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EU recovery deal 'comes at a bit of a price', MEP says

Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly has welcomed an EU COVID-19 recovery package, but warns it will mean...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.08 21 Jul 2020


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EU recovery deal 'comes at a b...

EU recovery deal 'comes at a bit of a price', MEP says

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.08 21 Jul 2020


Share this article


Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly has welcomed an EU COVID-19 recovery package, but warns it will mean cuts elsewhere.

It follows five days of intensive talks in Brussels during the first in-person summit for leaders in months.

It involves a total of €1.8tn, which includes a budget for the next several years.

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Under the plan, the European Commission may borrow €750bn to strengthen the European economy.

Some €360bn will be made available as loans.

Mr Kelly told Newstalk Breakfast: "I suppose we should be happy that there is a deal, that's important.

"But it comes at a bit of a price in the sense that there's a lot of cuts that we think weren't necessary.

"But at the same time €390bn is better than nothing, it started out though as €500bn - so when you consider there are 27 member states, four and possibly Finland, were opposed.

"And yet the four, especially the Netherlands, have been able to wield a very strong axe.

"I'm not sure does it send out a great message in terms of solidarity?

"Especially.... that the Netherlands gets a rebate - so it was all about grants and loans, and then they objecting to that - and then they get a rebate themselves.

"I'm not sure does it send out the message that we would want, and does it show the solidarity we would want.

"But at the same time it's probably unprecedented in the sense that we never before had mutualisation of debt, and we have that now to a degree.

"I suppose that sets a trend maybe for the future, so looking at it from that point of view it's positive.

"But it comes at a bit of price, especially in some prgrammes that we would want to see developed and increased rather than decreased".

"I was expecting actually better, I knew it was going to be tough - but I felt that with (President Emmanuel) Macron from France and especially with (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel - being president of the rotating council - that she'd be able to twist the arms of the frugal four.

"Now she twisted their arms a bit, but I thought they would have got more out of them and that the frugal four would have compromised a bit more.

"But at the same time it is a step into the unknown in the sense that we never had this before, it's a big package [of] €750bn, at least the package remains as it is.

"But I just don't like the way they're reducing many areas where the EU needs to step up to be competitive into the future, and that's my concern really more than anything else".

Main image: European Council President Charles Michel is seen at a special EU Council summit in Brussels. Picture by: European Union 

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Angela Merkel EU COVID-19 Recovery Package Emmanuel Macron Frugal Four Ireland Irish MEP Netherlands Sean Kelly

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