During the third day of the extraordinary European Council on post-Covid economic aid, the tones warmed up considerably. Not that in the first two rounds the climate was cordial but at least, at first, there was hope that the negotiations could be resolved with an agreement that would satisfy everyone. According to reports from agency sources, there would have been a long meeting between Giuseppe Conte and the leaders of the so-called frugal countries.
The accusations against the Dutchman Rutte
Apparently, the Italian premier would have cautioned the Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte. “You are deluding yourself that the game does not concern you or that it concerns you only in part“, the words of Conte according to the reconstruction.”In fact, if we let the single market be destroyed, maybe you will be a hero at home for a few days, but after a few weeks you will be called to respond publicly in front of all European citizens for having compromised an adequate and effective European reaction“, it would therefore seem to have concluded.
Already in the morning Rutte had been targeted by Vicktor Orban. The Hungarian leader had been explicit: “If we don’t find the agreement, it’s all his fault. He is responsible for yesterday’s chaos“. Not only that: the Dutch premier,”the Dutch guy“insisting to create a link between respect for the rule of law and the provision of EU funds, use legal terms”undefined“like those that were used by the communist regimes of Eastern Europe, without even being”aware“, stressed Orban.
Returning to the negotiation, he writes Republic, the frugal gave birth to an offer of 350 billion grants for the Recovery Fund, to be doubled with the same amount of loans. The understanding, however, is closely connected to two other themes: the one on governance, ie on how to use the money, and the one on rebates, the tax rebates granted by the EU to its member countries.
The position of Conte, Macron and Merkel
On a hellish day, yet another month of fire, Conte tweeted a loud and clear message: “The negotiation continues. On the one hand, the vast majority of countries, including the largest Germany, France, Spain, Italy, which defend the European institutions and the European project. On the other, few countries, called frugal“. As if to say: if there is still no white smoke, you all know whose fault it is.
Finally, the moods of Emmanuel Macron is Angela Merkel. While for French it is “still possible” to find “a good compromise“as long as they are not”achieved at the price of European ambition“, the German chancellor appeared more pessimistic, fearing the possibility of not being able to find any agreement.
Meanwhile, the summit goes on, wrapped in total fog. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, met the leaders of the four Visegrad countries (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia), respectively Orban, Mateusz Morawiecki, Andrej Babis and Igor Matovic.