EU finance ministers agree on EUR 500bn rescue package

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EUR 500bn package adopted, no coronavirus bond
Bond dispute. EU countries are split on issuing joint “coronavirus” bonds. Graph: Bloomberg.com

EU finance ministers agree on EUR 500bn rescue package

EUR 500bn package adopted, no coronavirus bond
Bond dispute. EU countries are split on issuing joint “coronavirus” bonds. Graph: Bloomberg.com
The hardest-hit member countries, businesses and people will get help. So decided the finance ministers on Thursday, 9 April. The half-trillion-euro deal will be channelled to the corona victims using three vehicles: the ESM, the EIB and a new employment initiative called “Sure”. The “coronavirus” bonds are still off the table.
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TheEUR 500-billion package will support the most vulnerable EU member countries to mitigate the economic damage caused by the pandemic. EUR 240 billion of the package will be channelled through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), established a decade ago for the needs of the sovereign debt crisis. This chunk is earmarked strictly for the needs of national healthcare systems. Another EUR 200 billion will be provided to guarantee loans from the European Investment Bank. Finally, EUR 100 billion will finance a temporary employment support programme called “Sure”.

The ministers also agreed on an undisclosed temporary fund to support economic recovery in the EU member countries most affected by the pandemic. Some countries still insist on issuing the so-called “coronavirus” bonds for the needs of the hardest-hit countries, but this move still seems far from an agreement, as some influential member states, such as Germany, are not convinced. German chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier there are so many other ways to show solidarity in Europe than issuing “coronavirus” bonds.