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At the end of July, EU leaders finally struck a deal on a huge coronavirus recovery package after four days of sometimes bitter talks. The €750billion (£668billion) coronavirus fund, spearheaded by France and Germany, will be used as loans and grants to the countries hit hardest by the virus. The remaining money represents the EU budget for the next seven years.
The talks began with a divide emerging between the hardest hit nations and those intent on a more “frugal” package of measures.
Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria all pushed back on an initial package of grants worth €500bn (£450billon), reportedly causing French President Emmanuel Macron to bang his fists in anger.
As many wonder whether the measures will ultimately deepen the bloc’s economic integration or cause its demise, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, French politician and Frexit campaigner Charles-Henri Gallois exposed what he believes is the “ugly truth” about the package.
He said: “The recovery fund will be truly catastrophic for France.
“We will basically end up paying so much more than what we receive.
“And as a consequence, there will be so much more pressure to adopt EU social policies, such as the pension reform.
“Really, it is a total disaster. And all the mainstream media in France are saying it is historic and wonderful, but they don’t explain the real cost.
“All they are doing is this propaganda as if it is free money, but the citizens of France will foot the bill.
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“Just like for the European budget.”
He noted: “I can understand why Germany is willing to pay a bit more.
“They have an interest in keeping the Common Market.
“It is beneficial for them.
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“But for France and Italy… it makes no sense.
“Italy has more return for this recovery fund, but for the budget, it is the same thing.
“They also pay much more than what they receive.”
When asked what the EU should have done instead, Mr Gallois claimed individual member states should have come up with their own recovery plans.
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