Brussels: The European Union Economy and Finance ministers have failed to reach an agreement on a set of measures to mitigate the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the worst-affected member states despite more than 16 hours of negotiation.
The Eurogroup said it would meet again on Thursday to resume talks and reach a consensus, Efe news reported.
“After 16h of discussions we came close to a deal but we are not there yet. I suspended the Eurogroup & continue tomorrow, Thursday,” Mario Centeno, president of the Eurogroup, tweeted.
“My goal remains: A strong EU safety net against the fallout of Covid-19 (to shield workers, firms & countries) and commit to a sizeable recovery plan,” the Portuguese finance minister added.
The main disagreements in the European Union eocnomic deal stem from differing points of view on the conditions for accessing soft loans under the eurozone rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
Member states also disagree on whether to issue mutualized debt known as corona bonds as part of a broader package to mitigate the economic recession caused by the pandemic.
Deep divides between northern and southern countries persisted with The Netherlands pushing for ESM aid to be issued under tough economic conditions for recipient countries.
Hard hit countries like Italy, on the other hand, want these requirements to be eased as much as possible so it can cover the economic damage of the outbreak more cheaply.
The struggle between The Hague and Rome was the main sticking point during negotiations on Tuesday night.
“NL was and remains against the idea of Eurobonds, we think this will create more problems than solutions for the EU,” Minister of Dutch Finance, Wopke Hoekstra, said on Twitter at the end of the meeting.