PARIS (Reuters) – An economic support package being readied to help the European Union recover from the coronavirus crisis may need be to worth around 1.6 trillion euros ($1.7 trillion), the EU’s industry chief Thierry Breton said on Tuesday.
The European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services told French TV station BFM TV he was working on plans around that type of figure with Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.
That would represent some 10% of EU GDP, Breton said.
Member states disagree over the technical aspects of how to finance such a plan, and national leaders are expected to defer a final decision on it when they meet by videolink on Thursday, diplomats and officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
There are also differences over how big such a fund needs to be.
Spain has called for a fund worth 1.5 trillion euros – roughly on a par with Breton’s views but around three times the figure estimated by the head of the euro zone’s bailout fund.
Breton also said a “Marshall Plan” was needed to help the European tourism industry – in a reference to the U.S. aid program launched to help Europe after World War Two.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Matthieu Protard; Editing by John Stonestreet)