The participants of the meeting were unable to make a decision on irrevocable assistance for countries affected by the coronavirus. Austria and the Netherlands opposed it.
Participants of the Brussels summit of the European Union on the first day of the meeting on Saturday, July 18, could not agree on the allocation of irrevocable aid to the EU States most affected by the coronavirus. According to the AFP news Agency, the plans of Brussels to allocate 500 billion euros from a package of 750 billion on the basis of a grant are opposed mainly by Austria and the Netherlands.
The diplomats reported on the вЂњdifficult phase of negotiationsвЂќ and theвЂќ tough and not very constructive вЂњ position of the head of the Dutch government, Mark Rutte. German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not rule out that the parties will not come to an agreement on the second and final day of the summit.
вЂњOf course, we want to be in solidarity, but we should take into account the interests of Austrian taxpayers,вЂќ said Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Representatives of the Netherlands suggest linking the provision of assistance to the implementation of reforms in the affected countries, which Italy and Spain do not agree with.
In addition to the aid package, the summit participants are discussing the EU budget for 2021-2027, which will amount to 1.074 trillion euros.
The summit is taking place under increased epidemiological security measures. There is a ban on handshakes and the obligation to wear masks if the social distance cannot be observed. At the same time, not all politicians adhere to these rules.