27 EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion Recovery Fund after marathon summit ends at dawn on 21 July.
European Union leaders reached agreement on a €750 billion stimulus plan for their coronavirus-hit economies on 21 July at the end of fractious negotiations that lasted nearly five days.
The news, announced at dawn by EU Council president and summit chairman Charles Michel, will see Italy receive €208.8 billion in grants and loans as part of the massive stimulus package.
Italian premier Giuseppe Conte said: "We are satisfied with the approval of an ambitious relaunch plan, which will allow us to confront the crisis with strength and effectiveness."
The emergency fund will give out €390 billion of grants and €360 billion of low-interest loans to EU member states, with Italy among the biggest beneficiaries of the recovery plan.
Italy, the original European epicentre of the covid-19 pandemic, is to receive €81.4 billion in grants and €127.4 billion in loans - the equivalent of 28 per cent of the total recovery fund - according to Italian newspaper of record Corriere della Sera.
The breakthrough in negotiations followed a rift between 'frugal' northern European countries, led by the Netherlands, and the potential biggest beneficiaries in southern Europe, including Italy.
Michel said that today's agreement sends a "concrete signal that Europe is a force for action,” adding that the deal will be seen as "a pivotal moment in Europe’s journey, but it will also launch us into the future.”
French president Emmanuel Macron said the deal was "truly historic" and that he was convinced the recovery plan and budget could meet the challenge of the covid-19 pandemic, reports Reuters.