April 9, 2020 / 7:59 PM / 2 months ago

Key EU states agree coronavirus economic rescue: diplomats

A man wearing a face mask walks past the European Commission headquarters as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Brussels, Belgium April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands reached an agreement on Thursday evening on an economic support package against coronavirus epidemic, paving the way for a deal among all 27 EU finance ministers, diplomatic sources said.

The agreement includes minimal conditions for governments to access credit lines from the euro zone bailout fund, focused on financing of health expenses related to the virus.

In a sign the Netherlands gave up on its previous tough stance, there were no economic conditions attached, the sources said.

Diplomats also said that the compromise agreement mentions the willingness of finance ministers to explore “innovative” financial instruments to finance a recovery fund to pull the EU out of the expected recession, without mentioning joint debt issuance.

Reporting Jan Strupczewski, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska

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