May 8, 2020 / 1:12 PM / 24 days ago

Germany's Scholz expects final agreement on ESM credit line for virus-hit countries

FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz gives a statement in the yard of the finance ministry during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Fanny Brodersen

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday he expected euro zone finance ministers to agree on the final details of credit lines from the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund for governments in need of cheap cash to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve had very intense and constructive negotiations and I’m very confident that today the Eurogroup will make a final decision about the criteria for each country ... to get a credit line worth up to 2% of its gross domestic product,” Scholz said ahead of the videoconference of ministers from the 19 countries sharing the euro currency.

The European Commission on Thursday proposed scrapping the usual conditions for countries using the euro zone’s bailout fund as they try to revive their economies hit by the coronavirus epidemic.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin

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