‘European citizens waiting for strong recovery plan’

Brussels, July 21 (IANS) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that citizens of Europe were “waiting for a strong recovery plan”, hinting that the four-day marathon European Union (EU) summit may end on Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter early Tuesday morning, she said: “European citizens are waiting for a strong recovery plan. The world is watching us.”

“After four days of intensive negotiations, it's time to move towards a constructive compromise.”

The summit, the first physical meeting of the heads of state and government of the EU member states since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Europe, is supposed to seek a consensus on the landmark 750 billion-euro ($857 billion) recovery package embedded in the over 1 trillion euros 2021-2027 budget.

The summit kicked off here on Friday and was supposed to end on Saturday according to its original schedule.

Before the negotiations started on Monday, von der Leyen told the media: “After three days and three night of negotiations, we are entering now a crucial phase… But I have the impression that European leaders really want an agreement to find a solution, and we need a solution…

“The European citizens need a solution, the EU needs an agreement to overcome this crisis and to repare Europe for the future… We are not there yet, but things are moving at the right direction.'

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, and von der Leyen are expected to hold a press conference following the summit.

Under the proposals on the table, the debt-financed 750 billion euros would be divided into non-repayable grants and loans to help the member states recover from the crisis triggered by COVID-19, but the ratio remains in dispute, among others.

On Monday, Michel told the media that “the last steps are always the most difficult but I am confident I think that even if it is difficult, it will be important to continue to work, I think, and I am convinced that an agreement is possible”.

The EU leaders left the summit early Monday morning without an agreement and resumed talks later at 4 p.m.



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