April 24, 2020 / 6:50 AM / a month ago

Recovery fund should provide loans with long maturities, direct subsidies - EU economics chief

ROME, April 24 (Reuters) - The recovery fund agreed by European Union leaders to cushion the impact of the coronavirus emergency should provide loans with maturities of up to 40 years but also direct subsidies, European Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday.

EU leaders agreed on Thursday to build a trillion euro emergency fund to help the bloc recover from the coronavirus pandemic, avoiding another all-night bust-up but leaving contentious details until the summer to be settled.

Speaking to RAI’s Radio Anch’io, Gentiloni said Thursday’s result was positive and “unthinkable until just a few days ago”, but the “devil is in the details”.

It is up to the Commission to iron out the details of the accord, with a next meeting scheduled for May 6, he said. But he added that the money was needed quickly, not in two years.

Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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