June 16, 2020 / 7:24 AM / 21 days ago

EU must act urgently on fiscal measures, ECB says

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Union must urgently decide on a package of fiscal measures to help the bloc through its pandemic-induced economic crisis, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta told French newspaper Le Monde.

“It is extremely urgent and the aim should be to deploy it as soon as possible, no later than early 2021,” Panetta was quoted on Tuesday as saying. “The longer we wait, the costlier it will be to intervene.”

The EU proposed a 750 billion euro package last month, including 500 billion in grants, but resistance from a handful of fiscally conservative nations has threatened to delay the deal and no agreement in June is now expected.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Alex Richardson

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