Finance

Macron to EU frugal faction: Recovery plan is good for you too

SCHLOSS MESEBERG, Germany — French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday told rich EU countries opposed to a debt-financed €750 billion coronavirus recovery fund that the package would benefit them too.

“We must never forget that the famous frugal countries we are talking about are countries that are net beneficiaries of the operation of the [European] single market,” Macron said at a press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a break from talks between the two leaders at the German governments country retreat outside Berlin.

Macron was referring to the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden — the so-called “frugal four” opposed to the European Commissions recovery plan and a similar Franco-German proposal. The French president said the single market offers such countries “much more than it brings to others.”

“It is … not in their interest to see certain member states, and in particular major markets in the European economy, affected,” Macron said of the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

“So its a matter of solidarity to have these transfers, but also of self-interest,” he said.

Macrons visit was the first by a foreign leader to Germany since the coronavirus crisis paralyzed Europe. It came two days before Berlin takes on the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of the EU and almost exactly two years since Macrons last visit to the government castle, Schloss Meseberg, nestled in the rolling fields of Brandenburg.

While in 2018 debate centered on a eurozone budget, the two leaders are now focusing on corralling EU colleagues to support plans to create a debt-financed recovery fund that would disburse money mainlRead More – Source