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(21 July 2020) - EU leaders have reached a historic agreement on a €750bn coronavirus pandemic recovery fund and their long-term spending plans following days of acrimonious debate at the bloc’s longest summit in nearly two decades.

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© European Council

Despite initial opposition from the so-called frugal states of the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark, agreement was finally found, following a final 5.15am session of the 27 on Tuesday morning, to disburse vast sums in the form of non-repayable grants to countries most stricken by the coronavirus pandemic.

The breakthrough followed a new proposal from European council president, Charles Michel, for the EU to pay out €390bn in grants and €360bn in loans from the new economic reconstruction fund.

“This recovery fund is indeed a historic change and a historic step for Europe,” said Macron, in a joint press conference with Merkel. (The Guardian)

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