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Understanding the EU’s New COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Apr 13, 2020 | 17:17 GMT

The European Union is slowly making progress in its efforts to pump money into the Continent's pandemic-riddled economy. But political infighting within the bloc will nonetheless remain a challenge in mitigating the expected dire financial fallout from the COVID-19 crisis in the coming weeks and months.  As part of a new package of fiscal stimulus measures announced on April 9, the finance ministers of the eurozone have pledged to use the bloc's permanent bailout fund to grant loans to countries in distress. EU governments will be able to obtain loans representing up to 2 percent of their GDP from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which will come with no strings attached as long as the money is used to support their healthcare systems. But just a day after the measures were announced, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that Rome is not interested in the ESM loans and that his government...

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