Merkel Says Common EU Funds Important to Overcome Corona Crisis

(Bloomberg) --

European Union countries must stick together to manage the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak and Germany will make larger financial contributions to EU coffers than previously expected, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday.

Germany will only do well in the long run if Europe is also doing well, Merkel said. Europe’s biggest economy can’t be be strong industrially and maintain high employment if peers see their output collapse, she said.

“Germany is in a relatively strong economic position, and therefore there are countries that are also concerned that they could emerge from this crisis weakened”, Merkel said in her weekly podcast. “That is why common funds, with which we take care of our common economy, are of such great importance.”

The EU needs an economic stimulus program as the immediate crisis phases out because “the economic damage will be great,” she said. The EU budget will play a key role in financing reconstruction efforts and “Germany, too, will have to commit itself to much more” than previously planned, the chancellor said.

EU leaders discussed their rebuilding plans during a videoconference on Thursday and endorsed a short-term 540 billion-euro ($584 billion) plan to support businesses and economies amid the immediate fallout from the coronavirus. They still failed to make much progress on the longer-term recovery program with member states split on how to spread the financial burdens.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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