EU talks descend into chaos: Italian PM savages Dutch leader in furious Brussels outburst

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EU talks descend into chaos: Italian PM savages Dutch leader in furious Brussels outburst

The crunch EU summit, decisive for the future of the EU, faces collapse after European leaders lashed out at one another. The summit is designed to

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The crunch EU summit, decisive for the future of the EU, faces collapse after European leaders lashed out at one another. The summit is designed to conclude agreements on the post-coronavirus recovery package and next seven-year EU budget. The 27 EU leaders — joined by European Council leader Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen — are trying to broker a compromise on the huge funding packages.

In a shocking outburst, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that Europe was “under the blackmail of the frugals”.

The Frugal Four – Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands — want the recovery fund bailout to be reduced and linked to strict reform conditions.

Mr Conte told Italians in a Facebook live: “The negotiations were heated.

“We have to do all what is possible to reach a deal tomorrow. Further delays are not useful to anybody.”

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Mr Conte claimed the Dutch demands for a veto on access to aid was “politically and legally improper and also largely unfeasible”.

Leaving the summit last night, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte admitted that the talks had turned “fractious”.

Dutch diplomatic insiders told Euronews that there are “many more issues to solve”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron stayed behind after other leaders left to negotiate over the Frugals’ demands.

EU leaders want to link access to the huge sums of funding to democratic norms and the rule of law, which is largely aimed at Hungary.

In response, Hungary has threatened to veto the entire European Union agreement and plunge the bloc into crisis. 

Ahead of the talks, the European Commission had backed the Franco-German recovery fund plan totalling €750 billion, designed to help those worst hit by the pandemic.

The bloc’s overall economy is estimated to shrink by at least 8.3 percent this year, according to the latest economic forecasts.



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