May 8, 2020 / 11:54 AM / 25 days ago

EU project at stake if recovery fund not agreed soon, Gentiloni says

FILE PHOTO: European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni speaks during a news conference on public finances in EU states at European Union Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is at a crossroads and risks falling apart if governments do not quickly agree on a new fund to sustain the bloc’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, EU economics commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday.

“We are really at a crossroads. Either we are able to have a strong common response, but we are not there yet, or the entire project is at stake,” Gentiloni said, calling for the establishment in autumn of a recovery fund that would mitigate economic divergences among member states.

EU states have agreed that a joint response is needed but are struggling to find common ground on the fiscal support that could be provided through this new tool.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Toby Chopra

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