EU leaders failed to agree on a coordinated coronavirus response yesterday after marathon debates. European Council President Charles Michel admitted after the meeting that “We had tonight a very strong political debate. It was a useful debate, it was a necessary debate.,”
The major division centered around the idea of a “European recovery bond” or “coronabonds” as pushed forward by Italy. France, Spain and seven other member stated backed using EU debt to lift members out of a recession and increase spending on healthcare.
But that was rejected by Germany and the Netherlands. German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that coronabonds is “not the point of view of all member states”. And, “ESM is the preferred instrument for me.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the ESM would be the “last resort”, and the Hague would not back joint debt.