May 8, 2020 / 11:51 AM / 20 days ago

EU project at stake if recovery fund not agreed soon, Gentiloni says

FILE PHOTO: European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni holds a news conference on the Spring 2020 Economic Forecast, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium May 6, 2020. Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is at a crossroads and risks falling apart if governments do not quickly agree on a new fund to sustain the bloc’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, EU economics commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday.

“We are really at a crossroads. Either we are able to have a strong common response, but we are not there yet, or the entire project is at stake,” Gentiloni said, calling for the establishment in autumn of a recovery fund that would mitigate economic divergences among member states.

EU states have agreed that a joint response is needed but are struggling to find common ground on the fiscal support that could be provided through this new tool.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Toby Chopra

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