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EU financial and economic affairs ministers to convene


EU financial and economic affairs ministers to convene

European economic afairs
Photo: European Commission

EU finance ministers will meet in Berlin today to further discuss the implementation of the bloc’s mutual economic recovery package drawn up earlier this summer.

Worth $857 billion, the plan calls for EU member states to sell bonds collectively, rather than individually raise funds to stimulate the economies of the hardest hit member nations like Spain and Italy. The relief money would come as a long-term grant rather than a loan in order to ease the burden shouldered by the already debt-ridden southern nations. While the goal is for money to begin flowing early next year, deepening divisions within the EU have slowed the implementation of the plan.

While wealthier northern states have banded together to criticise the distribution of the stimulus measures, countries like Poland and Hungary have been holding off on lending their support, forcing the EU to loosen stipulations connecting economic assistance to the fulfilment of democratic standards and environmental regulations. With a projected 10% economic contraction this year, a post-Brexit EU may potentially find itself compromising more of its values in favour of an effective recovery effort.

Expect today’s meeting to focus on the possible sources of financing for the recovery plan. Also shaping the discussion will be the proposed tax on certain digital services and non-recycled plastic as well as tariffs on goods imported into the EU from countries with lower CO2 emission standards.

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Photo: Toshiki Sasazu

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