SPAIN has hit the jackpot after an EU bailout fund to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic was announced.

EU leaders from all 27 member states unanimously agreed to set up a fund worth €750 billion to help deal with the crisis. The plan will allocate €390 billion in grants and €360 billion in loans

Eu Summit Sanchez
NEGOTIATIONS: Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez (second right) at the summit

And Spain will be one of the major beneficiaries with €140 billion earmarked for the country. Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez, described the package as ‘a real Marshall Plan’

He added: “The European Commission will get into debt for the first time in history to finance programmes.”

Spain will get the cash over six years, with €72.7 billion coming in grants and the rest in loans.

Sanchez said: “It is an extraordinary boost… a great agreement for Europe and for Spain.”

The agreement is being hailed as historic, as for the first time the EU has decided to go into debt to fund its new €1.8 trillion budget including the bailout fund.

French President Emmanuel Macron called it a ‘historic day for Europe’ while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “It wasn’t easy, but in the end we found each other. Europe has shown that it is capable of making its way in such a special situation.”

EU President Charles Michel said: “It is the right agreement for Europe at this time.

“We have shown that the magic of the European project works because when we think it’s impossible, it works thanks to cooperation and the willingness to work together.”

The fund was set up despite fierce resistance from a small group of countries, led by the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, who for four days and nights had tried to reduce as much as possible the ambition of the budget proposals and subject the aid to a right of veto that could render it useless.

The Netherlands and its allies – Sweden, Austria and Denmark – feared that the way would be opened for the issue of debt to finance subsidies.

They finally agreed after realising the vast majority of EU nations supported the plan.

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