Hoekstra Rejects Italy’s Call for Deploying an EU Emergency Fund

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Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Finance) believes that the euro countries can only claim the European emergency fund ESM if other options to protect their economies against the consequences of the coronavirus fail.

 

The minister rejects Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s call for the ESM to lend money to EU member states to finance the corona crisis.

“EU countries have various options and options in the financial field to protect their economies against the virus and its effects on the economy,” Hoekstra tells the ANP when asked.

“In recent weeks, many different national and international measures have been taken by countries as well as by EU institutions. Besides, it was decided to stretch European budgetary rules to the maximum so that countries can absorb the costs. ”

“Should a country run into financial difficulties despite these measures, the ESM is ready. Countries can apply if necessary, ”says Hoekstra.

The ESM was launched in 2012 during the credit crisis for euro area countries in financial difficulties. The current borrowing capacity amounts to 410 billion euros. Conte compares the consequences of the corona outbreak with the impact of World War II.

The finance ministers of the euro countries (Eurogroup) will meet again next week by video connection about the corona crisis.

The Eurogroup is divided over the deployment of the emergency fund. Germany and the Netherlands are on the same page. Hoekstra thinks it is “important that we as Europe now unite and work together against the virus.”

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