March 13, 2020 / 12:23 PM / 19 days ago

EU to set up 37 bln euro coronavirus investment initiative

BRUSSELS, March 13 (Reuters) - The European Union will establish a 37 billion euro investment initiative as part of a package of measures to cushion the bloc’s economies from the impact of coronavirus, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

Other steps the EU’s executive will take include giving member states flexibility on budget deficits and state aid, von der Leyen told a news conference.

The EU will also guarantee 8 billion euros in loans to 100,000 firms to support the corporate sector, von der Leyen said.

“I am convinced that the European Union can withstand this shock,” she said. “But each member state needs to live up to its full responsibility and the European Union as a whole needs to be determined, coordinated and united.” (Reporting by Phil Blenkinsop and Kate Abnett Writing by John Chalmers)

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