July 17, 2020 / 8:13 AM / 20 days ago

Deep discord as EU leaders meet for tough spending talks: Merkel

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany, July 15, 2020. Michael Kappeler/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders face very tough talks over a proposed budget and recovery plan to lift the bloc from an economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, pointing to deep differences.

“We are all going into the talks with a lot of vigour but I must say that the differences are still very, very big and so I can’t yet say whether we will get a solution this time already,” Merkel said as she arrived at the summit.

“I expect very, very difficult negotiations.”

Reporting by Brussels bureau; Writing by Joseph Nasr in Berlin; Editing by Michelle Martin

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