Portugal’s prime minister has highlighted the European Council’s decisions to launch a European economic recovery programme for the post-Covid-19 crisis and to open a €240 billion financing line.
António Costa was speaking at the end of another meeting of the European Council by videoconference – the third in three weeks – to discuss the joint response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his opening statement, the Costa said that two decisions were taken at this “very long” meeting that he described as “important”, the first of which referred to the “mandate given to the Eurogroupto present to the European Council the conditions for the mobilisation of an Instrument for European Stability line, totalling 240 billion euros, to finance Member States in the fight against the crisis caused by the outbreak of the new coronavirus within two weeks.”
According to the prime minister, each member state “may raise up to 2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”, “to support the necessary investments in the area of health, namely for the purchase of equipment, but also to finance measures to support employment, income and business stabilisation.”
The second “important” decision taken at this European Council, was to mandate the presidents of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and of the Council, Charles Michel, in conjunction with the other European institutions, “with a view to starting to prepare a programme of recovery of the European economy for the post-crisis period.”
“Nobody knows yet when the post-crisis period will start, but we have to start preparing for the future so that as soon as the pandemic is under control we can lift the measures of home confinement and paralysis of economic activity, not wasting time in the recovery of the economy,” the Prime Minister stressed.