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    Merkel warns of possible EU summit failure

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Sunday (July 19) the EU may not reach a deal on a coronavirus stimulus plan as EU leaders got ready to meet for a third day of talks on a $2 trillion economic recovery package. The deal is designed to rescue the bloc’s economies, as they face their worst recession since World War Two. So far, there have been fall-outs due to the demands of rich but financially prudent countries. Merkel said there was “a lot of goodwill but also many positions” and that “it is possible there is no result”. Two long days of negotiations have shown-up a divide between the EU’s north and south. A so-called ‘frugal’ group of northern richer states led by the Netherlands have not as yet backed down from demands for cuts to the package. That has not been well-received by all, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “There are some countries, basically the Dutch anyway, who would like to create a mechanism here which provides an influence to the Dutch, to control the spending of the money basically by the South. So, it’s basically a dispute between the Dutch and the Italians.” Leaders have framed the summit as a key moment for the EU – after almost 70 years of European integration. It they fail to reach a deal, experts believe it could raise serious questions about the EU’s continued viability.
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    World News from Reuters

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