European Commission proposes €55bn plan to help reforms, investments

The European Commission proposed on Thursday to set up two new financial instruments with a total fire power of €55 billion ($64.4 billion) to back reforms in EU states and help investments in members hit by financial crises, Reuters reports. The plan comes as recent market turmoil triggered by political instability in Italy has reignited concerns about the future of the euro. Under the plan, which needs backing from 27 EU states, €25 billion will be made available in the 2021-2027 period for countries that embark in structural reforms, such as on pensions or labor markets, agreed with Brussels. The funding, which will come from the EU planned €1.1-trillion budget will be accessible to all member states, but the largest share will be available only to the 19 countries of the common currency area.