EU leaders have struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package following a fourth night of talks.
It involves €750bn ($NZ1.3 trillion) in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc.
The talks saw a split between nations hardest hit by the virus and “frugal” members who were concerned about costs.
It is the biggest joint borrowing ever agreed by the EU. Summit chairman Charles Michel said it was a “pivotal moment” for Europe.
The deal centres on a €390b programme of grants to member states hardest hit by the pandemic. Italy and Spain are expected to be the main recipients.
A further €360b in low-interest loans will be available to members of the bloc.
The summit, which began in Brussels on Friday morning, saw more than 90 hours of talks and became the EU’s longest since a 2000 meeting in the French city of Nice, which lasted for five days.
The package will now face more technical negotiations by member states, and need ratification by the European Parliament.
SOURCE – RADIO NZ