The European Union hopes to start giving out money from its 750 billion euros coronavirus economic recovery fund before the end of the summer, the bloc’s top officials said on Friday as they finalised approval of the landmark stimulus.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament head, David Sassoli and Portugal’s Prime Minsiter Antonio Costa called on the bloc’s 27 member states to move quickly now to approve a linked decision to allow the Brussels-based EU executive to borrow the funds on the market.

“The moment the own resources decision is ratified, the Commission will go to the market, raise money and disburse,” von der Leyen told a news conference. “We’re able to disburse 13% in front-loading immediately… by mid-year, we should be able to disburse the first funds.”

Costa said the EU was fighting the pandemic with vaccines and that the mass economic stimulus was another key tool in the bloc’s strategy – a “vitmain” to overcome the related economic crisis.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Gabriela Baczynska)

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