After four days of talks, on Tuesday European Union leaders struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package.
It will see the 27-nation bloc offering 750 billion euro ($859 billion) in grants and loans. Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that Greece will be receiving more than 70 billion euros to counter the economic impact of the pandemic.
“For the first time our country is gaining access to such ambitious financial tools. We are returning to Athens with a total package, which exceeds 70 billion euros, a size unprecedented for our country, which we will manage with responsibility and prudence,” Mitsotakis said.
“We have no intention of wasting this significant European capital now at our disposal. We will invest it to the benefit of all Greeks.”
The Greek premier echoed the statement by summit chairman Charles Michel, who said it was a “pivotal moment” for Europe by stressing that the agreement was a reasonable and fair compromise. “We have reached a historic agreement,” he added.
Live | Συνέντευξη Τύπου μετά την ολοκλήρωση των εργασιών του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου στις Βρυξέλλες.
Posted by Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday, July 20, 2020
The talks, which began last Friday, saw a split forming between nations which have been hardest hit by the outbreak and the more “frugal” members who were concerned about costs.
The deal centers on a 390-billion-euro program of grants to member states hardest hit by the pandemic. It was reached alongside agreement on the bloc’s next seven-year budget, worth about 1.1 trillion euros.
The euro rose against the dollar on the news to stand at $1.145. France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, described it as a “historic day for Europe.”
Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president, said that the more than 90 hours of negotiations had been “worth it” and that the EU could not be accused this time of doing “too little, too late.”
“Europe still has the courage and imagination to think big,” she said. “Europe as a whole now has a big chance to come out stronger from the crisis.”