Brussels: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the possibility of a consensus among EU leaders on a massive economic rescue package aimed at boosting the coronavirus-laden European economy is weakening. The heads of government of the 27 European Union member states have been in Brussels for three days to discuss a possible economic package. In the two days of talks, the leaders have been discussing the size and rules of a possible package, but no agreement has been reached. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the largest economy in the European Union, said more than three days of talks were not needed to reach a consensus among European leaders. She said there were still differences between European leaders. German Chancellor Merkel’s Dangerous. “I am not convinced that a solution can be found right now,” said Chancellor Merkel. French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel, who hosted the summit, have expressed support for the German chancellor. The talks were extended after five member states, including the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, disagreed with a new proposal prepared by Germany, France and the Council.
The Netherlands wants member states to ensure labor market reform, while Austria, Finland, Denmark and Sweden have proposed debt and subsidy cuts of up to 750 billion euros. A group in the bloc has opposed a proposal by Germany and France, two of the union’s most powerful nations, to boost the economy of countries most affected by the coronavirus. Spain and Italy are the main protesters. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he is “hopeful” that an agreement could be reached, saying “the whole of Europe has been hit by the virus and the lockdown that has taken place.” But he made it clear that no agreement could be reached at the expense of European aspirations. He spoke in support of the US Alliance, but said that maintaining some independence was important for Europe. Michelle, the union’s president, worked all night on Sunday to work out an agreement that would be acceptable to all. A French diplomatic source has denied pressure from Dutch Prime Minister Route and his aides to reduce the amount of aid in the package to less than 400 billion euros. European leaders are trying to approve a plan to send cash immediately to the countries most affected by the coronavirus. This amount is especially important for Spain and Italy. The Netherlands has rejected a preliminary proposal by union president Michel’s plan, saying the union had offered more grants than loans. The Netherlands says some countries, including Spain and Italy, are likely to receive more grants. German Chancellor Merkel’s Dangerous.
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