July 20, 2020 / 2:02 PM / 18 days ago

Poland says EU 'frugal' camp is egoistic in budget talks

FILE PHOTO: Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks during a news conference at the summit of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries in Warsaw, Poland July 3, 2020. Dawid Zuchowicz/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accused on Monday the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Austria, called the “frugal” states in talks on the EU post-COVID recovery package, of being stingy and egoistic.

Speaking on Polish television just before negotiations were to resume on the fourth day of the summit, Morawiecki commented on the latest proposal from the chairman of the talks Charles Michel to reduce the amount of grants in the package.

“It is a certain amount — forced by a group of stingy, egoistic states which look at things very narrowly through the prism of their own interests — an amount for further negotiations,” Morawiecki said.

Poland is likely to be one of the top beneficiaries of the recovery package, receiving tens of billions of euros in grants and cheap loans even though it is one of the countries least affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now, tentatively, there is on the table the sum of 390 billion euros in grants,” Morawiecki said on TV. “We are pushing for the total of grants and loans to be close to 750 billion euros.”

Reporting by Alicja Ptak, writing by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Foo Yun Chee

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