Merkel Aims for Recovery Deal as Germany Takes Over EU Presidency

Germany takes the helm of the EU’s rotating presidency on Wednesday with one overriding aim: to rescue the bloc from the worst economic crisis in its history, the Financial Times reported. Chancellor Angela Merkel met French president Emmanuel Macron today to discuss next steps for the €750bn recovery proposals unveiled by the two leaders in May, as well as the EU budget. Although the pair are enjoying contrasting fortunes — Ms Merkel’s popularity has risen for her adept handling of the pandemic while Mr Macron is fresh from a drubbing in local elections — the two are keen to show a united front. Ms Merkel’s task is to find an agreement between the EU’s “frugal four” — Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria — which want tough conditions on help for coronavirus-stricken economies, and the southern European countries that want grants rather than loans. Read more