BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday said he was “not optimistic” that agreement would be reached between the EU’s 27 member states over a coronavirus recovery fund.
“I’m not optimistic, but you never know,” he told Dutch broadcaster NOS as he arrived for a special summit of the bloc’s leaders to negotiate a deal on their 2021-27 budget and a new coronavirus recovery fund worth 750 billion euros. [nL5N2EO1NT]
The Netherlands wants countries receiving EU support from the fund to agree to reforms in their labour markets and pension systems among other areas.
It is leading a group of several smaller EU nations that are opposed to providing grants or assistance without strict conditions.
Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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