Belgium: Leaders arrive for continued negotiations over recovery plan at EU summit

European leaders arrived Monday night for continued talks over a multi-billion-dollar recovery plan, marking the fourth day of negotiations. The so-called 'frugal' leaders — namely, those of Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands — have already reduced the original €750 billion ($859 billion) recovery plan down to €672.5 billion ($770 billion). The plan, which requires a unanimous approval from all council members, is reportedly still held up on the issues of the ratio of grants to loans and conditionality on the rule of law to access the funds. Originally scheduled for two days, the summit should have finished on Saturday. After four days of talks, this represents the longest European Council in history. It is also the first face to face meeting between the 27 leaders of the European Union since February due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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