EU Recovery Fund Should Be Around $1.6 Trillion, Gentiloni Says

(Bloomberg) -- A European Union recovery fund worth around 1.5 trillion euros ($1.62 trillion) needs to be available by mid-September and include loans as well as a portion of non-repayable money, EU Economy and Financial Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said.

“Financing must be provided now,” Gentiloni said in an interview with Italy’s Rai 3 television on Sunday. “We cannot wait two years, like it happened between the end of the World War II and the Marshall Plan,” he said.

EU leaders inched toward an agreement on their rebuilding plans during a video conference on Thursday, but they haven’t yet resolved differences over whether member states will be given grants or loans.

France and Spain are leading a group demanding the recovery is funded via handouts from a supercharged EU budget while the Netherlands and Austria are among countries insisting the additional funds should take the form of low-interest loans.

“Real budget transfers will be needed, not just loans,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters after the meeting. “If we let down a whole part of Europe, it’s Europe as a whole that will fall.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.