‘Moment of truth’ as EU leaders seek Covid deal

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BY BBC NEWS,17TH JULY,2020-EU leaders are meeting in their first face-to-face summit since the coronavirus crisis, with low expectations of a deal on a €750bn (£670bn) post-Covid stimulus package.

The mask-wearing leaders, who met with elbow bumps not handshakes, must also agree a seven-year, €1.07tn budget.

French President Emmanuel Macron said it was a “moment of truth” for Europe.

There are splits between leaders over whether the post-Covid package should be given as grants or loans.

Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel want grants to mostly finance the fund. Four northern nations insist on loans.

Arriving for the talks in Brussels, Mrs Merkel said “the differences are very very big and I cannot say if we will find a solution this time”. It would be desirable, she said, but people had to remain realistic.

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