22 countries do not want to drop 400,000 million in transfers – subsidies, money lost. And five countries, the self-styled four frugal – Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden – and Finland claim that it is 350,000 million – although some sources suggest that they could rise to 375,000.
Italy acknowledges that there are “hard shocks” with the Netherlands and its allies in the negotiation of European aid
Bilateral and group meetings have taken place throughout the night, since just before midnight the leaders parted ways after dinner. “The President of the European Council has not been able to present another formal proposal”, explains a European diplomatic source: “On the one hand, there are the red lines of the so-called frugal at 350,000 million euros maximum in transfers [la propuesta inicial de las instituciones europeas fijaba esa cifra en 500.000 millones]. And, on the other hand, the rest of 22 countries that do not want to drop below 400,000 million because it seems the minimum for the fund to have a macroeconomic impact. ”
“The situation is critical, it is very serious, and many are thinking about how the headlines will be this Monday and the opening of the markets,” explains the source.
So much so, that the President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, stated at the Reuters agency: “It is better to agree on an ambitious fund, even if it takes a little longer. I hope the leaders agree on something that is ambitious, along the lines of what the European Commission has proposed [750.000 millones, 500.000 de los cuales en transferencias] instead of something quick. ”
“Negotiations are always very difficult,” said another source: “The frugal continue to block, [el canciller austriaco, Sebastian] Kurz does not listen, block and filter his press. The Netherlands and Austria use the argument that the rest of the leaders are not concerned about the rule of law to block and divert the debate. ”
The sources explain that the dinner, until it was dissolved, was very tense, with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, reproaching his attitude to the frugal, while France, Germany and Italy were also net contributors, in addition to founding members of the EU. And that even Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte: “You could be a hero in your country for a few days, but after a few weeks you will be responsible to all the citizens of the continent for blocking a response. adequate and effective European “.
“It has been a difficult night,” explains a French diplomatic source: “The French president, Emmanuel Macron, punched the table, supported by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and, from there, there began to be movement in The frugal. The Franco-German axis has done everything possible to attract the most reluctant to the figure of 400,000 million in subsidies. Now there is a possibility of agreement on a new proposal that will be presented at 4:00 pm “.
Some sources claim that the point of agreement may be, however, at 390,000 million in transfers.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte thus complained about the Netherlands and its allies: “The negotiation continues. On the one hand, the vast majority of countries, including the largest, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, which defend the institutions European and the European project. And on the other, a few countries, which are called “frugal,” said the Italian prime minister.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsoyakis acknowledged on the third day of trading: “We have not advanced enough to reach an agreement. I sincerely hope that today we can break the impasse.”
Part of the impasse has to do not only with the recovery fund and its architecture, but with the connection of European funds with respect for the rule of law, as Macron pointed out, to which Poland and Hungary are opposed. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated this Sunday: “I don’t know what is the personal reason why the Dutch Prime Minister hates me or Hungary, but he is attacking hard and making it very clear that because Hungary, in his opinion does not respect the rule of law should be financially punished. That is his position, which is not acceptable, because there is no decision on the state of the rule of law in Hungary. The Dutchman is responsible for the disaster. ”