Insults, slammed fists: EU virus summit Extends into 4th Afternoon


BRUSSELS (AP) — Weary and bleary, European Union leaders had been gearing up Monday for a fourth day of battling an unprecedented 1. 85 trillion-euro ($2.1 trillion) EU funding and coronavirus recovery finance, hardly recovered from a weekend of walkouts, fists slamming into pubs and insults.

Having a brilliant sunlight heating the negotiating sundeck in the Europa summit centre early Monday, there finally was a glimmer of hope that the discussions to assist the continent emerge in the pandemic via an unprecdented financial aid package aren’t doomed after all.

“It seems more optimistic than once I believed throughout the night:’It is over,'” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the goal of a lot of the criticism. The assembly broke up briefly and is expected to restart on Monday afternoon.

It required a heart-tugging dinner address by EU Council President Charles Michel about pioneers not neglecting their marriage, French President Emmanuel Macron slamming his fist in anger to the table, along with a fresh pair of budgetary amounts to ship this epic summit ahead.

It had been proposed as a post-secondary summit scheduled to have ended Saturday, but there are profound cultural differences involving the 27 leaders pushed the discussions into two additional days.

Rutte, protecting the origin of a bunch of five rich northern countries — both the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Denmark — sought to limit costs and impose rigorous reform claims. He came under criticism from Macron, Italy and Hungary, whose Prime Minister Viktor Orban asked why the Dutchman had such”hatred” supporting him.

Rutte took it in stride.

“We’re not here because we will be traffic at one another’s birthday party afterwards. We’re here since we do business to our country. We’re all experts,” he explained.

On Sunday night, following three days of fruitless talks and also expect , Michel implored leaders to conquer their basic branches and agree about the funding and recovery finance.

“Are the 27 EU leaders capable of European unity and hope or, due to a profound rift, will we introduce ourselves as a feeble Europe, jeopardized by disbelief,” he requested the leaders. The text of this behind-closed-doors address has been obtained by The Associated Press.

“I need we succeed in getting a bargain and the European press can headline tomorrow which the EU triumphed in a Mission Impossible,” Michel said.

The pandemic has delivered the EU into a tailspin, murdering approximately 135,000 of its own citizens and diving its market to an estimated contraction of 8.3percent this past year.

The bloc’s executive has suggested a 750 billion-euro coronavirus finance, partially based on shared borrowing, to be routed as grants and loans to the nations hit hardest by the term. This comes on top of this seven-year 1 trillion-euro EU budget which pioneers were haggling over for weeks before the pandemic struck.

Despite Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel negotiating as the nearest of partners, the traditionally strong Franco-German alliance couldn’t obtain the quarreling countries in line.

In their dinner table Sunday night, the leaders whined a proposal by the five wealthy northern countries which indicated a coronavirus recovery finance 350 million euros of grants and the exact same amount again in advance. The five EU countries — recognized”the frugals” — had opposed any grants in any way, although the EU executive had suggested 500 million euros.

“We are all set to take the jump from loans to subsidies,” Rutte said.

All countries agree that they have to band together however, the five wealthier countries in the north, headed to the Netherlands, desire stringent controls on spending, whereas fighting southern nations such as Spain and Italy state those states must be kept to a minimum.

Rutte has long been called a European celebrity builder, but this weekend that his tough negotiating position has been blamed for holding up a bargain. He and his allies have been pushing labor market and pensions to be connected to EU handouts along with also a”brake” allowing EU states to track and, if necessary, prevent projects which are being compensated for from the recovery fund.

“He can not ask us to perform particular reforms,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated, whining Rutte may resemble a hero in his home state, but nowhere else.

Rutte wants a URL to be made involving the handout of EU funds and the rule of law — a link aimed toward Poland and Hungary, states with right-wing populist authorities that many from the EU believe are slipping away from democratic principle.

That brought Orban’s anger.

“I really don’t understand what’s the reason behind its Dutch prime minister to despise me Hungary, but he is assaulting so harshly and making quite obvious that since Hungary, in my own view, doesn’t respect the principle of law, (it’s ) have to be penalized financially,” Orban said.


Corder reported by The Hague, Netherlands. Samuel Petrequin led from Brussels.


Follow all AP’s pandemic policy in and


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here