EU leaders to continue talks on budget with Hungary, Poland: Merkel

The session of the German lower house of parliament, in Berlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel wearing a face mask attends a session of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Berlin, Germany, November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

November 19, 2020

BERLIN (Reuters) – European Union leaders will continue to discuss the bloc’s 1.8 trillion euro ($2.14 trillion) plan to recover from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been vetoed by Poland and Hungary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Hungary and Poland blocked the EU’s 2021-2027 budget and recovery plan on Monday because access to the funds would be conditional upon respecting the rule of law.

“There is consensus on the EU budget, but not on the rule of law mechanism,” Merkel told journalists after a meeting with EU leaders late on Thursday.

“This (veto) means …we have to continue talking with Hungary and Poland,” she added.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Thomas Escritt and Sabine Siebold; Writing by Maria Sheahan)