Merkel and Macron join forces for $500 billion EU COVID-19 aid package

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to support a 500 billion-euro ($546 billion) aid package to help the European Union recover from the coronavirus pandemic in a major step toward tighter integration.

Following a videoconference between the two leaders, Merkel said that Germany would accept a fund within the framework of the EU budget, financed by additional borrowing, that would make grants to member states that have been hardest hit by the virus. Crucially, she said the bonds issued by the European Commission would be repaid from the EU budget, the lion’s share of which is

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