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Entire EU should back Franco-German recovery plan or ‘nobody will be able to get out of crisis’ – French FM

Entire EU should back Franco-German recovery plan or ‘nobody will be able to get out of crisis’ – French FM

France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday that EU states which are skeptical about a Franco-German proposal for a €500 billion (US$546 billion) coronavirus recovery fund should back it or risk making it even harder to get out of the crisis.

“It’s in the interest of all European countries to sign up for this initiative… if there isn’t this momentum, nobody will be able to get out of it,” Le Drian told television channel LCI.

The plan proposed by Berlin and Paris on Monday would offer non-repayable grants to EU regions and sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, with the cash borrowed by the bloc as a whole rather than by individual member states, Reuters reported.

The government in Vienna insists that the EU’s emergency aid for coronavirus-hit member states should be based on repayable loans not grants, Austrian daily Die Presse said on Tuesday, citing the Chancellery.