ANSA: Italy and Spain agree push for Recovery Fund deal this month

ROME. KAZINFORM Premier Giuseppe Conte said at a press conference with Premier Pedro Sanchez in Madrid Wednesday that the two countries agreed a Recovery Fund deal must be found by the EU by the end of this month.

The two leaders also said the COVID emergency has united Italy and Spain more than ever, ANSA reports.

Conte stressed that Madrid was the second stage, after Lisbon, of his tour of EU capitals to drum up support for a Recovery Fund deal.

He said the trip «has boosted our conviction that we must work in harmony».

Conte said «we must finalise the package of EU measures by the end of July.» He said there should be «no giving way» on the European Commission's initial proposal of a 750 billion euro fund to come more in grants than loans.

Conte said an «elevated» response was needed from the EU, and not a «compromise among the 27».

The Italian PM said «we have to dare, we must not be indulgent».

«The single market is at stake here, unless we find a deal we will destroy it».

Sanchez, too, told the press conference that the EU must reach a deal on the COVID emergency Recovery Fund by the end of this month.

«We need a joint response from Europe,» he said alongside Conte.

«There can be no other moment for the accord than beyond this month».

Conte is continuing to firm up Spanish and Portuguese support for Italy's stance on the EU's planned Recovery Fund, after flying from Lisbon to Madrid.

Political sources said there was full agreement between the three countries that there should be a swift European response, with a deal by the end of this month.

Italy, Spain and Portugal also agree that most of the funds must come in grants rather than loans, according to the European Commission's original 750 billion euro proposal.

Northern European countries, on the other hand, are pushing for more loans than grants and have said there is no great hurry for an agreement.

On Tuesday Conte stressed the need for a reaction to the COVID crisis, which risks destroying the single market, saying «if some countries have greater difficulty, all the others will suffer as a consequence».

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