Weary but relieved, European Union leaders finally clinched a deal on an unprecedented €1.8 trillion ($2.1 trillion) budget and Coronavirus recovery fund early on Tuesday, somehow finding unity after four days and nights of fighting and wrangling over money and power in one of their longest summits ever.
With masks and hygienic gel everywhere at the summit, the 27 leaders were constantly reminded of the potent medical and economic threat the virus poses to their continent, and grudgingly committed to a costly, massive aid package for those hit hardest by COVID-19.
To confront the biggest recession in its history, the EU will establish a €750 billion Coronavirus fund, partly based on common borrowing, to be sent as loans and grants to the hardest-hit countries. That comes on top of the seven-year, 1 trillion-euro EU budget that leaders had been haggling over for months even before the pandemic. “The consequences will be historic,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. “We have created a possibility of taking up loans together, of setting up a recovery fund in the spirit of solidarity,” a sense of sharing debt that would have been unthinkable not so long ago.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “We have laid the financial foundations for the EU for the next seven years and came up with a response to this arguably biggest crisis of the European Union.”
Total no. of deaths due to the virus in India
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