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Netherlands wants veto over recovery fund if member states backslide on economic reform

Christian Fernsby |
EU leaders failed on Friday to make headway in negotiations over a massive stimulus plan to breathe life into economies ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Topics: NETHERLANDS   

A thrifty camp of wealthy northern states led by the Netherlands stood its ground on access to the recovery fund, in the face of opposition from Germany, France, southern nations Italy and Spain, and eastern European states.

Diplomats said the 27 remained at odds over the overall size of the package, the split between grants and repayable loans in the recovery fund and rule of law strings attached to it.

But the main stumbling block was over vetting procedures to access aid, an EU official said, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte demanding that one country could block payouts from the fund if member states backslide on economic reform.

“If they want loans and even grants then I think it’s only logical that I can explain to people in the Netherlands ... that in return those reforms have taken place,” Rutte said.


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