Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz said that his country, which is one of 4 countries seeking to make changes to the European Union's planned fund to support the recovery from Corona, wants the largest share of that aid to go to the "poorest countries of the bloc."
Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are among the largest contributors to the EU budget, and these countries generally oppose large spending plans. She resisted the idea of including grant making among the Fund's activities, and suggested instead that his activities be limited to providing loans.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, had proposed the creation of a 750 billion euro ($ 847 billion) fund, with two thirds of the amount to be provided in the form of a grant. European Union leaders hope to finalize details of the fund at a summit scheduled on Friday.
But the Austrian chancellor said he was no longer completely opposed to the idea of granting grants, indicating that he would discuss the idea of mixing grants and loans.
"According to the Brussels plan, Italy, Spain or Poland will benefit more," Kurtz told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"But in the European Union we have significantly poorer countries. My sense of justice tells me that if we are in the European Union we will spend this large sum, it should flow first of all to the poorest (members)", without specifying specific countries.
According to the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, Latvia, Romania, Greece, Croatia and Bulgaria are the poorest countries in the bloc on a per capita basis. Austria maintains close ties with the Western Balkans, including Croatia.