An economic support package being readied to help the EU recover from the coronavirus crisis may need be to worth around 1.7 trillion dollars (1.6 trillion euros), the EU’s industry chief Thierry Breton said on Tuesday.
The European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services told French TV station BFM TV he was working on plans around that type of figure with Economics Commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni.
That would represent some 10 per cent of EU GDP, Breton said.
Member states disagree over the technical aspects of how to finance such a plan, and national leaders are expected to defer a final decision on it when they meet by videolink on Thursday, diplomats said.
There are also differences over how big such a fund needs to be.
Spain has called for a fund worth 1.5 trillion euros – roughly on a par with Breton’s views but around three times the figure estimated by the head of the euro zone’s bailout fund.
Breton also said a “Marshall Plan” was needed to help the European tourism industry – in a reference to the U.S. aid programme launched to help Europe after World War II.