Belgium: Merkel expects 'very difficult negotiations' on EU’s COVID recovery plan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she anticipates «very difficult negotiations» over the European Union's recovery plan for the COVID-19 crisis, as she arrived for a special EU leaders summit in Brussels on Friday, the first one being held in-person since the beginning of the pandemic. «I have to say the differences are still very big, therefore, I can't say just yet whether we will come to an agreement this time. It would be desirable, however, we have to see the reality,» explained Merkel speaking to members of the media as she arrived for the special gathering of the European Council. Merkel said it would require a «great willingness to compromise,» from all member states to come to an agreement over a 750 billion Euros ($856 billion) coronavirus recovery plan on top of the 27 member bloc's 2021-27 budget at this time. The special gathering of the European Council on July 17-18 will mark 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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