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Spain says EU recovery fund debt is not charity - Metro US

Spain says EU recovery fund debt is not charity

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya reacts during an interview with Reuters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) – Joint borrowing by European Union countries to finance a fund to recover from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is not charity, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez said ahead of a crucial summit on the issue July 17-18.

All the countries involved would contribute to reimbursing the debt, even northern countries dubbed “frugal”, she said on Monday in an interview with Belgian radio station RTBF.

“It is not like the Netherlands is providing charity to Spain or France,” Gonzalez said. Each country would take a share of the debt proportional to its economic weight, she said.

Germany would contribute 20%, Spain 9% and the Netherlands 6%, for instance, said Gonzalez.

The 27 European Union leaders are due to meet later this week to negotiate the seven-year EU budget and the creation of a 750 billion euro ($849.45 billion) stimulus fund financed with common debt.

Two-thirds of the amount would be transferred in form of free grants and a third in repayable loans.

The creation of that fund has pitched the wealthy, thrifty north against the high-debt south, which has been hit harder by the pandemic.

($1 = 0.8829 euros)

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Jason Neely and Alex Richardson)

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