PM and Austrian Chancellor, Giuseppe Conte and Sebastian Kurz.
“We agreed that in order to overcome the crisis and help companies and families, we need an ambition proposal by the European Commission.
“This is of vital importance for the EU and the common market to fully recover”, the Slovenian prime minister tweeted after speaking with Conte.
Earlier in the day, Conte also took to Twitter saying the German-French proposal was an important step in the direction Italy had proposed.
The talk with Chancellor Kurz also focused on “the opening of the border and the exchange of experiences from the fight with the coronavirus, where Slovenia and Austria are among the most successful countries”, Janša tweeted.
However, Kurz does not seem to be eager to relax border checks on the border with Slovenia, which is part of the EU’s internal borders, while Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia agreed earlier today that they would reopen their borders in mid-June.
Kurz also appeared reserved about the idea for a 500 billion euro fund, announcing that Austria would come up with a counter-proposal with three other countries (the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden) for a fund based not on grants but on loans.
Janša had meanwhile promoted the idea of “corona-bonds” with which the EU as a whole would finance the ramifications of the pandemic./ibna