'Uncertain' that EU will reach virus rescue deal in July: Dutch PM

By: AFP      Published: 08:32 PM, 19 Jun, 2020
'Uncertain' that EU will reach virus rescue deal in July: Dutch PM

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte raised doubts Friday that EU leaders would reach a deal at a summit in July on a huge 750-billion-euro ($840-billion) post-coronavirus recovery plan.

"It is uncertain whether it would be finalised then or whether we would need more sessions, and whether they should be during the summer or later," Rutte told reporters after a virtual summit with other leaders.

The Netherlands is one of the "frugal four" along with Austria, Denmark and Sweden trying to rein in the spending, and say the cash should be given as loans with tough conditions attached.

European Council chief Charles Michel said the 27 EU leaders would resume face-to-face budget negotiations in Brussels from next month with the aim of getting through the log-jam.

Rutte warned other leaders not to get their hopes up.

"I don't think an enormous rush is needed," Rutte added.

"It would be nice if we are through with it, it must not be delayed longer than necessary, but it is also not like something is going to go terribly amiss if we are not done with it by mid-July."