EU Finance ministers agreed on Thursday to a common emergency plan to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the European economy. EU member states have agreed to an emergency response plan of €500 billion.
“This proposal contains bold and ambitious proposals that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago”, the Portuguese Finance minister and president of the Eurogroup Mario Centeno said in a video conference on Thursday.
“We can all remember the response to the financial crisis of the last decade, when Europe did too little too late. This time around is different.”
The proposal, he added, “implements the strong response that Europe needs”.
Shortly after they reached an agreement, finance ministers enthusiastically announced the news on social media.
“Excellent agreement between EU finance ministers on the economic response to coronavirus,” French finance minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted.
“500 billion euros will be made available immediately. A stimulus package is to come. Europe is standing up to face the seriousness of the situation.”
Le Maire added: “This is an important day for Europe.”
However, not all parties agreed on “corona bonds” or “Euro bonds”, joint debt issued to EU member states.
“Some member states have expressed the view that this should be done by common debt instruments,” Centeno said. “Other member states said alternative ways should be found.”