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Finance committee chair opposes proposed €500 billion EU recovery fund

Riigikogu finance committee chair Aivar Kokk (Isamaa).
Riigikogu finance committee chair Aivar Kokk (Isamaa). Source: ERR

Chairman of the Riigikogu Finance Committee Aivar Kokk (Isamaa) says he doesn't agree with the proposed €500 billion recovery fund that would offer grants to European Union regions and sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee has yet to discuss the subject, but Kokk personally inclines towards not supporting the idea in its current form, he told ERR.

"If someone asks for my personal opinion, I am certainly not willing to support the EU conditions, under which we - who have hitherto had tidy loan discipline - will be responsible for other countries. With our small budget, we cannot be held responsible for the loans of some Southern EU member states," Kokk said.

On whether Estonia could apply for aid from the possible fund, Kokk told ERR that it depends on specific terms. If the EU budget is made collateral for covered bonds, it might affect the chances of smaller states for receiving grants from the EU budget, he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on May 18 proposed the creation of a recovery fund worth €500 billion that would help the EU countries and industries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

"That's a real change in philosophy," French President Emmanuel Macron said then. "I believe this is a very deep transformation and that's what the European Union and the single market needed to remain coherent. It's what the euro zone needs to remain united." 

The proposal moves the EU more in the direction of a transfer union and is likely to please countries like Italy or Spain which have long called for more joint action in response to the crisis, Reuters reported last week.


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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