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EU’s Michel Says COVID-19 Stimulus Fund Is Enough: Report

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PARIS: European Union response to COVID-19 recovery is robust and not short of US $ 1.9 trillion recovery plan, said European Council President Charles Michel, at Les Echos newspaper.

EU member states agreed to a € 750 billion (US $ 892.2 billion) stimulus fund last summer, but with governments still submitting detailed spending plans, frustration grows in some capitals to the slow disbursement of the money.

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Some leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have also questioned whether further stimulus is needed after a second and now a third wave of coronavirus infections swept across the continent, causing further lockdowns.

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“I know perfectly well that some consider (the fund) insufficient, making a comparison with the American stimulus plan. It is not an opinion that I share”, declared Michel in an interview published Saturday by the French newspaper (April 10 ).

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Michel, who chairs European Union summits, said there had been emergency spending by member states since the onset of the health crisis and Europe’s social benefits were more generous than those of the United States.

“They have allowed us to better absorb the shock and will also contribute to the recovery,” he said. “When you put all of these elements together, my belief is that the European plan is very robust.”

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