Don’t delay EU recovery package, German minister urges

FILE PHOTO: Bundestag session in Berlin
FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks at a session of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

October 15, 2020

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe badly needs the 750 billion euro recovery package leaders agreed in July to help members worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, urging member states to compromise in order not to delay its adoption.

Countries like the Netherlands, and many European Parliament members, insist the package include conditions that would deny support to countries that violate EU rules on law and corruption standards. Hungary and Poland, often accused of violating those standards, have threatened to veto any such conditions.

“We need this package to support the economic recovery in Europe as a whole, but especially in those countries hard hit by the pandemic, to help these states come out of the crisis,” Maas told reporters at a meeting with his Polish counterpart.

“I can only call on all sides, the European Parliament too, to face this challenge and judge realistically the situation we are in economically and socially,” he added.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Paul Carrel)