France Welcomes German Stimulus and Calls for Rapid EU Fund

(Bloomberg) -- French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says Germany’s stimulus plan is “good news” for all European countries, but urged the bloc to move ahead fast with its own plans and the shared recovery fund that some are opposing.

France, which has already unveiled support packages for its auto and tourism industries, will present a broader stimulus package in coming weeks that would be effective from September, Le Maire said in a press conference with German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.

Le Maire has repeatedly warned that if countries reboot their economies at different times and to different degrees, it will increase economic divergence in the euro area that could cause the currency bloc to collapse.

He said the European Union has found the right balance with a plan to share debt for a fund that would disburse 500 billion euros ($560 billion) of grants to countries most in need and be combined with 250 billion of loans. Other countries that have objected to the plan should not try to introduce extra conditionality, he added.

“When you are facing such a crisis you do not put conditions on solidarity. We need money. We need a lot of money. And we need money right now,” Le Maire said.

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