PARIS (Reuters) – The European Union must reach a deal on a proposed 750 billion euro economic recovery plan to cope with the impact of the coronavirus crisis by July, French Junior European Affairs Minister Amelie de Montchalin said on Thursday.
“There is no other solution than having a deal by July. If we do not have a stimulus plan, we will have a problem,” Montchalin told BFM Business radio.
The European Commission’s recovery plan aims to help economically weaker countries hit hardest by the coronavirus.
But fiscally conservative northern countries – the “frugal four” of the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden – have resisted some proposals, notably taking on mutual debt.
Montchalin was also asked to comment on media reports that Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI> and Peugeot maker PSA <PEUP.PA> faced a lengthy EU antitrust investigation after declining to offer concessions to allay concerns about their planned $50 billion merger.
“All European players know that our fight is employment, how to relaunch production in Europe. I am fully confident that this priority is deeply ingrained everywhere in Europe,” she said.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Alison Williams and Alex Richardson)