Merkel, Macron back $546B coronavirus aid package for EU

Merkel, Macron back $546B coronavirus aid package for EU
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Two of the European Union's (EU) most influential leaders announced Monday that they would support a $546 billion fund to help member states hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronFrance to require coronavirus tests for those entering the country from US EU leaders reach trillion deal on coronavirus recovery package Fire engulfs Nantes Cathedral in France, prompting an arson investigation MORE said that they would support an aid package establishing the fund, which would be supported by future borrowing as well, according to Bloomberg.

“The EU must act together, the nation state has no chance if it acts on its own,” Merkel said during a joint press conference with Macron. “This is the biggest challenge in the history of the EU.”

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“When Germany and France take the initiative, then this encourages the opinion-making process across the EU,” she added of the plan's likelihood of success at the European Commission (EC).

Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, praised news of the joint plan in an interview posted on the bank's website.

"The Franco-German proposals are ambitious, targeted and, of course, welcome," Lagarde said. "They pave the way for the European Commission to borrow funds over the long term and, above all, they allow a substantial amount of direct support to be provided to the countries most affected by the crisis."

Macron, who first proposed such a fund weeks ago, said during the joint press conference that the deal was necessary to preserve EU unity in the face of the global pandemic.

"That's a real change in philosophy," he said, according to France24. "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."